Proposal: Hardware Recommendations

Given that hardware recommendations are off-topic on Software Recommendations and it is assumed that pure Software Recommendations would be off-topic on this site, how would a problem that requires both hardware and software fit into this site?

For example, I want to set up a media server and stream to a non-smart TV. There is going to be a hardware component for the receiver box to connect to the TV. There is also would likely be a software component to actually stream the media to the box, there also could be a software component to the receiver (especially if the receiver is a computer running specific software).

Would both parts of the question be on-topic here in a single question, or would someone have to split the question between Hardware Recs and Software Recs and ask 2 separate questions?

2 Answers 2


Don't worry about the software side in the question. Just ask for a device that would solve your practical problem.

A good answer will recommend the device, and include the software suggestions - it's hardly a solution to your problem if you're told to get a box that does nothing, or does what you want badly, because it runs poor software. So, as long as there is a choice of software (and the required software is different than "default, out of the box") software suggestion along with the hardware recommendation should be the answer which solves the problem solved by the asker.

For example, you're asking about an Android phone that can control some gizmo over some GPIO pins. I could recommend you a model, but that would hardly help, because the GPIO is not available for the userspace apps. What I should do is suggesting the model, instruct you to root that phone, install a specific customized OS, and run a specific application (requiring Root) to control said pins. Only that way you will be able to use the phone in a way you want.


Split the solution into two questions, one on each site. Link between them for context. The best answers on each site can reference info in the question and answers on the other.

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