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  #1  
Old 01-07-2016, 03:31 PM
Dahrl Dahrl is offline
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Condsidering to switch

My Crazy Plan

To setup 4 network encoders without a gui (or disabled or inactive gui) using Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and a Hauppauge HD-PVR for each

And to setup a primary sagetv server on another Raspberry Pi 2 Model B with a gui (disabled unless loaded) for configurations and storing all recordings on a NAS (as I currently do for my windows sagetv server)

Reason is that I generally only use 2 recorders at a time, wasting a little on power for the other STB etc, and would like to power them off and simply boot them when I find a I have conflicts due to not enough recorders, and hopefully to do this automatically with SAGETV etc eventually. So having only 1 active recorder in the long run unless more are needed to start them up in advance (1 hour or so prior to any needed recordings) and then power then down if not needed for at least a few hours.

Power would be controlled by wemo's or something similar to cut the power to the Raspberry Pi (scripted by the primary sagetv service) after a proper shutdown of course, and also killing power the the STB as well as the HDPVR as well.

My goal is a low power sagetv version of what I have today.

D
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2016, 04:11 PM
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stuckless stuckless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahrl View Post
My Crazy Plan

To setup 4 network encoders without a gui (or disabled or inactive gui) using Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and a Hauppauge HD-PVR for each

And to setup a primary sagetv server on another Raspberry Pi 2 Model B with a gui (disabled unless loaded) for configurations and storing all recordings on a NAS (as I currently do for my windows sagetv server)

Reason is that I generally only use 2 recorders at a time, wasting a little on power for the other STB etc, and would like to power them off and simply boot them when I find a I have conflicts due to not enough recorders, and hopefully to do this automatically with SAGETV etc eventually. So having only 1 active recorder in the long run unless more are needed to start them up in advance (1 hour or so prior to any needed recordings) and then power then down if not needed for at least a few hours.

Power would be controlled by wemo's or something similar to cut the power to the Raspberry Pi (scripted by the primary sagetv service) after a proper shutdown of course, and also killing power the the STB as well as the HDPVR as well.

My goal is a low power sagetv version of what I have today.

D
FYI, while sagetv runs quite well on linux, that is x86 and x86_64 linux. I don't think it will run, as is, on ARM, and will likely require some effort, but I don't know how much.
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2016, 04:23 PM
will will is offline
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This sounds like a very complex solution to a problem that may not exist.

Have you tried hooking up your cable boxes to a power meter to figure out how much power they actually consume and then calculate the actual cost of operating them 24/7? I'd hate for you to spend money on equipment and countless hours setting up the solution to only end up saving $5 or $10 a year in power savings.

A simpler solution may be to see if your cable boxes support a standby mode. For example, you could have the cable box going to a standby mode after X number of hours of being idle. And then STV would automatically wake up the cable boxes when it sends the IR or FireWire signal to them to change the channel.
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2016, 06:44 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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There is not currently a SageTV Network Encoder that will tun on the Pi. I was working on an encoder for the HD-PVR on the pogoplug, but it got put on hold for the holidays. I may switch to the Pi, as the driver support is an issue on the pogoplug (even though I like the form factor of the pogoplug MUCH better). Hopefully I'll get back on that project soon. To meet my goals, I need to figure out the IR blasting with the HD-PVR's blaster, as that's the part that really held me up on the pogoplug part.

If I can get this working, it'd be a standalone network encoder that could sit together with an HD-PVR and a STB and feed everything to a SageTV server - at least I hope it can. Certainly no promises, and no expectations on a timeframe.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2016, 07:41 AM
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dinki dinki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
... I may switch to the Pi, as the driver support is an issue on the pogoplug (even though I like the form factor of the pogoplug MUCH better)...
Out of curiosity, what Linux distro were you running on the Pogoplug? I had very little fun with ArchLinux but am quite happy running Debian Wheezy on my Pogoplug.
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2016, 08:16 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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It was ArchLinux - I might give wheezy a try - honestly, I was just worknig on the actual network encoder program at the time, and was just starting on trying to figure out the IR blaster bit when I put it on the shelf.
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2016, 10:18 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahrl View Post
Power would be controlled by wemo's or something similar to cut the power to the Raspberry Pi (scripted by the primary sagetv service) after a proper shutdown of course, and also killing power the the STB as well as the HDPVR as well.
Why do you really care about power consumption of the Raspberry Pi (other than if it is battery powered) A Pi2 uses under 5 watts and probably less than 100Wh per day or 3kWh per month. Given Toronto Hydro rates that will cost you something like $0.75/month.

I am guessing that your cable box, even in standby, consumes WAY more so that is where you would get the savings. But I don't think it is a good idea to kill power to the cable box as they take several minutes to boot up and resync to the Rogers network. They are made to be always on and connected to the RF cable network.

On Windows I don't think Sage will use a capture device that isn't present when Sage starts up so you would have to make sure that all HD-PVRs are alive when Sage is started or restarted. And I don't know what will happen if devices disappear and reappear - Sage may not like that either.

Have you measured the power consumption of a cable box? I will have to try this out with my boxes and kill-a-watt although all of my boxes are several generations old (SA3250HD, SA4250HD, SA8300HD).
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2016, 10:23 AM
Dahrl Dahrl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
This sounds like a very complex solution to a problem that may not exist.

Have you tried hooking up your cable boxes to a power meter to figure out how much power they actually consume and then calculate the actual cost of operating them 24/7? I'd hate for you to spend money on equipment and countless hours setting up the solution to only end up saving $5 or $10 a year in power savings.

A simpler solution may be to see if your cable boxes support a standby mode. For example, you could have the cable box going to a standby mode after X number of hours of being idle. And then STV would automatically wake up the cable boxes when it sends the IR or FireWire signal to them to change the channel.
@Will, I have more reasons then just STB power, but figured that was the simplest example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
There is not currently a SageTV Network Encoder that will tun on the Pi. I was working on an encoder for the HD-PVR on the pogoplug, but it got put on hold for the holidays. I may switch to the Pi, as the driver support is an issue on the pogoplug (even though I like the form factor of the pogoplug MUCH better). Hopefully I'll get back on that project soon. To meet my goals, I need to figure out the IR blasting with the HD-PVR's blaster, as that's the part that really held me up on the pogoplug part.

If I can get this working, it'd be a standalone network encoder that could sit together with an HD-PVR and a STB and feed everything to a SageTV server - at least I hope it can. Certainly no promises, and no expectations on a timeframe.
@Fuzzy I was actually using the USB-UIRT with a HD-PVR successfully from the command line to record on Raspbian, changes channels etc, records, just not using SAGETV (yet) My goal is same as yours to have little stand alone network encoders using RPi.

Was hoping someone has tried this with sagetv
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2016, 10:35 AM
Dahrl Dahrl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Why do you really care about power consumption of the Raspberry Pi (other than if it is battery powered) A Pi2 uses under 5 watts and probably less than 100Wh per day or 3kWh per month. Given Toronto Hydro rates that will cost you something like $0.75/month.

I am guessing that your cable box, even in standby, consumes WAY more so that is where you would get the savings. But I don't think it is a good idea to kill power to the cable box as they take several minutes to boot up and resync to the Rogers network. They are made to be always on and connected to the RF cable network.

On Windows I don't think Sage will use a capture device that isn't present when Sage starts up so you would have to make sure that all HD-PVRs are alive when Sage is started or restarted. And I don't know what will happen if devices disappear and reappear - Sage may not like that either.

Have you measured the power consumption of a cable box? I will have to try this out with my boxes and kill-a-watt although all of my boxes are several generations old (SA3250HD, SA4250HD, SA8300HD).
STB power is only one thing, as I said to Will above, I was not certain about network encoder discovery if the sagetv server searches or the encoder announces (searches and attaches) on its own. I am sure code change would be required to enable a encoder to push its existence to sagetv. and while the pi2 does use 5 watts a nice little 0.5 watts is better when you factor in the desktop pc and all the STB, but again, power is only one thing of many reasons.

It simply would be nice to have a tiny little network encoder per STB taking orders from another small device that saves it on the network ultimately for clients to access. Making a smaller wattage foot print and a smaller physical foot print and as well lowering noise, and heat creation.

I have still more reasons. But what I really want to know is how to make this possible, if anyone who knows the project well enough (code level) how hard would it be to accomplish.

I am a developer. Available time is my issue, unfortunately.
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2016, 10:43 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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In the current code, I have changed it so that it continues to check for a network encoder if it finds it is not there (every 15 seconds, I think). This is actually a feature they added for Google Fiber, but it was not enabled for the standard SageTV Server until I made the change. If it finds a Network Encoder as not there, it used to mark it as non functioning, and then ignore it until a check was forced (by either restarting the service, or navigating to the Encoder screen in the UI). With new builds, it should reflect the change more often if encoders are coming and going.
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  #11  
Old 01-08-2016, 10:44 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahrl View Post
It simply would be nice to have a tiny little network encoder per STB taking orders from another small device that saves it on the network ultimately for clients to access. Making a smaller wattage foot print and a smaller physical foot print and as well lowering noise, and heat creation.
I've had a number of sagetv servers over the years, and over time I've discovered that low powered servers are not ideal. They might work if all you do is record and playback recordings locally, but if you are streaming remotely, you really want a faster server.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
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Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2016, 10:56 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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I just googled power consumption for SA cable boxes and it looks like they use roughly 20W whether active or in standby mode. But as I said above, I don't think it is good for them to be off as they take a while to sync up. And I believe Rogers will delete a box from its database if it doesn't connect to the network in 30 days.

With regards to heat creation - I have always wondered if this is less of an issue in cold climates than warm climates. Sure the devices "wastes" energy by producing heat, but doesn't this increase the ambient temperature in your house meaning that your furnace has a little less work to do? Isn't that beneficial in cold climates, like Toronto, for about eight months of the year?
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2016, 11:00 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
I just googled power consumption for SA cable boxes and it looks like they use roughly 20W whether active or in standby mode. But as I said above, I don't think it is good for them to be off as they take a while to sync up. And I believe Rogers will delete a box from its database if it doesn't connect to the network in 30 days.

With regards to heat creation - I have always wondered if this is less of an issue in cold climates than warm climates. Sure the devices "wastes" energy by producing heat, but doesn't this increase the ambient temperature in your house meaning that your furnace has a little less work to do? Isn't that beneficial in cold climates, like Toronto, for about eight months of the year?
Yeah, Heat generation indoors is only a 'waste' when you are not otherwise trying to heat the indoors. It is not as efficient as most other forms of heating (in most cases, resistive electric heat is the most expensive form of heating), but it's not like it's going to be a large part of your heating mix. In hot climates, however, it is a double waste, as not only are us using the energy in the device to add heat to the indoors, you then have to use more enrgy in the air conditioning to remove it.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2016, 11:03 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
In hot climates, however, it is a double waste, as not only are us using the energy in the device to add heat to the indoors, you then have to use more enrgy in the air conditioning to remove it.
Agreed, but if you run the H more than the AC of your HVAC then this heat is, on average, beneficial. Although as you point out it may not be the most efficient way of generating heat.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2016, 11:20 AM
Dahrl Dahrl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
I've had a number of sagetv servers over the years, and over time I've discovered that low powered servers are not ideal. They might work if all you do is record and playback recordings locally, but if you are streaming remotely, you really want a faster server.
I will only be doing for my usage doing local playback and recording, any cpu intensive tasks would agreeably require a better host.
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2016, 11:24 AM
Dahrl Dahrl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
In the current code, I have changed it so that it continues to check for a network encoder if it finds it is not there (every 15 seconds, I think). This is actually a feature they added for Google Fiber, but it was not enabled for the standard SageTV Server until I made the change. If it finds a Network Encoder as not there, it used to mark it as non functioning, and then ignore it until a check was forced (by either restarting the service, or navigating to the Encoder screen in the UI). With new builds, it should reflect the change more often if encoders are coming and going.
So if I understand you right, network encoders in the current version are checked more frequently and do not require a reboot? And can come and go as needed?
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2016, 11:30 AM
Dahrl Dahrl is offline
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
It was ArchLinux - I might give wheezy a try - honestly, I was just worknig on the actual network encoder program at the time, and was just starting on trying to figure out the IR blaster bit when I put it on the shelf.
I had trouble trying to get the headers to compile for LIRC on the RPI for the Hauppauge IR Blaster, so I just went with the USB UIRT and that worked without much issue. but it would be ideal to not need the USB UIRT or have it as optional, as one issue I had was that a server with multiple HD PVR could only use one IR Blaster and the others had to use a USB UIRT which worked but was still more cables to worry about, using the native IR Blaster for an HD-PVR would be great on a Rpi.
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