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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 11-16-2015, 10:49 PM
medwynd medwynd is offline
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Separate NAS + Media server or an all-in-1 solution [Build ordered]

I am looking to replace my old setup of WHS v1 with 3x2TB WD Green drives. Along with this I used several SageTV extenders.

I am evaluating my options for the holiday sales and trying to decide the pros/cons of building 2 separate boxes, one with unraid just for storage and another to act as my media server or build one box for both with plenty of bays, redundancy for my data, and transcoding media.

Transcoding will only be necessary for playback on mobile devices away from the house, everything in the house is wired gigabit.

For media playback I am considering Plex or Emby on my xboxes and devices, since I have several, I can also still use my old SageTV extenders.

I have a lot of movies I have not backed up because of lack of storage so will definitely need more storage. So I will be probably be using 6TB WD Reds for storage.

I would like both boxes to be relatively silent as they will be living in my office.

I could buy a prebuilt NAS with plenty of horsepower to transcode and house all my drives, which is pricer than building, or I can build one one, or I can build two separate dedicated boxes, one for storage and one for playback and potential for other virtual machines as necessary.

Thoughts on the pros/cons of these options? I haven't rebuilt this setup in about 5 years and I am sure there are a lot of things I am not considering that I haven't thought of.
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Last edited by medwynd; 11-30-2015 at 11:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2015, 05:41 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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I gave up on a separate NAS long ago. It made no sense to me to have two boxes on 24x7 when one could do the job. I also try to adhere to the KISS principle whenever possible.

My guess is that you'll get lots of opinions on which way is the best to go.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:42 AM
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fidget fidget is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
I gave up on a separate NAS long ago. It made no sense to me to have two boxes on 24x7 when one could do the job. I also try to adhere to the KISS principle whenever possible.

My guess is that you'll get lots of opinions on which way is the best to go.
I agree with using a unified solution. When I used a NAS, there was always the problem of upgrading the drives (I ran RAID5). By getting a PC that can hold as many drives as you can, you can upgrade the drives as you need and not have to deal with rebuilding a RAID or getting an additional NAS. My system is probably overkill for most people, but you can get PC cases that hold 6-8 drives.
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:54 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medwynd View Post
I am evaluating my options for the holiday sales and trying to decide the pros/cons of building 2 separate boxes, one with unraid just for storage and another to act as my media server or build one box for both with plenty of bays, redundancy for my data, and transcoding media.

Transcoding will only be necessary for playback on mobile devices away from the house, everything in the house is wired gigabit.

For media playback I am considering Plex or Emby on my xboxes and devices, since I have several, I can also still use my old SageTV extenders.
I don't see why you'd need multiple boxes with unRAID 6, you can run anything you want on it, including Windows if necessary.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:25 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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I never understood the separate NAS/SageServer idea - A bulk of the data stored on any potential NAS I might have would be media that will be fed to, and likely sourced from, my SageTV Server. Sage handles adding drives perfectly, as location really doesn't matter to sage since it composites all it's storage locations together, so having a 'single unified file structure' that a NAS might present serves no real purpose. Then there's the performance hit by sending everything over the network multiple times. It all just makes no sense.

I only have 2 24-hour machines in my equipment closet - one is my SageTV/Plex/Backup/LogitechMediaServer/HeroLab-Server/etc, and the other is an atom based router (running PFSense). I had intended to run PFSense in a VM on the same machine with everything else, but hardware virtualization did not function properly on the motherboard I've currently got in there, so I've kept it separate.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:53 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
I never understood the separate NAS/SageServer idea - A bulk of the data stored on any potential NAS I might have would be media that will be fed to, and likely sourced from, my SageTV Server. Sage handles adding drives perfectly, as location really doesn't matter to sage since it composites all it's storage locations together, so having a 'single unified file structure' that a NAS might present serves no real purpose. Then there's the performance hit by sending everything over the network multiple times. It all just makes no sense.
Well there aren't any real good redundancy solutions for Windows, and I still think the unified file structure is quite valuable. I don't want to have to keep track of which disk is free, or where I keep my movies vs my TV shows vs my pictures.

Say you start with one disk, you put your media in:
disk1\Movies
disk1\TV
disk1\Pictures
disk1\Music

At some point you'll fill up that disk, then what do you do. Well you either duplicate that structure:
disk2\Movies
disk2\TV
disk2\Pictures
disk2\Music

And then well maybe there's not enough room on disk1 for a new Blu-ray movie, but there's room for pictures so you keep putting pictures on 1, but now your movies have to go to 2. Now, when you inevitably have to manage your pictures or music outside of Sage, you have to remember/figure out which disk it's on.

Or you have to rearrange your content, maybe movies on disk1 and move everything else to disk2....

It's so much easier to just have everything on \\nas\Movies and then if I need more space I just add a disk, and all my movies are still under \\nas\Movies and I've got more space. I just always rip movies to \\nas\Movies.

That and the performance it isn't a real issue, streaming media doesn't take but a fraction of network bandwidth.

That said, the only machine I've got running 24/7 is my unRAID server, which runs Sage in a VM and a number of other things in Dockers.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2015, 10:39 AM
nyplayer nyplayer is online now
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Storage spaces in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 can provide redundancy .. I use it and it performs great.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2015, 10:46 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Well there aren't any real good redundancy solutions for Windows, and I still think the unified file structure is quite valuable. I don't want to have to keep track of which disk is free, or where I keep my movies vs my TV shows vs my pictures.

Say you start with one disk, you put your media in:
disk1\Movies
disk1\TV
disk1\Pictures
disk1\Music

At some point you'll fill up that disk, then what do you do. Well you either duplicate that structure:
disk2\Movies
disk2\TV
disk2\Pictures
disk2\Music

And then well maybe there's not enough room on disk1 for a new Blu-ray movie, but there's room for pictures so you keep putting pictures on 1, but now your movies have to go to 2. Now, when you inevitably have to manage your pictures or music outside of Sage, you have to remember/figure out which disk it's on.

Or you have to rearrange your content, maybe movies on disk1 and move everything else to disk2....

It's so much easier to just have everything on \\nas\Movies and then if I need more space I just add a disk, and all my movies are still under \\nas\Movies and I've got more space. I just always rip movies to \\nas\Movies.

That and the performance it isn't a real issue, streaming media doesn't take but a fraction of network bandwidth.

That said, the only machine I've got running 24/7 is my unRAID server, which runs Sage in a VM and a number of other things in Dockers.
I've got my 5 or 6 large storage drives in my server - each has a 'Recordings' folder that sage is set to record to, and each is set to maintain 60GB free. Then on each of the drive's I've got one or two various library folders (KidsMovies, TV Shows, NonKidsMovies, etc). This is where I drop in rips, etc. There's always enough room on the drive for one or two movies to be dropped in, and then sage, over time, frees up the space again (we don't horde a lot of tv, so there's always a decent enough turnover for sage to make the room again). In about 6 years with this particular setup, i haven't had to manually move a file once, unless it's to move it to a new biger drive (in which case, I'm usually duplicating the smaller drive completely and just replacing it - which sage then sees all the new space, and adjusts itself accordingly.
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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.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2015, 11:19 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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You've still got the issue of having to figure out where something is if you ever have to do something outside of Sage. And how do you decide which of the 5 drives are going to get a new rip? If you always rip to the same drive you'll eventually fill up that drive with stuff Sage can't (re)move.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2015, 12:23 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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I think the biggest downside of having separate server and NAS boxes is throughput. If you have a lot of tuners that could be recording at the same time and/or a lot of clients/extenders that could be playing back at the same time, you will need a lot of bandwidth. I would be worried about the NAS box keeping up.

I've seen that some people record to a local drive on the Sage server and then move things they want to keep to a separate NAS box, but this seems like too much work. I'd rather just have one box that does everything.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2015, 12:39 PM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Well there aren't any real good redundancy solutions for Windows, ...
My "low tech" solution is to clone the disks that contain important data. Once a week I run SyncToy to copy drives. Not elegant, but simple and effective. If a drive fails I just point Sage to the other one and replace the dead drive.
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2015, 01:18 PM
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Telecore Telecore is offline
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Check into Stablebit Drivepool. Allows many disks to appear as one. Allows for duplication of files in user specified folders onto 2 or more different drives. Low cost and doesn't slow things down. Can also add/remove drives easily and mix different drive brands/sizes. Point SageTV to single recording folder on the logical drivepool. I run it in my server with a IBM M1015 card in IT mode.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2015, 01:58 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
You've still got the issue of having to figure out where something is if you ever have to do something outside of Sage. And how do you decide which of the 5 drives are going to get a new rip? If you always rip to the same drive you'll eventually fill up that drive with stuff Sage can't (re)move.
The only time I access any media outside of SageTV is with Plex, and it also combines everything into a singular database. Perhaps I don't rip/otherwise obtain as much as some here, but I have not yet had an issue of filling up a drive, and more often am replacing drives before they are full (of ripped content). Currently, my NonKidsMovies housing drive is a 3TB, where 1.7 TB are ripped movies, the rest are sagetv recordings. my KidsMovies housing drive is a 2TB, with 1.2 TB of movies, the rest recordings. PlayLater has it's store on another drive, and TV Shows on yet another. I keep the kids and nonkid movies separate for display reasons anyway (I use a vfs that filters by folder). If I ever do end up filling up a drive with static content and not upsizing that drive, all I have to do is add a KidsMovies folder on another drive, and add it to sage. My filter is based on a regex of it containing KidsMovies in the path, so any KidsMovies file will meed the filter.
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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.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2015, 03:24 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
My "low tech" solution is to clone the disks that contain important data. Once a week I run SyncToy to copy drives. Not elegant, but simple and effective. If a drive fails I just point Sage to the other one and replace the dead drive.
That ends up being $$$ in duplicate drives, I wouldn't want to buy an extra 32TB of drives so I can duplicate all the stuff that unRAID's parity protects Plus the hassle of managing them, is the data up to date, which spare is it on....

I do find different people's definition of "simple" to be interesting. I wouldn't consider a system of scripts and manual management of discs to be simple, but then again there are people who don't setting up unRAID is simple either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecore View Post
Check into Stablebit Drivepool. Allows many disks to appear as one. Allows for duplication of files in user specified folders onto 2 or more different drives. Low cost and doesn't slow things down. Can also add/remove drives easily and mix different drive brands/sizes. Point SageTV to single recording folder on the logical drivepool. I run it in my server with a IBM M1015 card in IT mode.
That's still duplication, it would require me to have 22 hard drives/73TB of gross capacity instead of 12 drives and 40TB of gross capacity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Perhaps I don't rip/otherwise obtain as much as some here, but I have not yet had an issue of filling up a drive, and more often am replacing drives before they are full (of ripped content).
Yeah, my unRAID server is up to 11 drives (not counting parity) with 36.5TB of available space, and that's not counting my 4TB drive that Sage uses for recordings. My Movies, TV, Music, Photos are all automatically allocated across those 11 drives, no one drive is big enough for my ripped TV or Movies. I've been using RAID in one form or another for years, and it's been great. My collection has always outstripped the capacity of individual drives, at ones with decent $/GB. If I'd not been using arrays, I'd have been spending a lot of time shuffling things around to keep everything going.

As it stands with unRAID, I can just create top level, logical shares for whatever I want, and I don't need to worry about how those map to individual disks, now or in the future. If I only had a drive or two, I'd definitely be more inclined to go with something "simpler". Though that said, with the features and capabilities of unRAID 6, I don't see myself looking anywhere else anytime soon, especially with the possibility of running SageTV "native" (linux) on it and not needing Windows at all.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:31 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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I've nothing against RAID, and did use software RAID 5 when my sage server was on XP, and it could be done in the OS (with a hack). When I moved to win7, however, that was no longer an option, so I just decided to go without it. None of my media is honestly important enough to even care if a drive goes dead. An important data I have is backed up in multiple locations, as that is really the only way data can be protected.

If i ever get around to running sage on a different OS than win7, I might see about going a RAID route again - but I have no reason to do so at this time.
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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.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #16  
Old 11-18-2015, 07:00 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Yeah, all my important data is backed up elsewhere, but I find the protection from drive failure parity provides to be cheap insurance to protect the time I've spent archiving my rips.
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2015, 12:25 PM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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I have had a few HDD failures over the years and love the RAID as it allows the system to keep chugging along as if nothing was wrong, (at least if just one drive dies--thankfully I haven't had two in the same array check out at the same time). For me RAID is just for system availability--all important data is backed up offsite. I'm using three sets of RAID-1 arrays for various reasons, but over the holiday break this year may play around with some JBOD+parity options. I like the idea of a single storage pool as long as it performs well.
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:55 PM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
That ends up being $$$ in duplicate drives, I wouldn't want to buy an extra 32TB of drives so I can duplicate all the stuff that unRAID's parity protects Plus the hassle of managing them, is the data up to date, which spare is it on....
I have 6TB and about the only time it changes is when I download pictures off my phone and camera. I agree that my solution is not suitable for 32TB of data.

I used to have a lot more data then I realized paying $9/month for Netflix was a lot cheaper than dealing with 32TB of ripped/recorded movies
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  #19  
Old 11-18-2015, 02:28 PM
uberpixel uberpixel is offline
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I have been successfully running WHS2011 for a few months now. Main reason for WHS2011? I had a license already and I like the easy client and server backup/restore built into the OS.

This box operates headless in the closet and serves files as well as running SageTV and Blue Iris.

In order to get all of the server functionality I needed I've added Stablebit Drivepool for drive redundancy and Crashplan local (USB) and remote (cloud) backup to backup the pool.

Took a bit of setup but it's rock solid and working great for me.

I have had issues with PrimeNetEncoder and wonder if I've spread resources too thin with all of these services combined but I haven't seen any patterns to provide conclusive evidence.

-uberpixel
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  #20  
Old 11-19-2015, 04:35 PM
Zadkiel Zadkiel is offline
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I totally agree with Fuzzy, stuff I record and download to SageTV/Plex is not worth the expense or hassle of RAID.
I do have a QNAP NAS on my network for my important stuff and it also runs Plex and my Security Cameras.
I did have a very passing thought of adding a share to SageTV, but with 6x3TB drives in my SageTV server, I just did some cleanup of the kids shows they don't watch anymore. Thought gone.

Maybe one day, we can get a QNAP app for SageTV?
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