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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 06-06-2007, 08:17 AM
KJake KJake is offline
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Recommended NAS?

I have two QAM tuners and once my cable company gets their act together, I will have an R5000 recorder. I only have a little 250GB drive for my normal recordings right now and that seems to work well, but there have been times where I've nearly ran out of space just with SD recordings. Knowing that HD recordings are much bigger, I think it's time that I get some dedicated space for Sage recordings.

I'm looking for a NAS appliance and I know people in the Sage community have them. Any recommendations or warnings on products to look at and ones to stay away from are welcome and appreciated. I'll want at least 1TB of usable storage and the ability for RAID0+1 or RAID5.

Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2007, 08:23 AM
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lotusvball lotusvball is offline
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I built my own using NASLite+ from server elements. Program cost under $30 dollars and if you have an old system you can use that I have a Raid 5 setup with 4 500gb drives.
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2007, 10:29 AM
dpackham dpackham is offline
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Two other options are both free. Openfiler and freenas. both use old hardware and drives. both have TONS of features. google them both

Dave P
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  #4  
Old 06-06-2007, 10:36 AM
KJake KJake is offline
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Unfortunately, at this time, I don't have any spare hardware lying around. The one system that I do have left will be dedicated to the R5000. FreeNAS would feel right at home with my m0n0wall

Thanks for the ideas though, keep them coming! I especially am looking for recommendations from people who have has personal experience with XX brand, etc.
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  #5  
Old 06-06-2007, 10:51 AM
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fidget fidget is offline
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I use the Thecus N5200 since is supports five drives. I run it in a RAID-5 configuration, but I wouldn't recommend that if you will be reading and writing HD content. The best way that I have found to bring it to its knees is to copy a DVD to it while I am copying one from. The parity calculations are not good. It should be much better as a JBOD or RAID-0. FWIW, the only reason I went RAID-5 was because I didn't want to have to rerip my DVD collection if a drive failed.
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2007, 07:34 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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I went through this same exercise and contemplated all the options for months. Infrant's ReadyNAS was at the top of my list, but even then it wasn't fast enough. After deciding to build myself a server that had the disk (RAID 5) and throughput (NIC, CPU) speed I desired, it made sense to move my SageTV Server application to the same box. Everything was now local again at SATA speeds and I could build it as big as I wanted since it sits in the basement. I ended up converting my old Sage HTPC to just a client machine. By removing all the tuner cards and coax cables, it allowed for a much simpler and cleaner looking box directly attached to my TV, without the worry of heat or noise.

Just something to think about.

Robert
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2007, 10:03 AM
KJake KJake is offline
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This is true...at $600+ for a NAS appliance, I could build a system myself and come in around the same amount, less drives. Curious, which SATA controller did you use? or did you use a built-in one on a motherboard?
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2007, 11:21 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJake View Post
This is true...at $600+ for a NAS appliance, I could build a system myself and come in around the same amount, less drives. Curious, which SATA controller did you use? or did you use a built-in one on a motherboard?
While yes, you can easily build a server for $600, I splurged since it was going to be an important server for me and spent more. The RAID controller I'm using is the Highpoint 2320. See my sig.

Robert
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  #9  
Old 06-07-2007, 01:19 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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I'd recommend against a NAS box.
IMO:
Just use a RAID card and some drives in the same PC that hosts the Sage Server. Most NAS boxes are using small block sizes under a Linux file system and SMB. This is OK for ordinary files but not for mpeg files. You want 64K blocks in a video storage partition in the RAID, and small blocks in a different partition for common file storage. And you probably don't want the inefficiency of SMB as it translates to / fro Windows shares. I'm not pushing Windoze, but these consumer/low-end Linux NAS boxes with slow (500MHz or so) processors just don't have much performance for big streaming files.

Last edited by stevech; 06-07-2007 at 01:23 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-07-2007, 01:27 PM
KJake KJake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
The RAID controller I'm using is the Highpoint 2320.
Nice, I have a 2310 in my personal PC with 4x750GB in RAID5. The 2320 is a good choice though so you can add more drives.
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2007, 01:44 PM
KJake KJake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevech View Post
I'd recommend against a NAS box.
IMO:
Just use a RAID card and some drives in the same PC that hosts the Sage Server. Most NAS boxes are using small block sizes under a Linux file system and SMB. This is OK for ordinary files but not for mpeg files. You want 64K blocks in a video storage partition in the RAID, and small blocks in a different partition for common file storage. And you probably don't want the inefficiency of SMB as it translates to / fro Windows shares. I'm not pushing Windoze, but these consumer/low-end Linux NAS boxes with slow (500MHz or so) processors just don't have much performance for big streaming files.
Good point on the block size formatting stevech. Unfortunately I can't put anything else into my current Sage server, it is a small form factor system and only holds 1 hard drive and half-height PCIe cards, which I have used the slots on already (Video and gigE network).

I will probably build something now that I can transfer my Sage server duties to. In it's current form, it can barely handle transcoding the HD content for my MVPs. I want to bump up the MVP quality to high so that the HD programs actually look good. I was going to wait for the HD extender since that would probably solve the issue, but since I actually need more storage, I'll be killing about 3 birds with 1 stone (might as well put the R5000 capture on the new system too).
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  #12  
Old 06-07-2007, 02:38 PM
Lucas Lucas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevech View Post
I'd recommend against a NAS box.
IMO:
Just use a RAID card and some drives in the same PC that hosts the Sage Server. Most NAS boxes are using small block sizes under a Linux file system and SMB. This is OK for ordinary files but not for mpeg files. You want 64K blocks in a video storage partition in the RAID, and small blocks in a different partition for common file storage. And you probably don't want the inefficiency of SMB as it translates to / fro Windows shares. I'm not pushing Windoze, but these consumer/low-end Linux NAS boxes with slow (500MHz or so) processors just don't have much performance for big streaming files.
NASs most probably cannot be used as the recording drive for sagetv when there are multiple capture devices. This is where the 64k blocks make a difference.

There are however some NAS systems that can work, especially for storing DVDs and archived video files.

I use a local drive for sagetv recordings and a homebuilt NASs with NASliteV2 for video archiving.
The setup works very well.
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  #13  
Old 06-07-2007, 02:40 PM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJake View Post
Good point on the block size formatting stevech. Unfortunately I can't put anything else into my current Sage server, it is a small form factor system and only holds 1 hard drive and half-height PCIe cards, which I have used the slots on already (Video and gigE network).

I will probably build something now that I can transfer my Sage server duties to. In it's current form, it can barely handle transcoding the HD content for my MVPs. I want to bump up the MVP quality to high so that the HD programs actually look good. I was going to wait for the HD extender since that would probably solve the issue, but since I actually need more storage, I'll be killing about 3 birds with 1 stone (might as well put the R5000 capture on the new system too).
Sounds like a good idea if I do say so myself.

I recommend a E6600 Core2Duo or better so that you can handle transcoding of any variation to anywhere.

Robert
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  #14  
Old 06-08-2007, 06:13 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Personally, I've had great experiences with NASLite-2 from Server Elements and I find it much easier to seperate the Sage application from the bulk storage. It's much easier to manage heat and "clutter" within the box. IMHO two specialized boxes work much better than trying to ask 1 box to do two very different things. YMMV.
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  #15  
Old 06-08-2007, 06:28 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
Personally, I've had great experiences with NASLite-2 from Server Elements and I find it much easier to seperate the Sage application from the bulk storage. It's much easier to manage heat and "clutter" within the box. IMHO two specialized boxes work much better than trying to ask 1 box to do two very different things. YMMV.
With no disrespect intended, what two different things are you referring to? Because in my experience, in no way is recording to a network share better than locally at IDE/SATA speeds. If you are referring to a NAS box just holding data after the fact, such as family pictures, DVD rips, music, etc, then I can see that.

Robert
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  #16  
Old 06-08-2007, 06:56 AM
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lotusvball lotusvball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
If you are referring to a NAS box just holding data after the fact, such as family pictures, DVD rips, music, etc, then I can see that.
This is precisely what I use my NASLite box for. Works great. My Sage server has three harddrives internally and one attached by usb for recording. Around 1 gb of storage for recorded shows. But my NAS has all of my DVDs, Pictures, Music and backup of my important files, Using Raid 5. I just have to get a case big enough to hold the 8 drives. Right now I have them laying outside the case. Works great for cooling but doesn't look so good.
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  #17  
Old 06-08-2007, 08:13 AM
Lucas Lucas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
With no disrespect intended, what two different things are you referring to? Because in my experience, in no way is recording to a network share better than locally at IDE/SATA speeds. If you are referring to a NAS box just holding data after the fact, such as family pictures, DVD rips, music, etc, then I can see that.

Robert
The problem is that it is impossible from a power supply, cooling and cost point of view to keep all hard disks in one box if you need more than 1TB of storage.

I started off like that and when I ended up with 5 disks in my Windows SageTV box (Silverstone HTPC case), a) I had no more space and b) the heat built up was horrendous.

NAS for storing non-recording videos is essential if you are into storing everything online.
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  #18  
Old 06-08-2007, 08:36 AM
Polycron Polycron is offline
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How are you handling the move of files from your recording system to your NAS storage system? Are you compressing your video before moving. Are you manually moving the files?

I'm a newbie on SAGE (7 days old). My previous software (BTV) had an option to compress my video and move my files from my main system to my Naslite box. This worked ok and was automatic but I wasn't too keen on being forced to compress the files first. The reason for my big Naslite box was so that I wouldn't have to compress.

I'm curious how people are moving recorded shows to their NAS boxes with SAGE. I had hoped that simply marking a recording as archived could be tied to moving it to my NAS but so far I haven't figured out if this is possible.
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  #19  
Old 06-08-2007, 09:16 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
The problem is that it is impossible from a power supply, cooling and cost point of view to keep all hard disks in one box if you need more than 1TB of storage.

I started off like that and when I ended up with 5 disks in my Windows SageTV box (Silverstone HTPC case), a) I had no more space and b) the heat built up was horrendous.
Correct. I had the same problem, which is why I decided to build a dedicated Sage/multimedia server and keep it in the basement away from the TV. It can be as big and loud as it wants. All recording stays local, but viewing becomes remote, which is not as critical to the integrity of the files.

The two box solution works great. What I propose to the O.P. is a Sage Server (basement) and thinner Sage Client PC (near TV) as opposed to a Sage Server (near TV) and NAS storage (basement, or elsewhere). It keeps the PC with the tuners, big hard drives, heat and noise away from the family room. And without the need for so many PCI/e slots, you could even get away with a mATX board and smaller case for the Sage client PC. The only thing important on the Sage client PC besides Sage, if you desire, is a DVD-ROM for PowerDVD, TheaterTek and the like. If playing DVD's aren't critical, you may even be able to do away with the Sage client PC altogether if the hype of the HD extender proves to be true.

'Just my 2 cents after trying all variations over the years. If it weren't for the Sage Client software and MediaMVP, this wouldn't be an option. IMO, this makes Sage better than all the other alternative PVR apps.

Robert
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  #20  
Old 06-08-2007, 12:32 PM
Lucas Lucas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
Correct. I had the same problem, which is why I decided to build a dedicated Sage/multimedia server and keep it in the basement away from the TV. It can be as big and loud as it wants. All recording stays local, but viewing becomes remote, which is not as critical to the integrity of the files.

The two box solution works great. What I propose to the O.P. is a Sage Server (basement) and thinner Sage Client PC (near TV) as opposed to a Sage Server (near TV) and NAS storage (basement, or elsewhere). It keeps the PC with the tuners, big hard drives, heat and noise away from the family room. And without the need for so many PCI/e slots, you could even get away with a mATX board and smaller case for the Sage client PC. The only thing important on the Sage client PC besides Sage, if you desire, is a DVD-ROM for PowerDVD, TheaterTek and the like. If playing DVD's aren't critical, you may even be able to do away with the Sage client PC altogether if the hype of the HD extender proves to be true.

'Just my 2 cents after trying all variations over the years. If it weren't for the Sage Client software and MediaMVP, this wouldn't be an option. IMO, this makes Sage better than all the other alternative PVR apps.

Robert
Ditto.

I am actually going to 3 box solution. SageTV server with TV cards + Recording Hard Drives, NAS for archived video and the clients.

There 's just no easy way to have 19 drives in one box!
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