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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 09-20-2010, 02:32 PM
chrishallowell chrishallowell is offline
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New server suggestions for 8 HDDs and 4 extenders

I'm looking at buying a new server just for SageTV. It will have XP Pro 32 bit on it. It will not be used as a client. I do not plan on using Comskip. I have 8 SATA HDDs that I would like to connect to it. I do not plan on using any type of RAID setup (At least not until I have one fail and I have to spend days reburning )

Any suggestions would be appreciative. My goal is to get something as cheap as possible while avoiding stuttering, missed recordings due to tuner problems, etc.

Clients: None
Extenders: 4 HD200
Tuners: HVR-1600, HDHR, HVR-950, and OnAir GT USB
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2010, 05:11 PM
rsteele rsteele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishallowell View Post
I'm looking at buying a new server just for SageTV. It will have XP Pro 32 bit on it. It will not be used as a client. I do not plan on using Comskip. I have 8 SATA HDDs that I would like to connect to it. I do not plan on using any type of RAID setup (At least not until I have one fail and I have to spend days reburning )

Any suggestions would be appreciative. My goal is to get something as cheap as possible while avoiding stuttering, missed recordings due to tuner problems, etc.

Clients: None
Extenders: 4 HD200
Tuners: HVR-1600, HDHR, HVR-950, and OnAir GT USB
I have been very happy with my Asus P7P55D-E motherboard. I mostly bought it because it has two PCI slots for my two PVR-500 analog tuners, but I also like the 6 SATA II ports from the Intel P55 chipset, plus one more from a JMicron controller, plus two SATA III ports from a Marvel chip. It's not bleeding edge anymore, so you should be able to get decent deals on it.

Rich
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2010, 07:24 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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What's the reason for the SageTV upgrade? A fast dual core would work if you don't plan to do comskip. A fast quad would be the choice if you run comskip.

How much total disk space will you have? Are all 8 drives the same size? If so, you could use RAID if the system board has built in RAID, without the expense of a RAID card. The more drives you have, the more likely it is that you will see a failure.

I run 12 drives in my SageTV computer. Most of them are RAID 1, which isn't very efficient. In the past 5 years, I've had a couple drives fail.

You should also consider imaging the C drive, so you can easily recover your system back to a point in time, if you have trouble.

Dave
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SageTV: LIAN LI PC-K58, Gigabyte GA-EX580UD5, i-7 950 3.06 gig quad LGA 1366 CPU, Zalman CNPS9700 CPU cooler 1366 bracket, Memory 24 gigs GB, PNY NVIDIA GeoForce 9800 GT 1024 MB, Corsair 750w PSU, Samsung 500GB SSD boot, 3 SSD recording drives
Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
Software: Windows 7 Pro X64, Ghost 15, VideoReDo TVSuite 4 h.264, Playon (Netflix), OpenDCT
UnRAID File Server 4.7 Pro: Lian-Li PC-G70B, MBD-X8SIL-F-O, i3-540, 16 TB
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2010, 08:50 PM
kingwr kingwr is offline
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8 HDDs? Seriously dude, unless you are running a system for serving porn to 48 hotel rooms, I would chuck those drives and invest in a couple of 7500 RPM 2TB Caviar Greens. Put your OS (which should be 64-bit Windows 7) on a SSD that supports TRIM (like an 80GB Intel X25-M).
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2010, 12:17 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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I think any modern CPU/MB will work. If it doesn't have 8 Sata ports, a PCIe x4 controller that can turn off the raid function (some are raid only) would work fine. As far as a CPU, if you are just recording and remote playback, I'd just the cheapest dual core (just because windoze works better with dual cores) as these are handled but the DMA controller for 99% of the work, not the CPU.

Now if you planning on doing ANYTHING else, you should plan for enough CPU. That's why I have a quad core on MY system, and a dual on the others I support.
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Server #1= AMD A10-5800, 8G RAM, F2A85-M PRO, 12TB, HDHomerun Prime, HDHR, Colossus (Playback - HD-200)
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:46 PM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingwr View Post
8 HDDs? Seriously dude, unless you are running a system for serving porn to 48 hotel rooms, I would chuck those drives and invest in a couple of 7500 RPM 2TB Caviar Greens. Put your OS (which should be 64-bit Windows 7) on a SSD that supports TRIM (like an 80GB Intel X25-M).
I'm not sure I agree with this. I used to have a server with 6 drives and converted to a server with two. Now I occasionally get stuttering if I have several recordings happening at once and am watching something on an extender. If I had to do it again I would use more drives.

Maybe the solution is to get 8 2TB drives
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2010, 02:22 PM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
I'm not sure I agree with this. I used to have a server with 6 drives and converted to a server with two. Now I occasionally get stuttering if I have several recordings happening at once and am watching something on an extender. If I had to do it again I would use more drives.

Maybe the solution is to get 8 2TB drives
I agree. Most small hard drives, would be better than 1 or 2 big green drives. I use green drives for my RAID storage, but for my recordings I use 2 - 7200 RPM hard drives, I might even add a 3rd eventually.
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Sage Server: AMD Athlon II 630, Asrock 785G motherboard, 3GB of RAM, 500GB OS HD in RAID 1 and 2 - 750GB Recording Drives, HDHomerun, Avermedia HD Duet & 2-HDPVRs, and 9.0TB storage in RAID 5 via Dell Perc 5i for DVD storage
Source: Clear QAM and OTA for locals, 2-DishNetwork VIP211's
Clients: 2 Sage HD300's, 2 Sage HD200's, 2 Sage HD100's, 1 MediaMVP, and 1 Placeshifter
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2010, 04:04 PM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHelm View Post
...I'd just the cheapest dual core (just because windoze works better with dual cores)...
What makes you think this? In some cases a dual core may have a higher clock speed, but that doesn't make Windows work "better," just faster on single threaded apps.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2010, 06:01 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
What makes you think this? In some cases a dual core may have a higher clock speed, but that doesn't make Windows work "better," just faster on single threaded apps.
Because of the way Windows tries to multi-task on a home computer (not a server). If any one task needs a lot of the CPU, the whole OS bogs down. With dual cores, if 1 task bogs a core down, the OS can use the other core. So yes, Windows works "better", but 1 task does not.

Except for a few older games, I'd always pick a slower dual core of a single core for Windows. If I'm going to be running (running, not loaded) a lot of programs, or have any multi-core aware programs, I'd go with as many core as I could.
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Server #1= AMD A10-5800, 8G RAM, F2A85-M PRO, 12TB, HDHomerun Prime, HDHR, Colossus (Playback - HD-200)
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2010, 02:34 PM
chrishallowell chrishallowell is offline
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Right now I have a: ABIT IP35 Pro, Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU(2.4GHz) with 2GB memory
I use that to do everything, SageTV, video transcoding, graphic/video editing, etc.

I recently developed stuttering while watching HD OTA with the HDHR. It works for the first 10-15 minutes and the starts stuttering so bad we can't watch HD.

So I would like 2 systems. 1 for SageTV and 1 for everything else.

I'm leaning towards this PC for around $500:
ASUS P7P55D-E LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel® Core™ i3-530 Processor (4M Cache, 2.93 GHz)
2GB mem, heat sink, cheap video card, and case (Already have a monitor, XPPro32bit, and HDD)
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2010, 05:41 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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I used to have an ABIT IP-35 for an older SageTV computer. I had a fast dual-core and 2 gigs RAM. My first SageTV with an old Althon XP 1800 with 512 meg RAM, which I also used for everything else too. A separate, dedicated computer for SageTV is the only way to go.

Check your RAM consumption and network when it is stuttering. I used to recommend 64k blocks, but that requirement is supposed to be dropped in recent SageTV versions.

You should get a fast quad if you can afford it. You can offload the Comskip and transcoding to another computer. Make sure that the transcoding and Comskip are running at "Low" priority. It makes a big difference for other things running on the same computer.

Some system boards do have built-in RAID, but usually those are a bit higher in cost. Setting up RAID is easy. All the drives should be the same size in each RAID set.

Eight drives isn't that many. I have 12 drives in my current SageTV computer. Most are running in RAID 1 pairs. You don't need to have OS drive running in RAID if you take periodic images of the OS drive. If you start growing SageTV too large, you may need to put most of your storage on another computer. I am currently building up an unRAID server to hold most of my archived files.

Dave
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SageTV: LIAN LI PC-K58, Gigabyte GA-EX580UD5, i-7 950 3.06 gig quad LGA 1366 CPU, Zalman CNPS9700 CPU cooler 1366 bracket, Memory 24 gigs GB, PNY NVIDIA GeoForce 9800 GT 1024 MB, Corsair 750w PSU, Samsung 500GB SSD boot, 3 SSD recording drives
Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
Software: Windows 7 Pro X64, Ghost 15, VideoReDo TVSuite 4 h.264, Playon (Netflix), OpenDCT
UnRAID File Server 4.7 Pro: Lian-Li PC-G70B, MBD-X8SIL-F-O, i3-540, 16 TB
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2010, 06:01 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
I'm not sure I agree with this. I used to have a server with 6 drives and converted to a server with two. Now I occasionally get stuttering if I have several recordings happening at once and am watching something on an extender. If I had to do it again I would use more drives.

Maybe the solution is to get 8 2TB drives
At least for the linux version of sage, the solution is for sagetv to increase the default tuner buffer size from 1.8MB to 10MB or 20MB. I used to hack the linux DVB driver core to do that, now I just run an LD_PRELOAD intercept library to watch for sage opening the tuner & increase the buffer size behind its back.

I wonder if a larger buffer would help you. But I have no idea how to force that behind sage's back on Windows.

Drew
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Server HW: Xeon CPU E3-1270, 16GB RAM, 9TB Raid-Z + L2Arc,
Server SW: Ubuntu 12.04 x86_64, ZFS on Linux, Java 1.6.0_21, SageTV 7.1.9.1
Tuner HW: Pinnacle 800i, Pinnacle 801e USB, HDHR
Client: HD300, HD100
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2010, 06:08 PM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewg View Post
At least for the linux version of sage, the solution is for sagetv to increase the default tuner buffer size from 1.8MB to 10MB or 20MB. I used to hack the linux DVB driver core to do that, now I just run an LD_PRELOAD intercept library to watch for sage opening the tuner & increase the buffer size behind its back.

I wonder if a larger buffer would help you. But I have no idea how to force that behind sage's back on Windows.

Drew
Could you pm this info to me? Please
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2010, 07:13 AM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcjenkins View Post
Could you pm this info to me? Please
I sent it to your email..

Drew
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Server HW: Xeon CPU E3-1270, 16GB RAM, 9TB Raid-Z + L2Arc,
Server SW: Ubuntu 12.04 x86_64, ZFS on Linux, Java 1.6.0_21, SageTV 7.1.9.1
Tuner HW: Pinnacle 800i, Pinnacle 801e USB, HDHR
Client: HD300, HD100
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2010, 08:36 AM
chrishallowell chrishallowell is offline
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Ok, well I finally bought a new PC. My "old" ABIT IP35 Pro, Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU(2.4GHz) with 2GB memory is going to be my SageTV machine. My new PC is for everything else (Video editing, transcoding, comskip duties, etc). I went way over my budget so I guess my kids aren't going to college.

New PC Specs ($1550):
ASUS P6X58D-E
Intel Core i7-950
Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 case
Corsair CMPSU-850TX PSU
GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) SuperClocked
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3
Windows 7 (64 bit)
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