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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 09-25-2009, 10:01 AM
gilbreen gilbreen is offline
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New to SageTV - Best setup for server and storage questions

I am in the midst of setting up a SageTV server for the first time in contemplating replacing our TivoHD units. Here is the equipment involved:

Server - Mac mini 2009 (Core2Duo 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM, XP SP3) - wired
Storage - ReadyNAS - wired
Tuner 1 - 1 Hauppauge 1950 (cable analog)
Tuner 2 - HDHomeRun (Clear QAM - both tuners)
Client 1 - iMac (Core2Duo 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.5.7) - wired
Client 2 - iMac (Core2Duo 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.5.7) - wireless 802.11n
Network - Office that has the Mac mini, ReadyNAS and Client 1 are wired together via a Gigabit ethernet switch.

I have installed SageTV on the Mac mini under Windows XP SP3 using BootCamp as the Windows version seems to have more tuner support. Not wanting to use the internal 2.5" HD for storage, I have mapped the storage to a 750GB share on my ReadyNAS device.

I have set up some trial recordings (both SD and HD) during the last week. Last night I played back some of the recordings on the two different clients. These are the results:

* Playback of SD recording (source - HDHR) - video playback was smooth but there was no audio - when viewing the same channel live, the audio works without issue
* Playback of SD recording (source - Hauppauge 1950) - no playback issues on any machine (client or server)
* Playback of HD recording (source - HDHR) - video playback on server was smooth without issue. Video playback on both clients stuttered and made loud clicking and popping noises

Questions:

Server - Am I correct on using WinXP for the server? I know it is a bit of a 'you say tomato, I say tomato' question but would like input. I usually use Mac OS, but am not opposed to and am comfortable with Windows. I have an older PC available to use (P4 3.0) but prefer the form factor and how quiet the Mac mini is since it will be in my office.

RAM - is 2GB enough or should I upgrade to 4GB (which is the max)? I know more is almost always better but not sure if would make a big difference. I am currently not using any type of commercial skipping or analyzer programs and most likely won't.

Storage - Will the ReadyNAS be able to keep up or should I consider an external drive connected via FireWire800? At most, I can see recording 2-3 programs simultaneously as that is what we currently do with our Tivo setup.

Clients - The Macs are mainly for testing purposes. The plan would be to purchase HD200 units to replace our Tivo boxes. Are the HD200s less susceptible to the stuttering that I have seen on the Mac clients? While the office is wired for Gigabit ethernet, the HD200s would be connected via MoCA adapters in the rest of the house.

General - How can I determine if the skipping/stuttering is a result of needing more RAM, the choice of storage on the ReadyNAS, or other things I am not considering?
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2009, 03:34 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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For testing purposes you could always use the local hard drive as the recording drive and change it to the NAS after it is working.

No experience on the Mac side but it sounds like a codec problem. (2GB Ram is plenty in the windows world for bot client and server.)

What is the Video card on the iMacs?
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:41 PM
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Addict Addict is offline
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I think it's unlikely to be a server problem. I'm running an HD-PVR including commercial skipping on a 2GHz Athlon with 1.5GB of RAM...and it's got room to spare.

I use HD-100's and haven't had any playback issues, so my guess is it's either throughput between your server and NAS (suggestion above to try on local drive is a good one) or your client's not being set up optimally.
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Clients:
Two STX-HD100 High-Def Extenders
Media Server / NAS:
Case: Thermaltake Armor CPU: AMD Opteron 1218 (2.6GHz Dual Core) Motherboard: ASUS MN2-LR Memory: 2GB Gfx Card: Headless Tuner: Hauppauge HD-PVR, Hauppauge PVR-350 (not in use) O/S: Windows 7 Sage: Latest RAID: On-Board Drives: 6 x 1.5TB SATA RAID-5, 2 x 80GB IDE RAID-1 (O/S) Storage: 7.5TB Total
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:10 PM
gilbreen gilbreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWKerr View Post
For testing purposes you could always use the local hard drive as the recording drive and change it to the NAS after it is working.

No experience on the Mac side but it sounds like a codec problem. (2GB Ram is plenty in the windows world for bot client and server.)

What is the Video card on the iMacs?
According to the Apple website, both machines have the following video card:

'ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 memory'

I'll try recording to a local FireWire drive (I don't think the internal 120GB 2.5" HD will handle it) and see what the results are.

I am tempted to purchase an HD200 to be able to test how well the envisioned setup will work. Too bad Blockbuster doesn't rent HD200s for a weekend.
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