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  #1  
Old 05-07-2018, 02:05 PM
atchoo atchoo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
Some insights about setting up a new SageTV Unraid Setup

I recently moved to an Unraid setup after 10 years running SageTV on a Windows XP Server. I thought it might be useful to post my notes. I am not done yet going over all my notes, I'll try to update this post from time to time with more info.

This is intended mostly for someone that wants to get started start with SageTV or wants start fresh building a new system. There are lots and lots of information in the forums but itís everywhere and it takes lots of time to find everything needed to get going. There are also multiple options available and sometimes itís hard to decide what options to choose. I wonít go into multiple options here, Iíll go with what I use myself and what I found to be simple and not so complicated to set up. I hope it can be useful for some and will help new users that would like to adopt SageTV.

10 YEARS OF SAGETV

I had been running SageTV on the same old Mac Mini with Windows XP since 2009!

Thatís almost 10 years.

Lately, my old setup started having some problems (it would hang and it took a few hours after a reboot for my extenders to be able to connect again). I couldnít find the problem so instead of searching further I decided it was a good time and a good reason to upgrade my installation. I had been reading a whole lot about SageTV on Linux and Unraid and finally jumped in a few weeks ago.

I would have really appreciated to find some recent guidelines or suggestions in term of hardware, configurations, etc. There is a whole lot of valuable information all over the forum but itís all over the place. So I thought, once Iím done Iím going to publish some kind of guide for one to setup a new SageTV installation. Here it is.

OLD SETUP

My old setup was an old first generation Mac-Mini with Windows XP, 2 x HD-PVR (one for Bell Fibe and one for Dish Network), 1 x USB-UIRT and a few HD-200 and HD-300 as extenders all over the house).

It had been working pretty well for many years. Beside a few reboots once in a while because extenders couldnít find the server anymore, a few HD-PVR power supplies to replace and recently some weird problem that had extenders find the server only about 12-24 hours after reboot (some kind of java binding conflict), everything has always been working pretty well !

NEW SETUP

From reading the forums, it was clear that running SageTV on Linux with Unraid and Docker was the way to go. Coming from a Web Hosting and Internet Infrastructure background I did not fear Linux but still I was worried about channel tuning (USB-UIRT) and virtualization (pass thought) with the HD-PVR.

Hardware

I run my server in a closet where I have my mini home datacenter.

Size and noise is not an issue for me.

I searched for a few days about hardware options. I thought of running Sage on an i7 laptop, an i5 Desktop an HP tower server or a dell tower server. But there was always some things that wouldnít be ideal. Reading more about Unraid, I understood I needed a server that could hold multiple hard drives (cache drive, parity drive + at least 2 storage drives) so there were not that many options at a decent price were. Thatís when I realized I should be looking at real server hardware.

Dell has always been very popular as an enterprise-level cost-effective solution in datacenter and the Internet Infrastructure world. If you follow Homelab on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/homelab/) youíll see many people use the Dell PowerEdge R710 as their homelab server.

DELL POWEREDGE R710
6 x 3.5Ē HDD Bays
2 X HEX Core Xeon X5660 2.66Ghz (12 cores)
72 GB RAM
PERC H200i (Replace the Dell PERC 6i with the H200 for IT mode)
1 x 400GB SAS
iDrac Entreprise Remote Management

For $700CAD (around $500 USD) I got the above configuration from Delta Server Store in Canada.

Getting started with a R710
https://www.reddit.com/r/homelab/com...ntgot_an_r710/

I will write more about getting my R710 ready later but note that I got the Xeon X5660 because I read that the cheaper versions of the CPU did not allow full virtualization features for passthrough. You will need passthrough if you intend to connect a HD-PVR to your SageTV Docker (I ended up not using my HD-PVRs neither my USB-UIRT).

I also got the H200 adapter instead of the PERC 6i because for Unraid you need to run the drives in IT mode (no RAID) and the H200 can be flashed to IT mode while the 6i canít. Youíll also probably want to use hard drives > 2TB (I bought 6TB drives). It will be possible with the H200 flashed in IT mode. It might be scary to think youíll need to flash the adapter but in my case it went pretty well and was really simple.

This server features an iDrac Entreprise which allows you to connect to console from the network so with this you donít need to connect a monitor to the server, you connect remotely and you see the whole boot process and bios options, etc. Very useful if your server is in a closet like mine.

Server : 72GB of RAM and 12 Cores for $500USD

For $500 USD you get 72GB of RAM and 12 Cores for your Docker Apps. The R710 is not new, itís old, but itís enterprise grade hardware that gives you plenty of power for a very good price. With this setup I have plenty of RAM and CPU to install other Dockers and Apps in addition to SageTV.

Storage

3 X 6TB WD Red SATA
1 X 400GB SAS

I bought 3 x 6TB WD Red SATA drives and the server came with a 400GB SAS drive. I configured the SAS drive as my Cache Drive in Unraid. One of my 6TB drives as the parity drive and 2 x 6TB for storage which gives me 12TB of storage for the moment. I still have 3 bays available so I can add more 6TB or 8TB drives as needed.

Unraid

I had Unraid copied to a Kingston 16GB USB drive and it booted up with no problem after configuring my server bios to boot from the USB drive. Installing and configuring Unraid was very easy.

Tip to log into your Docker :

Code:
docker exec -it <mycontainer> bash
IP-Based Devices no USB

I wanted to make this as simple as possible and I knew HD-PVRs and USB-UIRT were going to be the harder to configure. Many users have successfully configured those devices on Linux but sometimes it involves a lot of debugging. Your Unraid installation needs to support DVB, your server needs to support VT-I and passthrough, etc. Maybe itís not that hard and maybe it would have worked instantly in my installation but I felt IP-based devices were a better fit.

2 x BM-3500-HDMI replacing my HD-PVRs
1 x iTach IR2IP replacing my USB-UIRT

I first got the BM-3000-HDMI but it did not allow to adjust color settings and the image was washed out so it really was a bad choice. I contacted the seller on Aliexpress and paid the difference and they replaced my BM-3000 with two BM-3500. The image is perfect on the BM-3500 after some adjustments. Quality is better than what I had with the HD-PVR.

UPS

I bought a small UPS in order to have my server shutdown clean if thereís a power outage. But havenít configured it yet !

IR2IP

I found a gentuner script here on the forums for the iTach IR2IP. I was able to modify it for my setup and it runs flawlessly. So I don't use the USB-UIRT anymore, I use the iTach IR2IP. You can use iTach iHelp application to learn the IR codes, it works great. If order to use the gentuner script you need to choose Generic Tuner when you configure your sources in SageTV and you also need to go to the source options to assign the gentuner remote code (I see uverse1, uverse2, uverse3 in SageTV and had to select the one that applies).

Got wrong pulse error while testing codes. When you learn sometimes you get garbage and code repeats itself so you need to identify the code correctly. I had to disconnect and reconnect to the iTach IP2IR between learning codes sometimes because it stopped working but once I had each numberís code and OK code all was fine.

SageTV and OpenDCT in Unraid

I used the unraid app for SageTV to install it. I did the same for OpenDCT. I changed the SageTV url to use Java 10. I found the Java 10 address here on the forums. Will try to post a link to the thread later.

Setup OpenDCT
https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/sho...77&postcount=1

Some OpenDCT commands :
Code:
/etc/init.d/opendct stop
/etc/opendct/conf/opendct.properties (config file)
Via Unraid /mnt/user/appdata/opendct/etc/conf/opendct.properties
SageTV commands after you log into your Docker :

Code:
# sudo ./stopsage
# sudo ./startsage
Tip to log into your Docker :
Code:
docker exec -it <mycontainer> bash
SageTV

I run Phoenix 3 as the STV. I did not like the PLite version at firstÖ. but I configured it with some custom views and I like it now ! I use the web interface for stuff that is not available in PLite.

More coming....

Sorry this is still incomplete but I hope it can be useful to some !
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Happily running SageTV since 2009 !

SERVER: Dell Poweredge R710 2x Xeon 5650 + 72GB RAM + 3x WD-Red 6GB 3.5" (6 bays) + 400GB SAS Cache Drive
SOFTWARE: Unraid + Docker + SageTV v9 + OpenDCT + Phoenix 3 (PLite) + BMT + Web UI
CAPTURE & IR: BM3500-HDMI (x2) + iTach IR2IP - Gentuner Script - Bell Fibe + Dish Network
CLIENTS: HD200 (x3) + HD300 (x2)
RETIRED: WinXP Server, HD-PVR (x2), USB-UIRT (10 years life as my SageTV setup)
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2018, 05:43 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Location: Toronto, ON
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Interesting stuff - keep it coming. I don't know that you need the virtualization stuff for the HD-PVRs as I am running them in a SageTV docker without that. You do need the unRAID DVB LibreElec edition which has the drivers for the HD-PVR.

But it is good to hear that you are having such good luck with the BM-3500. I am interesting in looking into the 4K versions of the BM-3500 when I get around to using 4K.

Also great to hear that you have the IR2IP device working. We need more tuning options for SageTV on unRAID - luckily I am able to use FireWire which works better in Linux than on Windows.
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New Server - Sage9 on unRAID 2xHD-PVR, HDHR for OTA
Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2018, 06:26 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Interesting stuff - keep it coming. I don't know that you need the virtualization stuff for the HD-PVRs as I am running them in a SageTV docker without that. You do need the unRAID DVB LibreElec edition which has the drivers for the HD-PVR.

But it is good to hear that you are having such good luck with the BM-3500. I am interesting in looking into the 4K versions of the BM-3500 when I get around to using 4K.

Also great to hear that you have the IR2IP device working. We need more tuning options for SageTV on unRAID - luckily I am able to use FireWire which works better in Linux than on Windows.
I could never get 5.1 sound and complete recordings when using HD-PVRs and LibreElec on the unRAID docker. I have not tried since 6.3.5 so maybe 5.1 sound works better on later versions of unRAID? But it works very well from a Windows VM network encoder for me.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2018, 06:38 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Location: Toronto, ON
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I will have to check my files to see if they are 5.1 or not.
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New Server - Sage9 on unRAID 2xHD-PVR, HDHR for OTA
Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2018, 12:23 PM
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dstanley dstanley is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: LaHave, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 291
My HD-PVR's record audio in 5.1 if available on the STB - using optical cable of course - analog audio cables will not give 5.1 only stereo.

Using latest LibreELEC version 6.5.1 with no modifications.
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SERVER: Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz - UnRaid Server 6.8.0/DVB LibreELEC with Docker stuckless-sagetv-server-java9 MOTHERBOARD: ASRock-Z77 Extreme4 / 32GB RAM CACHE DRIVE: SSD 1TB ARRAY: 24TB/7 DRIVES PARITY: 8TB
EXTERNAL DEVICES: 4x HD-PVR's Firewire Channel Changing
TUNERS:NO LONGER RECORDING LIVETV
CLIENTS: 2xHD300 2xHD200 SONY ANDROIDTV MINI-CLIENT
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2018, 03:05 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstanley View Post
My HD-PVR's record audio in 5.1 if available on the STB - using optical cable of course - analog audio cables will not give 5.1 only stereo.

Using latest LibreELEC version 6.5.1 with no modifications.
I always got recordings with missing beginnings no matter what I would put for the mmc/encoders/<tuner info>/delay_to_wait_after_tuning= property. But with the network encoder no problems. It would also drop out during the recordings. I have a 95+% success ratio with the network encoder. I switched to the network encoder when I got 3 or 4 in a row that were bad and from each of the two HD-PVRs when the recordings were at the same time (which happens often for me).
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2018, 08:02 PM
mgpaulus mgpaulus is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 176
Since you have 10 years of history there, I am going to guess that you didn't want to lose any/all of it. So, how hard was it to migrate your old config and libraries to your new unraid/docker setup? I have a win7 box that I am thinking about doing the same thing. Just a few things I need to think about:

- How to handle or where to land my Playon installation?
- How to bring along my 18TB of recordings and not lose what I have?
- How to mesh this new unRaid server with my current unRaid server (which handles backups and plex.tv)?
- And any other little tidbits that are sure to fall out if/when I would try such an endeavour.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:22 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Posts: 3,151
If you were not speaking to me then just ignore this.


All of my recordings were in imported directories from unRAID already. I did migrate to the docker in stages. The first thing I did was switch from ESXi with an unRAID VM and a Windows VM running SageTV to record from to unRAID on bare metal and a Windows VM running SageTV. I did that before docker was ON unRAID and XEN was the Virtualization platform. Next I updated unRAID to the KVM Virtualization platform but NO dockers. Then stuckless put out the docker and after a small delay (I try not to try new things/upgrades as soon as they come out) I tried out the SageTV docker on one of my servers. After I was satisfied it was working acceptably (better then Windows was actually) I started switching my other SageTV servers to the unRAID docker. I do remember having to do a full content reindex when I switched to the docker to get everything back and I lost 10% or less of my OLD content (stuff recorded before SageTV V7) because the airing IDs changed on some recordings and they no longer matched the airing IDs in the media file names. Some others have time line problems but the vast majority of my content was OK. I have unRAID servers with the following totals: 74% full of 88TB server, 76% full of 70TB server, 73% full of 128TB server - all of which were SageTV recordings. I have two other unRAID server that are for DVD/BluRay rips and Playon recordings and the other a Backup server for the important files and drive image backups of my Windows boxes and VMs. My Playon installation is on my Laptop and I move the recordings to my Online directory on a unRAID server.

Hope that wasn't too boring and is helpful.
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