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HDHomeRun, BeyondTV/SAGE and WHS integration RRS feed

  • Question

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    I will try this topic again. HDHomeRun (SiliconDust) provides a way to get HD content from various sources to the PC, as it is a digital high definition twin tuner that runs on a home network. That content can be captured and processed through the use of various PVR and software vendors (like Beyond TV [BTV], SAGE, etc.). Once that content is captured and recorded it then can be stored either locally on the recording machine or on the network to a NAS or server. Now, as we all know Microsoft has recently released a cut-down version of its 2003 Server operating system called "Windows Home Server (WHS)." That operating system can be run from a "spare" PC on the home network or from a dedicated box like the HP Mediasmart Home Server. While many aspects of the WHS are still in development, some of PVR vendors have developed software to work with the WHS. My understanding is that the latest is Sage TV. Sage enables the WHS to stream media content to other computers and TVs on the home network. Hopefully BTV will create a product to interface with the WHS as well.

    Now my question is whether anyone on this forum has explored this further?  I think integrating the video streaming capability of the WHS with other components and features (like HD media streaming) will make the WHS not just another high tech toy for geeks, but a functional necessary utility for the average family home.

    Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:44 PM

All replies

  • Sage currently has a version that runs on WHS. The others I'm not aware of.

    Friday, January 18, 2008 4:53 PM
  • I'll chime in on this, but I must state that I'm not currently interested in recording or serving HD content yet as I don't have an HD TV. And I by no means think my way is the only solution for all as stated below....

    I kicked around and tested SageTV, TVersity, Dlink Media Player and some other software/hardware options to find the best solution to get video/music content from WHS to my TV's in the house. I have some restrictions that limit me with those "software" solutions, i.e. my WHS is a 1.33 ghz machine. So running that software really lagged the machine for other users on the network because those "software" solutions have to transcode the video files before serving them directly to the TV or the Dlink.  Another problem was the whole format issue. If you are a fan of Divx or Xvid or DVD ISO files, these software/hardware solutions have to transcode them as well.  The other thing was that I'd have to by PVR TV tuners (Hauppauge) and install them into WHS to record my cable TV programming and then serve all this contentent to the TV.  The PVR function would bring it all together, but it would require an entire rebuild of my current WHS and add considerable expense.  Then there was the issue of the Hauppauge tuner being able to decode my cable company's digital channels.  It is a great solution if you are willing to pay for it and get it to work. It would be the perfect integration of WHS and WMCenter. For me, after crunching the numbers and formats, it was not worth the expense for the added benefit of the PVR.

    I currently do not require HD content and I have a capable cable PVR that works fine (and use infrequently). I really wanted a place to store and then serve divx and xvid avi files, dvd ISO's, photos and music to my TVs that would not reqire a third party software package to "transcode" the content and further tax my WHS. For me the perfect solution was a pair of used first gen Xboxes running the XBMC soft mod. It works much like a Dlink Media Media Player, except a lot more codecs are built into it than the Dlink.  The WHS simply serves the files as usual with no additional software and no tax on the system. I can even serve a movie to both Xboxes simultaniously with no lag.  This is because the Xboxes have the codecs built into the softmod, so the xbox does all the work! For me, this is the best solution to simply serve those types of vid files, pictures and music. I also have this piped into my component and optical hookups on my AV reciever. It's soooo simple and quality is super. I have the same set up installed on a buddy's WHS, his 60 inch plasma, who has a DishNetwork HD PVR and he could not be happyer.

    Now, when I get an HD TV, have the money for a high power ground up WHS PVR solution....then maybe...maybe I'd go the direction of SageTV or TVerstiy.  But for me, the  XBMC option was the best way. It just depends on your budget and what content you want to store and then serve up later.  
    Saturday, January 19, 2008 2:28 PM
  • Thank you for your response.  I agree with you that having the WHS do anything more than "serving" files taxes the whole system and defeats the purpose of the WHS intended design.  Right now I am capturing HD content on my old DELL 9100, processing it via Beyond TV, recording it and then picking and choosing what HD files I want to transfer over to the video shared folder of my WHS.  Over a gigbit network it doesn't take all day but it is a chore to do.  I am hoping that a new version of Beyond TV will allow me to use the WHS video file as the place it will record directly to.  The only problem is that with two HD tuners streaming 20mbs each, plus two internal Hauppauge's (500) streaming 7mbs each, that trying to simultaneously move 50+mbps to the WHS that due to the log jam problems of the WHS (that everyone has been talking about) may be impossible.  I do not know why the WHS is the fly in the ointment but for me it seem to be.

     

    Monday, January 21, 2008 2:24 AM
  • Shazzzaaam! I set up the MSS's (WHS's) shared video folder as Beyond TVs default storage pool site and attempted to record 1 analogue and 2 HD digital streams simulaneously. IT WORKED! There was no loss in writing to the MSS from the live streams. I looked at the network monitor and it appears that I can easily record a steady multiple stream from my Dell MCE client computer (which the tuners are configured to) and the MSS. I will be adding an additional analogue stream to see if 4 simultaneous video transfers can be had on my gigabit network. Since I am not transferring over to the MSS a number of multi gigabit files - but a multiple file stream of unknown (unknown to the MSS) sizes, there was no dip in network performance. In fact the MSS received all 4 streams on a flat line graph on my network monitor! Transferring a prerecorded gigabit video file would start out with high transfer rates but then dip down to lower speeds. Could it be that a live stream is somehow recognized as such by the Semperon processor or by the MSS WHS OS and thus delays balancing or replication functions? Would be interested in what you know.

     

    Monday, January 21, 2008 4:14 PM
  • Ahhh, good to see you can record directly to WHS. I was wondering why you were not doing it already...LOL.

    As far as Balancning or replication....If I serve up movies from WHS to my Xboxes....Demigrator.exe stops completely to allow the server to serve the movie files to the xboxes. Which it is supposed to do. But that's the issue with some people and the balancing act.  Some processes are recognized and WHS turns down Demigrator.exe and some processes don't. If not, than the processes are lagged. 

    Good to see that recording directly to WHS causes demigrator.exe to turn off enough to prevent data issues and corruptions. Nice to know!
    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:13 AM
  •  boliek wrote:
    Shazzzaaam! I set up the MSS's (WHS's) shared video folder as Beyond TVs default storage pool site and attempted to record 1 analogue and 2 HD digital streams simulaneously....

     

     

    It sounds as though your system is able to deal with the stream capacity.  Some folks using SageTV on WHS have noticed very poor recording performance (i.e. system not keeping up).  As you might guess, one potential bottleneck is access time of the disk array.  SageTV users have made the following recommendations regarding disk usage:

    1. Remove the recording disk from WHS's managed pool.
    2. Format the disk for 64k blocks.

    These two seem to solve recording bottleneck issues.

     

    I have just assembled my my WHS box and plan to migrate a SageTV dual tuner to the server, as others in the Sage forums have done (and with good results).  This is next on my list after resolving an email server issue.

     

    -sptizer

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008 2:10 PM