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#31 Work2Play

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 02:47 AM

Ok - starting to put together a machine (or at least an order for the machine)... What are people's thoughts on Windows Home Server vs. WinXP? Being based on W2K3 Server, I'd imagine it doesn't have the 2TB per drive limit... Any other differences/issues?

#32 sic0048

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:19 AM

The biggest advantage to WHS is the automatic backup process for all network computers. It is pretty cool IMHO and definitely something to look at. SageTV has a WHS version to really take advantage of the OS. It is a little difference in how you normally interact with it. It you build a WHS machine, you can obviously build it to be able to hook up a display and keyboard/mouse. But if you buy store bought, these items aren't always built into the machine since it is "designed" to be controlled from other computers on the network and not actually directly from the actual server.

If you don't care about the backup solution that WHS offers, there really isn't a reason buy get it over XP Pro IMHO. That being said, I would recommend WHS if you only plan on using Sage on it. I'm not sure how WHS would react to other software (specifically a CCTV DVR solution). I just haven't checked into it - it might work fine. But that would be something to make sure of before you buy if you plan on using the server to host a CCTV system as well.

#33 IVB

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:27 PM

CCTV & SageTV are typically incompatible. Or, you have to go through a royal PITA to get them to work together. The CCTV server typically barfs when there's a non-CCTV video cap card in the system, i know i had huge issues with both Kodicomm and now AverMedia due to that.

#34 Work2Play

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:55 PM

ok - I was more looking to get into larger drives, as XP doesn't like a single drive over 2TB (though there's a workaround)... I actually have one of the HP home servers and was considering consolidating that into a new sage box - I have way too many computers around the house that are always-on. Just for the two of us, we have my desktop, wife's desktop, livingroom PC, WHS, and yet we still do 90% of our computer-work on our laptops... I don't want to push my luck with Sage's reliability, but wouldn't necessarily mind ditching the livingroom PC and the WHS for a single machine who's primary goal is Sage.

I'm also having a hell of a time deciding on a case - but I think I'm putting too much into this. All the cases I see and like seem to be for 12x10 motherboards - I'm not sure how common those are or if they're often larger. For mobo, I was considering something like an Intel or an Asus (total lack of knowledge on home-built machines - I buy all corporate-type prebuilt machines/servers) - and probably a single quad-core processor and about 4GB of RAM... Hardware RAID, some half-way decent dual-head 256MB radeon video card (pref/ w/analog& dvi), gigabit ethernet, blue-ray reader, and the ability to add 6-8 drives - potentially hot-swap w/hardware RAID - and in a 4U rackmount configuration (so they can have bigger, quieter fans)...

First priority is Sage - second is other media storage, 3rd would be WHS-style home backups, and 4th would be the ability to use for web-based baby monitor or a quick internet browser on the big TV... 2,3 and 4 are nice-to-have's, with Sage being the requirement - and I wouldn't want to sacrifice stability in any way (I know enough to not get viruses, etc). Also, (5) would be nice to be able to rip and playback my DVD's straight from that machine, but that follows the same rules as 2-4. I think I'll order my case & hdhomerun today, and kick around the mobo part - I can always go to Fry's for those parts if necessary.

#35 DavidL

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:47 PM

don't forget that SageTV supports WHServer OS directly.

I am running that combo now with MainLobby Server and the MLSageTV plugin (and others).

#36 sic0048

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:07 PM

Don't feel like you have to build some beast of a machine either. To simply record the broadcast streams takes very little CPU power. If you want to use some of the commercial skip programs out there, then that will take more power (especially with the new h.264 files). A quad core is more than enough for simply Sage use, but is going to be required for h.264 commerical skipping. So it might be smart to go that route. I'm not sure it really needs 4gb ram, but that isn't going to effect the price one way or another too much.

I'm not sure I'd worry about hot swapping hard drives etc either. It is extremely costly to do, and in reality no one ever really uses it. If you really need to swap out a drive, just turn the darn machine off IMHO. It isn't worth the $100 or more than a hot swap back plate it going to cost.

#37 keepersg

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:09 PM

Also, (5) would be nice to be able to rip and playback my DVD's straight from that machine, but that follows the same rules as 2-4.


There's a nice plug in for WHS (My Movies) that rips DVD's into shared storage very effectively. Put the DVD in the drive and go on about your business.

#38 Work2Play

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:55 PM

sic - agreed... I just ordered a nice little silverstone htpc case, intel gigabyte mobo with 2.4 quad core, 4 1.5tb seagate drives, and 4gb RAM and the HDHomeRun - that should be enough to get me started...

#39 TLCNORM

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:03 AM

sic - agreed... I just ordered a nice little silverstone htpc case, intel gigabyte mobo with 2.4 quad core, 4 1.5tb seagate drives, and 4gb RAM and the HDHomeRun - that should be enough to get me started...


Let us know how it turns out. I am very interested in this. Also, could you give a rough idea on pricing and where you bought your stuff?

#40 Sacedog

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 01:05 PM

One nice thing to remember about Sage, and drive storage, is that everything does not have to be on a single spanned drive. For example, if you ripped all of your movies onto multiple drives, as long as the folder structure is the same across drives, Sage will merge them all together in the interface.


Drive 1:
  • Action
    • Die Hard
    • 300
  • Comedy
    • Holy Grail
Drive 2:
  • Action
    • Indiana Jones
  • Comedy
    • Dumb and Dumber

What you will see in sage is:
  • Action
    • Die Hard
    • 300
    • Indiana Jones
  • Comedy
    • Holy Grail
    • Dumb and Dumber

I use multiple single drives in my system, and then keep a backup offsite of each drive. It's cheaper than setting up a RAID system, and the performance advantages of RAID are not needed for movie storage. Also, it makes upgrading a snap!

Edited by Sacedog, 09 December 2008 - 01:09 PM.


#41 CollinR

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 01:12 PM

I also do single drives, I have no redundency on the recorded TV. Just wasn't worth my time.

Wiz.bin on the other hand... I keep 10 days plus a monthly backup of.

#42 Work2Play

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:10 PM

Sacedog - good to know... I'll likely not RAID my movies share - I may even go external USB for that, since I have a buffalo 2TB USB drive I can load up with movies... I can generally recreate them if needed...

TLCNORM - Here's what I have so far:
  • Panasonic (I Think) BluRay Burner - already had purchased for my LR PC. ~$165 I believe
  • HDHomeRun $161 - NewEgg
  • $260 - HTPC Silverstone Case - LC16B-M - NewEgg
  • $120 - Gigabyte Mobo GA-EP45-UD3R NewEgg
  • $185 - Intel Core2Quad 2.4G - NewEgg
  • $80 (plus tax/shipping) 4GB RAM crucial.com
  • $560 for 4 1.5TB Seagate drives - tigerdirect.com
I haven't picked ou tthe vid card or the power supply yet - the power supply sounds like it'll need slightly longer cables due to the case configuration, so I'll check into a HTPC specific PS with the larger, quieter fans - and the vid card I have to research a little, since there's length restrictions between the vid card and the optical drive - my ODD is 185mm, which means I'm limited to about 175mm max for the vid card length. It's hard to find the length specs on the reseller's sites so I'll have to research better, or go to fry's and see what jumps out at me.

I haven't really heard any good reasons not to do WHS, so I may do that just to have the better drive management options - although I don't like how WHS handles redundancy, so I'd likely handle my drives through hardware RAID.

Mobo has built in 8-channel audio with optical and digital out if I need it... gigabit lan, support for 8 SATA drives with all the RAID options, 8 USB ports on the back... another 4 internal it looks like... so it looks pretty good - and there was actually a combo where they took $15 off the above prices - I did the combo so I wouldn't have to figure out the different processor types and compatibility.

#43 jkmonroe

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:01 PM

dont forget about the 2TB limit in Windows XP. that could present a problem if you want to view your drives are a single, large disk.

use one of the Server family if its going to be backend only, including WHS. Low End HP MediaSmart WHS Box, $500, $560 for 4 1.5TB drives makes it a wash cost wise.

Edited by jkmonroe, 09 December 2008 - 05:02 PM.


#44 IVB

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 08:43 PM

if you're not RAIDing those 4 1.5TB drives, you'll be set with SageTV as it doesn't care where they're located.

Then again, if you're not RAIDing, what the heck do you have that you need 6TB of storage on top of your external 2TB drive?

#45 Work2Play

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:41 PM

Room to grow ;)
I plan to RAID, then carve up into 50GB or so for system drive and carve the rest up.. haven't completely decided how... but from what I read, you can get around the 2TB limit in XP if you take 2 or more logical drives and span them in XP (can't be the system drive).

Ultimately, I have all kinds of equipment laying around - 1tb external, 2tb external, 2TB HP WHS, external 750GB, my livingroom PC, etc... but I'd like to consolidate as much as I can reasonably so I don't need so much equipment running around the house. Note the mention of at least 2TB worth of .ISO movies, 60GB in digital photos, 120GB in MP3's. And I'm used to having 300 hours of SD tivo, so when I go to Sage, I want to have more than enough space that I don't have to worry - we have some shows that sit around for a year before we watch the season in a weekend - so I want to make sure I'm not limited. That, and RAID5 is a PITA to add to later and with only 3 drives, it's a lot of overhead - so I'm just planning ahead.

Once this thing is humming perfectly, I don't want to touch it again...




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