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379 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 204663 12-Oct-2016 09:38
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Hi guys,

 

at a certain point I was recording 3 live channels and (trying) to watch a recorded TV show, but the quality of the played file was affected, due to very often break-ups in sound and picture, like it was buffering. I guess it all comes from the fact that I was writing 3x files and trying to read a 4th file from the same HDD. I also guess the bandwidth of the SATA connection was exceeded by these requirements.

 

 

 

[1] is there a certain setting in the HDD properties I need to enable / disable to ensure the best performance? All HDDs are SATA, mobo has 6GB connections.

 

[2] Is there a plugin (or other "manual" trick) available, to have the completed TV recordings moved to a different folder (on a separate HDD) with only the recordings "in progress" on the first drive? Pretty much the same as uTorrent can be configured to move "completed downloads" to a different location once the download process was completed... I believe this would shed some load from the HDD currently hosting the "recorded TV" folder.

 

[3] in MediaPortal you can choose to have different "recorded TV" folders for each of the TV tuners. I have never tried to use different folders, I always pressed the button "use same folder for all tuners". If I have separate folders (on separate HDDs) for different tuners, do I still see all the recorded TV shows in the same "Recoded TV" list, or do I have to navigate to different locations trying to find a certain show, considering I do not know which tuner was used to recorded it?

 

 

 

Thanks.





mobo Intel DH55PJ, RAM: 4GB RAM, Nova-T 500 HD + Avermedia Trinity tuner card, Geforce 520 video, 120GB SSD Sandisk + 640 WD + 1000SG, Win7 Home Prem 64-bit, Media Portal 1.15.0; BTC 9019URF Cordless Keyboard, Panasonic 55" (HDMI cable), HTPC Case Silverstone Grandia GD05B.


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349 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1649617 12-Oct-2016 09:42
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I can comment on point 3....

 

I have one tuner pointing to one drive, another to a different drive.

 

All recordings just appear in My Recordings regardless as to where it was saved.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1649635 12-Oct-2016 10:26
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Ive never had that problem with my MP setup.  I have a drive dedicated to recordings though.  My live tv buffer sits on my SSD boot drive, recordings on an older 500gb barracuda drive, stored stuff on another 2tb drive.  What type of drive are you using for it all?  


 
 
 
 




379 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1649877 12-Oct-2016 17:20
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Hi,

 

I have 120GB SSD for boot (approx 50GB free), I could easily transfer the timeshifting folder there but the issue I raised relates to recording / playing TV.

 

Recorded TV has a dedicated 1TB drive with approx 300GB free.

 

Other stuff (Video) has a third drive 640GB with approx 100GB free. Currently the timeshifting is here as well, as the timeshifting would not be used when I watch a video from this HDD.

 

moving timeshifting to SSD might help with watching live tv while recording several streams, but I read somewhere that even if SSDs are faster, they do not like at all to write/read from them continuously, it was even suggested in that article to have the pagefile moved to another drive when you use SSD as boot drive...

 

 

 

could any of this have anything to do with the tuner card? I am seriously looking to add a Hauppauge HVR-2210 to my setup (see signature). It might have better compatibility with the other Hauppauge, rather than having two cards from two different manufacturers?





mobo Intel DH55PJ, RAM: 4GB RAM, Nova-T 500 HD + Avermedia Trinity tuner card, Geforce 520 video, 120GB SSD Sandisk + 640 WD + 1000SG, Win7 Home Prem 64-bit, Media Portal 1.15.0; BTC 9019URF Cordless Keyboard, Panasonic 55" (HDMI cable), HTPC Case Silverstone Grandia GD05B.


388 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1650772 13-Oct-2016 23:55
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aucklander:

 

Hi,

 

I have 120GB SSD for boot (approx 50GB free), I could easily transfer the timeshifting folder there but the issue I raised relates to recording / playing TV.

 

Recorded TV has a dedicated 1TB drive with approx 300GB free.

 

Other stuff (Video) has a third drive 640GB with approx 100GB free. Currently the timeshifting is here as well, as the timeshifting would not be used when I watch a video from this HDD.

 

moving timeshifting to SSD might help with watching live tv while recording several streams, but I read somewhere that even if SSDs are faster, they do not like at all to write/read from them continuously, it was even suggested in that article to have the pagefile moved to another drive when you use SSD as boot drive...

 

 

 

could any of this have anything to do with the tuner card? I am seriously looking to add a Hauppauge HVR-2210 to my setup (see signature). It might have better compatibility with the other Hauppauge, rather than having two cards from two different manufacturers?

 

 

It is almost certainly your hard drive performance that has been exceeded, not the SATA bus performance.  When you are acessing multiple files at once on the same hard drive, the drive has to move the heads around between all the files and also the filesystem control areas.  Hard drives these days have extremely good performance when accessing just one file, but over the years as the drives have sped up, the speed of movement of the heads across the disk has not kept pace at all.  So what happens is that eventually the write buffers in RAM overflow before all the data can be written to the disk, as the disk is busy with the heads far away from the storage for those files and can not get back in time to prevent the overflow.  In my MythTV setup, I use a rule of thumb that I never want to schedule more than two recordings at the same time to be writing to the same hard disk.  Then when there are overlaps in the recordings of back to back programmes, for a few minutes during the overlap periods there may be up to four recordings happening on the drive.  Drives seem able to cope with that, plus one recording being played back.  But much more and you start to lose bits of the recordings.  So I now have seven recording drives, in order to be able to cope with my peak recording loads (I have three DVB-T tuners for Freeview and two DVB-S2 tuners for Sky).

 

Depending on the SSD, you should be able to record much, much more at once.  That is because SSDs do not have any heads and are pretty much random access devices - read or write access to any location is not affected by where the previous access was occurring.  There are two basic sorts of SSDs commonly available now, SATA and NVMe.  SATA SSDs are connected just like hard disks to a SATA port and will be limited to the speed of the SATA port.  That is still going to be much faster than any hard disk, as there is no waiting for head movement.  NVMe SSDs are connected directly to the PCIe bus, and if you have the latest PCIe bus (PCIe 3.0), they can be as much as three times as fast as the fastest SATA SSDs.  The prices of reasonably sized SSDs is falling rapidly, and the former problems of limited numbers of write cycles are much less.  If you work out your PCs normal daily disk write totals, you usually find that doing the same number of writes on a recent SSD would take 10-20 years before the number of write cycles got too high.  That includes having your swap file on SSD (where it should be in order to use the much faster SSD speed).  So if you choose a good NVMe SSD, then it should be able to cope with your recording traffic and your operating system activity all that same time without any problems.  However, I have never actually done that with an SSD.  I do have an NVMe SSD in my Windows and MythTV PCs now as the operating system drive, and the speed is wonderful.

 

I do recommend installing good SMART monitoring software, so you can see just what your SSDs are doing and be alerted to any possible problems.  You should already be doing that with your hard disks, unless you really do not mind having one die without warning.  On Windows I use HDSentinel, which is excellent software, and not too expensive.

 

So, to fix your problem, you need either a good SSD to record to, or more hard drives.  If recording to a smaller SSD, you would likely run out of space.  In MythTV, that would not be a problem, as MythTV allows you to move recording files to any location on a disk that is pointed to by a "storage group" in its database.  So you can just have a job that is scheduled to run when the box is not busy that moves the recording files from SSD to hard disk(s), which can be very cheap slow ones.  Mediaportal does not seem to support that sort of thing directly, but I think you can set it up in a similar way by cheating a little.  Mediaportal allows you to assign a different disk location for each tuner, but as far as I know it will look for any file it needs in all the locations it knows about, as you can change the tuner to location assignments and it still finds the files.  So what should work would be to set up all your tuners to record to the same directory on the SSD, and then set up a dummy tuner (or just one of your real tuners) that is set to record to your hard drive where the files are later moved to.

 

Adding more hard drives would probably be a little easier, if you have room in your PC case, and if you find that one is getting a little too full because the tuner(s) assigned to it are used more often, you can just move some file to another drive.  But if one tuner was recording too many programmes at once, you could still have a problem in Mediaportal, as it does not have any way to tell it to use more than one disk with each tuner.  MythTV has builtin balancing algorithms that allow it to automatically schedule recordings so that new recordings go to the drive with fewest recordings currently in progress, which helps prevent this sort of problem.




379 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 1650819 14-Oct-2016 08:10
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Thank you so much for the detailed reply and explanation.

 

More HDDs, yes... but there is not too much space available in the case. The case is actually designed for 2x HDDs, I already have the SSD fixed in a DIY manner where an empty space was available... the mobo has only 4x SATA connectors, I already have 3x disks + 1x DVD.

 

I am looking at a 7200 rpm HDD which I can add as external drive, to one of the USB 2.0 at the back. there is no USB 3.0 available. Would transfer speed be enough on USB 2.0 to record 1x stream and let's say read 1x stream HD from it?





mobo Intel DH55PJ, RAM: 4GB RAM, Nova-T 500 HD + Avermedia Trinity tuner card, Geforce 520 video, 120GB SSD Sandisk + 640 WD + 1000SG, Win7 Home Prem 64-bit, Media Portal 1.15.0; BTC 9019URF Cordless Keyboard, Panasonic 55" (HDMI cable), HTPC Case Silverstone Grandia GD05B.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1651091 14-Oct-2016 14:11
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aucklander: Would transfer speed be enough on USB 2.0 to record 1x stream and let's say read 1x stream HD from it?

 

In theory, yes. However I wouldn't recommend this if you want reliability.


388 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1651163 14-Oct-2016 16:12
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USB 2.0 is not really recommended for doing recordings, unfortunately.  USB 3 is fine.  But you might get lucky and find that it works - if you have the hardware to try it, or can borrow some, then it is worth trying.

 

Looking at the specs for your PC, I can not see any simple way of adding another drive.  What really seems to be required here is a more capable motherboard, which would probably mean something bigger than would fit in your case, and then you would need to upgrade that too.

 

I am presuming here that you can not fit another PCIe x1 card in the remaining slot in the motherboard, as it is blocked by the video card.  If there is still a spare slot, then you can fit an eSATA or USB 3 card in it and add external drives.  PCIe x1 eSATA and USB 3 cards are relatively cheap.

 

I can see the attraction of a small HTPC case - but I do not recommend them to anyone considering building a PC for this purpose.  It ususally works out that if the PC does its job, it gets used more and more and needs to expand beyond a small case.




379 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1651785 16-Oct-2016 08:35
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Hi,

 

I have only one spare PCI x1 but I was planning to use that port for an additional TV tuner (to replace the Avermedia Trinity which I am not thrilled about:

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1176097933

 

I can cancel that idea and get one of these cards, which will add 2x SATA internal ports:

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/other-pci-cards/auction-1180653111.htm

 

Would this work? It looks like I can add 2x HDDs (I am thinking 2.5" for better use of the existing available space inside the case).

 

 

 

I have checked the manual for the mobo and unfortunately it does not appear to be capable of USB 3.0. I can get PCI to USB 3.0 cards but then I need an adapter for the HDD (SATA to USB 3.0) or external enclosure... all at additional cost.





mobo Intel DH55PJ, RAM: 4GB RAM, Nova-T 500 HD + Avermedia Trinity tuner card, Geforce 520 video, 120GB SSD Sandisk + 640 WD + 1000SG, Win7 Home Prem 64-bit, Media Portal 1.15.0; BTC 9019URF Cordless Keyboard, Panasonic 55" (HDMI cable), HTPC Case Silverstone Grandia GD05B.


388 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 79


  Reply # 1651942 16-Oct-2016 15:49
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That card would work, but it is only SATA 2.0 (3 Gbyte/s).  If possible, you want a SATA 3.0 (6 Gbyte/s) card these days, so you can run SATA SSD drives from it at full speed.  SATA 3.0 cards are available for similar prices.  For example:

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/other-pci-cards/auction-1181754295.htm

 

That card would be better, and its ports can be switched between internal SATA and eSATA using jumpers.  However, that card uses the ASM1061 chip, which only supports the older slow port multiplier specification (CBS = command based switching), should you ever want to connect a multiple drive eSATA mount to it.  I have found that CBS is pretty useless - you want FIS (Frame Infrastructure Switching) for port multiplying.  See here for how port multiplying works:

 

https://www.sata-io.org/port-multipliers

 

I have a four drive eSATA mount on one of my motherboard SATA ports for one recording drive and my three video/music/picture storage drives and it works very well.  I ran out of SATA ports on my motherboard a long time ago.  I have a Highpoint Rocket 622A dual port SATA 3.0 eSATA card that will do FIS port multiplying, but am out of free PCIe slots in my MythTV box.  That is a moderately expensive card though:

 

http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?itemID=396289

 

This one is much cheaper and according to the chip specifications will do FIS port multiplying (Si3132 chip):

 

http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?itemID=352509

 

It also can switch its two ports between internal SATA and eSATA with jumpers.

 

Here is a useful page to find out the capabilities (including port multiplying) for various SATA chips:

 

https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/SATA_hardware_features


388 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1651944 16-Oct-2016 15:58
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fe31nz:

 

This one is much cheaper and according to the chip specifications will do FIS port multiplying (Si3132 chip):

 

http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?itemID=352509

 

It also can switch its two ports between internal SATA and eSATA with jumpers.

 

 

Oops - that card only does SATA 2.0 (3 Gbyte/s).


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1652086 17-Oct-2016 07:44
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aucklander:

 

could any of this have anything to do with the tuner card?

 

 

Yes. I think you might be barking up the wrong tree with regards to HDD. I say this as I have comfortably recorded 5 channels whilst watching a 6th recorded show using the absolute dog of a drive -the stupendously bad Western Digital Green.

 

My pick as the troublemaker is the Nova-T 500, I had one and if a bird so much as farted near the aerial the picture would break up and freeze, or large parts of the screen would go solid green.

 

 

 

 








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