Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




8 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 179279 3-Sep-2015 00:01
Send private message

This post could have gone into any one of several forums, but I will start here and see how it goes.

I have been running MediaPortal for many years as a single seat (and I like it).
I have just built a new house, so let's start with the hardware / house set up, just to give context:

==================================================================
House:
Downstairs room (under the stairs) with patch panel and lots of Rg6 and Cat6  wires terminating in there
Every room (inc bedrooms (x 4)) has at least 2 x Cat6 and 1 x Rg6
Separate office with 4 x Cat6 and 2 X Rg6 connections (lots of plugs as well, just take that for granted in the whole house)
Lounge 4 x Cat6 2 x Rg6
Ultra-fast Fiber to the house (100Down / 20up - Slingshot)
Free-view dish on roof (no DVB-T available where I am) going to 4 way in-line distributor/amp (good signal to all outputs) in patch panel
Separate man-cave downstairs with beer fridge, 2* lazy boys and proper bathroom. Man cave has 2xCat6 and 1xRg6 feeds.

Hardware:
TV - 60" Sharp LCD HD (about 1 year old) in lounge - only used through HTPC as a monitor -probably has lots of features - I don't care.
TV - 60" Samsung Plasma 720P max - very old - soon to be retired -  in man cave

Console 1 * Nintendo Wii U in lounge (wireless networking only- not used that much

Stand alone Freeview DVB-S Tuner in Man Cave connected to the Samsung 60" Plasma



Phones - 4 Android phones in the house and 2 android cheap arse tablets ( all logged into WiFi network)

3 Wired and 1 wireless IP webcams used as burglar alarm going to cloud FTP site.

Normal (old school) burglar alarm with the standard sensors and zones with dual dialers (through the land line primary with a 3g back-up system)

Office:
1 Gaming PC - top end i5 with  lots of RAM (16Gb) and SSD main drive + standard disks. GTX 970 graphics card and dual Dell 22" monitors (both 1680 x 1050) running Windows 7 ultimate (full tower case, lots of space)

Printer - Brother HL-3070 Network (Wired and wireless network capable), currently using Rj45

One "older PC" (AMD Phenom 4) running Windows 7 Pro, Geforce 9600 GT Graphics, lots of hard drives (mid tower case), got to unplug a monitor from the games PC to use it, mainly used by wife and kids (they don't touch my games PC - EVER!!)

Lounge:
Dedicated HTPC, proper HTPC case (looks the part) Windows 7 Professional, i-5 something or other, 8 Gb Ram 125Gb SSD harrd drive and 2 x 4Tb standard HDD, Gforce 9200 graphics (256Mb)  connected to Sharp 60, loads Media portal after boot. Hauppauge blah blah with DVB-S tuner card (and Hauppauge remote with IR sensor from tuner card. Got  bluRay drive in it - never used it since the day I got it (thanks Kickass torrents / Pirate Bay)

Sound (lounge) Sony amp - old school DTS / Dolby amp - NO HDMI - currently Optical cable to HTPC 5.1 channel speakers, dodgy as connection (don't sneeze near it) powered sub and blah, blah

Laptop (everywhere) Dell XPS running windows 10.

Networking:
Energy imports Triple Play modem / router / switch (slingshot gives you) 4 port 100MBit plus wireless B/G/N
Dynalink 4 port 10/100 ADSL (from when I used to have ADSL) with wireless B/G

About 3 spare "beige boxes" in various states - all working but some are a little bit tired
spare Gforce 9600GT passively cooled Graphics cards (3 of them I think?)

Lots of various Arduino stuff, keyboards blah, blah,blah

===========================================================================

OK, That's what I got to work with, I can get SOME limited hardware if needed, but would prefer not to.

The main thing I am considering is a managed 1Gb Switch (say 8 Ports with PoE an all?)
==========================================================================

My questions are:

 

  • What kind of horse power/specs will I need to run a server that can:

     

       

    1. Be a media and file server for the whole house
    2. Run virtulised PC's for the wife and Kids (only one at a time) to one of the Beige boxes in the office (running as a client only)
    3. Run as the MediaPortal TV server, serving multiple clients (noting that there will only be 1 tuning card in it)
    4. Run a bit torrent client
    5. Run as  raid server (so I can manage my disks better, RAID 5 maybe?)
    6. operate as a VPN gateway, allowing remote access / proxy server access (get around work black-listed sites like TradeMe, Youtube)
    7. be a firewall  for the rest of the house (possibly sharing my fiber connection with my neighbor - using Tomato)

     

 

  • What kind of horse power do the different clients need:

 

     

  1. HTPC needs to be able to play 1080P without stuttering (want to run Media Portal and still use the Hauppauge remote, Wife is used to it)
  2. Office PC is really for web surfing and standard MS Office stuff
  3. Games PC is - well - name says it all really  - just go with "Lots & Lots"

 

 

I would like to use the server for all media files and have everything access them off the network (streaming  or just Network drive location??)
I have a paid VPN subscription (Octane VPN) for up to 5 devices, but which ones are the right ones?
I want to use the VPN for any torrents from any PC (like Duh!)
I want to be able to easily bypass the VPN for games type traffic (log lag needed)

 

OK - now let's see  - what can I do with the toys listed ??

Of most interest to some people (which is why I put it at the bottom) is that I may actually consider paying somebody to assist me set this all up / design, provided that they actually teach me a bit at the same time. Before anyone asks - I'm in Wellington (Porirua) and NO - I am not considering paying professional contractor rates (yes I do know what they are.
This might be something a senior student might want to help me with, mostly for fun - with a bit of pocket money thrown in ??? (maybe??).  I mentioned that there's a beer fridge in the man cave right (yes it is currently full) I might need help emptying it so that it can be moved (hint).

Create new topic
273 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 17


  Reply # 1378663 3-Sep-2015 01:58
Send private message

I'm not sure I can help much, but we built a house in 2011 and we had room for a small office upstairs which I decided to make the IT hub where the main router is and all cat6 cables around the house run to.  2x RG6 from roof to this office, but also 2x RG6 from office to lounge downstairs for if we sell the house one day to non-techies.  The office has a 4 port RG6 panel where you can use 2 short cables to connect together to directly connect the lounge to the antennas.

Lounge has a MP client for TV, and I have MP clients on laptop, office desktop, etc.  All works very well.

Server has 2TB hard drive, lots of music, videos, recorded TV etc.  It's an old Win7 32-bit AMD Phenom 2.1Ghz 3-core, and until recently only with 2GB RAM.  Runs MP TV Server, an SMTP mail server, internet radio station.  Only this week put 8GB RAM in it, 4.5 GB as RAM Disk for TV Server time shifting, 3.5GB for Windows.  I was sometimes getting the odd corrupted recorded program which I'm hoping was due to the lack of RAM.

So you don't need anything too powerful for the basics, but virtualized PC's, etc, will need a 64-bit Windows, high speed CPU, and lots of RAM.

Music & videos are accessed via a network share.

3568 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 387

Trusted

  Reply # 1378710 3-Sep-2015 07:51
Send private message

Being a plex household, I'd recommend that.  Clients available on most device types (mobile, tablets, smart tvs).  With an i5 I'd say you'd have enough grunt to transcode for most clients with no problerms.....but with the proper htpc computer - which is most likely where you want your highest playing source, it wouldn't need transcoding.

Would probably recommend plex server on your gaming pc - where hopefully you can hang a bunch of drives off....or hook to a nas.

In terms of some of your other things, virtualisation etc...I went for an AMD a10 5800 - similar I think to a i7  and 32gb ram.  I have 8 drives connected to it varying between 2tb each and a 4tb.  With drivebender they're combined into 2 drives.  One for all files...spread over 6 drives all folders duplicated  (poor mans mirroring) approx 12TB.  The 2nd "drive" is 2x 2TB drives that I use for backups - again essentially mirrored.  

I run 5 VMs continuously fpr various functions.  On of them is my main "desktop".  With all this running (I use about 20gb ram for vms) I've got more than enough CPU for plex to be transcoding.






Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


 
 
 
 


605 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 31


  Reply # 1379136 3-Sep-2015 14:38
Send private message

I have been running a bunch of virtual machines via VMware vSphere for a number of years. I couldn't get rid of the VM's now, but if I could I would settle on a single grunty server for files, media, backups, TV (via NextPVR), emby server and once it is setup leave it.

Then I would setup any other device as an almost dumb terminal. Windows with Kodi/NextPVR/Emby addon done. Tablets/Phones with Kodi/NextPVR/Emby done.  The best setup is the easiest to use, from my perspective this means that all the devices no matter what are the same. The kids will know what to do, the wife will know what to do, everyone knows and it works.

I have recently moved from Windows 8.1 MCE/emby to Windows 10 NextPVR/Kodi/Emby and I expected it to be a bad experience but once I got my main PC setup moving the rest was pretty simple and any issues quickly sorted out. The only issues I have had were related to new drivers on Windows 10, mainly the AMD and hardware acceleration.




Home Server: Mobo GA-990FXA-UD3, AMD FX-8370, 32GB RAM, 40TB HDD, 2 x HP Smart Array P410, 3 x Norco SS-500, 10GbE, ESXi 6u2, NextPVR, Emby Server, Plex Server, 2 x HDHomerun.
Lounge Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi17.4/SPMC17a11 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 250GB SSD.
Kids Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi17.4/SPMC16.7 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 120GB SSD
Test Center: NVIDIA Shield TV Pro 500GB. Plex Media Server, Kodi17.4/SPMC17a11 with Titan, Emby, HDHomerun.
Main PC: Ryzen 7, 24GB RAM, Nvidia GT730 + RX 470, 512GB ADATA SSD, 3 x 1TB HDD, 2 x 24" Panasonic LCD TV, Blu-ray drive, Windows 10, Kodi17.4, Emby, Titan.




8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1379408 3-Sep-2015 21:23
Send private message

Thanks for the feedback all:

 

  • How's this for a plan?
  • Do a heart/lung transplant on the existing HTPC box (the pretty one) run Win 7 Professional (64 bit) (for now) and make this the new HTPC (mostly dedicated). This will be the HTPC spec:

     

    • AMD Phenom 9650 Quad Core with 4Gb RAM (socket AM2)
    • CPU speed 2470MHz (not over clocked)
    • Motherboard FK918AA (HP factory standard)
    • Graphics Nvidia 9600GT (passively cooled)

       

      • Also has onboard Nvidia Force430 - not planning to use this
    • Blueray player (of some sort)
    • Onboard Realtek audio (high definition) V6.6
    • HDD = Single 125Gb SSD
Onto the HTPC I will put the minimum software (antivirus, firewall etc) and run MediaPortal as a client only, map network drives to the server as needed (reconnect at start-up), only load video drivers etc needed for HTPC stuff (and web browser DirectX etc).
I do want to retain my Hauppauge remote for this PC - Any ideas? (just buy a USB IR detector??)

 

  • Games PC take out of the full tower case and put into mid-tower case (one of the Beige box cases) otherwise left as-is, specs as follows:

     

    • Intel Core i5 4690k @ 3.5GHz
    • Motherboard Asus Z97-A
    • OS Windows 7 Ultimate (SP1) - might upgrade to Windows 10???)
    • Ram 16Gb  - 1866 Mhz (DDR3?)
    • Hdd 1 x 500 GB SSD and 1 X 3TB Sata
    • Graphics Nvidia GTX 970 4Gb DDR5
    • 660 watt Modular power supply
    • plus all the usual stuff (fans etc)
Generally I want the Games PC to not be "bogged down with Shee-ite" so will keep the stuff running directly on the hardware to a minimum (e.g. no MS office, Adobe,or other bloatware except Windows).

 

  • The existing HTPC hardware gets put into the tower case (recently home to the Games PC) and becomes the server, Specs as follows:

     

    • OS - Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
    • Intel i5 750 (quad core @2700 GHz)
    • 16 GB RAM (need to buy more to do this) - as fast as the motherboard will take.
    • HDD

       

      • 1 x 500GB SSD OS and program files
      • 2TB HDD in Raid 1 (so 2 disks of 2 TB) for the storing of any VM images
      • 3TB HDD in Raid 1 (so 2 disks of 3 TB) for media files
      • about 6 other "assorted disks in JBOD configuration"
      • A USB2 External HDD hard drive dock to do back-ups onto (multiple spare HDD's lying around for that)
    • I'll stick a GForce 9400 GT into it, because I have one spare.
    • TV Tuner card (Hauppauge)
Onto this machine I will put the Media Portal Server, SQL Server and load my preferred VM (Oracle Virtual Box)

 

  • That leaves the Office PC to go:

     

    • One of the Beige boxes that only runs as a dumb terminal connecting to the server that runs the VM??
What have I missed?

3568 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 387

Trusted

  Reply # 1379409 3-Sep-2015 21:25
Send private message

How are you serving content to all your devices in a format they can accept?




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex




8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1379418 3-Sep-2015 21:43
Send private message

davidcole: How are you serving content to all your devices in a format they can accept?


At the moment - it's just a mess:
media content stored all over the place, different drives of different devices, applications on some devices but not on others = Nightmare stuff !!!

My intent is to tidy this whole thing up:
Basic OS on all PC's will be windows 7
MediaPortal will be my HTPC software of choice (I know there are others, but I like Media Portal - so want to stick with it)

Any other devices can access the server and fire up a Windows 7 based Visualized build (maybe a custom one for a given device ??) that will have a media portal client as part of the build

All media will be centrally stored on Raid 1 based HDD's with individual PC able to access form the basic OS as a networked share (or networked drive - which is best?)

Virtual builds will be the same - access server drives as if they were network drives

*most* of the content that I want to share around the house is open format stuff, so not too much problem with compatibility there, just access as it is all over the place at the moment.

3568 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 387

Trusted

  Reply # 1379420 3-Sep-2015 21:47
Send private message

So I use nextpvr over medisportal, but I have a plex channel for live TV ( I think there's a mediaportal version) and if like mine it should be able to serve recordings. Plex also serves music, TV shows and movies you've ripped.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex




8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1379422 3-Sep-2015 22:01
Send private message

davidcole: So I use nextpvr over medisportal, but I have a plex channel for live TV ( I think there's a mediaportal version) and if like mine it should be able to serve recordings. Plex also serves music, TV shows and movies you've ripped.


I haven't really got into much streaming TV or content at this stage, but that was mainly due to having poor internet connect up until now.
This might be a good time to start testing my 100MBit fiber and uncapped limit??

Up until now the process is :

 

     

  1. See what's on TV (freeview DVB-S only).

     

       

    1. discover that there is nothing you want to watch ; or
    2. There is something, but there are so many adds that watching live is just not going to be good for sanity.

       

         

      1. either record using media portal for watching later or go to next step:

       

     

  2. Find content on torrent site
  3. Download to HDD
  4. Play
  5. If failed at step 3 - go back to step one

 

I think that I will take one step at a time though.
Media portal (as a client at least) has passed the WAF test (Wife Acceptance Factor)

I am happy to use a different back end, but don't want to go through the woman tech training thing again (EVER !!!)

BIG Question for any media portal users - can I use my Hauppauge Remote on the client without a Hauppauge card installed in the client PC, if so, what else do I need to do it?


382 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 1393262 24-Sep-2015 10:13
Send private message

davidcole: So I use nextpvr over medisportal, but I have a plex channel for live TV ( I think there's a mediaportal version) and if like mine it should be able to serve recordings. Plex also serves music, TV shows and movies you've ripped.


do you use nextpvr headless only for recording or do you have it attached to a tv? i'd like to have the news recorded and available in plex which sounds like i could do it your way

3568 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 387

Trusted

  Reply # 1393286 24-Sep-2015 10:31
Send private message

hasole:
davidcole: So I use nextpvr over medisportal, but I have a plex channel for live TV ( I think there's a mediaportal version) and if like mine it should be able to serve recordings. Plex also serves music, TV shows and movies you've ripped.


do you use nextpvr headless only for recording or do you have it attached to a tv? i'd like to have the news recorded and available in plex which sounds like i could do it your way


Technically both - I have a headless nextpvr instance as a vm on a server.  This is what my plex channel points to.

I do actually have a Nextpvr Instance on a Gigabyte brix attached to the tv, that also has kodi...but tbh if I record something I'll use the web interface to the server instance.  Or live tv via my plex channel.  The channel allows live tv to be watched in most plex clients (tried plexconnect on atv2, plex for roku, plexbmc in kodi and plex/web).

I haven't added a tv guide etc to the channel (bit difficult, but could be done, to schedule recordings.  I figure it's easier just to use the web site, which has already been developed and being dotnet based is a lot more flexible that any channel I could make.

Honestly though, recording in plex is a better experience that recordings in my channel, it's just handles those better.  I channel is not really designed for videos at rest - designed for streams - so live tv it works well.

The issue to adding them is you need a scanner and metadata agent to do it properly.  And while i used to have to it doesn't seem to be working properyl





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


382 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 1393313 24-Sep-2015 10:52
Send private message

interesting. i must look into it.

I just want something to record the news each night and add it to a folder that plex can scan, then I can watch it anywhere using plex

3568 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 387

Trusted

  Reply # 1393395 24-Sep-2015 11:58
Send private message

hasole: interesting. i must look into it.

I just want something to record the news each night and add it to a folder that plex can scan, then I can watch it anywhere using plex


Ok, well my channel will do that pretty well.  When paired with nextpvr.  I expect the media portal one will to. 




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Huawei Mate 10: Punchy, long battery life, artificial intelligence
Posted 20-Nov-2017 16:30


Propel launch Disney Star Wars Laser Battle Drones
Posted 19-Nov-2017 21:26


UFB killer app: Speed
Posted 17-Nov-2017 17:01


The case for RSS — MacSparky
Posted 13-Nov-2017 14:35


WordPress and Indieweb: Take control of your online presence — 6:30 GridAKL Nov 30
Posted 11-Nov-2017 13:43


Chorus reveals technology upgrade for schools, students
Posted 10-Nov-2017 10:28


Vodafone says Internet of Things (IoT) crucial for digital transformation
Posted 10-Nov-2017 10:06


Police and Facebook launch AMBER Alerts system in NZ
Posted 9-Nov-2017 10:49


Amazon debuts Fire TV Stick Basic Edition in over 100 new countries
Posted 8-Nov-2017 05:34


Vodafone VoIP transition to start this month
Posted 7-Nov-2017 12:33


Spark enhances IoT network capability
Posted 7-Nov-2017 11:33


Vocus NZ sale and broadband competition
Posted 6-Nov-2017 14:36


Hawaiki reaches key milestone in landmark deep-sea fibre project
Posted 4-Nov-2017 13:53


Countdown launches new proximity online shopping app
Posted 4-Nov-2017 13:50


Nokia 3310 to be available through Spark New Zealand
Posted 4-Nov-2017 13:31



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.