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Move to low-power box

Added by Josu Lazkano over 2 years ago

Hello,

I had running tvheadend for some years in a old HP Microserver, it really works well. But I need to move it to someting small and low powered device.

I will use it with a Digibit R1 SAT>IP server and 2 USB DVB-T sticks. I need to add a USB disk to store the recordings. I look for some alternatives:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+: This will be a very cheap option, but maybe it has limited hardware
  • ODROID-XU4: Looks great, but I have no
  • ROCK64: Looks great too, no much information

I will appreciate your experience with theese devices to host tvheadend server, any other alternatives?

Kind regards.


Replies (13)

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by saen acro over 2 years ago

Jaguarboard one/one+
easy to use x86 architecture.

If you live in house, invest on Solar panels on roof, and keep current server ;)

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Em Smith over 2 years ago

I agree with Saen that x86 is usually easier.

Does your microserver do anything else in addition to Tvheadend?

Also consider using an old laptop. It has the advantage that usb works (without needing a powered hub), has disk drive, usually has more memory, etc.

Run "powertop" when on battery and it will tell you how much energy it uses, or use a "power monitor plug" (which may be less accurate).

My laptops use between 4w and 10w idle (my older Intel Atom uses twice as much energy as my newer i5). In many places 1w is approx $1/€1/£1 per year for 24x7 usage.

So, if you had an old laptop but a Pi3 costs you $60 with a case and usb hub and SD card and powerlead and hdmi cable, then it could take you between six years to fifteen years to make back the cost of a Pi3.

For solar panels, you need to calculate the break-even point. Until last September, the EU applied large tariffs on solar panel imports which made them relatively expensive. Do you get government subsidy for panels? Where I live, you also have to pay a specialist to install them.

I think I calculated it would be around 12--15 years break-even, assuming zero maintenance. But the expensive inverter apparently breaks by ten/fifteen years, which puts my break-even nearer the 20--25 years, which is near the end of useful life of the panels since they produce less electricity as they age. Since my government has removed subsidy (any electricity you generate and don't use will be given for free to the electric company to sell), I'd have to recalculate the break-even point once the cheaper panels hit my market, but I'll probably wait until the storage batteries become a lot cheaper.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by saen acro over 2 years ago

Use off-grid solar system and forget about government and electric company stuff.
System pay itself for less then 5y in practice, and work more then 20-25y

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Josu Lazkano over 2 years ago

Thanks for your replies.

The main reason to move to other box is the size, not the power consuption. I can not add solar panels in my house.

JaguarBoard looks great, but it goes to 134$ with the case.

Will search for more boxes.

Kind regards.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Hiro Protagonist over 2 years ago

A Pi 3 is quite capable of handling what you need.

I'm running 3 DVB-T tuners, plus a bunch of IPTV channels on a Pi 2, and so far it's handled everything I've thrown at it.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by saen acro over 2 years ago

Josu Lazkano wrote:

Thanks for your replies.

The main reason to move to other box is the size, not the power consuption. I can not add solar panels in my house.

JaguarBoard looks great, but it goes to 134$ with the case.

Will search for more boxes.

Kind regards.

Most cheap intel NUC / Gigabyte BRIX / ASRock Beebox will be few times more powerful then ARM an MIPS developer boards

If size meters FullHD 27" AIO will be best ;)

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Josu Lazkano over 2 years ago

Hello,

I found this for 80€: Z83II Mini PC

  • Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8350
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 400
  • RAM: 2GB
  • ROM: 32GB
  • Ethernet: 1000Mbps

This will be good for install Debian and add a USB disk in the USB3.0.

Someone with this devices?

Regards.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by saen acro over 2 years ago

# of Cores 4
# of Threads 4
Processor Base Frequency 1.44 GHz
Burst Frequency 1.92 GHz
Cache 2 MB
Scenario Design Power (SDP) 2 W
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 2 GB

pi have only 512KB L2 cache vs 2M on intel cpu
aka more task operations at same time less lag
gpu have hardware acceleration.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Josu Lazkano over 2 years ago

Thanks saen!

So you think that it will work well?

Could I make transcoding with the GPU? This is not important for me, but it will be a plus.

Regards.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Em Smith over 2 years ago

According to [[https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/atom_x5/x5-z8350]] it is a Cherry Trail CPU and supports h.264/VP8 encoding. So, I'd imagine ffmpeg will work with it. Some people say you are better using software (CPU) to encode rather than hardware since this gives better quality, but for tv streaming it should be fine.

Assuming it is a "fanless mini-pc" type of Atom box, ensure the review says that someone managed to install Debian/Ubuntu/other Linux on it since some boxes have odd configurations which apparently make installation difficult/impossible.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Josu Lazkano over 2 years ago

Hi,

I will try with "Z83II Mini PC".

Regards.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Greg Browne over 2 years ago

Josu Lazkano wrote:

I found this for 80€: Z83II Mini PC
  • Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8350
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 400
  • RAM: 2GB
  • ROM: 32GB
  • Ethernet: 1000Mbps

This will be good for install Debian and add a USB disk in the USB3.0.

Someone with this devices?

I use an almost identical box (2016 Sumvision Cyclone Cherry Trail Intel Quad Core x5-Z8300 2gb/32gb) with Debian 9 installed on an external 500gb HDD and an HDHomerun Duo. It seems very stable. I did have to add a cooling fan though. It seems that Win10 will throttle the CPU to prevent overheating, but I'm assuming that Linux doesn't.
I use TVHeadend on a Pi3B, as well, which is also very stable.

RE: Move to low-power box - Added by Josu Lazkano over 2 years ago

Hi,

I have the mini PC running with Debian 9 as a tvheadend server. It really works great, more than 4 Kodi clients with HD content.

Now I want to try to transcode for remote mobile clients.

It has "Intel HD Graphics 400" GPU, need I install any API or aditional software to get hardware transcoding?

I will appreciate any help on this.

Kind regards.

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