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Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams

Added by Muffin Monkey 11 days ago

Hi folks,

I am a complete noob this project, but I want to build a tvheadend server to receive SAT-TV and need some recommendation for the hardware.
By hardware recommendation I don't mean the actual receiving hardware. I think there are enough resources about that, but the "usual" computer hardware (CPU, RAM, HDD/SSD, ...)

What I want to archeive:

- 4 HD streams lets say
-- 2x streaming to kodi on raspberry pis including 1h timeshift
-- 2x recording

As I have some space left where the cables from the LNB come down I would install a 19" rack and do the actual receiving by PCIe cards.
As OS I have debian in mind.
I already have FreeNAS running (upgrade to TrueNAS core is planned) I would store the completed recordings there.

What are your thoughts about my plans?

If I chose the wrong category for this post I apologize and please move it to the correct category.


Replies (12)

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by G Kazaroth 9 days ago

I do not have SAT-TV, but TVH does not require a ton of processing, if you do not do any trans-encoding. Most of the time, TVH is just recording the incoming stream, so it is a very light box. As an example, people use an RPi.

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by Ron L 8 days ago

I do have satellite and I concur that as long as you don't do transcoding CPU required is minimal. If you have GPU capable of hardware encoding it can still be minimal even with some transcoding.

Gigabit Ethernet for sure.

Timeshift works better if you can do mostly direct to RAM so maximize your memory.

I don't do any cam cards so I don't know how much CPU decrypting might require.

I'm running TVH and Kodi on a single machine with embedded J1900 cpu. 10TB USB storage. 4GB ram. It's left on 24/7. Also runs NFS and sftp shares for the storage, nomachine and gerbera UPNP.

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by Muffin Monkey 8 days ago

Thank you for your responses.
In order to give you some background about my question:
Two weeks ago I visited a friend, who is running a TvHeadEnd on a Raspberry Pi 3 with two SAT tuner dongles. (He is the one who brought me here.) When we watched an HD stream while a recording was running (I don't know if it was HD or SD) we had annoying artifacts on the TV. He recommended not to use a Raspberry if I want to watch and record HD streams.
According to the documentation use of USB dongles on a Raspberry is discouraged. So do you think the artifacts were rather caused by the shared bandwith of the USB ports and the Ethernet port than by the small "general computing power" of the pi?

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by Ron L 7 days ago

I have never tried a Pi however I would think it could handle a TVH server. If others think the USB bandwidth is a problem then it likely is.

Also never tried Kodi on a Pi but it must work as there seem to be a lot of those setups.

I can vouch for the AsRock Embedded Intel motherboards. They are low power, have slots for PCIe tuner cards and have ample CPU while running totally silent with a fanless PSU. They also work well with KODI and do hardware decoding for h.264, h.265 with VAAPI. They won't do 4:2:2 chroma in hardware but my J1900 handles 4:2:2 720p h.265 decoding OK with software rendering. Mind you the J1900 doesn't do any h.265 in hardware.

Biggest problem right now is finding any mobos in stock.

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by G Kazaroth 7 days ago

So, I think you have answers. One of the questions I had to answer was the hardware architecture and heat requirements. Unlike building a rig/beast, you need something that does not heat up the house, runs 24/7, and can do what you want now and into the future. My setup is very old and contains a 5th gen Intel i3 with 8GB RAM. (It is called a NUC). I also have my tuners for the antennas separate from TVH. (I use HDHomeRun). My NUC normally records 5 streams at one time while watching TV at 1080/60. It can easily handle up to 16 streams at one time. On the NUC, I have TVH, a media server running trans-encoding, a cloud server (supporting phone calendars, contact lists, passwords and files), Kodi, Cabernet, and a 26TB NAS. It normally runs about 25% CPU and the NUC uses around 15-25 watts of power. Alternatively, you could use a number of rPi devices, a Synology and something to support trans-encoding, if needed.

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by Marc Ominus 6 days ago

My experience was, on older versions of RPi with bad/not sufficiently good power supply
it would pixelate and I get all sorts of errors.

I am now running RaspberryPi-2B-1GB-a01041 with PiTV HAT + USB DVB-T2 Tuner and can easily
stream on LAN - 5 HD channels at the same time from 2 different MUXes......

The RPi has now gone long way and they have Compute Module 4 + IO Board with PCIe Gen 2 socket on it ;)
(But 8GB RAM/32GB eMMC boards are hard to find ...)

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by Muffin Monkey 2 days ago

Thank you for your replies!

I will go with an AMD Ryzen 3 Pro 2200GE with 16 GB RAM.
I won't go with an i3 as its very difficult to get an ATX mainboard for the i3. The ATX is necessary to have enough PCI slots for the receiver cards.

I know the processor is overpowered, but I want to have a current processor architecture. At least its the smallest of the current Ryzen Pro processors. And it has only 35W TDP.

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by saen acro 2 days ago

HP DL580 ;)
Tuners, GPU's, memory and storage.
AIO solution ;)

or simple alternative
TBS MOI Pro – AMD link

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by Marc Ominus 2 days ago

saen acro wrote:

or simple alternative
TBS MOI Pro – AMD link

I have purchased MOI DVB-S2 Streaming Box from them, and last update for it was a long time ago,
so replaced the box with my own set-up as everything was out of date.

Same applies for loots of manufacturers (apart to Raspberry Pi as they still support all of their boards
when releasing updates to OS, etc.)

I can't see anywhere on their website (tbsiptv.com) committing to support any of their hardware for certain amount of time .....
so when they come up with "NEW" and improved version of product, you are stuck with "TBS MOI Pro – AMD" that is out of date with OS and software included in the last release cycle ....

When you have your own rig,
you update/upgrade hardware as you wish,
update/upgrade OS as you wish,
and upgrade/update software as you wish .....

Plus looking at the storage space on the "TBS MOI Pro – AMD" one x SATA 6.0 Gb/s is not much :( (Yes I can see USB ports .... but ...

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by saen acro 2 days ago

Marc Ominus wrote:

saen acro wrote:

or simple alternative
TBS MOI Pro – AMD link

I have purchased MOI DVB-S2 Streaming Box from them, and last update for it was a long time ago,
so replaced the box with my own set-up as everything was out of date.

Same applies for loots of manufacturers (apart to Raspberry Pi as they still support all of their boards
when releasing updates to OS, etc.)

I can't see anywhere on their website (tbsiptv.com) committing to support any of their hardware for certain amount of time .....
so when they come up with "NEW" and improved version of product, you are stuck with "TBS MOI Pro – AMD" that is out of date with OS and software included in the last release cycle ....

When you have your own rig,
you update/upgrade hardware as you wish,
update/upgrade OS as you wish,
and upgrade/update software as you wish .....

Plus looking at the storage space on the "TBS MOI Pro – AMD" one x SATA 6.0 Gb/s is not much :( (Yes I can see USB ports .... but ...

I see you problem, you don't have knowledge how to install OS, drivers and how to use NFS share etc.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/moipro/
https://sourceforge.net/projects/moiplus/
original CentOS will die after update

I have setup lot of this devices with clear installed Ubuntu 18.04 without any problems.
also on separate pc RockStor for NFS share for recordings.
why not also Jellyfin

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by Ron L 1 day ago

Muffin Monkey wrote:

Thank you for your replies!

I will go with an AMD Ryzen 3 Pro 2200GE with 16 GB RAM.
I won't go with an i3 as its very difficult to get an ATX mainboard for the i3. The ATX is necessary to have enough PCI slots for the receiver cards.

I know the processor is overpowered, but I want to have a current processor architecture. At least its the smallest of the current Ryzen Pro processors. And it has only 35W TDP.

Depending on your LNB configuration there are cards with up to 8 tuners using one PCIe slot so even mATX can run up to 24 tuners.

35W is not horrible. The embedded cpus are generally around 10W. Building right now will mostly be a factor of what you can find in stock. Any of the really nice fanless embedded mobos are either out of stock or being flogged for ridiculous prices.

RE: Server hardware recommendation for multiple HD streams - Added by saen acro 1 day ago

Ron L wrote:

Muffin Monkey wrote:

Thank you for your replies!

I will go with an AMD Ryzen 3 Pro 2200GE with 16 GB RAM.
I won't go with an i3 as its very difficult to get an ATX mainboard for the i3. The ATX is necessary to have enough PCI slots for the receiver cards.

I know the processor is overpowered, but I want to have a current processor architecture. At least its the smallest of the current Ryzen Pro processors. And it has only 35W TDP.

Depending on your LNB configuration there are cards with up to 8 tuners using one PCIe slot so even mATX can run up to 24 tuners.

35W is not horrible. The embedded cpus are generally around 10W. Building right now will mostly be a factor of what you can find in stock. Any of the really nice fanless embedded mobos are either out of stock or being flogged for ridiculous prices.

There is a cheaper and more efective 16-24 tunеr solution's with IRD's (less then 1000€),
with can be run on any pc with dual gigabit lan card.

Оf course everyone has to make calculations of what CPU power should have.
Whether the processor can absorb the load that can be checked with the command

openssl speed aes

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