Recent Backend Build?

Do you want advice about what hardware to buy for use with MythTV? Ask here.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Codybear
Newcomer
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:50 pm
United States of America

Recent Backend Build?

Post by Codybear » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:19 pm

I'm thinking of moving into the 21st century and replacing my 3 ReplayTVs with a MythTV configuration. As hardware is constantly evolving (too fast for my taste), I was inquiring if someone recently built a dedicated backend and was willing to list the components so I could use it as a shopping list. I only have one component on my list and that is the Hauppauge WinTV-QuadHD.

I'm targeting $500-600 but that is not a hard number.

Thanks for any help.

wmorrison
Senior
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:05 am
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by wmorrison » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:47 pm

Backend only? No, mine is combined backend/frontend, also using a WinTV-QuadHD, but feel free to ask anything. Components about a year old.

User avatar
jfabernathy
Senior
Posts: 296
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:37 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by jfabernathy » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:25 am

Codybear wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:19 pm
I'm thinking of moving into the 21st century and replacing my 3 ReplayTVs with a MythTV configuration. As hardware is constantly evolving (too fast for my taste), I was inquiring if someone recently built a dedicated backend and was willing to list the components so I could use it as a shopping list. I only have one component on my list and that is the Hauppauge WinTV-QuadHD.

I'm targeting $500-600 but that is not a hard number.

Thanks for any help.
I use the Hauppauge WinTV-QuadHD ATSC card in my dedicated backend running Ubuntu Server. My PC is good but old. It's a Core i7-2600K (circa Q1'2011) . So anything newer than that would be fine. I also went RAID mirrors for storage since I needed a NAS in the house and this system did both.

I'm running a parallel backend just to test what would work with a 4 channel tuner and so far it's equal to my production backend as far as Mythtv is concerned. It's a Rasperry PI 4 4GB with a HDHR Quatro and a 1TB SATA SSD.

That hardware cost is:
$110 for the RP4 starter Kit
$150 for the HDHR Quatro
$109 for the 1TB SSD
$10 for Startech USB3 to SATA adapter

The advantage to the RP4 backend is it records the same as my big PC backend but is quiet and cool and small enough to fit anywhere I have power and LAN connections.

BTW, the RP4 is also fast enough to run the mythtv frontend as the same time, but I usually leave it as a backend only and use remote FEs.

Codybear
Newcomer
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:50 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by Codybear » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:49 pm

Planning on putting the backend out of the way in the basement utility room which is where the antenna distribution and ethernet switches are. For simplicity, I was thinking of the Shield TV for the frontend. But the Raspberry option is certainly interesting for either the front or back end and I'll have to investigate that.

User avatar
jfabernathy
Senior
Posts: 296
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:37 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by jfabernathy » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:17 pm

Codybear wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:49 pm
Planning on putting the backend out of the way in the basement utility room which is where the antenna distribution and ethernet switches are. For simplicity, I was thinking of the Shield TV for the frontend. But the Raspberry option is certainly interesting for either the front or back end and I'll have to investigate that.
For everyday use my 8 year old PC in a closet with 4 2TB drives in 2 mirrors plus a boot drive works amazingly well. The WinTV-QuadHD and my attic antenna rarely have an issue with recording my shows, so I'll leave it along and continue to use 2 remote FEs. The main 4K UHD in the den is connected to Shield TV which improves all 1080i/720P recordings due to the technology in the TV and Shield TV. I use the Android TV app mythtv-frontend and Mythtv-leanfront. Both are excellent frontends. My wife's TV in the sitting room uses a FireTV 4K Stick with the same apps. No complaints from her.

The RP3B+ with LibreELEC 9.2.0 is a good frontend if you like Kodi, but now that's more expensive than the $25 Firetv 4K stick.

Codybear
Newcomer
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:50 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by Codybear » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:09 pm

Ok, just bought a used mini-tower (i3, 4gb) off of ebay. I'll add the WinTV-QuadHD and a 4tb HDD and I should be good to go, except for the huge learning curve getting MythTV running on it.

I also see that MythTV FE will run on AppleTV 4 and mac mini, so I can muddle through before buying/building a FE.

The mini-tower comes with a 250gb HDD. Do I put the OS on that or do I just partition for the OS on the 4tb HDD? If I partition, how big should I make the OS/database partition?

wesnewell
Senior
Posts: 672
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:54 pm
Location: Wylie TX, USA
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by wesnewell » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:44 pm

Unless you're going to put a lot of extra crap on the os partition, 20gb would be plenty. This might give you an idea of how little it takes. And this is with lots of extras in the root filesystem.
es@mythfe0:~$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev 6.8G 0 6.8G 0% /dev
tmpfs 1.4G 1.6M 1.4G 1% /run
/dev/nvme0n1p1 352G 17G 317G 6% /
tmpfs 6.8G 45M 6.8G 1% /dev/shm
tmpfs 5.0M 12K 5.0M 1% /run/lock
tmpfs 6.8G 0 6.8G 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/nvme0n1p2 101G 12G 84G 13% /sda2
/dev/sda1 1.8T 18G 1.7T 1% /sdb
tmpfs 1.4G 16K 1.4G 1% /run/user/1000
wes@mythfe0:~$
BE/FE-Asrock AB350 Pro Ryzen 3 3200G, 6 atsc tuners. FE's-GF8200's Athlon II, Ryzen 3 2200G. Mythtv user since 2005.

User avatar
jfabernathy
Senior
Posts: 296
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:37 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by jfabernathy » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:49 pm

I've always had /dev/sda for boot and /, then put my other drives for Mythtv recorded data. If I have 2 drives for recording I add each as a separate recordings directly using the mythtv-setup Storage settings.

If you think it would help your get stuff installed, I'll point you to 2 blogs I created to document what I did during installs. It not elegant but it's something I use when I start a new install I'll give you the links below.

What I do instead of upgrading either the O/S or mythtv is to backup the database and backed all the recordings to either a NAS or external USB drive. Then I complete rebuild the backend with the latest LTS ubuntu and then install the lates production mythtv. I'll do this again in January when mythtv v31 comes out. The link below uses v29, but you can use v30 just the same. I've learned a lot since I did this but something helpful may help.

https://mythtvinstall.blogspot.com/2018 ... nd-on.html

Codybear
Newcomer
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:50 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by Codybear » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:50 pm

Altered course a bit and picked up two i7's, where one will replace my 20+ year old workstation/server and the other will be the BE. I'll be taking the two 500gb's for the workstation and install a single 4tb drive into the BE (w/ future weekly backup drive).

Got the WinTV-QuadHD ordered and just trying to figure out which Seagate 4tb drive to go with:

1) Seagate BarraCuda 4TB Internal Hard Drive HDD - 3.5 Inch Sata 6 Gb/s 5400 RPM 256MB Cache for Computer Desktop PC.
2) Seagate IronWolf 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD - 3.5 Inch SATA 6Gb/s 5900 RPM 64MB Cache for RAID Network Attached Storage.

I was leaning towards the IronWolf as it may last longer. The $10 difference is a non-issue. Any opinion? Staying with Seagate as I've had good success with them, including still running in my 20+ year old workstation.

Additionally, how many partitions should I put on the 4tb hdd and what size? Sorry, it's been 20-25 years since I have messed with any flavor of Unix, so I'm a bit rusty. Additionally, assuming I should take the default allocation block size for the non-video partition(s), do I take the max block size for the video partition? And lastly, do I format all partitions Ext4 or should the video partition be formatted differently?

I'm really looking forward to getting this up and running. As much as I like RTV, the show sharing is dwindling down and it'll be nice to watch over HDMI.

User avatar
jfabernathy
Senior
Posts: 296
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:37 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by jfabernathy » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:31 am

If you haven't done Linux in a while read up on the Hauppauge Linux support as it's changed in recent years.
https://www.hauppauge.com/pages/support ... linux.html

Gribnif
Junior
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 12:46 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by Gribnif » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:20 pm

Codybear wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:50 pm
1) Seagate BarraCuda 4TB Internal Hard Drive HDD - 3.5 Inch Sata 6 Gb/s 5400 RPM 256MB Cache for Computer Desktop PC.
2) Seagate IronWolf 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD - 3.5 Inch SATA 6Gb/s 5900 RPM 64MB Cache for RAID Network Attached Storage.

I was leaning towards the IronWolf as it may last longer. The $10 difference is a non-issue. Any opinion? Staying with Seagate as I've had good success with them, including still running in my 20+ year old workstation.
While anecdotal, my experience with the 4 Tb IronWolfs has been very good so far. I have four of them in my RAID array, running for just over three years now without any problems. Model number is ST4000VN008-2DR166.

Codybear
Newcomer
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:50 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by Codybear » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:00 pm

Got the components for the BE which ended up costing $300, plus an extra $80 for a backup disk. Installing mythtv was certainly not as easy as buying car insurance, but I did finally get my BE up and running on Christmas! Ended up adding the FE as well for an easy way to test the BE. So with a quad tuner and 4tb drive, I should be good to go for a bit.

Currently using the unsupported AppleTV FE apt which is better than nothing, but I certainly will need something that skips better and can use the program guide. I'm considering the Shield TV and the RP4 as a FE. Looking for something small and quiet. Any comments on those FEs or other suggestions?

doomedtx
Newcomer
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:07 pm
United States of America

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by doomedtx » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:18 pm

Would you mind sharing the components you wound up using? My 11-year-old mythbox is starting to struggle a bit. Recently we've noticed it beeping from maxing out the CPU while it was recording and comflagging in the background and watching a movie on Kodi. Plus mythfilldatabase can take upwards of 2 hours processing the mountain of data for 300 channels. The basic parts I have now are: GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS5 / EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX+ / 4GB DDR2 RAM.

I am shooting for newer components that will last me at least another 10 years. I have an HDHR Prime 3 with CableCARD for the recording part. I assume any CPU and RAM will be fine, the more the better, but I haven't kept up with which video cards "just work" out of the box with HDMI audio/video output. In any event, if you could list your components here I think that would help my decision making process.

MikeB2013
Senior
Posts: 519
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:16 pm
Great Britain

Re: Recent Backend Build?

Post by MikeB2013 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:34 pm

Assuming you are using an external xmltv grabber e.g. Schedules Direct.

For recent versions of mythtv ( 29 and on), mythfilldatabase has an optional argument --no-allatonce which drastically reduces memory usage by getting data in much smaller chunks, for a full explanation see https://github.com/MythTV/mythtv/commit ... a8fa5e0537

I use --no-allatonce on my systems (I have satellite, so there are many channels) with 4GB or 8GB of RAM, without the setting mythfilldatabase even with 8GB RAM takes a very long time to run and seriously overloads the system. Just put --no-allatonce in the List data arguments field using mythtv-setup.

AnalogBill
Newcomer
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:11 am
United States of America

UPDATE: New Build

Post by AnalogBill » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:41 pm

I’m working on a new build to replace old hardware and software.
Mythbuntu 14/.027-fixes, running on a Core Duo CPU, 2GB ram, 32GB SSD for boot drive, storing recordings on a Synology DS1515+ NAS. 2 Capture cards, 1) HDHomerun Prime (3 tuner cablecard) and 2) HDHomerun Connect (2 tuner OTA).

So far:
1) Installed Xubuntu 19.10 and Mythtv 0.30in a test machine. Couldn't resolve problems with mysql 8, the default database. Decided to stick with mysql 5.7

2) Installed Xubuntu 18.04.3/Mythtv 0.29 in the test machine. I was able to configure successfully, including the XMLTV package which gave me the 18 day program guide from Schedules Direct. Time for new hardware:

3) Bought a Lenovo m92p on eBay for $75, and installed a $32 SSD (Adata SU800)
4) Installed/configured software successfully. Decided to use this hardware for a test machine.

5) New hardware for my “permanent build”
• Intel NUC8i5BEH ($420)
• Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB SSD ($70)
• 16GB Samsung memory ($72)

6) Reusing existing hardware…extremely satisfied with all of these:
• HDHomerun Prime CableCard capture
• HDHomerun Connect Over The Air antenna capture
• Harmony 650 remote control (cloned from a Media Center Remote)
• Synology DS1515+ NAS for storing recordings

7) Made BIG mistake: After updating the BIOS in my new NUC, I chose Legacy boot rather than UEFI boot. (I'm an old guy...we go with what we know...dumb).

8) Wiped the SSD, reset to UEFI boot, reinstalled xubuntu 18.04.3, mariadb-server 10, mythtv 30 (in that order), x11vnc for remote access, xmltv so I could use the Schedules Direct 18 day program info, ir-keytable which enables my Harmony remote control.

9) Next step is to populate the database from a backup of my current backend machine. I am changing the hostname and the name of one video source, so I will be watching for any issues caused by those changes. Since the Lenovo and the NUC are configured identically I will use one to restore the database and upgrade to the current schema. After cleaning up any issues related to the host name change and video source name change, I'll take a backup of the final database configuration and restore it into the NUC...at least that's my plan.

Thanks to MikeB2013 for this post [viewtopic.php?t=3114] which put me on the right path....
Last edited by AnalogBill on Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply