simple backend for 2023 and OTA

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dochawk
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simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by dochawk »

The more I look, the more tangled things get as to what both exists and is built from something other than unobtanium . . . (late January 2023).

I'm picking up the latest appletv this afternoon; I'd been waffling on it anyway for a while. It can be my frontend.

But with yet another cable price hike, and the reality that we watch *very* little that isn't broadcast anyway, I'd like my $1k/year back! a few cooking shows a week, my wife's westerns, and my battlebot addiction.

I want 1tb or 2tb of presumably SSD storage, at least two tuners (4 would be nice, or being able to add them later). Uhm, that's pretty much it.

OK, and quiet and low power.

It would probably mount behind the television (preferred) on either the wall or the television itself, or maybe on the shelf below that my wife wants back, so a small case.

All of the parts names seem to have changed since the last time I bothered building a system.

a little (sub tower?) case with a tiny motherboard and four PCIe connections? (two each for tuners and ssd?). the Mac mini size would be great, but I don't think that's happening. '

cough up nearly $100 for a pi 4b?

I really don't know where to go hunting. A couple of years ago, I probably would have just gone to frys, but. . .

and so many of the status pages seem to to be several years out of date.

any thoughts would be helpful
white_haired_uncle
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Re: simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by white_haired_uncle »

I haven't had a PCI tuner for a long time, but I doubt they take up much of anything as far as CPU. I've been using HD Homerun gear for many years. Make sure to pay attention to ATSC3.0 (you won't NEED it for several years, you might want it soon, even if you get it there's a good chance not all ATSC3.0 channels -- if you have any -- will work today as the broadcasters are still playing around with encryption/DRM). My next tuner will probably be an HDHR Flex 4K (not that anyone broadcast in 4K, or probably ever will).

I don't use SSD, because it would provide nothing while costing much more. But, my backend is in a spare room, not next to my TV, so I don't care about the one possible benefit of SSD, the quiet vs spinning rust.

Resource use is next to nothing on a backend, except when transcoding, and I don't care about performance for that, it'll finish when it finishes. I run the lowest end HW I can find (first selecting for low watt CPU). If you can find it, it's got more power than you need. My backend is a VM with one core and 2GB running on a Phenom (IIRC, the motherboard is about 15 years old, the chip a little newer but only because I had to replace one). I suspect one of these days someone will port the backend code to run on an old phone with NAS access.

I would highly recommend you take a look at https://www.avsforum.com/forums/local-h ... eption.45/ and find the thread for your market (and maybe the one for ATSC3.0). Make sure to read the first thread on that link before posting. And if you have any interest in the HDHR and/or ATSC3.0
https://forum.silicondust.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=133
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Steve Goodey
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Re: simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by Steve Goodey »

I don't use SSD, because it would provide nothing while costing much more. But, my backend is in a spare room, not next to my TV, so I don't care about the one possible benefit of SSD, the quiet vs spinning rust.
Is not one of the benefits is that they are faster? :?:
Don't forget the Wiki.
white_haired_uncle
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Re: simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by white_haired_uncle »

Steve Goodey wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2023 9:07 am
I don't use SSD, because it would provide nothing while costing much more. But, my backend is in a spare room, not next to my TV, so I don't care about the one possible benefit of SSD, the quiet vs spinning rust.
Is not one of the benefits is that they are faster? :?:
An HDD and an SSD wait at the same speed.

Watching the highest bitrate recording I've ever seen requires less than 2% of a single HDD's capability.

Even with a full backup and a raid check running, I can't see my backend ever needing to read and write enough recordings concurrently to stress a single HDD. A since my frontend and tuner are both network connected, I'd max my single Gb NIC first anyway.
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paulh
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Re: simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by paulh »

Using an SSD for the OS is a good idea because of the extra speed and also they are a lot more energy efficient so save power and money :). These days a small SSD is really cheap so it's a no-brainer to put the OS on one IMHO.

Using SSDs for the recording storage groups is less clear. The main drawback is the cost of large SSDs, they are slowly coming down but there is still no comparison with large HDDs so HDDs win on capacity. SSDs are silent, smaller in physical size, largely cool running and a lot more energy efficient but they do wear out more quickly that HDDs if you are the type who records, watches and then deletes everything rather that someone who tends to archive stuff for later.

If I could afford them I personally would use all SSDs just because they are silent, more energy efficient and need less cooling and because I tend archive the stuff I record so wear is not a problem for me.
white_haired_uncle
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Re: simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by white_haired_uncle »

Using an SSD for the OS is less energy efficient, wasting power and money if you're going to use HDD for recordings anyway. Just put the OS on the same disks as the recordings. As far as speed, I can't imagine what one would be doing if your OS demands exceed HDD.

Reminds me of the discussion about "saving" power by standing up a second machine, just so it can be powered down most of the time. Unless you have a LOT more content than will fit on modern drives, it'd almost certainly be better just to put everything on the one machine that needs to be up 24x7 anyway (maybe with a spindown-disk tuned profile?). And of course there's the issue of wear and tear, at some point spinning things up and down does more damage than just leaving them running, creating waste products that concern me more than electricity use.
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paulh
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Re: simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by paulh »

Have you never replaced an HDD with and SSD especially on an older PC and been surprised at how quickly it boots up or how everyday operations like loading an app or web browser or querying a DB etc. are speeded up.

Of cause everybody has different use pasterns so using an SSDs may not be for everyone but for my use case I would never got back to using an HDD for my OS drives. My 24/7 server does still have 5 HDDs for general storage though that I have all but one set to sleep because they are rarely needed. If you lived in the UK you would understand that every watt of energy you can save is precious at the moment :)
white_haired_uncle
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Re: simple backend for 2023 and OTA

Post by white_haired_uncle »

Since I almost never reboot (which in the worst case, not including the rare fsck, is what 30, most of which spent doing things that aren't disc bound) or close my browser or most of my apps, and any DB queries run in fractions of a second, no, I've never felt the need to spend the extra power and money on a pair of SSD drives that might shave several seconds a year off my waiting time.
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