Best hardware for channels DVR


I'm a newbie with a wishlist:

I'm scrolling through this thread, but I'm looking for a mini PC that will allow me to replace the hard drive with something larger. It will also need to have enough RAM and processing power to handle MCEBuddy and all streaming.

I'm currently using an iMac, so MCEBuddy is currently not an option. I have an HDHomeRun Quatro.

I'd welcome any suggestions.


For a miniPC/NUC style computer, you can either go Intel's NUC, or Gigabyte's Brix is a comparable product. My current setup is using an older 5th Gen Core i3 Brix for my Channels, Plex, UniFi and UNMS servers.


Something else on my wishlist: I'd like to be able to swap out the hard drive for something bigger (3TB+).


Those on a Mac. Have you considered using VMware Fusion with a Win 10 VM? I do not care about MCEBuddy but I run a lot of VM's on multiple Mac Machines and it performs very well. I would assume it would handle this task.

I personally run Channels DVR on a Mac Mini with Thunderbolt DAS. On the same Mac Mini I run PLEX which I use for local and remote access (have lots of movies and some tv shows on PLEX). But I also have multiple Synology NAS for work. Since I had multiple Mac Mini i7's laying around that seemed best for me but I would consider Synology NAS. Some talked about use SSD as the boot drive and then a normal drive for content. Of course you can do this with a Synology NAS as well. A NAS is very very flexible in setting up your drive bays.


Would a device with USB 3.0 be sufficient to stream from? If I get a mini pc and can't swap out the drive, this is an option,


I'm using an external USB3 drive for my recordings, and have no problems with 6+ concurrent streams.


You could easily do this on the Mac with a bash or python script using everything that comes with Channels. I use a script to take the EDL file that Channels creates and the ffmpeg that comes with the Channels install to add chapter markers to the file and move it to my NAS. That's a secondary location that I have set for Channels and it plays back the files just fine even though they're technically a mkv file with mpg as the extension instead of mkv. You could easily do the same but instead of adding chapters just cut out the commercial sections.


If you could point me to a decent tutorial I will give this a shot. The only limitation I can see is that my iMac only has 1.5TB of available space and doesn't have a USB 3.0 connection. I don't think streaming will cut it with 2.0, and opening up an iMac is an intimidating challenge.


1.5TB is a good amount, and if you're not good at scripting or don't understand ffmpeg you can also easily run a Windows VM with Parallels and put MCEBuddy on that. If I have time this weekend I could look at modifying my script, but it's not ready for public consumption, just at the point where it works for my specific situation.


I've has Parallels in the past. I'm not really interested in going that route again. I'll take a look at ffmpeg when I get a chance. I'm pretty sure I've used it in the past. I'm confident I'd be able to figure out all the individual components, it's getting them to work together that would be the biggest challenge. I've never done any scripting.


Well, if that's the case then maybe something like a NUC (ie: would be a good option for you.


The "Tall" NUC's allow you to put another 2.5" HDD as well as a M.2 SSD on it, but you could just as easily get an external USB 3.0 drive as well.


Thanks for the info. Researching.


As far as the Brix goes, would this get the job done? I've bought plenty of refurbished products before and have never had a problem. The price is reasonable. I would add a USB 3.0 external drive.


That's the exact model I have Channels running on right now. It runs Plex (whose files are stored on a NAS), Channels (which records to an external USB3 drive), UniFi SDN and UNMS. I have no problems with remote streaming, nor with recoding multiple (6+) programs at once while streaming.

(Of course, my Brix is running Arch Linux with the Zen kernel, so I'm not sure what performance with Windows will be. I also have 8GB RAM and rarely see more than 2GB in use at any given time; my swap partition is almost never touched.)


I've noticed since I switched to the mini pc with a USB 3 external drive that load times are about 3x longer than with the mac with an internal hard drive. Does that sound about right?


Buying these parts for my next build (a few for each paycheck)....

-This case....
-ASUS Prime H310T thin-ITX board
-Intel Core i3-8100 CPU
-Sandisk Cruzer Fit 32GB USB thumbdrive, loaded with UNRAID ($60 license)
-WD Blue 1TB HDD 2.5”

Total cost, $450. Matching the size of a Mac Mini and having the freedom to swap out any parts for upgrades as needed....priceless.