DVR Server HDD config question

I am looking to move from my current tablo engine setup over to Channels DVR and had a couple of quick questions i'm hoping someone can help with......for reference my plan is to pick up a Connect Quatro tuner and use my old Lenovo i5 quad core/12gb ram tower thats not being used as my server.

  1. Is there an "optimal" OS for the server? i'm leaning towards something simple like Linux Mint (or even just Ubuntu Server since thats what i use on my plex server) but had thoughts about trying to go the Hackintosh route to throw MacOS on it (saw a youtube video of it running on mac and looked like it had a handy system tray utility which i didnt see on linux)

  2. I currently have a 250gb ssd in that tower and was going to be ordering a 1tb ssd. Would it make sense at all to keep both drives in to install the OS on the main 250gb ssd and install channels/recordings to the 1tb 2nd drive? only reason i thought was if the OS would run into an issue and i had to reinstall i wouldnt have to do much to recover since all the DVR data would be on the 2nd drive

any advice would be greatly appreciated! thank you!

I personally run Arch Linux, as I find it much lighter-weight and easier to customize/configure than Ubuntu- or Debian-based distros.

With regards to the 2nd drive: I keep my Channels install on the main drive (installed to /usr/lib/channels/), but all of Channels' data is stored on an external 10TB USB3 drive. Keeping all of the data on a separate drive made switching drives or systems easier, but you're welcome to whichever method suits you best.

awesome thank you for your input! one other question i thought of was in regards to the db backup. i know if you switch systems you can use the backup/restore option but is there any way to automate this to do a nightly/weekly, etc backup of the Channels db so if you have the data on that 2nd drive you could throw that db backup there too so you really are covered in the event of a crash?

Database backups happen automatically every few hours.

You probably want more than 1TB for recordings. Better to get a simple spinning disk as SSD won't provide any benefits for the recordings drive.

Cool thanks! Amy benefit to going with an internal drive vs USB drive?

Nope just a matter of preference. USB3 works great, and honestly even USB2 is fast enough.

awesome thanks for the help. i wasn't sure if you'd possibly run into buffer/write speed issues w/ it being USB

I just saw my tower is only USB 2.0. would a USB 2 drive really be sufficient enough without a worry of buffering issues or anything or smarter to go with an internal sata III drive? I really like the idea of the portable USB drive but not if it's going to be a possible bottleneck

I appreciate all your help so far!

It's not likely to be a bottleneck, but could. USB2 maxes out at 480Mbps or so, IIRC; most OTA streams are around 8Mbps. Just remember that the bandwidth is total. Recording 3 streams and watching one recorded stream averages about 32Mbps, which is more than adequate.

I agree that speed shouldn’t be an issue. However, if it were me, I would go internal. Less complexity, and no chance of it getting knocked off the table or unplugged, etc etc. and better performance, to boot.

OTA is often much higher than 8mbps. I would overestimate 20mbps per stream, just to be safe. So 5 streams could possibly hit 100mbps. This is why gigabit ethernet networks are great for this. Still not hitting the USB2 max, but an internal SATA drive would give more leeway.

thank you everyone for your help here! i ended up getting a WD Blue 2tb 5400 internal for most of the reasons everyone suggested. I like the idea of a portable drive but feel safer w/ internal

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External isn't an issue if you use UUIDs for mounting the drive. Couple that with most distros using systemd, and the ability of service units to require certain mount-points before execution, and external drives are just as reliable or moreso than an internal drive.

The question is really whether you wish to educate yourself about how your computer and OS work, or if you are just going to accept defaults for everything ...

yup makes sense! i try to go the most optimized way whenever possible but in some cases i try to try and stay pretty standard to play it safe.....expanding knowledge as i go in the linux world :slight_smile:

One last question in regards to the server setup.....i'd assume this app is more CPU heavy rather than RAM? the tower i'm using is a i5 quad core with 12gb ram so I figured i'd be in good shape but thought i'd ask in case i ever need to choose a different client which specs are most important for this

That's plenty. I've got a small i3 with 8GB and rarely does my memory consumption rise about 2GB ... and I'm running several different services on the machine.

cool thank you. I figured it was going to be more cpu intensive than anything else. I ended up going w/ MX linux for the OS and only other service i have running on there is my Crashplan online backup (which backs up data i have on my synology nas which are mapped as nfs mount points on the tower) and that i have set to only run off hours to start to be safe

I am waiting for my connect quatro to arrive tomorrow but even though that unit doesnt do transcoding i thought i read that channels might be able to handle that so in the off chance that it can i was trying to keep cpu low so its there when needed

thanks again for all the help to everyone

alright i'm all setup and working great so far ! curious what you're using for that signal meter in your post?

The page I posted is the web interface for the HDHomeRun. I live in a city where there are broadcast towers and I put my antennas on the roof, which I why I have great signal. If I was trying to track the signal while aiming the antennas, though, I would use an iPhone app like SignalGH.

my antenna is in a large garage roof and has a really good signal too but was hoping to find an app/interface to check periodically if we have signal issues to narrow down what is going on. so far i only have channels dvr setup (and working) and haven't done anything in the ways of a hdhomerun setup. would i need to setup their dvr to get that web interface option?

No, you just need to have an HDHomeRun on the network and connect to the IP from your web browser.

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