Hardware?

Is there a definitive guide to what hardware works better than what? I was originally looking at synology but then started looking into the truenas route cause I have an old computer laying around... then found OVM and that brought up raspberry pi and I started wondering how well that works? Currently just want to run channels dvr with TVE and looking for something that is stable. Not afraid to build my own system and although it's been a while I'm fairly confident with Linux. Just looking for some solid direction. Thank you in advance!

Channels doesn't require a ton of power. A lot of people run it on a Raspberry Pi. If you watch a lot remotely where transcoding may be required, you may want to choose a processor that supports that so it doesn't bog down and drive you nuts. Channels runs well in Linux. I have been running it for years without issue. I prefer to run it in a Docker container, but only because I have other servers I am running also.

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I’d you have an idle computer already laying around, I’d probably lean that direction, assuming it has an Intel processor that support quick sync and you’re ok with paying the electricity of letting it run 24/7.

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Ok... finally got home from work and thank you for the replies. I have a Dell optiplex 7010 with the i3 processor and 4gb(2x2) of ram. I was going to use it for a pfsense box but never got around to it. I ordered a 6tb wd red drive for storage and a small ssd for the os. Would it be better to go with something like truenas or would a server distro be better? Mainly streaming to a couple fire sticks and maybe streaming to my phone every once in awhile. Sources are philo tv(tve) and digital Ota with a hdhomerun connect.

I run it on a Synology NAS, but am sure that the Optiplex will work great. I am sure most distros will work fine, but maybe Debian would be a good option since it is similar to both Synology OS and Raspbian OS and there are a ton of users running Channels DVR on both of these platforms.

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I’ve yet to find the limit. I’m sure it’s out there somewhere. Kinda like Sasquatch.

It is not like you are copying files ... you are writing a large amount of data over a long period of time. Writing one HD OTA show of say 20 gig over a 1 hour period is barely a bleep. And TVE shows are barely 2 gig.

you can definitely max out i/o if recording a more than a few shows simultaneously, while also running comskip. I haven't actually tested this in a long time. But I bet if you record 5+ OTA shows simultaneously while also watching one of the in-progress recordings, and running comskip (on 2 cores without any throttling), disk io will spike and you will have issues.

I record to an SSD and move recordings automatically after a certain amount of days when the dvr is Idle to WD digital HDD. Less wear and tear on my mass storage devices.

This encouraged me to see just what my server can handle. I slammed it with two atsc3 and six atsc1 recordings, a 4core comskip, and playback of two different recordings all at the same time. Couldn’t even tell, skips are still instant. Guess next time I’ll have to start adding tve recordings into the mix. I do use a Samsung nvme which I’m sure is not common for most dvr’s.

I don’t think most commonly used dvrs would be able to do that smoothly. Especially something using traditional hdds.

In my testing, my 7 year old server never chokes and it is running seven other servers at the same time. For me, the weakest link is my network because a lot of the traffic runs over wifi. Fixing that is on my project list, but I almost never max it out organically -- just while stress testing.

I've been running mind on a Synology 1019+. It runs great and is out of sight out of mind.

I use my Shield Tv Pro. Works great. Use it for both server and viewing. My wife had trouble with Fire Tv so I moved the Shield to the living room.
The shield tv has great performance but their remote is the worst. We paired a Fire TV remote with it.

Full Functioning Remote.