Author Topic: Tuners and virtualization  (Read 1438 times)

janka

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Tuners and virtualization
« on: June 21, 2008, 03:12:18 pm »
Hi

I'm planning a server that will run a few VMs including possibly a LinucMCE core.
Questions is, how do I get tuner input into the core?

I could just go and by some USB tuner(s), but I would like to wait with new investments until I'm going to shift for digital TV at some point. Until then I hope to be able to reuse my old Hauppauge PVR-500 PCI card.

One option is to go for Xen, which I believe is capable of forwarding a PCI device to a guest OS, but for reasons not 100% clear to me (performance and ease of setup), I have more or less convinced my self to go with KVM! :-)
As far as I know KVM cannot forward a PCI device to a guest. So:

- Can I set the host OS up to stream to the LMCE guest over the internal virtual ethernet? (which is probably not too smart considering stability of the server as a whole!)
- Is putting the card in a MD elsewhere the perfect solution?


Jan


niz23

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Re: Tuners and virtualization
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2008, 04:20:39 pm »
janka.
Hi

I'm planning a server that will run a few VMs including possibly a LinucMCE core.
Questions is, how do I get tuner input into the core?

I could just go and by some USB tuner(s), but I would like to wait with new investments until I'm going to shift for digital TV at some point. Until then I hope to be able to reuse my old Hauppauge PVR-500 PCI card.

One option is to go for Xen, which I believe is capable of forwarding a PCI device to a guest OS, but for reasons not 100% clear to me (performance and ease of setup), I have more or less convinced my self to go with KVM! :-)
As far as I know KVM cannot forward a PCI device to a guest. So:

- Can I set the host OS up to stream to the LMCE guest over the internal virtual ethernet? (which is probably not too smart considering stability of the server as a whole!)
- Is putting the card in a MD elsewhere the perfect solution?
Jan

What are you trying to achieve?
LMCE use enough power so justify it´s own hardware.
But for test/development it´s a good solution.

If I understand you right you are going to install a server with some kind of virtualization software.
And LMCE core as a VM?

Then forwarding a physcial PCI slot(hauppauge tuner) into LMCE core VM.

I haven´t tried this but if you choose a USB tuner I see no reason why it shouldn´t work as long as you don´t need a paravirtualized kernel (then you will need to make a custom lmce kernel). Make sure the virtualization solution you chose support USB 2.0 since most USB based tuners are USB 2.0 devices.
From what I know there is no way to dedicate a USB device to a unique VM. But I may be wrong.
I have no real experience on using USB devices for production use. Have only used it with vmware workstation for development and in the vmware esx environment I manage for living we don´t use USB at all.

Forget graphics performance. No movies and such. Maybe SDTV resolution will work if you have hardware that is powerful enough.
If you can get hold of KVM with Qumranets spice protocol. Which will allow hdtv inside VMs displaying on a thin client.
IT´s a commercial solution. It´s performance is really impressive. Invented for the VDI market.

I know Vmware workstation have experimental support for hardware 3D & video acceleration.
But the X video driver that support this functionality is not available yet to my knowledge.
At least it wasn´t a couple of month ago.

My vote would be for Vmware Server 2.0. Unfortunately it´s only available in beta 2 for now.
http://www.vmware.com/beta/server/index.html

The other two solutions is not bad.
It depends a little of how much linux knowledge you already have.
Vmware server is easy to install and manage.

Xen have devleoped a lot over the past 12 month. At least on the management side.
One drawback with xen is that it will never be integrated into mainline kernel.
Which mean you are on your own. You must build a custom kernel.

KVM is the new kid in the block. It´s impressive so far.
But lack good community management tools.
It´s integrated into mainline kernel. Is only a couple of thousand lines of code.
Have good commercial support/development by a company named Qumranet.
The founder of qumranet was also heavily involved in XenSource (commercial Xen) before he started Qumranet.

My two cents of knowledge.
Consider it as ideas.

/niz23

janka

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Re: Tuners and virtualization
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 06:15:18 pm »
What are you trying to achieve?
LMCE use enough power so justify it´s own hardware.
But for test/development it´s a good solution.
It's my green consciousness telling me to have only one machine running 24/7. So I will put my LAMP on it as well as a LTSP for the household. I'm planning on 8GB ram / 4x1TB WD GP / 3GHz duo core or the like, maybe a quad. Hopefully a LMCE core won't use that much itself :-)

Quote
If I understand you right..
You do.

Quote
if you choose a USB tuner I see no reason why it shouldn´t work
That was my believe as well. I'm just looking to save a few bucks (not much left after the above spending ;-)) by reusing my PCI card.

Quote
Forget graphics performance.
I take it you're talking about graphics performance on the VMs?
There will be no MDs on this machine. They will all be "normal".

Quote
My two cents of knowledge.
Consider it as ideas.

/niz23
Thanks for the ideas.

Jan

niz23

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Re: Tuners and virtualization
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 09:00:46 pm »
janka.

Ok. No MDs.
The only challenge I see then is to get USB devices to work good.

The core itself does not need too much power.
Around 1,5-2GB RAM.
My core run very happy on an AMD Athlon DualCore 4400+.
Have never seen high CPU utilization.

I really hope you succeed what you are planning.
Good luck whatever you choose to do.

Please tell us what happens.

/niz23

Misogynist

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Re: Tuners and virtualization
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 05:36:38 pm »
Any news here?
Basically that's my setup too, I'll be more detailled about the hardware I bought for my project.
Since my semester ended today, I'll have more time on my hands to work on it ..

Any progress there?

Harry the Satman

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Re: Tuners and virtualization
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 02:43:03 pm »
I installed LMCE on ESX 4.1. just for fun, and to see how the setup works. All is installed now, and would like to take a closer look at installing a USB tuner, or a USB dual or quad DVB-S2.

Any suggestions?

Regards,

The Satman
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 11:36:46 pm by Harry the Satman »

lemming86_au

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Re: Tuners and virtualization
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2011, 04:26:00 am »
What about using a HDHomeRun box?