Author Topic: On the edge  (Read 1382 times)

wierdbeard65

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On the edge
« on: May 25, 2009, 05:09:57 pm »
Ok,

I'm off to MediaMarkt later on to get my bits and pieces to start the first part of my MCE system  ;D

I just need to confirm some things though.

1) I'm going for a dedicated core. As long as linux will run on it, I'm ok right? The motherboard concerns are only for MDs and hybrids? 2Gb RAM is more than enough, correct?
2) As I will be using DVB in the long-run, I need to use VDR not MYTH, yes? Can VDR do all the clever stuff? (Commercial removal, list of shows / films to record if / when they ever come on, making use of repeated shows if there is a clash in the recording schedule etc.) Or should I have a go at getting Myth to work?
3) I don't want to draw a distinction between ripped content, stuff downloaded from a torrent and stuff recorded off-air. I'm thinking of a BIG HDD for media and then a smaller one for OS / swap etc. Where in the Linux directory stucture should I mount my media drive? I'm assuming /home, but is this where VDR puts it's stuff too? (I know about the auto-mount, but, like I said, I want my TV recordings to make use of the same available space as my other sourced media. Alternatively, should I just go for one big drive (or array) rather than splitting off the OS?)
4) My first input will be from my STB (sky) which will be attached to my first MD. At the moment I'm only going to use SD, although I have just purchased an HD television and want something I can mount on its VESA mounting points. Which capture card would be my best bet? Once it is all up and running, I intend to upgrade to a quad LNB and put additional tuners in my core for extra recording / viewing capacity on the freeview channels.
5) Slightly odd question, I'm purchasing equipment in the Netherlands for use in the UK. Are the tv formats compatible? (I don't want my STB to refuse to talk nicely to my capture card!)
6) Common question, I know, but which MD? I'm looking for cheap, quiet and vesa-mountable. (Oh and with enough room to take the capture solution!)
7) 7.10 / 8.10? I know 8.10 is still Alpha, but I'm increasingly seeing postings either from people who are successfully using 8.10, or who are describing fun features which "need" some feature that comes with the later version. Like most people, I want stability, but also want the sexy stuff working  :) This is part of the reason I'm thinking 2 drives in Q3 above. Then I can go 7.10 now, unplug the media drive(s) when the time comes (to keep them safe  ;)) and then upgrade the system to 8.10.

I apologise to those of you who are fed up with the endless postings of "how about this motherboard" etc. I'm just looking for confirmation of what I think I understand from the various wiki and forum postings (especially some of the wonderful new entries - thanks guys!) before I go and spend any cash.
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

WhateverFits

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Re: On the edge
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 06:26:41 pm »
Ok,

I'm off to MediaMarkt later on to get my bits and pieces to start the first part of my MCE system  ;D

I just need to confirm some things though.

1) I'm going for a dedicated core. As long as linux will run on it, I'm ok right? The motherboard concerns are only for MDs and hybrids? 2Gb RAM is more than enough, correct?
3) I don't want to draw a distinction between ripped content, stuff downloaded from a torrent and stuff recorded off-air. I'm thinking of a BIG HDD for media and then a smaller one for OS / swap etc. Where in the Linux directory stucture should I mount my media drive? I'm assuming /home, but is this where VDR puts it's stuff too? (I know about the auto-mount, but, like I said, I want my TV recordings to make use of the same available space as my other sourced media. Alternatively, should I just go for one big drive (or array) rather than splitting off the OS?)
I'll answer the ones I know.

1 - I have a "recycled" PC for my Core. Pretty much anything goes. More CPU/Bandwidth/Disk IO required for more live recording than for playback (since most of that is at MD) so pretty much a decent system.
3 - Whatever hard disk you plug in will be used for media. The system doesn't really care if you have MP3s ripped DVDs or recorded TV shows on the drive. It will use it. That is all in there. I have my collection spread across 4 different drives and I can't tell what physical hardware they reside on until I try and sort by filename. You can just leave the drive blank and plug it in. After LinuxMCE is running it will notice the drive and add it to your collection of storage units. No need to mount it directly.

colinjones

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Re: On the edge
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 11:36:24 pm »
1) As long as it is compatible with Kubuntu 0710 and kernel 2.6.22-14 then you should be fine. 2GB is mountains of RAM.

2) No, you can use either. Myth has more features but VDR is better integrated with LMCE and more focused on DVB

3) Do not mount anything manually under any circumstances, you will break the system

wierdbeard65

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Re: On the edge
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 02:20:01 pm »
Thanks for the replies, chaps  :)

@colin: is there a simple comparison between Myth and VDR? You say Myth has "more features" but VDR is "better integrated", what are the implications of each? What will I not get if I choose one rather than the other?

Also, I'm confused over this whole mounting thing. You say not to manually mount anything, which I'm happy with, but the docs go on about the media being stored in the /home directory. A public directory for public files (!) and the individual directories for user's private files. If I add an HDD, where does MCE mount it? I guess my concern is that as I start ripping media / recording stuff, I want my nice big media HDD to house it rather than it filling up my OS drive due to /home being there. If it handles this by itself, then I'm happy.

Anyone have any thoughts on my other questions? Particularly, which capture card to link to my STB.

TIA (again!)
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

merkur2k

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Re: On the edge
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 04:14:33 pm »
LinuxMCE manages the drives for you automatically, mounting and unmounting them as needed. it creates all needed directories on them and makes them available in /home.

wierdbeard65

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Re: On the edge
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 05:40:04 pm »
Ah, I see (I think)! Thanks  :)

Does that mean that an NAS is also mounted in /home? Surely this leads to traffic issues since the MD will access the media from the core which in turn gets it from the NAS (so the data travels twice) or does th MD mount the NAS directly as well?

Also, are all the drives / volumes mounted all the time, or does it just mount them when you try to access them?

:D
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

tschak909

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Re: On the edge
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 09:27:52 pm »
Weirdbeard65, in short, we have one of the most intricate mounting/automounting setups in the history of mankind.

Recall that the system configuration is managed by a database, in which the schema sets up a tree structure detailing the relationship of each and every managed device in the house. This includes disk media.

We have device templates for networked (NFS, Samba) media, and locally attached media, as well as RAID arrays attached to the CORE or to an MD. These are read by the automounter, to determine two things:

(1) what am I mounting?
(2) where is this device in the house?

Since these devices have definite parents (NAS devices belong to the top level), we can determine if a device is local to the machine, or remote, and carry out the appropriate plumbing to do the appropriate mount command automatically. NAS devices, for example, are mounted directly to the media director over their network protocol. Internal disks on the CORE or other MDs are also mounted in this fashion, while local disks are simply locally mounted and exposed.

One exception,

If you _DO_ use a disk that is remote to the core that is local to another, disk access will be mitigated through the core because of the consolidating effect, but this is an edge case.

But really, unless you're wanting to improve this edge case, just use the system as it is intended and things will just work. Stop over thinking it, everything has been thought of.

-Thom

colinjones

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Re: On the edge
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 12:18:48 am »
Another piece of info that might help your understanding...

Once all the "plumbing" that Thom described is done, the remote media (like NAS's) is mounted in the /mnt/device/etc/etc folder and the symlinked into the /home/public/etc folders as appropriate. Thus all media is in exactly the same location/path locally on each MD as each other. This means that when an MD does a query for a selection of media (say based on Genre) the media file names and paths returned from the database are correct for that MD to access locally... ie it is transparent to the MD, all media appears to be local as far as the MD is concerned as we are reconstructing a mirrored media structure simplifying access and allowing all MDs to use the same global media library without having to work out where the media is. When an MD attempts to play some media, autofs dynamically mounts that drive, and so the symlink becomes active and serves up the media file to the playing device.