Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

Building my WHS, have some HTPC related questions.


JermLloyd
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello all, another lurker here. I've been around, reading your posts and listening to some of the podcasts, and am now getting around to building my first WHS. I have been a Windows Media Center enthusiast for several years and listen to the DMZ and Engadget HD guys religiously.

 

I started getting everything together to purchase for my server and realized that for the most part it was the same stuff I have in my HTPC. Here are those specs.

 

Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H

AMD Phenom II X2 560

8GB Corsair DDR3 1600 memory

2TB WD Caviar Black

Cooler Master 550w ps

Ceton InfiniTV 4

 

I was going to build a WHS with basically the same specs, except for upping to a 4 or 6 core Phenom II and adding a RocketRaid card with 3x2TB WD Green drives.

 

For my questions: (A) Is it true that WHS 2011 can be set to pull all of my recorded TV away from my HTPC when it finishes recording? Meaning there wouldn't be a need for a loud mechanical HD i the HTPC. (B) Is it true that I can install my InfiniTV 4 in a WHS and use the tuner sharing feature to access the tuners from my HTPC?

 

If this is the case, I think it would make more sense to build a new smaller, quieter HTPC with my existing 2 core Phenom, a small (~100gb) SSD and a new fanless PS. Then upgrade my existing setup to be my WHS with a bigger case, beefier Phenom, another 8gb RAM, RAID card and storage.

 

What do you all think? I don't think its going to save me any money, so if you think it will be more reliable to keep my InfiniTV in the HTPC or to scrap my delusion and just build a 2nd full power PC for WHS, please let me know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 27
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • pcdoc

    3

  • jmwills

    2

  • Renny

    4

  • JermLloyd

    13

Top Posters In This Topic

Also, I have wired gigabit (WNDR3700) throughout the house, serving the HTPC and an Xbox extender. Streaming up to 6 HD streams (4 recording, 2 being watched) shouldn't be an issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will still need a HDD in the HTPC but it does not have to be big or loud. I use a 160GB WD Black laptop drive for recorded TV and a 50GB SSD for the OS. And yes, the WHS will strip the recorded TV data from the HTPC on recording completion. Suggest you use a 7200 rpm drive for recording multiple shows simultaneously just to ensure no frames are dropped. Very easy to set up this feature.

 

I have no experience with the Ceton product (I live in Australia) however all I have heard indicated that you can share the tuners between devices. I think some people have the Ceton installed in a WHS but cannot confirm if this is optimal.

If you do install the Ceton in the WHS then you can dispense with a drive or partition for recording TV in the HTPC.

So with these observations in mind, I think your proposed strategy is a good one; ie. go low power on the HTPC and beef up the server.

BTW, I would personally use Blue drives rather than Green for the raid array, to me they feel a lot more responsive for not too much more cash.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had forgotten about the fact that historically it isn't good to rewrite over and over to an SSD. Is that still a problem? I thought I read somewhere that the newer drives were getting better at that.

 

I didn't want to go with Green drives but they are 2TB for $115 vs. 1TB for $93 for the Blue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In regards to the InfiniTV4, it can very easily be setup in WHS to be shared across the network. I currently have two InfiniTV4s in my WHS which are used by three HTPCs around my house. There some manual setup that you have to go through on the WHS side in order to make them discoverable on the network (at least back when I set them up), but the process on the HTPC is the same as having it installed locally. The Ceton utility sees the tuners and you simply select which ones you want to pair with that specific PC. I've been running this setup for quite some time now (close to a year, if not more) and can only think of one time that something froze up on the WHS server side and required a reboot. It's extremely reliable and HD streams to the various HTPCs are flawless. Good luck with your build!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had forgotten about the fact that historically it isn't good to rewrite over and over to an SSD. Is that still a problem? I thought I read somewhere that the newer drives were getting better at that.

 

I didn't want to go with Green drives but they are 2TB for $115 vs. 1TB for $93 for the Blue.

Newer SSDs are far more resilient in terms of ware these days but I would only use them for OS drives all the same due to cost considerations. What use do you propose for an SSD that would require a lot of writes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In regards to the InfiniTV4, it can very easily be setup in WHS to be shared across the network. I currently have two InfiniTV4s in my WHS which are used by three HTPCs around my house. There some manual setup that you have to go through on the WHS side in order to make them discoverable on the network (at least back when I set them up), but the process on the HTPC is the same as having it installed locally. The Ceton utility sees the tuners and you simply select which ones you want to pair with that specific PC. I've been running this setup for quite some time now (close to a year, if not more) and can only think of one time that something froze up on the WHS server side and required a reboot. It's extremely reliable and HD streams to the various HTPCs are flawless. Good luck with your build!

 

Does the tuning adapter go with the PC housing the tuners or with the PC using the tuners?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Newer SSDs are far more resilient in terms of ware these days but I would only use them for OS drives all the same due to cost considerations. What use do you propose for an SSD that would require a lot of writes?

 

I would be using the SSD for the OS and recordings, so that along with having finished recordings pulled away by the WHS would be a lot of read/writes. My primary reason for wanting a SSD was for less sound and heat. If it turns out that running a SSD for the OS and a small mechanical drive for recordings is better, I will probably not spend the money for the SSD. A 2.5" 320gb WD Black is only $60 and I use them in my laptops so I know they are quiet, that may be best.

 

I was also thinking that I could test the bandwidth the Ceton will use by sharing all 4 tuners to a notebook from the HTPC and setting 4 shows to record.

Edited by JermLloyd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK. I understand where you are coming from now. I use a spinning drive for recording only because I only have a 30GB SSD in the HTPC. I would hate to put you off using an SSD for the OS drive because it makes WMC very nimble and responsive. I would not be too concerned about the continuous writing to an SSD these days. Its more a question of getting one large enough to accommodate 2 or 3 (or 4?) simultaneous recordings before the data is moved to the WHS.

So as I see it, your options are either:

A larger SSD (say at least 120GB) or

A small SSD with a small Black Drive for recording

 

Life would be so much simpler if WMC was on WHS....sigh!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you record any encrypted shows you will want to keep the tuner on the HTPC - assuming that is where you will watch the recorded shows. Yes, WHS (both v1 and 2011) will archive recorded TV, and it works very well BUT only the PC that actually recorded the TV show can watch any ENCRYPTED (i.e. record/play once.) Most OTA (national) channels aren't encoded this way by cable providers, but many pay-per-view and premium channels are.

 

I'm a bit biased, but I'd recommend looking at the Samsung 5040UI hard drives over the WD greens. I have both, and the Samsung have caused me no grief about spinning down and becoming "lost" on my RocketRAID card but I did have that problem a couple times with WD Greens. They used to have an application that you could turn the spin-down time off so it wouldn't happen but they no longer allow that (speculation is to prevent users from using the much cheaper green drives in a RAID application but that is simply that - speculation.) Regardless the Samsungs at 5900 RPM are very quiet, VERY cool running, and very fast. I currently run 5 x2TBs in a RAID 5 and bought a 6th for a hot swap apare if I ever need it. Over a year now with nary a problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...