Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

64k Block size for video?


webapprentice
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently moved my SageTV installation to a WHS server. On my past server I followed all the recommended solutions to optimize it. One thing SageTV support really pushes is to format your hard drive using 64k block size. This apparently helps with fragmentation which helps with recording and playback.
I have seen several posts on SageTV about how to format your drive on a WHS box server but it really complicated and has left some people with rebuilding their servers
I am just curious since many of you stream and maybe record to your WHS boxes do you think it is necessary?
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40770&highlight=64k+whs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say this one is a judgment call depending on your intended usage. I don't use SageTV but I do stream video, and I have not had any issues. I can see how it would be a problem if the number of streams or the bitrate per stream goes up though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am currently running SageTV on my WHS. I have 1 drive that I did not add to the pool that formatted to 64K block size. I use this drive exclusively for recording SageTV shows.

However, I also had a large number of DVD movies stored on my server. These are all in the video folder on the pooled hard drives. I did nothing special to these drives and I let WHS take care of them. No video stuttering and no issues seen so far.

To be clear, I have had video stuttering when streaming from my server. However, if I look at the processor when it is happening it is running 100% and more than likely demigrator is running. I don't think it would be fair to blame that on hard disk block size.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I will try adding a drive outside the pool. I was also wondering if it is file fragmentation that may cause issues with record/playback would running something like diskeeper help to reduce this issue? I know many believe defrag programs are smoke and mirrors.
Thanks again for the suggestion of the not pooling a drive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

making a drive 64k is very easy at the time of adding a drive. it basically involves only reformatting the drive immediately after adding it to the pool.

I just rebuilt my server and have done all my drives as 64k. I'm noticing a huge amount of my stutter issues have gone away on recorded tv files. you won't notice a difference in the playback of any other file types because 64k only helps on recorded tv files.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what is the difference between recorded tv files and ripped movies? Why would it be different for the two?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John mentioned a utility called 'Contig'. This small app is from Mark Rusinovich who now works for Microsoft. I have a reg hack that let's you right-click on a file, folder, or drive and defrag it. Handy if you want to defrag a movie, for instance, and don't want to defrag the whole drive to do it.

What you do is put Contig into a folder called 'Defrag' and stick the folder directly on the C:\ drive ( like so - C:\Defrag ). Next, enter the two reg settings that you'll now create. First, open Notepad. Then copy/paste the code below and save each one as a .reg file. Finally, double-click the .reg files you just created to enter them into the registry. Good to go. No reboot necessary.

This first entry lets you defrag a single file -

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\contig]
@="Contig - defrag this file"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\contig\command]
@="\"C:\\Defrag\\contig.exe\" \"%1\""

This 2nd entry let's you defrag a folder or entire partition -

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\contig]
@="Contig - defrag this folder or drive"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\contig\command]
@="\"C:\\Defrag\\contig.exe\" -v -s \"%1\\*\""

------------------------------------------------

*This works on 2000, WHS and XP. It also works on Vista and Win 7 if the UAC is turned off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ittog the difference is in the fact that you're recording a hi-def stream from a tuner and not doing a file copy. the file copy can have parity checks, but the recorded tv can't. the 64k cluster size allows for more data to fill the block before it moves on to the next block. in between block transitions, data can spill out. on a file copy, windows can recognize that data is "spilled".

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...