New Setup - Advice/Help Wanted (1 Viewer)

Simfreak

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Hi All,

I'm new to media portal and wanted to get advice from the community before I spent hours and tons of cash trying to get this to work;
Originally I had sagetv, which after litterally 3 years and a few 'k' (expensive hobby this is) finally had perfect until they were bought by google and i couldnt add a new licence for a guest room; After that i became discruntaled and just paid for a DirecTV DVR with the whole home and called it a day. Fast forward a year and now im getting a little tired with the 5 second delay for FF/RW/Play, the lack of comskipping and no means of remote placeshifting; All of which worked great on sage....
I was going to go the route of myth, but im not a super linux fan which led me here.

So enough with the background lets get to the fun stuff.
Requirements:
Commercial skipping (I already paid for comskip);
Remote placeshifting; I travel a lot and it would be nice to watch my recordings on the road. Plus my work is pretty lax, so if there is a baseball game on or something they dont mind us watching as long as the work gets done.
Network Reciever control; I have done the serial route before and could again if i absolutely had to, but since the mini-itx board only supports 1 pci card, i would rather use that for raid then the 4 port serial card i have.
Everything else im pretty sure MP can handle.
Does MP integrate with any newsbins? Someone at work swears by it and turned off all his TV subs and relies on that 100%. Im stuck with DTV because im a Sunday Ticket Sub, and i cant bring myself to watching 'recorded' sports.

Equipment:
I have 3 DirecTV recivers (all can be located in a closet in my computer room);
3 HDPVR's
Server is a i5 660 w/ 8GB ram, LSI RAID card and 4 1.5 7.2k drives in RAID5; win7 x64 ENT
The frontends are going to be Zotac ZBOX ID-82 (i had other ones that were atom/Fusion based but couldnt keep up on 1080p 10bit encodes);
Network is all Cat6 1GB.

Where i get lost is what i should start with when it comes to MP; Based on what i put above, i will need to use several plugins to achive what I want and those plugins have varying levels of compatibility;

So I guess some helpful advice from those that have been down this road before; What can i do to prevent pulling my hair out, is all of this possible with what is available today what to avoid, if there are config files out there that you can just import etc.. I dont want to be stuck like i was with Sage where i invested maaaannnyyyy hours and tons of cash to just have the rug pulled out.

Thanks for reading, hope this all works out :)
 

Paranoid Delusion

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    Hi Simfreak

    'll answer as much as I can ;)

    Commercial skipping (I already paid for comskip);

    Use it all the time :D

    Remote placeshifting; I travel a lot and it would be nice to watch my recordings on the road. Plus my work is pretty lax, so if there is a baseball game on or something they dont mind us watching as long as the work gets done.

    Have a look here for mobile services https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/categories/popular-plugins.515/

    At least one should meet your needs.

    Network Reciever control; I have done the serial route before and could again if i absolutely had to, but since the mini-itx board only supports 1 pci card, i would rather use that for raid then the 4 port serial card i have.

    Really not sure what you mean exactly by this, is it a set top box (STB) you are trying to control.

    Regards
     

    Simfreak

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    For the STB questions see > https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/television/directv-shef-ip-control which looks like it will work; but looking for anyone with experiance using it. How fast does it change channels, is it faster or slower than serial etc.
    For the remote place shifting, does any one have experiance with it and MP? The most specific thing is shifting live tv and how hard is it to setup etc. I know with sage the coolest thing was sitting in a bar in Russia at 2 AM with a pint watching a NFL game from my laptop.
    For comskip is there anything i need to know, or just replace the comskip file that comes with MP with one from the doners section? Since i have HDPVR's they output with x264;
     

    gtfreymann

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    Originally I had sagetv, Fast forward a year and now im getting a little tired with the 5 second delay for FF/RW/Play, the lack of comskipping and no means of remote placeshifting; All of which worked great on sage....

    I came from SageTV to MePo as well. Welcome :)

    Commercial skipping (I already paid for comskip);

    This was relatively easy to setup. Search the Wiki or Forums and you should find what needs to be done, which isn't much.

    Remote placeshifting

    Check the Plugins section.

    Network Reciever control

    Not sure about this. If you are using external set top boxes, you can control them with IR. A typical Microsoft IR Transceiver will only control up to two receivers mind you. Since you have 3 I'm not sure how'd you control the third one. There is information on how to setup up the IR Blaster stuff. It's not easy to get going but it works.

    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...s/IRSS_(IR_Server_Suite)/Set_Top_Box_Blasting

    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/...-mexico-epg-plugin-updated-august-2010.26951/

    http://code.google.com/p/mp-schedulesdirect/wiki/SupportForTheTvDbCom

    With MePo up to 1.3Beta it's quite easy to get up and running. You'll want some basic plugins that will do all the nice things we had with SageTV, and they are all free.

    This MePo Setup Guide

    http://office.homefrontus.com/mediaportal/index.html

    saved me loads of work when I got started with MePo. It's a bit out of date, so you should likely fetch all the plugins from the MePo website yourself, and make sure, if you are using MePo 1.3B that they are compatible. Being in Canada all the fancy music sites aren't available to me so I skipped them.

    Use the Extension Manager to install PlugIns. It's an icon on your desktop that appears after you've installed. It will save you lots of time.

    Off the top of my head you'll want:

    comskip
    fanart handler
    moving pictures
    tv series
    schedules direct
    IR Server Suite, TV3 Blaster Plugin
    onlinevideos

    Some interesting plugins I had to use to keep track of what was watched, etc:

    follw-it
    last.fm
    track-it

    The music scrobbler requires an account at last.fm

    If you use the built-in MyVideos, it creates its own database on every machine and if you have multiple clients, you have to manually trigger a scan on all of them to keep the db update. This will show you everything on your hard drive if you use the Shares view, but if you switch to any other view it requires the movie to be catalogued before you can see it. This was confusing to me as SageTV had one central database that all the clients used. MePo 1.x builds this db locally on each client and is a real pita.

    Moving Pictures is another great Movie handler but guess what? It too creates a local db of the movies it catalogs, and it's separate from MyVideos, so now you have two programs accessing the internet to catalog your movies on every machine.

    The new MyVideos in 1.3 is awesome and you can likely get away with just using it exclusively if that helps.

    Oh, the same goes for TV-Series. It writes its own db on the local machine. I hear this may change with MePo 2.

    I started out with one Server/Client managing two Bell SD Receivers and 4-6 clients in the house. Now I just use MePo to serve media and dropped the LiveTV part completely, so each machine storing its own databases for movies and tv series will likely have to stay for me as there is no longer one machine on 100% of the time.

    We loved SageTV, and I think that was our favourite (I tried a lot of HTPC software), but here is Media Portal (MePo for short) and it is quite amazing too.
     

    Simfreak

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    Thanks for the comments;
    I havent had a ton of time to play with this so far but i did get the network channel changing to work; I have newer HD receivers that have the built in network jacks so you can configure them with IP address, the SHEF plugin allows you to change the channel using the network instead of IR or serial. Works really well.
    I havent started with comskip yet, maybe i will give that a try this weekend. Right now i have a spare receiver i am using to test this all out with..

    As far as 1.3b goes. I thought the schedules direct plugin didnt work with it? When i tried it said that it wasnt the right version and needed 1.2.3.2 or something like that.
    If someone got the SD plugin to work with 1.3 i would rather use that since everything i have is HD.
     

    sjevtic

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    Thanks for the comments;
    I havent had a ton of time to play with this so far but i did get the network channel changing to work; I have newer HD receivers that have the built in network jacks so you can configure them with IP address, the SHEF plugin allows you to change the channel using the network instead of IR or serial. Works really well.
    I havent started with comskip yet, maybe i will give that a try this weekend. Right now i have a spare receiver i am using to test this all out with..

    As far as 1.3b goes. I thought the schedules direct plugin didnt work with it? When i tried it said that it wasnt the right version and needed 1.2.3.2 or something like that.
    If someone got the SD plugin to work with 1.3 i would rather use that since everything i have is HD.
    I've got a similar setup to you--DirecTV receivers and Colossus cards (very similar to HD-PVR), and use SD for EPG. I'm using MP 1.3.0 beta and it all works pretty well.

    The only hiccup I had was a failure in setting the channel over the network the first time the receiver is powered up. The plugin that handles that seems to have some aggressive timing in it that was causing an issue, though I'm not sure why they didn't surface until I upgraded from TV-Server from 1.2.3 to 1.3.0 beta.

    The SD plugin is working nicely on TV-Server 1.3.0 beta, though it was already installed on my 1.2.3 setup before I upgraded. So, if you're having issues installing, you could always pretend you're me: set up TV-Server 1.2.3, install the plugin, and then upgrade TV-Server to 1.3.0.

    Sasha
     

    Simfreak

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    Upgrading seemed to work :)

    Now here comes the next question: Performance.
    I am noticing a lot of stuttering (watching the nfl play offs right now);
    I know its not hardware related; The Server is running at 1% and the client maybe 3%. The client is dual 680s in SLI and a i7 so i dont think thats it. The network is cat6 gb, so thats not it either.
    I do notice that the client is only getting data at only 1.5MBs; or 12mbs. I am using HDPVR's
    The HDPVR's can record up to something like 15MB's Is there a way to adjust mediaportal to enocode at a higherbit rate? Also stream to the client at a higher bitrate?
    Also
    I am using the built in LAV for everything. Should i change it? The native file for the HDPVR is a TS stream;
    Thanks!
     

    kiwijunglist

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    press shift+1 during video playback

    also make sure display freq = fps of video/tv

    MePo tvserver doesn't encode/decode video it just writes the video data in the exact same way/format it is presented by the tvtuner.
     
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    Simfreak

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    shift + 1
    Rptd FPS = 29.970 Detd ~60 (59.91xx)
    If it doesnt transcode, then whats the purpose of rt click > quality settings > constant bitrate > low - high?

    Also still need to know if I can adjust the recording quality; changing the above to high increased the throughput to about 2MBs but 2MBs with 1080p is very grainy. When i use the HDPVR with ARCsoft and record something off of the tv @ the full supported rate, it looks really good.
     

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