Timeshifting hardware requirements - Server vs Client?

Discussion in 'General Support' started by Al Kinder, May 21, 2014.

  1. Al Kinder

    Al Kinder New Member

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    Hello I am new to using Media Portal and I would love some experienced community support.

    I wanted to define where the big hardware retirements are for HD Time-shifting and 1080p decoding lies. I would assume it would be mostly at the server end if running a server/client setup, but can anyone verify that as I may be building a new server for my setup.

    I have a low end HTPC that I would like to be just my client computer running a GUI interface. It is a AmD E-350/ Radeon 6310 / 4gb DDR3 setup that should be able to play 1080P fine, but I don't know if Time-shifting would cause more of a hardware tax on the client PC as well or if it is mainly all on the server PC.



    Thoughts?
     
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  3. Al Kinder

    Al Kinder New Member

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    Hey guys can anyone shed some light on this for me?
     
  4. mm1352000
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    mm1352000 Development Group

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    Hello Al

    On the server side the main load is usually on the HDD. The stream from the tuner is written to the HDD by the server and read by the client(s). The more streams you timeshift/record simultaneously, the higher the load on the HDD. This is why some people favour RAM disks (or in some cases SSDs - not recommended unless you know the consequences) for timeshifting over a traditional HDD.
    If you're decrypting channels in software then you'd also have load on the CPU to consider, but otherwise there is no concept of "decoding" on the server side.

    On the client side you have to decode and display the video + audio. This is usually a much bigger load than the server load. The video load is on the GPU if you have hardware accelerated video decoding support (DXVA) in the GPU hardware, GPU driver and video codec (decoder); otherwise the CPU has to do the work.

    Your AMD E-350 / 6310 can only usually decode 1080i/p if it uses the GPU. In other words it could be "okay" (not great) as a client as long as you ensure you use codecs with DXVA (LAV, ffdshow, Cyberlink, Microsoft DTV-DVD etc.). If you don't you'll find the video stutters as frames are dropped etc. etc. etc.

    As above: I think you should be more concerned about the client than the server. Timeshifting just involves buffering the stream on the HDD. Not a big deal unless you're trying to do it with lots of streams simultaneously and/or on old/slow/full HDDs and/or while other HDD-intensive processes (eg. virus scanning) are running.

    mm
     
  5. Al Kinder

    Al Kinder New Member

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    Thanks for the great answer. I hope you don't mind a follow up question.

    Is recording 1-2 streams over a 1gb network to a NAS feasible or is it not enough bandwidth?

    Last question is when using a device like a HDHOMERUN Prime with a digital cable card is any of the decoding done in the HDHOMERUN or is it all left to the client cpu/gpu as you spoke about?

    Thanks!~
     
  6. mm1352000
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    1Gb/s is plenty of bandwidth when you consider that an HD stream is possibly 10Mb/s. The bigger issue with recording to a NAS would be latency (ie. the length of time it takes for the data to be saved onto the NAS). I don't recommend recording direct to NAS, but some people do it and have no problem.

    The PRIME decrypts, but aside from that all the video decoding is done on the client.
    Using the PRIME with MP won't be a problem as long as the channels you want to view/record are not marked "copy once". Such channels would only be accessible from WMC or other software and hardware that has implemented an approved DRM (digital rights management) scheme.
     
  7. mr viggo
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    mr viggo MP Donator

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    I can record 10 SD streams to my nas without any issues or high load. HD streams is more data and I can only test 2 recordings at once, and that's no problem.
     
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