Guide To Building A Media Storage Server - Page 239 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

I just installed WHS 2011 on a 64GB SSD last weekend and other than creating the custom cfg.ini on a USB stick there was no other tweaking required. It worked out well for me since I was going to add a drive pool to D: so it was simple to move the serverfolders from C: to D:. Otherwise using the default 160GB minimum HDD install the serverfolders are already on D: so putting the pool there is more of a pain.

FYI, open Notepad and save this to a file named cfg.ini onto an NTFS formatted USB drive:

[WinPE]
ConfigDisk=1
CheckReqs=0
WindowsPartitionSize=MAX

Boot up the install disk with the USB drive inserted and your install will be placed on your < 160GB drive on a single partition.


Right. That would be "some tweaking".

You also should remap the default shares.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

Right. That would be "some tweaking".

You also should remap the default shares.

I did using the proper "Move Share" option in the Dashboard.

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Old 03-29-2012, 09:00 AM
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bryansj,

Thanks for the tip on the WHS2011 install.

Quick question though, I'm obviously very new to WHS2011, but will I be able to install other programs on WHS2011 (iTunes, office, mediascrapers, etc)?

I'm just having a hard time understanding the advantage to WHS11 vs Win7Ult. I understand that it does automatic backups of the other windows PC's in the house, but can't I do the same thing by simply setting up scheduled backups on those PC's and setting the target to be my server array? (keep in mind all other PC's are running Win7Ult, thanks to Technet )
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

bryansj,

Thanks for the tip on the WHS2011 install.

Quick question though, I'm obviously very new to WHS2011, but will I be able to install other programs on WHS2011 (iTunes, office, mediascrapers, etc)?

I'm just having a hard time understanding the advantage to WHS11 vs Win7Ult. I understand that it does automatic backups of the other windows PC's in the house, but can't I do the same thing by simply setting up scheduled backups on those PC's and setting the target to be my server array? (keep in mind all other PC's are running Win7Ult, thanks to Technet )

Yes. You can install other apps. That's why it makes a great media server OS.

WHS 2011 is built on Server 2008, with a few features like Active Directory not available. WHS also has a few additional security features. You can add plugins to WHS to do things like monitor your drives SMART reports, turn on your computers at a certain time, have them run a backup, and then turn them off again, etc... WHS can also expose any/all your server folders for the internet and allows you to remote stream your media files or add/delete files.
The backup mechanism is slightly different and the restore process is simplier with WHS. It's a cleaner and more centralized approach as well.
WHS will report on the status of all your computers to alert you to uninstalled Windows updates, drives being at or near full capacity, etc.
For anyone without a technet subscription, WHS is cheaper then a Win7 license.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

As for stability, you could go much longer without a reboot if necessary. Assuming you have no hardware failures, you should never need to reboot the system. FlexRaid offers a scheduler for updates, verifications, etc... but none of those require a reboot and are really the only maintenance action that takes place. For sanity, I recommend reviewing the logs on the local machine to ensure the SMART/etc... checks FlexRaid does doesn't show any errors or anything else of issue. FlexRaid does allow for email/sms notifications of errors or anomalies so from that perspective, no actual maintenance needs to occur.

Just wanted to mention, that while you COULD possibly go longer between reboots, it may not be wise if you want to keep up with the frequent security updates you tend to get with any Windows OS.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

bryansj,

Thanks for the tip on the WHS2011 install.

Quick question though, I'm obviously very new to WHS2011, but will I be able to install other programs on WHS2011 (iTunes, office, mediascrapers, etc)?

I'm just having a hard time understanding the advantage to WHS11 vs Win7Ult. I understand that it does automatic backups of the other windows PC's in the house, but can't I do the same thing by simply setting up scheduled backups on those PC's and setting the target to be my server array? (keep in mind all other PC's are running Win7Ult, thanks to Technet )

Looks like Lars answered your questions. I run MetaBrowser, CrashPlan, SecondCopy8, Homeseer, SABNZBD, and a security camera program on my WHS. I have StableBit DrivePool installed to pool my drives and duplicate important data.

You could do this with Win7 too, but the management tasks would all be done via RDP instead of the dashboard. I don't think Win7 will do a bare metal backup/restore of remote PCs unlike WHS.

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Old 03-29-2012, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

I don't think Win7 will do a bare metal backup/restore of remote PCs unlike WHS.

Another thing worthwhile in WHS's backup is that it uses single instance storage... if you have a lot of clients, your backup space doesn't grow significantly because the data that is common between them (OS, program files, etc.) only gets stored once regardless of how many clients have that data on them.

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Old 03-29-2012, 12:24 PM
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All,

Thank you for the add'l info on WHS11. I currently have 3 other PC's that would be backed up to the server array (whether it be Win7 or WHS). It sounds like WHS would be the most space efficient product to use for Backups.

Lars, you mentioned that WHS can be used to turn on your other computers, run a backup, then shutdown? Is there anything in particular that needs to be enabled for this to work? I typically shut down my machines, rather than standby.

bryansj, I'm fairly certain that Win7Ult will allow a bare metal backup from remote PC. I don't think that Win7Home will though.

So to summarize:

WHS advantages
Some add'l security features (I probably wouldn't use these)
Some add'l plugins (would potentially use the remote waking capability)
Ability to expose folders to internet (I wouldn't use this)
More efficient backup system (would be nice to have)
Reports on status of other systems (cool, but probably wouldn't use much)
Cleaner remote interface

So what are the disadvantages? There has to be something that WHS doesn't do as well as Win7Ultimate.

The other bit is that I currently have an extra license of Win7Ult, but would need to purchase WHS11. It's not a big deal, but if the extras are slight it might not be worth the cost? I guess I could always try it out and if it doesn't work, I can go with Win7Ult.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

FWIW, the things I've found to contribute the most to solve stuttering issues have been: scheduling demigrator to only run for a little bit at night when I won't be streaming, and disabling network throttling on the clients (google NetworkThrottlingIndex).

Darin,
Last night I finally got my WHS back up fully. It's one of the retail HP EX 470 systems, so you have to deal with a restore disc and no monitor for initial setup. In the past month, I've tried rebuilding it probably 4 times, with limited degrees of success. Mainly, I've been getting part way through the restore, to a point where I can RDP to the box, but the restore stops and doesn't finish all the services.

Last week I came across a thread to one of the problems I was experiencing with the Drive Pool Migrator service. It wouldn't start, and neither would Windows Backup. Both are required to run for the console to function. The thread had me delete my registry entries for each of my drives. That fixed my migrator service, but I never could get the backup to come up, and consequently, I could never get the console to come up. That also meant I could not install any of my add ins.

Yesterday I decided to take another shot at it. I think the big problem was the registry entries for the drives in my pool, because the restore went off without a single hitch. My WHS comes up, no error messages, all the services are functioning, etc.

Once I got that up, I looked into the network throttling that Darin mentioned. Simple registry fix. I briefly tried one of my blu-ray's streaming to my HTPC, and it worked well. Of course, I didn't always experience the problem before, so it's hard to say if it cured it all. I still need to look into the demigrator service Darin mentioned (Darin, can you provide some details to that) and scheduling it only for night, but at least my WHS is back up and running, and I seem to be off to a good weekend. Think I'll watch some movies!
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tmorgenthaler View Post

I still need to look into the demigrator service Darin mentioned (Darin, can you provide some details to that) and scheduling it only for night

It's a fairly simple matter of creating two .bat files, one that turns the service on, one that turns it off, then scheduling each one to run at certain times. There's a very detailed guide here. There's just a couple of caveats... you need to remember to manually turn the service back on when you need to remove a drive from the pool. Also, your WHS network health will always report as being "at risk", because WHS considers the fact that this service isn't running as an indication that there's a problem (so your WHS icon on your clients will be yellow instead of green). This is an issue that WHS doesn't let you ignore, like some others where you can just check the ignore box. Some have gotten around this issue by changing the .bat file to make it pause the service, instead of stop it. I tried that and had an issue with it, so I reverted back to stopping the service. I just live with the fact that WHS thinks there's a problem, when there really isn't.

Another nice benefit of doing this is this can help you get to the point where your drives can actually sleep without being spun back up every hour.

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Old 03-30-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

It's a fairly simple matter of creating two .bat files, one that turns the service on, one that turns it off, then scheduling each one to run at certain times. There's a very detailed guide here. There's just a couple of caveats... you need to remember to manually turn the service back on when you need to remove a drive from the pool. Also, your WHS network health will always report as being "at risk", because WHS considers the fact that this service isn't running as an indication that there's a problem (so your WHS icon on your clients will be yellow instead of green). This is an issue that WHS doesn't let you ignore, like some others where you can just check the ignore box. Some have gotten around this issue by changing the .bat file to make it pause the service, instead of stop it. I tried that and had an issue with it, so I reverted back to stopping the service. I just live with the fact that WHS thinks there's a problem, when there really isn't.

Another nice benefit of doing this is this can help you get to the point where your drives can actually sleep without being spun back up every hour.

Okay, reading the article on the link it looks like that is for duplication. I don't have any duplication enabled on my WHS, so it shouldn't affect me. If the disabling network throttling doesn't solve my problem, I can give that a shot.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:24 AM
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It's not just for duplication. It's also used for keeping data balanced between drives (i.e., if a drive gets too full, demigrator will move some of it to another drive). It will run every hour, whether you have duplication enabled or not. It may not actually move any data, but it will still fire up and at least check them. In your control panel you should see something to the effect of "storage last balanced at ...", and that will be the last time demigrator ran.

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Old 03-30-2012, 12:00 PM
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Okay,

So, the more I look into it, the more I think I'm going to stick with Win7 Ultimate instead of WHS2011. While I do think it would be great to have the single instance storage and multiple versions of system images available in WHS11, I don't want to have to worry about software not being compatible. With win7Ult I can achieve most all of what WHS11 can do and there is no worry about program compatibility. Further, with Win8 coming out at year end and all the tools that are inherent in it, I'll likely upgrade to Win 8 after a while anyway.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Okay,

So, the more I look into it, the more I think I'm going to stick with Win7 Ultimate instead of WHS2011. While I do think it would be great to have the single instance storage and multiple versions of system images available in WHS11, I don't want to have to worry about software not being compatible. With win7Ult I can achieve most all of what WHS11 can do and there is no worry about program compatibility. Further, with Win8 coming out at year end and all the tools that are inherent in it, I'll likely upgrade to Win 8 after a while anyway.

Not sure what you mean about software not being compatible.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:53 PM
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Lars,

Maybe I shouldn't have said incompatible as much as not specifically stating they support WHS11?

I've been reading about incompatibilities with certain software (antivirus for example) and in general, people have mentioned that it can be difficult to find software versions for WHS. Again, I'm very new to the server environment so I may be completely misunderstanding things. I just don't want to get into a situation where I can't install some application that I need because there is no WHS version for it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Lars,

Maybe I shouldn't have said incompatible as much as not specifically stating they support WHS11?

I've been reading about incompatibilities with certain software (antivirus for example) and in general, people have mentioned that it can be difficult to find software versions for WHS. Again, I'm very new to the server environment so I may be completely misunderstanding things. I just don't want to get into a situation where I can't install some application that I need because there is no WHS version for it.

AV is about the only thing that can have issues. There is a WHS AV.

There is no server specific version of anything. It's a server so I couldn't tell you if BF3 will run on it, but that's not what it's designed to do. I haven't heard of or run into any compatibility problems for any applications that would run in a HTPC or media storage capacity.

If you have a specific software concern, post it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:36 PM
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I run pretty basic stuff on the machine:

Adobe Reader
AVG for antivirus
Chrome
Crashplan for remote backups
DVDFab for ripping Discs
Flash
Girder for home automation
Hotspot Shield since I'm in Germany
ImgBurn for burning DVD's
Internet explorer
iTunes
Media Center Master for fetching metadata
Microsoft Office
WinRAR to unzip .rar files

And a couple of other small utilities.

Is there anything that WHS11 can't do compared to Win7Ult?
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:47 PM
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I run pretty basic stuff on the machine:



Is there anything that WHS11 can't do compared to Win7Ult?

AFAIK, it can't run Windows Media Center. To me, that's a pretty big one as my media storage server serves 2 purposes. One is to contain a bunch of hard drives to store music, movies, etc. The other is to record TV off a pair of Ceton InfiniTV 4 CableCard tuners.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Okay,

So, the more I look into it, the more I think I'm going to stick with Win7 Ultimate instead of WHS2011. While I do think it would be great to have the single instance storage and multiple versions of system images available in WHS11, I don't want to have to worry about software not being compatible. With win7Ult I can achieve most all of what WHS11 can do and there is no worry about program compatibility. Further, with Win8 coming out at year end and all the tools that are inherent in it, I'll likely upgrade to Win 8 after a while anyway.


When I built my 32 TB Server (Rackmount with 16 (2 tb) drives. Areca Hardware Raid 6. I used Win 7 ultimate and never looked back. The other software that I would have chosen would have been Windows Server 2008 R2. Actually, my Raid 6 controller doesn't run WHS2011. http://www.areca.com.tw/products/pcie341.htm Even with Raid 6. drives can fail. So I recommend that if you have a movie, music, then have it on CD, DVD, or BD-R. Keep an optical backup of your media. Tape backup is an option, but when you large media storage, then it is rather costly.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:17 PM
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When I built my 32 TB Server (Rackmount with 16 (2 tb) drives. Areca Hardware Raid 6. I used Win 7 ultimate and never looked back. The other software that I would have chosen would have been Windows Server 2008 R2. Actually, my Raid 6 controller doesn't run WHS2011. http://www.areca.com.tw/products/pcie341.htm Even with Raid 6. drives can fail. So I recommend that if you have a movie, music, then have it on CD, DVD, or BD-R. Keep an optical backup of your media. Tape backup is an option, but when you large media storage, then it is rather costly.

WHS2011 is built on 2008 RC2 with a few things taken out, like AD.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:55 PM
 
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WHS2011 is built on 2008 RC2 with a few things taken out, like AD.

Why would I fix something that is not broke? The only issue that I have with all Windows products is copying from my computer to server. I think this would be the best option... http://davidhunt.ie/wp/?p=232
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:34 PM
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Why would I fix something that is not broke? The only issue that I have with all Windows products is copying from my computer to server. I think this would be the best option... http://davidhunt.ie/wp/?p=232

I don't believe I said you should fix anything.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Okay,

So, the more I look into it, the more I think I'm going to stick with Win7 Ultimate instead of WHS2011. While I do think it would be great to have the single instance storage and multiple versions of system images available in WHS11, I don't want to have to worry about software not being compatible. With win7Ult I can achieve most all of what WHS11 can do and there is no worry about program compatibility. Further, with Win8 coming out at year end and all the tools that are inherent in it, I'll likely upgrade to Win 8 after a while anyway.

I came to the same conclusion you did, but I still wanted the ease of WHS2011 for PC backups. So I chose W7 Ultimate x64 and run WHS 2011 inside of a Oracle Box VM. It has worked awesome.

My entire server is built in a Norco chassis with 13tb running flexraid for pooling and snapshot raid of my video files.

Just wish i could get cable card working reliably with Sage but thats another story
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Looks like Lars answered your questions. I run MetaBrowser, CrashPlan, SecondCopy8, Homeseer, SABNZBD, and a security camera program on my WHS. I have StableBit DrivePool installed to pool my drives and duplicate important data.

You could do this with Win7 too, but the management tasks would all be done via RDP instead of the dashboard. I don't think Win7 will do a bare metal backup/restore of remote PCs unlike WHS.

We have Security Cameras (RG6 I think and capture card + Software) running on my mother's PC. I would like to move that to the server. What all do I need to do this and does the software to view the cameras, change view and all that run on the client or the server itself?

Sorry for the confusion.

Also I'm considering installing uTorrent and SABNZBD for Newsgroups soon, you run that from the Dashboard or via client control? I know you can control uTorrent from a mobile device (Android)

About the backups, make sure WHS cleans up older backups to save disk space.

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Old 03-31-2012, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post

AFAIK, it can't run Windows Media Center. To me, that's a pretty big one as my media storage server serves 2 purposes. One is to contain a bunch of hard drives to store music, movies, etc. The other is to record TV off a pair of Ceton InfiniTV 4 CableCard tuners.

Well... Somebody has tuners running and recording in WHS 2011. I forgot which Home Server web site it was on but it works. Its not Media Center but is that really a problem if your server put it into the Recorded TV Archive or Video folder?

While it would be nice to centralize all media duty to the server, it can do 90% of it save for tuning channels and running a guide. I think that's a compromise I can live with.

The only other option was running some type of standard desktop OS or Linux Server Distro and MythTV running on the backend, which would have been the best combined option IMHO.

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Old 03-31-2012, 04:23 PM
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Well... Somebody has tuners running and recording in WHS 2011. I forgot which Home Server web site it was on but it works. Its not Media Center but is that really a problem if your server put it into the Recorded TV Archive or Video folder?

Given that CableCard tuners will only fully work with Windows Media Center, yes it's most definitely a problem. The CableCard tuners can be used in a somewhat limited capacity outside of WMC, but no Copy Once channels can be recorded which is a problem for those who have cable systems that mark nearly everything Copy Once or want to record premium content. AND the Copy Once recordings can only be played on the PC it was originally recorded on (or an extender, such as an XBOX). If one only cares about recording OTA HD programming, then yeah there are options other than WMC that could be used to do the recording.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post

Given that CableCard tuners will only fully work with Windows Media Center, yes it's most definitely a problem. The CableCard tuners can be used in a somewhat limited capacity outside of WMC, but no Copy Once channels can be recorded which is a problem for those who have cable systems that mark nearly everything Copy Once or want to record premium content. AND the Copy Once recordings can only be played on the PC it was originally recorded on (or an extender, such as an XBOX). If one only cares about recording OTA HD programming, then yeah there are options other than WMC that could be used to do the recording.

What you just explained is simple = DRM sucks!

Depending on what you watch if somebody else just HAS to watch it while your watching the TV with the HTPC that recorded the content, its available "other' ways including streaming directly from CBS web sites (sometimes available via Internet TV) for example. Not to mention "T" and Newsgroups.

To me that rides right into cutting the cord. Save for the NFL which in Los Angeles means two things; If the Raiders (my team) is doing well, we get them the majority of the time. If not, we get The Chargers (yuck) but we often do get the big national game in the morning, plus the NBC Sunday Night Game. All that can be had OTA, but until recently we've had NFL Sunday Ticket and that was never an issue. While you can get NFL RedZone on most of the other systems, you can also sub to streaming RedZone if your a DirecTV sub for I think $60 a month.

We can otherwise cut the cord and save that $100+ a month we spend on DirecTV. Since my father is a big fan of old B&W Westerns via Encore/Starz, I don't know if that content is available on Antenna TV or UHF Archives.

So I honestly don't see much advantage to using cable card tuners other than better integration but you have to run Windows for the Ceton. You can run MythTV for HomeRun's Cable Card tuner but that same Copy Once content will be blocked.

So there is no "perfect" answer to this. Everything has a compromise.

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Old 03-31-2012, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

What you just explained is simple = DRM sucks!

Depending on what you watch if somebody else just HAS to watch it while your watching the TV with the HTPC that recorded the content, its available "other' ways including streaming directly from CBS web sites (sometimes available via Internet TV) for example. Not to mention "T" and Newsgroups.

To me that rides right into cutting the cord. Save for the NFL which in Los Angeles means two things; If the Raiders (my team) is doing well, we get them the majority of the time. If not, we get The Chargers (yuck) but we often do get the big national game in the morning, plus the NBC Sunday Night Game. All that can be had OTA, but until recently we've had NFL Sunday Ticket and that was never an issue. While you can get NFL RedZone on most of the other systems, you can also sub to streaming RedZone if your a DirecTV sub for I think $60 a month.

We can otherwise cut the cord and save that $100+ a month we spend on DirecTV. Since my father is a big fan of old B&W Westerns via Encore/Starz, I don't know if that content is available on Antenna TV or UHF Archives.

So I honestly don't see much advantage to using cable card tuners other than better integration but you have to run Windows for the Ceton. You can run MythTV for HomeRun's Cable Card tuner but that same Copy Once content will be blocked.

So there is no "perfect" answer to this. Everything has a compromise.

I'm perfectly happy with my solution, thanks. I was just explaining why Windows Media Center is a requirement for MY needs. I have no interest in tracking down (quite often crappy quality, at that) versions of the shows I want to watch in order to "cut the cord" (btw, I hate that term because there's still a "cord" for an antenna or internet connection...). Hockey (the only sport I really care about) pretty much requires a cable TV subscription as the streaming options would look absolutely horrible on my 82" display (as do most of the other streaming options for other shows when compared to the OTA or Cable feeds) and only a handful of the games each season are available OTA. In my particular case, most of my cable TV channels are actually marked Copy Freely as I'm a FIOS subscriber, so the Copy Once flag isn't really a big issue for me.

But like I said, I'm happy with the solution I'm using - I was just explaining why WMC is a requirement for some people.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:37 PM
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Could try using DNTV Scheduler Pro 2 to setup a DVR in WHS 2011. I received it with my TV tuner card but haven't played around with it as I've been using WMC. I've read some good comments. It may be more focused at the Australian market. You can get a trial from:

http://www.digitalnow.com.au/DNTVscheduler.html

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Old 03-31-2012, 10:36 PM
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I am looking for cable management solution for my Chenbro RM41416. I see there is Intel Universal 3U-7U Rack Mode Cable Management Arm. However I am unable to find mounting instructions to see if it is compatible with Chenbro chassis. Can I fix it to chassis or does it need special rail? Are there any other solutions available?

I wrote to Chenbro a while ago with this question but they did not respond. I would not recommend to buy their products due to poor support service.
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