Save Windows Media Center Recorded OTA shows to network share? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a HTPC running Windows 8 and another HTPC running Windows 7. Both have latest version of WMC installed. I have a HD Homerun setup on my network. I get fantastic reception on antenna and want to start recording shows. I need a way to record shows so they can be accessed via WMC from either of these machines on my WHS 2011. I want the files stored on my WHS because I have tons(4-8TB) of free space on that machine. On these HTPC I do not have lots of free space... they each are running SSD and that can fill up quickly with HD recordings.

I have done some research online and it appears that WMC does not like saving/writing to anything but a local drive. I guess because of stability. that should not be an issue for me. I am completely wired with CAT6 all over my house. I get 100MBs transfer speeds from these machines to my server.

There should be a way to accomplish this. I am not intested in doing a robocopy process from the HTPC to the server because the machines are not on all the time. I dont want to turn a machine off only to find it is in the middle of copying something. Or turn it on only to find that the file was not copied because the machine was off. I also want something simple (automated) after it is initially setup.

Please help....
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post #2 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 11:16 AM
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You can copy the recordings to your server and watch from either PC and configure WMC to monitor the share(s).

You can also set a nightly task to move your local recordings to the server.

The only issue I have ever run into was metadata: running time showing as 1 min, incorrect title, episode title missing, etc.

There are also programs that can cut out commercials.

I still have my recordings from my old HTPCs stored on my server.

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post #3 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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How do I configure wmc to monitor the share?
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post #4 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 12:41 PM
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You guys are gonna make me work.....tongue.gif

There's 3 parts to this:

1. A scheduled task - Here's the actual XML that you can import directly into WIndows Task Scheduler, AFTER modifying it of course, and saving it as an XML file.
Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>
<Task version="1.2" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/windows/2004/02/mit/task">
  <RegistrationInfo>
    <Date>2013-08-15T19:02:18.6903215</Date>
    <Author>computername\username</Author>
  </RegistrationInfo>
  <Triggers>
    <CalendarTrigger>
      <StartBoundary>2013-08-15T03:00:00</StartBoundary>
      <Enabled>true</Enabled>
      <ScheduleByDay>
        <DaysInterval>1</DaysInterval>
      </ScheduleByDay>
    </CalendarTrigger>
  </Triggers>
  <Principals>
    <Principal id="Author">
      <UserId>username</UserId>
      <LogonType>InteractiveToken</LogonType>
      <RunLevel>LeastPrivilege</RunLevel>
    </Principal>
  </Principals>
  <Settings>
    <MultipleInstancesPolicy>IgnoreNew</MultipleInstancesPolicy>
    <DisallowStartIfOnBatteries>true</DisallowStartIfOnBatteries>
    <StopIfGoingOnBatteries>false</StopIfGoingOnBatteries>
    <AllowHardTerminate>true</AllowHardTerminate>
    <StartWhenAvailable>true</StartWhenAvailable>
    <RunOnlyIfNetworkAvailable>false</RunOnlyIfNetworkAvailable>
    <IdleSettings>
      <StopOnIdleEnd>true</StopOnIdleEnd>
      <RestartOnIdle>false</RestartOnIdle>
    </IdleSettings>
    <AllowStartOnDemand>true</AllowStartOnDemand>
    <Enabled>true</Enabled>
    <Hidden>false</Hidden>
    <RunOnlyIfIdle>false</RunOnlyIfIdle>
    <WakeToRun>true</WakeToRun>
    <ExecutionTimeLimit>P3D</ExecutionTimeLimit>
    <Priority>7</Priority>
  </Settings>
  <Actions Context="Author">
    <Exec>
      <Command>C:\Windows\System32\Robocopy.exe</Command>
      <Arguments>"C:\Users\Public\Recorded TV" "\\servername\RecordedTVFolderShare" *.wtv /MIN:5000000 /MOVE /IS /R:0 /w:0 /NP /NFL /NJH /NJS</Arguments>
    </Exec>
  </Actions>
</Task>

In this code, change:

- computername - with your actual computer name
- username - with the username of the user that you login with on the computer above. This user needs to have rights on your server AS WELL, to write/delete files. Preferable an Administrator on the media center computer, or customize as you like it.
- If Robocopy is not installed in the default location, change that location. (C:\Windows\System32\Robocopy.exe)
- If the recorded TV folder (C:\Users\Public\Recorded TV) is not the default, change that.
- servername with your actual server name.
- RecordedTVFolderShare with the actual share name from your server where the recordings are stored.
- The task is set to run at 3:00 AM, change that if you want. (03:00:00)

- Save file as XML, import into Task Scheduler, double check, everything is as it should be, save the task. Done.

2. Modify settings on your server so that Media Center Recorded TV library can enumerate your recordings anonymously. (Which is how it does it by default). If you have changed your service settings, this may not apply.

Quote:
Settings for Windows Home Server
From WHS Console add a share folder call "Recorded TV" to WHS default shared folders.

1: In Run, type "gpedit.msc", then click OK .
Then go to Computer Configuration> Windows Settings> Security Settings> Local Policies> Security Options
Find the entry "Network access: Let Everyone permissions also apply to anonymous users", double click and set to "Enabled"

2: Then in the same location in gpedit.msc Computer Configuration> Windows Settings> Security Settings> Local Policies> Security Options. Find the entry "Shares that can be accessed anonymously" double click and add the value "Recorded TV" at the end of the existing entries, then click OK.

3: Reboot WHS.

4: Log on then Log off DO NOT REBOOT WHS the Share Permissions and Security Permissions will be removed if you reboot, there is a batch file to fix the problem see below ).


3. On the Media Center computer - This part is easy. Go to the Recorded TV Media Library and add a location that points to your network share. Done.
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post #5 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 03:18 PM
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I thought the WHS connector for WMC allowed you to auto-archive recordings to another location? I certainly used this feature in WHSv1, but haven't yet in WHS2011. Is this feature still available?

You could set particular shows to auto-archive or do it manually, and from the Recordings screen, you could see and access both locations seamlessly, or from another WMC, see the same location.
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post #6 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 04:01 PM
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everyone, please go back and read the initial post in its entirety. read it as many times as required to understand him. he doesn't want to do any of this; he wants to record directly to his server.

And he thinks there *must* be a mechanism to do this.

There's not, but you should also post this over in the green button.tv forums just to satisfy your curiosity.

Some people are putting the tuner into Server to accomplish this; they're running VMs. That works. I think the success comes from using network tuners, not PCIe tuners.
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post #7 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 04:07 PM
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I found this guide somewhere on the interwebs. Never tried it
Code:
1) I have been working on this problem for the last few days and I have come up with a very easy solution. Go to windows services (services.msc from a command prompt as an administrator) and make sure that the "Windows Media Center Receiver Service" and the "Windows Media Center Scheduler Service" are both stopped then browse to the c:\users\public\Recorded TV folder and back up your recordings. Delete the Recorded TV folder. Open a command prompt as an administrator and navigate to c:\users\public (CD c:\users\public) then type in mklink /d "Recorded TV" \\server\path. Dont forget to put the path in double quotes if you have any spaces in the name of the share. Go to the server share that you want to use as your Recorded TV folder and grant the user account "Anyone" full control.

Make sure that you are recording to the default location (c:\users\public\Recorded TV). You can check this in the registry in "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording".

2) Actually it is possible to record to a Network Drive.
Here's how to do it:
1. Share the network drive
2. Make a New Folder on the Network Drive called Recorded TV
3. In WMC go to Tasks Settings, then TV, then Recorder, then Media Libraries, and finally "Add Folders to the Library", and complete the addition
3. Add a share folder to WMC \\share\XXX\Recorded TV
4. Copy the content of your Recorded TV folder to \\share\XXX\Recorded TV
5. Delete the original c:\drive\public\Recorded TV folder or whatever folder you originally setup WMC to record to
That's it.  Now all recordings and playback will occur from the Network drive.
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post #8 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 04:14 PM
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I believe WHS 2011 supports iSCSI (in some form) which allows you record directly to the remote (shared) drive. If it only supports a single client it won't help regarding sharing the recordings among two PCs. In my case with the cost of storage being so low (nowadays) I simply dropped a drive in one of the HTPCs and added its share to the other.


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post #9 of 42 Old 08-16-2013, 07:55 PM
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iSCSI is a point to point block level protocol. Your HDD may be in a different location with iSCSI, but for all practical purposes, it is still in the HTPC. It doesn't offer any advantage in this scenario.

I did read the OPs post with him/her not wanting to do Robocopy...but guess what? That's precisely what the WHS TV Archive does as well. No different from using your own script. With your own script you have more control, and the WHS client connector has all sorts of other issues...like S3 sleep, or lack thereof.

When you use a Scheduled Task, you can set it to wake up your computer, so it doesn't have to be on all the time. And if you configure WOL on your server PC, it is a simple matter to include a magic packet command in the script, that will wake up the server as well.

I'm not sure where the "no robocopy" came from, or why, but I see no reason not to use it. This script/task has been running on my Media Centers for neigh on...5 years or so, without a hiccup.
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post #10 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 03:50 AM
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It's as plain as the nose on your face: his PCs have SSD, and he doesn't want to use them to do recordings, even temporarily. I don't blame him.

I think to shove the robocopy thing down his throat without even acknowledging his request was rude.

Back to the original point: if WMC can't do this, can other TV recording software do this? NextPVR, maybe? I think so. And it integrates with XBMC, so you have choices on front ends.
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post #11 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate all the feedback. Adam is right though. I do not want to store locally then copy. If wmc wont do what i want perhaps i am better off looking else where.

I do have xbmc setup on both machines. I have not heard much about next pvr or other pvr software but I am open to the idea of using that or at least giving it a shot to see if that will meet my needs. Will it function with an hdhomerun? Any preferences.
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post #12 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 04:22 AM
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TV recording is why I made my HTPC a "Server" since it needs to stay on to record TV and serve my Extenders. I just installed large hard drives for the recorded TV and media. I have another machine to back it all up. I know you can get a PC to wake up and record, but I never found a good way to get my PC to wake up for an Extender.

If the OP doesn't like the Robocopy solution, another recommendation is just to install a 2TB drive in the Windows 8 machine to store and share the Recordings. The other machines can then access the recordings through the Recorded TV share. This is what I do on my other machines (Mac and PC). I use XBMC on my Macs to play the .WTV files.

If the OP wants to stick to his plan, I've seen some people use iSCSI to solve this problem, but it isn't foolproof. Sometimes a connection isn't made during a boot of the recording PC, resulting in lost recordings.
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post #13 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I appreciate all the feedback. Adam is right though. I do not want to store locally then copy. If wmc wont do what i want perhaps i am better off looking else where.

I do have xbmc setup on both machines. I have not heard much about next pvr or other pvr software but I am open to the idea of using that or at least giving it a shot to see if that will meet my needs. Will it function with an hdhomerun? Any preferences.

Yes, it's my understanding from the NextPVR forums that the HDHomeRun (ATSC) is well supported. NextPVR may be your best bet for OTA recordings. Since I'm using a Cable Card, NextPVR won't record "Copy Once" material from channels like HBO.
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post #14 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I appreciate all the feedback. Adam is right though. I do not want to store locally then copy. If wmc wont do what i want perhaps i am better off looking else where.

I do have xbmc setup on both machines. I have not heard much about next pvr or other pvr software but I am open to the idea of using that or at least giving it a shot to see if that will meet my needs. Will it function with an hdhomerun? Any preferences.

I stand humbled. I missed that nuance in your original post. My bad.

Well, in that case:

- Any possibility of adding a second (non SSD) HDD to the HTPC itself? Even a small 2.5" laptop HDD will do, anywhere from 100-500GB). Moving the recordings to WHS is easy.
- A USB3 external HDD could also possibly work, for local recording and then move the recordings to the server.
- iSCSI is an option, but it is not trivial to setup, and requires a good networking infrastructure and server backend. And WHS doesn't include iSCSI target functionality, you'll have to use a 3rd party product, or use Server 2012.

Again, my apologies, for not reading your intent in the first place. Sometimes the nuances don't come through as well in written form...smile.gif
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post #15 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 05:15 AM
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I agree with TimA overall:
Quote:
TV recording is why I made my HTPC a "Server" since it needs to stay on to record TV and serve my Extenders. I just installed large hard drives for the recorded TV and media. I have another machine to back it all up. I know you can get a PC to wake up and record, but I never found a good way to get my PC to wake up for an Extender.

the answer *may* be to suck it up and dedicate a machine full of spinning drives to being a recording tank--and it's really the only choice if you're going to go the user-friendly route of WMC and extenders..

But absolutely, check out NextPVR for your situation.
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post #16 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 05:49 AM
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If you don't plan to archive the recorded TV shows then setting up a shared drive on the primary HTPC is the simplest solution. I've got several HTPCs in my house and they all have access to the RecordedTV folder on the primary HTPC. None of my recordings are flagged as copy once (I'm on FIOS) so I can watch them via any other PC. OTA recordings fall into the same category so you can share them with no problems. Once I've watched them I delete them to make room for other recordings. If there's something I really want to save then I'll edit out the commercials and transfer it to my server for permanent storage.
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post #17 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Will wmc run on whs 2011? I have a 30tb server with about 5 tb of free space. I leave my server on all the time which serves as my share(s) and does transcoding for my plex clients and iOS devices. I am running flex raid as well.
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post #18 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

If you don't plan to archive the recorded TV shows then setting up a shared drive on the primary HTPC is the simplest solution. I've got several HTPCs in my house and they all have access to the RecordedTV folder on the primary HTPC. None of my recordings are flagged as copy once (I'm on FIOS) so I can watch them via any other PC. OTA recordings fall into the same category so you can share them with no problems. Once I've watched them I delete them to make room for other recordings. If there's something I really want to save then I'll edit out the commercials and transfer it to my server for permanent storage.

He has SSD.

Not suited for DVR duties. Too small, and you don't want to read/write like that.

Go back to his original post: he has a solid network and lots of server storage space, and is happy to support himself in his endeavors to record directly to that server. WMC won't let him do that, so he's off to another DVR solution.
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post #19 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 07:00 AM
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Having played with NextPVR/XBMC I wouldn't run there at all. Compared to WMC it appears several generations old and any advantages you might gain will be offset by far more disadvantages. At least that's my take. Now for movie playback XBMC all the way...

 

To accomplish your goal you could... assuming you can do a Windows share of the iSCSI drive...

 

  • Create a iSCSI drive on HTPC A - which will store WMC recordings directly to the server
  • Share the iSCSI drive via Windows on HTPC A allowing HTPC B to access it (not connecting directly to it via HTPC B)

 

If you want both HTPCs to record to the server you'd have to setup a iSCSI drive on the server for each HTPC.


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post #20 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 11:08 AM
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To record to a remote location, iSCSI would be the best (only) option I think. Remember, in the case of WHS 2011, you would need to create an iSCSI target, so you'd need to install this component which is normally only available in Windows Storage Server, but you might find a standalone component installer for this. A windows iSCSI target is actually created as a virtual disk (VHD) file on the server, and this can easily be extended in size if necessary using the iSCSI target tools.
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post #21 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Any chance this could screw up my drive pool I use with my flexraid?
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post #22 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 01:03 PM
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Can WMC run inside of WHS 2011? If so you can use Recording Broker to pass of any recording requests to WMC running in the WHS 2011 PC.

Another option would be to run MediaPortal. It runs very stable. You can use pcs as extenders. You can have one pc act as a server and have the others run as extenders only. Shared Guide, Shared Recordings, Pause and Resume on different pcs etc...
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post #23 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Kind of offtopic but what do people think of the echo?
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post #24 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

Kind of offtopic but what do people think of the echo?

head over to the green button.tv for LOTS of discussion.

Not ready for prime time, IMHO. Maybe never. BUT: the goal is to run Android as well, which opens it way up as a media streamer. Chromecast, anyone?
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post #25 of 42 Old 08-17-2013, 07:01 PM
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see if any of this makes sense to you. I put it in my fav places a while ago when I was considering a ssd only on my niveus machine.
http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1358

dvblink software allows for some really cool media distribution possibilities


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post #26 of 42 Old 08-18-2013, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

He has SSD.

Not suited for DVR duties. Too small, and you don't want to read/write like that.

Go back to his original post: he has a solid network and lots of server storage space, and is happy to support himself in his endeavors to record directly to that server. WMC won't let him do that, so he's off to another DVR solution.
I'm aware that he has a SSD in his PC. I was talking about adding a dedicated drive for recording duties in the PC itself. I'm also aware that he has a server. My point being that by adding a drive just for recording he won't have to deal with transferring shows to the server unless he wants to archive them. He can also share any recordings with extenders or other PCs since he's recording OTA shows that aren't flagged. If the primary HTPC doesn't have room for an internal drive he can easily add an external USB or eSATA drive.
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post #27 of 42 Old 08-18-2013, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I am going to have alter my must have list and make some sacrifices. I am slowly believing that if I use wmc, all my must haves cant be met.

Part of my vision was that my htpc would be independent of each other (because they are off for 20 hours a day) and instead rely on my server which is on 24 hours a day for sharing and accessing content.

I am considering add a hd to each and go with some kind of copy process. That appears the most fool proof. Any downside, besides the delay in sharing content and the fact I might have to leave these devices on all the time?
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post #28 of 42 Old 08-18-2013, 02:03 PM
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If you do what MS expects, which is to have a single recording tank with extenders as remote media players, then every TV is working off the same single HTPC--including the guide and recording schedule, in addition to recorded content.

One single guide, one single schedule. It's why the world jumped for joy when Ceton introduced the InfiniTV4, with 4 streams, and it's why we're all considering moving to the new InfiniTV6 with 6 stream. 6 streams, one single PC managing the entire shebang--the tuner, the one single guide, the recording schedule that comes from that guide, and all the recorded shows--setting their parameters, deleting them, etc. No matter where you do it, it all happens on the one PC and all changes get shown by all extenders (since the extenders are just special remote desktop sessions of that single PC).

Even better, you can have multiple types of tuners installed in that one box--ATSC, clear QAM, encrypted QAM--and configure them all to feed one recording schedule and one set of recordings on disc.

So, are you missing anything? Yeah, I'd say so. Do you care? I dunno.

My HTPC is a "server" if you want to call it that. It's on 24/7, watches TV for me at the rate of 4 streams/24 hours a day/7 days a week, and shares out content. It's an entertainment server. There can be more than one definition for "server".

I know you have a file server already. But have you considered that a file server is not an entertainment server? That they are two different things? Equally important, equal reliability requirements, but two different machines.

I work with a large insurance company in a very specialized part of their business, not their core business. To accommodate what we do, we put in a print controller--just a PC running Linux plus a specialized bit of software. We made the mistake of calling it a "server", which triggered their people into insisting that it must, by definition, reside in the server room upstairs. Really? Three floors up? But it has nothing to do with what anyone thinks of as being a "server"--but we made the mistake of using the nomenclature.

It's a print controller, and needs to be downstairs physically co-located with the printers because the core-business server team doesn't have any responsibility for it. Others, who reside three floors down, do--and occasionally they need physical access to it for any number of reasons. But the IT staff is blinded by their lingo, and God help anyone who calls anything a "server" in front of them, no matter what the device is.

You see what I mean? Sometimes you get all carried away with the language itself, and that masks the meaning of what you're trying to accomplish.

It's perfectly OK to have separate 24/7 servers that perform completely separate tasks. Just because you "already have a server" doesn't mean you can't have more than that, or that it's appropriate to have only the one.
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post #29 of 42 Old 08-18-2013, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

If you do what MS expects, which is to have a single recording tank with extenders as remote media players, then every TV is working off the same single HTPC--including the guide and recording schedule, in addition to recorded content.

One single guide, one single schedule. It's why the world jumped for joy when Ceton introduced the InfiniTV4, with 4 streams, and it's why we're all considering moving to the new InfiniTV6 with 6 stream. 6 streams, one single PC managing the entire shebang--the tuner, the one single guide, the recording schedule that comes from that guide, and all the recorded shows--setting their parameters, deleting them, etc. No matter where you do it, it all happens on the one PC and all changes get shown by all extenders (since the extenders are just special remote desktop sessions of that single PC).

Even better, you can have multiple types of tuners installed in that one box--ATSC, clear QAM, encrypted QAM--and configure them all to feed one recording schedule and one set of recordings on disc.

So, are you missing anything? Yeah, I'd say so. Do you care? I dunno.

My HTPC is a "server" if you want to call it that. It's on 24/7, watches TV for me at the rate of 4 streams/24 hours a day/7 days a week, and shares out content. It's an entertainment server. There can be more than one definition for "server".

I know you have a file server already. But have you considered that a file server is not an entertainment server? That they are two different things? Equally important, equal reliability requirements, but two different machines.

I work with a large insurance company in a very specialized part of their business, not their core business. To accommodate what we do, we put in a print controller--just a PC running Linux plus a specialized bit of software. We made the mistake of calling it a "server", which triggered their people into insisting that it must, by definition, reside in the server room upstairs. Really? Three floors up? But it has nothing to do with what anyone thinks of as being a "server"--but we made the mistake of using the nomenclature.

It's a print controller, and needs to be downstairs physically co-located with the printers because the core-business server team doesn't have any responsibility for it. Others, who reside three floors down, do--and occasionally they need physical access to it for any number of reasons. But the IT staff is blinded by their lingo, and God help anyone who calls anything a "server" in front of them, no matter what the device is.

You see what I mean? Sometimes you get all carried away with the language itself, and that masks the meaning of what you're trying to accomplish.

It's perfectly OK to have separate 24/7 servers that perform completely separate tasks. Just because you "already have a server" doesn't mean you can't have more than that, or that it's appropriate to have only the one.

I agree. However my whs is not just a file server. It does do other things such as transcoding and hosting of applications. But first and foremost it is a storage server which is why I wanted to use it as a central location for storing the wmc video files. It is also why I built my htpc with little storage.

My needs have changed a little and I might need to change my setup. I had hoped I would not have to but it appears I will.

Keep the advice and ideas coming. I really appreciate it people.
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post #30 of 42 Old 08-18-2013, 04:55 PM
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yeah, your server has lots of storage--and recording TV and storing ripped movies requires lots of storage. You'd think there's an easy way to make the two concepts come together, but not always and/or not without some convoluted efforts.
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