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Minimum SSD size for Live TV Buffer + TV recordings

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
What size do you guys recommend for an SSD that will be required to possibly hold 3.5 hours worth of live TV buffering (football games) as well as a day's worth of recordings (approximately 10 HD shows like Sportscenter, evening news, daily show, etc.. a day). There will be no HDD on this machine as all recordings will be pulled to a WHS box every night.
TIA
post #2 of 34
I am not sure 128GB will be big enough.

This might be one of the best deals going right now: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post21983457. Amazon has the same.
post #3 of 34
I guess it depends when the recordings are made and how fast TV Archive moves them to the server.

On average half-hour of HD (22 mins + adverts) is about double what is it with SD so 3+GB.

For an hour long show (Sportscenter) its about 6GB and when I record a typical NASCAR race which you can't separate all the pre-race nonsense runs about 4.5-5 hours and can be 40-50GB.

Sportscenter repeats so often I don't see the value in recording it. After 11pm EST it runs constantly. Record one and have Media Center delete it after being watched.

I can see a possible issue if you say record the 2-3 NBA Playoff games in one evening, all in HD.

A better investment might be (2) Seagate XT Hybrid drives (750GB) in RAID 0 which will give you 1.5TB of space and 16GB SSD. Look on Storage Review they are very fast in RAID and provide PLENTY of space with all the benefits of an SSD with reboots, running programs, metadata and GUI.

750GB/8GB version is $150 each.

Maybe (2) 120GB SSD's in RAID giving you 240GB will be enough. You can get two Sandisk SSD's for $95 each with a $25 off $75 coupon and a discount code. Find the thread on Slickdeals.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

What size do you guys recommend for an SSD that will be required to possibly hold 3.5 hours worth of live TV buffering (football games) as well as a day's worth of recordings (approximately 10 HD shows like Sportscenter, evening news, daily show, etc.. a day). There will be no HDD on this machine as all recordings will be pulled to a WHS box every night.
TIA

ATSC broadcasts max at about 8.5GB per hour.

Assuming your recording software does not keep null packets, most recodings will be less than this. Based on what I have seen, I would say that most recordings actually max out at 7 to 7.3 GB per hour at the most. With sub 6GB files for most 1 hour recordings being common.

FWIW, 256QAM format (if you're thinking of recording cable) runs at about twice the bitrate of ATSC broadcast format. But most providers usually stuf two or more "shows" into that space. Again, if your recording program doesn't strip the extra data (if it doesn't keep just the one show you wanted to record) you may need significantly more space.

-Suntan
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
So I currently do have the XT hybrid drive (750GB), but there are such great deals on SSDs right now, I'm soo tempted. Just can't decide if I should splurge for the 256GB. So looking at ATSC data rates and assuming 7GB/hr per Suntan's numbers and worst case scenario of 15 hours of recording a day, I'm already looking at 105GB just for DVR duties. I'm guessing I need the 256GB.

Which brings me to the next question...how much better is the SSD than the hybrid Momentus?
post #6 of 34
If you have room for a 3.5" HDD, in my HTPCs I have a 64GB SSD + 160-250GB 2.5" HDD in a 3.5" to 2 x 2.5" bracket. My O/S & programs are on the SSD and the HDD is just for recordings. Even a refurb HDD will do since it's not holding critical data -- just buffering until it's swept.
post #7 of 34
Does Media Center allow storage of recorded media onto a secondary drive? I've never tried to do this.
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
I really want to avoid all moving parts (aside from fans...and maybe even NO fans) on this HTPC if possible, which is why I'm considering not putting in the momentus hybrid and sticking an SSD in there.
post #9 of 34
I was using a 160GB SSD as my OS + recorded ATSC DVR drive, but I had to be very proactive in watching shows and archiving them to traditional hard drives. I've since upgraded the size of my OS/DVR SSD.

Similar to what others are saying, my ATSC recordings are on the order of 6 GB/hour, sometimes close to 7. I haven't used a cablecard tuner/recorder, so I can't comment on those file sizes. However many hours of buffer & recordings you want, multiply that by the GB/hour, and add some more GB for the OS + programs.

It is wonderful to have the OS drive completely silent with an SSD.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by James_stewart View Post

Does Media Center allow storage of recorded media onto a secondary drive? I've never tried to do this.

Yes. I have all mine set to D:

See here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...sked-questions

Open up the first link in the list and it describes the process.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

I really want to avoid all moving parts (aside from fans...and maybe even NO fans) on this HTPC if possible, which is why I'm considering not putting in the momentus hybrid and sticking an SSD in there.

Then no doubt, go for the 256GB. If those are your requirements it should be worth the extra $50 to you over a SSD/HDD combo.
post #12 of 34
Hybrid drives are not loud at all and $300 for 1.5TB with the benefits of a SSD where it counts most sounds like a best value for the money.

According to SSD Tracker -

Crucial 256GB is $199

Seems to me $100 more for 1.5TB total for two hybrids represents a better value.
post #13 of 34
I recently had a problem where my installation of W7 had become corrupted. When asking on various forums I was warned about using SSD's for buffering live television. I purchased a standard drive, reinstalled W7 on my SSD and setup live television to use the standard drive. I have not had a problem since. Nothing scientific here. Just an anecdote.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Yes. I have all mine set to D:

See here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...sked-questions

Open up the first link in the list and it describes the process.

I see in my computer, recorded TV file can this file be dragged and dropped to an external HDD then plug this HDD into another machine and expect it to appear and be played on second machine?

both PCs are Win7 HP 64 bit



Thanks STB

interesting reading on this thread subscribing
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain View Post

I see in my computer, recorded TV file can this file be dragged and dropped to an external HDD then plug this HDD into another machine and expect it to appear and be played on second machine?

both PCs are Win7 HP 64 bit



Thanks STB

interesting reading on this thread subscribing

Yes, as long as you aren't talking about cablecard tuner recordings. Some cable channels are flagged as Copy Once and can only be played on the WMC PC that recorded them. However, the files could still be copied to external disk for backup.

Instead of doing the external HDD swap you could share the RecordedTV folder to your network and play it on other computers that way. Not sure if your wireless could keep up, but it would be worth a try.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

What size do you guys recommend for an SSD that will be required to possibly hold 3.5 hours worth of live TV buffering (football games) as well as a day's worth of recordings (approximately 10 HD shows like Sportscenter, evening news, daily show, etc.. a day). There will be no HDD on this machine as all recordings will be pulled to a WHS box every night.
TIA

How did you change the size of Live TV buffer? I thought the standard 40 minutes is all you could do.
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

How dod you change the size of Live TV buffer? I thought the standard 40 minutes is all you could do.

oh...I didn't know that. I guess I misphrased "buffer"....I usually set a game to record, then start watching it about 1-2 hours after it starts, while it's still going on. That way, I can skip over the commercials/replays and basically the same time the real game ends. Sometimes I start it at the same time, and pause it while I go do something else for a while (over an hour)...I've been calling both activities "buffering"...
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

How dod you change the size of Live TV buffer? I thought the standard 40 minutes is all you could do.

There is a simple registry edit to change the buffer as well as the fwd and back skip length. Not sure if it goes up to 3.5 hours or not...
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

Just can't decide if I should splurge for the 256GB. So looking at ATSC data rates and assuming 7GB/hr per Suntan's numbers and worst case scenario of 15 hours of recording a day, I'm already looking at 105GB just for DVR duties. I'm guessing I need the 256GB.

Definitely go for 200/240/256GB. In general, you also want to record an extra 5 minutes before and after the start and end of a show respectively in case the network's clock doesn't match yours. I use 10 minutes just to be safe so most of my recordings are in the 7-8GB range. For sports, I usually add an extra hour in case of overtime.

This is why I opted to use Windows 7 instead of WHS on my mini-storage server (HP Proliant MicroServer). So I can just record directly to the server.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

What size do you guys recommend for an SSD that will be required to possibly hold 3.5 hours worth of live TV buffering (football games) as well as a day's worth of recordings (approximately 10 HD shows like Sportscenter, evening news, daily show, etc.. a day). There will be no HDD on this machine as all recordings will be pulled to a WHS box every night.
TIA

That's not really a good use for a ssd
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

There is a simple registry edit to change the buffer as well as the fwd and back skip length. Not sure if it goes up to 3.5 hours or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

oh...I didn't know that. I guess I misphrased "buffer"....I usually set a game to record, then start watching it about 1-2 hours after it starts, while it's still going on. That way, I can skip over the commercials/replays and basically the same time the real game ends. Sometimes I start it at the same time, and pause it while I go do something else for a while (over an hour)...I've been calling both activities "buffering"...

Thanks! I'll have to look it up.

When I pause Live TV it unpauses it self after 40 minutes.
post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

That's not really a good use for a ssd

So I've seen this quoted a lot, but I haven't seen any proof of this. Could you please elaborate...this issue has caused me a lot of concern.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

So I've seen this quoted a lot, but I haven't seen any proof of this. Could you please elaborate...this issue has caused me a lot of concern.

Rough calculations of SSD lifespan with NAND having an estimated 3,000 write cycles (estimated for 25nm) at 100GB writes per day. Formula's not the most accurate but it makes for a good enough guess.

256GB
Total Host Writes: 768,000 GB or 750 TB
768,000 GB / 100 GB/day / 365 days/yr = ~21 years

128GB
Total Host Writes: 384,000 GB or 375 TB
384,000 GB / 100 GB/day / 365 days/yr = ~10.5 years

64GB
Total Host Writes: 192,000 GB or 188 TB
192,000 GB / 100 GB/day / 365 days/yr = ~5.3 years

40GB (@25nm 3,000 PE)
Total Host Writes: 120,000 GB or 117 TB
120,000 GB / 100 GB/day / 365 days/yr = ~3.3 years

40GB (@34nm 5,000 PE)
Total Host Writes: 200,000 GB or 195 TB
200,000 GB / 100 GB/day / 365 days/yr = ~5.5 years

From crazy people determined to kill their SSDs:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...e-25nm-Vs-34nm
The Kingston SSDNow 40GB (rebadged Intel X25-V 40GB 34nm) appears to be crazy reliable. Even after 466TB written, it still passes the data retention test when SSDs with higher capacity using different controllers have already failed. The Intel 320 40GB also performed beyond expectations.

You'd likely see some random controller failure before you hit the limit of NAND endurance.
post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks ilovejedd...I suppose if I have to upgrade in 21 years, that won't kill me
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

So I've seen this quoted a lot, but I haven't seen any proof of this. Could you please elaborate...this issue has caused me a lot of concern.

Recording and playing media doesn't require any sort of speed so why use ssd's with a much higher $ per gig. What media does require is lots of space, its pretty easy to fill up a 2TB hard drive with HD video. At current prices and capacities it makes the most sense to use SSD's to run the OS and applications and spiny drives for large data.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

So I've seen this quoted a lot, but I haven't seen any proof of this. Could you please elaborate...this issue has caused me a lot of concern.

Recording and playing media doesn't require any sort of speed so why use ssd's with a much higher $ per gig. What media does require is lots of space, its pretty easy to fill up a 2TB hard drive with HD video. At current prices and capacities it makes the most sense to use SSD's to run the OS and applications and spiny drives for large data. If you are just going to have one or the other I would rather just have a standard HD in my HTPC.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Recording and playing media doesn't require any sort of speed so why use ssd's with a much higher $ per gig. What media does require is lots of space, its pretty easy to fill up a 2TB hard drive with HD video. At current prices and capacities it makes the most sense to use SSD's to run the OS and applications and spiny drives for large data.

That's great if you actually have enough space for a spiny drive. What if you're building an ultra-tiny HTPC which can only hold a single 2.5" drive where the drive sits directly above your CPU/NB's fanless heatsink or is in a compartment with little to no airflow and regularly reaches 50C or higher? I've had several 2.5" HDD's die on me which I suspect is probably due to overheating.

SSDs do cost much more per GB compared to regular HDDs but they're not prohibitively expensive anymore. If the OP can afford to buy an SSD for use as temporary recorder storage and live TV buffer, then why not? He's already mentioned he has a file server and doesn't need large local storage on the HTPC. Just something that's enough for a day's worth of recording.
post #28 of 34
When I redo my HTPC after this season I'll be switching to an SSD for OS but I'll still use standard HDDs for storage. Right now I have:

Drives:
OS/app: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 500GB 2.5
Recording: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB
Storage: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB

I plan to change to:

OS: 64gb SSD
Data: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 500GB 2.5 (everything other than recordings & movies)
NAS or server w/TV recording

I'm still new to SSDs but I've heard of this writing thing before. I'm not clear on it so I steer away from using it for more than a OS/app drive.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Recording and playing media doesn't require any sort of speed so why use ssd's with a much higher $ per gig. What media does require is lots of space, its pretty easy to fill up a 2TB hard drive with HD video. At current prices and capacities it makes the most sense to use SSD's to run the OS and applications and spiny drives for large data.

OP has already stated that he'll archive off content to a WHS so local long-term storage is not needed.

A SSD runs cooler, consumes less power at start up, full load, and idle, and is faster. A single SSD drive large enough for OS, apps, record buffer and short term content storage will provide everything, as oppose to needing (or wanting) an SSD for OS/apps and a 2nd drive for storage.

If you look at everything just most bang for your buck, then almost everything we talk about here is overkill for a HTPC.
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'd like to go with no mechanical parts except the optical drive, which won't be in use all that much.
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