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Velocity Micro MCE - Page 23

post #661 of 1315
so chris, none of the new ati cards will do Dolby Digital TrueHD? I have heard many rumors flying about ATI including some soft of digital audio controller on one or more of their models to accomplish this.

If they do not offer this type of audio, why wait for the ATI card?
post #662 of 1315
Chris M.

Just wanted to say that its been great to read this forum to get your input on questions I have and other people have had. Just reading thru your replys has helped out me tremendously getting my system setup. I have to ask after reading thru this forum, when do you get sleep? HAHA between work and all these questions on this forum. I have to say this really shows your dedication to Velocity Micro and this product. I will definitely go to you guys for my next system.

Best Regards,

Kevin Barnes
post #663 of 1315
Anyone have any experience connecting one of these PC based DCT systems and running it with Verizon's new FIOS service?
post #664 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by chall87 View Post

Anyone have any experience connecting one of these PC based DCT systems and running it with Verizon's new FIOS service?

I dont but this guy had it done on one of Velocity Micro systems. here is a link
http://www.gearlog.com/2007/03/veloc...card_syste.php
post #665 of 1315
Performance question:

I'm thinking of ordering the VM Grand Theatre with an E6600 CPU and the 8600GTS and dual DCTs and possibly a BlueRay drive. I will also be connecting 1 or 2 Xbox360 extenders using wired Gigabit Ethernet.

I would like to know if this setup will be powerful enough to handle the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a third HD program.

Scenario 2:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a BlueRay HD movie from the BD drive.

Scenario 3:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a third HD program
While streaming HD to a single Xbox extender to another room.


Scenario 1 is the minimum requirement for me. And I will only buy a BlueRay drive if I can do scenario 2.

Will I lose frames or jeopardize my recordings in progress in these scenarios?
Do I need to go with the Q6600 CPU or higher?
Will the quad core make a big difference?
post #666 of 1315
Chris M
As with all the others nice to be able to communicate with an involved person at VM
I ordered a rather expensive cinemagic s85on April 9 and waiting for the dig tuner to certify
Any idea when it will ship...

Jim
post #667 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixion View Post

Performance question:

I'm thinking of ordering the VM Grand Theatre with an E6600 CPU and the 8600GTS and dual DCTs and possibly a BlueRay drive. I will also be connecting 1 or 2 Xbox360 extenders using wired Gigabit Ethernet.

I would like to know if this setup will be powerful enough to handle the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a third HD program.

Scenario 2:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a BlueRay HD movie from the BD drive.

Scenario 3:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a third HD program
While streaming HD to a single Xbox extender to another room.


Scenario 1 is the minimum requirement for me. And I will only buy a BlueRay drive if I can do scenario 2.

Will I lose frames or jeopardize my recordings in progress in these scenarios?
Do I need to go with the Q6600 CPU or higher?
Will the quad core make a big difference?

You'll be fine for 1 and 3, I'm doing this now with a lesser cpu and have no issues. I would (and am going to shortly, though for HD DVD) go for a quad core for number 2.
post #668 of 1315
The main problem with your scenarios is I/O, not CPU, especially since you will be using an 8600. I would consider buying a hard drive dedicated to video capture.
post #669 of 1315
Sorry guys, have been at an industry event since Sunday. Quick update:

I was emailed the new BIOS today. I have given it to the right people in VM and we will be able to distribute shortly to those who have our products in hand.

Cards are scheduled to arrive on the 14th, with the BIOS already flashed. Customer systems awaiting those cards should ship within 48 hours and then normal assembly time will go back to normal for our system builds - approx. two weeks for a new order.
post #670 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixion View Post

Performance question:

I'm thinking of ordering the VM Grand Theatre with an E6600 CPU and the 8600GTS and dual DCTs and possibly a BlueRay drive. I will also be connecting 1 or 2 Xbox360 extenders using wired Gigabit Ethernet.

I would like to know if this setup will be powerful enough to handle the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a third HD program.

Scenario 2:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a BlueRay HD movie from the BD drive.

Scenario 3:
Recording 2 HD programs
While watching a third HD program
While streaming HD to a single Xbox extender to another room.


Scenario 1 is the minimum requirement for me. And I will only buy a BlueRay drive if I can do scenario 2.

Will I lose frames or jeopardize my recordings in progress in these scenarios?
Do I need to go with the Q6600 CPU or higher?
Will the quad core make a big difference?

The 8600 GTS does 100% offload of the bitstream decoding for H.264 titles. I think you would be just fine with the E6600 in all scenarios. I would be interested in Scenario 3 though, as someone else said, you MAY be IO bound but I do not know.
post #671 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Cards are scheduled to arrive on the 14th, with the BIOS already flashed. Customer systems awaiting those cards should ship within 48 hours and then normal assembly time will go back to normal for our system builds - approx. two weeks for a new order.

Does this same schedule apply to external tuners for those of us who already have the system without the tuner?
post #672 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

I would be interested in Scenario 3 though, as someone else said, you MAY be IO bound but I do not know.

I'm running 2 250GB HD's in a stripe and have no issues recording 2 hd shows from dcts while watching another one while my wife is in the bedroom watching recorded tv via an extender. A single disk may have some io issues but I'm not seeing any with the stripe.
post #673 of 1315
Guys, thanks for the responses. Much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrown View Post

You'll be fine for 1 and 3, I'm doing this now with a lesser cpu and have no issues. I would (and am going to shortly, though for HD DVD) go for a quad core for number 2.

From what I've read in other threads, if gaming is not required, the 8600GTS is a better solution for BlueRay / HD-DVD playback, since it completely offloads the CPU, and is a better buy than a quad core for this application. That's why I'm leaning towards saving a few bucks and go for the dual E6600.

My new concern, I would like to go RAID 5, but from what i understand the VM Grand Theatre only offers a software-based RAID 5 solution; being I/O bound for Scenario 3 might be an issue here. Anyone running RAID 5 successfully with Scenario 3?
post #674 of 1315
RAID 5 is a bad idea for video capture. It will slow your writes down and lend a false sense of security (RAID is not backup).
post #675 of 1315
What about a hardware RAID 5 card, will that be sufficient performance? Can i upgrade the Velocity Micro Grand Theatre to a hardware based RAID 5 after delivery? Or will this break the DRM and/or my warranty with VM.
post #676 of 1315
If I order a HTPC with Home Premium today and later decide I want to upgrade to Ultimate, can I do this with a retail version of Ultimate, or do I need to get a special version that supports CableCard?
post #677 of 1315
A RAID card shouldn't break the DRM, but it won't be good enough for simultaneous HD video captures either. Not unless you buy a really expensive card (e.g. Areca) and at least 5+ drives. (not counting the boot drive -- you definitely don't want your OS on a RAID array)

I don't see the appeal. I run RAID 5 on my fileserver to protect TBs of long-term archives against disk failure. What's the point of RAID 5 on a machine with a couple hundred GBs of DRM'd material?

You can reinstall the OS. It will lock you out of existing files, but shouldn't stop the DCT from working. However, if you buy the retail (not OEM) version of the OS to begin with, you shouldn't even need to do that -- you can buy the upgrade key online.
post #678 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by xswl0931 View Post

If I order a HTPC with Home Premium today and later decide I want to upgrade to Ultimate, can I do this with a retail version of Ultimate, or do I need to get a special version that supports CableCard?

You can just do the Windows Anytime Upgrade to Ultimate, will be much cheaper then buying a copy of Ultimate.
post #679 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post

I don't see the appeal. I run RAID 5 on my fileserver to protect TBs of long-term archives against disk failure. What's the point of RAID 5 on a machine with a couple hundred GBs of DRM'd material?

I concur that I don't see the point in RAID for home use. RAID is great for businesses who need to minimize downtime, but for the typical home user, I don't get it. Sure it protects against data loss in the event of disk failure, but if your computer is stolen or burns up in a fire, you're screwed. A much better approach IMO is a monthly backup to an external drive that is then locked in a fireproof file cabinet.
post #680 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Sorry guys, have been at an industry event since Sunday. Quick update:

I was emailed the new BIOS today. I have given it to the right people in VM and we will be able to distribute shortly to those who have our products in hand.

Cards are scheduled to arrive on the 14th, with the BIOS already flashed. Customer systems awaiting those cards should ship within 48 hours and then normal assembly time will go back to normal for our system builds - approx. two weeks for a new order.

Hey chris - you mentioned the cards would be there on the 14th - does this apply to the external drives as well?
post #681 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post

RAID 5 is a bad idea for video capture. It will slow your writes down and lend a false sense of security (RAID is not backup).

it sounds like most of you feel RAID isn't such a good idea on a home PC - i have RAID 1 on my system. is there an easy way to get rid of it - or - am i stuck with it?
post #682 of 1315
On a home built Media Center PC, I have recorded 2 ota hd shows, 2 HD Firewire captures, and 2 analog shows at one time on a disk just for recording and watch a show on the Media Center PC and a Xbox 360 extender and not had a problem. The system is a little slow to respond but its a Pentium D 830.
post #683 of 1315
Why would a hardware raid card not be good enough for to support simultaneous HD captures? Even software raid should be able to support 2 19 mbit/s writes and a decent hardware raid should be no slower than a raid 0 stripe with one less drive so long as it offloads a 100% of the xor calculations.

I've run os's on raid5 array's before and again whats the performance problem? OS file rarely have writes to them except for page files, and if your paging much especially on a HTPC you don't have enough ram. The added benifit being a single drive failure won't take out the OS which leads to a more robust system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post

A RAID card shouldn't break the DRM, but it won't be good enough for simultaneous HD video captures either. Not unless you buy a really expensive card (e.g. Areca) and at least 5+ drives. (not counting the boot drive -- you definitely don't want your OS on a RAID array)

I don't see the appeal. I run RAID 5 on my fileserver to protect TBs of long-term archives against disk failure. What's the point of RAID 5 on a machine with a couple hundred GBs of DRM'd material?

You can reinstall the OS. It will lock you out of existing files, but shouldn't stop the DCT from working. However, if you buy the retail (not OEM) version of the OS to begin with, you shouldn't even need to do that -- you can buy the upgrade key online.
post #684 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post

A RAID card shouldn't break the DRM, but it won't be good enough for simultaneous HD video captures either. Not unless you buy a really expensive card (e.g. Areca) and at least 5+ drives. (not counting the boot drive -- you definitely don't want your OS on a RAID array)

What's interesting though is that Velocity Micro offers a software RAID 5 solution on the Grand Theatre. Surely they know that many people will be ordering a 2 DCT model and it should perform accordingly. They must have tested my scenario 1, don't you think? Otherwise they will have some very unhappy customers. Maybe Chris can comment. (in fact you cannot configure the Grand Theatre in none-RAID, you have either RAID-1 or RAID-5 choices, so clearly they have tested this).

Quote:


I don't see the appeal. I run RAID 5 on my fileserver to protect TBs of long-term archives against disk failure. What's the point of RAID 5 on a machine with a couple hundred GBs of DRM'd material?

I completely agree that RAID is NOT a backup solution, it is an "uptime" solution. But, i have to respectfully disagree that it is not useful. I have been running RAID 1 on my main PC for the past four years. During that time, i've had two drive failures... call me unlucky i guess. It was great to just be able to keep working with zero down time and not have to restore from backup. I find the extra expense/trouble worth it. I do keep a seperate external backup.

Now for a DVR that will become my all-in-one primary video box (TV, DVR, DVD, BD), my household simply could not live with any downtime. God forbid if my wife would miss an episode of Grey's Anatomy or the final of American Idol. I can hear it now "you paid how much for this box and I can't watch my show now..."
post #685 of 1315
ixion: Removing, testing, RMA'ing, and then installing a replacement drive take longer than restoring from backup. At least for me -- YMMV.

Also, I didn't catch that this would be serving your whole house. Only ~2 rooms rely on my PCs for TV.

Quote:


Why would a hardware raid card not be good enough for to support simultaneous HD captures?

Capturing 3 15MB/s streams is a lot harder for a disk system than one 45MB/s stream. Even one with 100MB/s of peak write capability might not handle it unless it can intelligently spread out the I/O. That takes an expensive hardware card. I don't know how smart software RAID has gotten, but I doubt something equal to Areca/3ware/LSI is available yet, at least on the Windows platform.

Then again, the streams y'all are talking about aren't too taxing. Anything that's HD, despite the extra pixels, will be already compressed over the wire down to 4MB/s or less. That's a lot easier to handle than the analog capture I'm used to.

Quote:


it sounds like most of you feel RAID isn't such a good idea on a home PC - i have RAID 1 on my system. is there an easy way to get rid of it - or - am i stuck with it?

RAID 1 is fine. If you don't know how to change it then you probably shouldn't mess with it...

Quote:


OS file rarely have writes to them except for page files, and if your paging much especially on a HTPC you don't have enough ram.

On a vanilla WinXP HTPC, maybe. On normal machines there's the indexing service, Outlook, Foldershare, compilers, etc...no matter how many 10K RPM spindles I throw at it, it seems it's always the bottleneck.
post #686 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post

ixion: Removing, testing, RMA'ing, and then installing a replacement drive take longer than restoring from backup. At least for me -- YMMV.

If you lose a hard drive, then you will need to remove the bad drive, obtain a replacement drive, and install and test the replacement whether you have RAID 1, RAID 5, or no RAID. The difference is how long it takes you to be operational after losing the OS disk (whether you need to complete the process before you are operational):
  • RAID 1: You are almost immediately operational with the remaining disk. You will want to replace the failed disk, but you do not have to wait for the replacement.
  • RAID 5: You will have to replace the disk and rebuild. If you have a hot spare, then you would still need to rebuild. Although you can theoretically use the computer while you are rebuilding, I certainly would not expect to get the performance needed for full functionality.
  • No RAID: Your system is down until you install a new disk drive and restore from backup.
If your OS disk fails fifteen minutes before the TV show your spouse has to see, you may be ready if you had it on RAID 1. Otherwise, I doubt it.
post #687 of 1315
Quote:


Although you can theoretically use the computer while you are rebuilding, I certainly would not expect to get the performance needed for full functionality.

Exactly. If your wife's favorite show fails to record because the array is degraded, that's no better than the machine being down.

If you want RAID, mode 1 or 10 is the way to go. Cost per GB will be higher for the drives, but should be made up by the fact you can use cheap onboard or software controllers.
post #688 of 1315
Intel's ICH7R is a very quick RAID 5 solution that serves our purposes very well. As you mentioned, cost per GB is higher in any other mode, and I'm sure you have noticed that we are trying to drive as many features in our models as possible for the best possible price.
post #689 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixion View Post

What's interesting though is that Velocity Micro offers a software RAID 5 solution on the Grand Theatre. Surely they know that many people will be ordering a 2 DCT model and it should perform accordingly. They must have tested my scenario 1, don't you think? Otherwise they will have some very unhappy customers. Maybe Chris can comment. (in fact you cannot configure the Grand Theatre in none-RAID, you have either RAID-1 or RAID-5 choices, so clearly they have tested this).

It performs wonderfully. Recording two shows and playing back recorded material doesn't even make it break a sweat.
post #690 of 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Berg View Post

RAID 5 is a bad idea for video capture. It will slow your writes down and lend a false sense of security (RAID is not backup).

When I was doing video R&D at BOXX, we used dual RAIDCore cards in RAID 5 with 10 drives. I was able to pull 500MB/s sustained writes, and that was four years ago. RAID is a hobby of mine.
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