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I'm getting ready to build a system to archive Replay 4080 mpegs via a large hard drive array and DVD-R burners. Combing through numerous threads the consensus is to build a Windows 2000 or Windows XP NTFS system. Some system builders suggest Windows 2000 and others suggest Windows XP. To further complicate the picture there are numerous software packages (swapDV v0.54, extract_rtv v12, etc) to port the video to a PC . I know I can do a video capture through a canopus ADVC-100 into Ulead Video Studio 6 or Adobe premiere 6 but I think it's a waste of rendering time if the existing replay mpeg is equally solid. Are there any additional opinions on the best operating system and best replay extraction software to archive and burn replay mpegs? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Go with XP, and definitely use NTFS. Windows XP has a wider range of hardware support (such as for RAID controllers), requires much fewer patches to get up-to-date for security, and the Home version is cheaper than 2k workstation by a long shot (you probably won't need XP Pro, about the only addition it would give you is more specific file permissions control). Stability is rock-solid, and the UP2P support I hear is good (for setting up the 4k's digital photo feature).


The ReplayTV directly-captured video is relatively solid but has some format problems that could affect your editor. Search for "timefix" for a utility to fix part of the problem, the latest version of Womble MPG2VCR can also help (*very* fast and preserves quality, but is pricey and doesn't have a particularly refined interface).


Extractrtv supports hard drives in all models, but the 4000-series has the additional capability of sending its video directly to your computer over the LAN (rather than pulling the hard drive).
 

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Of course win2k won't force you to re-register every time you muck around with your hardware extensively. Also you have fewer problems with somewhat older hardware etc etc. I guess I'd advocate trying winXP just so you are less out of date, but if you have any problems, I'd quickly put a win2k version on there, and if it improves things stick with win2k. Not much difference really.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by foundation
One thing to note is that Win2k server has software RAID 5 support and winxp and win2k pro don't I believe.
If you're going for a RAID system, I'd do it in hardware. Many companies are starting to look at IDE RAID controllers. 3ware's Escalade line tops out at $500, and provides a substantial performance increase on software RAID. Promise also has some IDE RAID cards, I just have experience with the Escalade.
 

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If you're only going to be using this system for archiving video from a replay, you don't need more than 10Mb/s or so of bandwidth, so hardware vs software RAID shouldn't be a concern. As a datapoint, I was getting 30MB/s throughput on my software RAID (linux 2.4, raidtools 0.90) composed of 3x30GB ATA100 7200RPM IDE drives.
 

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Being someone who uses a Replay, extract_rtv and has a RAID setup, let me what anyone going that path of a few problems.


1) A machine which had an onboard RAID controller refused, no matter what, to mount the Replay drive. I finally started using another computer which had a PCI RAID card from Promise. It works, but is REALLY picky with jumper settings. (Yes, worse than the Replay.)


2) If you connect your Replay drive through the RAID controller/card, you will need to define the RAID parameters for the drive. You just tell the controller that it is a 1-drive RAID and that's that. Most controllers will actually remember it the next time you reconnect the drive (which REALLY freaked me out I might add.)


3) You aren't going to gain THAT much of a speed boost from the IDE Raids. It is faster on reads, but writes are JUST as slow as before. And just as with a dual-drive setup in a Replay, if one drive goes, the other is shot too.


So my recommendation is this. Skip the IDE Raid and go instead with having very fast internal drive. (Some of the 7200 RPM drives with 8M of Cache and a dedicated IDE controller... No one devices on that cable.)


If you already HAVE a raid setup, you may experience the same thing I did, in that the computer refused to boot until it was attached specifically to the RAID controller (which also freaked me out).
 

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If you use an IDE RAID 5 (not 0 or 1) performance is increased - dramatically. You lose the capacity of 1 of your drives (you have to devote at least 3 drives to the array), but if a drive fails, you swap the bad drive out and the data is rebuilt automatically.


With some raid cards, you can also designate a 'hot spare' specifically to take over for a failed drive.


They don't cover RAID 5, but here's an article giving real data on performance increases of different RAID configurations: The Tech Report

Here's a link to 3ware's RAID controllers. They allow true RAID 5, and the most expensive are $500...you can get some of them for considerably less, of course. I have experience with these, and they are impressive.


Last, if you're going to be streaming this video back to the replay using something like SwapDV , you're going to want 100Mb/sec... 10Mb/sec, while theoretically fine, doesn't cut it in the real world.
 
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