picking right OS, virtualization, MythTV

simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
412
107
116
originally posted in the Operating Systems forum- 125 views and no responses :) . May be I will get better luck in *NIX software



My home environment started with being Windows domain (Win 2012 Essentials as server, Win 7 desktop and Win 8 client).
Over time, I found myself adding more and more *nux clients to the mix as I did not want to pay more money to MS for OS- Ubuntu desktop in another room, OpenElec XMBC clients near TVs, PFSense as firewall . I created the domain account for XMBC to use and currently access fileserver shares over SMB. I do not use storage spaces in windows, media steaming or remote access portions of the Essentials server. it is used as fileserver and print server, and as DNS and DHCP primary for Windows clients.

what I want
a) add PVR functionality to OpenElec clients. I am familiar with MytTV and have run it before.
b) create backup for PFSense in case current server wipes.
my tuner is network based HD homerun

Options I consider and want input on
1) Keep existing domain, existing Win 2012 server (3770K, 32 RAM), create MythTV as virtual machine under oracle virtualbox and run it virtually.
Question : how would mythTV work in virtual environment under processor that does not support direct access to HD (no vt-d) ?

2) leave existing domain alone , use spare hardware laying around (Atom D2700 +notebook HDD as physical MythTV box). Will Atom be sufficient for backend only Myth with homerun as tuner

3) flip the things around. put Ubuntu server on current hardware, copy media files into Ubuntu, virtualize Windows 2012 Essentials to leave it in place for remaining windows clients.
Not sure if anyone have done it and willing to comment on this.

any other feedback is welcomed
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,389
1,778
126
You won't get many responses because your questions are very specific and I doubt anyone else has all the same pieces and parts you have.

If you have servers and clients that are running, I'd let sleeping dogs lie if they're working and functioning. There's no reason to explore and burn time unless you just want to play.

I've not run MythTV, but I'd look to see how well it works with your HD Homerun tuner and then figure out what most other people install MythTV on...then see how well HD Homerun support works. Because it's a Network-based Tuner, you have to consider how much bandwidth it takes to stream video effectively with little or no lag. If you put that in a VM with or without 3D hardware acceleration present, you could be dealing with a huge YMMV.

The spare Atom-based hardware approach may be the most reliable if it has enough memory and a solid network connection to the homerun. It also gives you the option to invest in something faster later if the performance isn't what you want. I've used Hauppage DVRs before (prior to HD) and I was very impressed with how well the tuner performed. It shipped with an old HP desktop I bought & XP Media Center (if that dates it). Just saying, if the Homerun doesn't work out, I think they have support for MythTV too as an internal card.
 

nForce2

Senior member
Aug 15, 2013
285
0
76
2) leave existing domain alone , use spare hardware laying around (Atom D2700 +notebook HDD as physical MythTV box). Will Atom be sufficient for backend only Myth with homerun as tuner

Absolutely. I ran a multi-tuner HD frontend+backend for many years on much lower-spec hardware (Athlon XP 3200+).



I've not run MythTV, but I'd look to see how well it works with your HD Homerun tuner and then figure out what most other people install MythTV on...then see how well HD Homerun support works. Because it's a Network-based Tuner, you have to consider how much bandwidth it takes to stream video effectively with little or no lag. If you put that in a VM with or without 3D hardware acceleration present, you could be dealing with a huge YMMV.

MythTV has supported the HDHomeRun for a LONG time now (v0.20, Sept 2006). So that's not an issue. ;)

If you haven't run it, you might not be aware of how watching TV is handled in MythTV. Nothing is ever watched "live", the data stream from the tuner is recorded to disk by the backend, and played back independently by the frontend(s). So lag or latency isn't an issue - everything is non-realtime and pre-buffered anyway. (This architecture seems inefficient, but that is how MythTV gets some of its fancy features - being able to save a recording for a show you are part way through or have already finished watching live, on-the-fly commercial flagging, pausing live TV, etc.)

3D acceleration in the VM also wouldn't be a problem in simas's proposed setup, as only the backend (a command line application) would be running in the VM. The graphics needs would all be in the existing XBMC clients (acting as frontends to MythTV).



any other feedback is welcomed

What are the hardware specs on your OpenELEC / XBMC clients? It might make more sense to run MythTV on one of them, and keep your media machines together instead of spreading the functionality out across so many machines and OSs. ;)
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,389
1,778
126
That's the same as any other dvr setup anymore....it is how you pause live tv...you were never watching it live to begin with...

Good point about the hardware acceleration...I got the server/client swapped because I was thinking of my old Hauppage when I typed that.
 

MAW1082

Senior member
Jun 17, 2003
510
7
81
I run windows media center as a vm on my vmware esxi box. the esxi box has basically the same specs as your physical server. It shouldn't be a problem as long as the disk you are recording to is local. i tries to use iscsi to connect to my nas from my windows media center vm, and it was a little glitchy.

good luck. i wish i could run mythtv again, but the darn cable companies and their drm won't let me do it :(