[noob alert] VDR as a backend DVB-S2 system capable of streaming out the image to a media player for Live TV

  • Hello.
    I've read posts with forum rules and I've done a fair bit of search over the web and over this forum but I am still at a loss.
    Let me explain my goal: build a PC capable of receiving scrambled dvb-s2, descramble the stream and then stream it over to several media player set top boxes. I know, I know, descrambling talks are not allowed and I won't ask here (though I'd be glad if someone offered help through email/IM).


    What I have now that may be used (or not) on this project:
    - Seagate Dockstar at 1,2GHz with 128 RAM and a 500GB external HDD
    - Asus O!Play HDP-R1 media player capable of hardware decoding MPEG-4/AVC - 1080p@60fps
    - Was planning on buying a Sundtek SkyTV USB DVB-S/S2 but still haven't ordered it


    Expected end result:
    - fanless and low power consumption PC that can receive SAT signal and send it over LAN to several media players.
    - capability to view Live TV and record at the same time (or have 2 different Live TV streams from same transponder) all with a single tuner
    - capability to select which channel to watch on each media player (maybe through predefined playlist?)


    What I need to know:
    - is there a thorough VDR manual in pdf format? The MANUAL file that comes with the zip has only small amount of info for newbs like me. Same goes for the english wiki docs.
    - amount of CPU power needed to do the job (hence why I also pointed out that l also intend to do signal descrambling on that box)
    - since I want to keep it noiseless and low power, will I gain by buying a tuner with hardware decoding capabilities? Remember, I won't watch it on the server, I'll be watching on clients. Maybe I am confusing tuner hardware decoding with VGA hardware decoding, right?
    - can I do all this using my Seagate Dockstar? Will it handle the job? Descrambling uses a lot of CPU cycles, right?
    - using such a setup, will I be able to use the OSD capabilities? Remember, these media players that I have can load m3u playlists with mms/http/rtmp streams.
    - using this server but with XBMC clients, would I be able to use the OSD capabilities?
    - what is the easiest VDR liveCD/liveUSB for doing just the backend, as I need? Just to speed up initial testing ;).


    Bottom line: any advise on the hardware specifications for such server are very welcome. Just remember: noise and power usage are a big factor in my mind.
    And please remember that I am very newb to all this, maybe except Linux. But even with Linux I am far from an experienced user ;).
    Cheers

  • Hi,


    I've got a P4/1024MB machine as server, 3x dvb-s2, 1x dvb-s & 1x dvb-t card in it. As clients I've got Motorola VIP1903 boxes. This setup is running without any problems for a long time.
    Because all the mpeg decoding is done on the STB no powerfull hardware is needed on the server. For recording I've got some HDD but the main linux/vdr is on a flash ide drive. The P4 cooler is running on 5V, not on 12V so lower noise. The powersupply is a low noise version.
    With the server in the living room I wanted also a low noise machine. In the living room because I had it directly on the tv connected by using a hardware mpeg decoder on the dvb-s card (FullFeature Card).


    The non spoken part does this server also, so I think every PC hardware in the shop today should powerfull enough for serving streams/ recording. But because of the specific task of the Dockstar as diskunit I don't think it has enough power for VDR tasks.


    Greetz from Holland.

    I'm sorry for the English postings but I can't write German, reading isn't a problem.


    VDR server: P4 with vdr 2.1.6 / streamdev / SmartTVweb / vipclient Javascript
    Clients : Motorola Vip1903/1963

  • I've got a P4/1024MB machine as server, 3x dvb-s2, 1x dvb-s & 1x dvb-t card in it. As clients I've got Motorola VIP1903 boxes. This setup is running without any problems for a long time.


    Hi tv-user. Interesting: here in Portugal those Motorola boxes are used by IPTV providers. In fact I had one of those during 2 years. Off-topic: what software do you run on them and how did you install it?


    Because all the mpeg decoding is done on the STB no powerfull hardware is needed on the server.


    That's what I thought. Just don't know if a tuner with hardware decoding will be useful. Why is the hardware decoding needed on a tuner? For tuning or for playing the stream?


    For recording I've got some HDD but the main linux/vdr is on a flash ide drive. The P4 cooler is running on 5V, not on 12V so lower noise. The powersupply is a low noise version.


    Could you possibly explain how to connect a fan to the 5v instead of the 12v? Or is it a special fan?


    The non spoken part does this server also, so I think every PC hardware in the shop today should powerfull enough for serving streams/ recording.


    Hope so. If the dockstar proves to be not enough, I will buy parts for the PC. Does it make sense to buy an expensive Sundtek or is a cheap Technisat Skystar S2 enough? I can borrow a Skystar S2 from a friend but I can't borrow a TT or a Sundtek to compare them and to compare their CPU usage, etc. Care to point me in the right direction?


    But because of the specific task of the Dockstar as diskunit I don't think it has enough power for VDR tasks.


    That's sad because I already have the dockstar (bought long ago) sitting around and powered up all day long.
    Thanks for your help.

  • The STB uses software compiled using the Motorola SDK. That software starts a javascript I made, http://projects.vdr-developer.org/projects/vdr-vipclient. If you still got it, I can send you more info/ software.
    Hardware decoding is used for watching/playing the stream.


    The rewiring is easy, if you can solder. Cut the 12V wire and solder the 5V wire on the spot. But not all fans work on 5V. Before this mod I did some research, if the fan won't work you can also try to connect 12V & 5V so you get 7V over the fan. (Fan - on 5V, Fan + on 12V)

    I'm sorry for the English postings but I can't write German, reading isn't a problem.


    VDR server: P4 with vdr 2.1.6 / streamdev / SmartTVweb / vipclient Javascript
    Clients : Motorola Vip1903/1963

  • The STB uses software compiled using the Motorola SDK. That software starts a javascript I made, http://projects.vdr-developer.org/projects/vdr-vipclient. If you still got it, I can send you more info/ software.
    Hardware decoding is used for watching/playing the stream.


    Very interesting indeed. No need for more info since I don't own that box anymore. But I will link the folks from Optimus/Clix (Portuguese ISP) to your work.
    Maybe they find it as useful as I do.


    The rewiring is easy, if you can solder. Cut the 12V wire and solder the 5V wire on the spot. But not all fans work on 5V. Before this mod I did some research, if the fan won't work you can also try to connect 12V & 5V so you get 7V over the fan. (Fan - on 5V, Fan + on 12V)


    That's an interesting way of making a fan run slower.
    Well...I'm not much good at soldering but I know people that can solder properly and for free :).


    I still have some doubts that I would be very grateful if you (or anyone else) could help me with:
    The difference between a budget tuner and a full featured tuner is the hardware decoding capability, right? I don't know if a tuner with hardware decoding will be useful for this particular project.
    Why would I need hardware decoding on a tuner? For less cpu stress while tuning or for less cpu stress while playing/vieweing/watching the stream?
    Since I won't do any watching on the server it's not making much sense in my mind. Besides, the budget ones can be bought half the price of the full featured ones.
    Can you comment on all the above?
    Regards

  • The hardware decode on FullFeature cards is for playing recordings and viewing live (reduce CPU load) over an integrated composite-out or hdmi out. This eliminates the graphic card of the pc.
    But be aware that there is no hardware decoding tuner card on the market right now - and it would not help you project either.


    The only real alternative is a VDPAU Nvidia graphic card if you want high quality HD video playback/live-tv.
    Complely without fan has been testest but it's risky to have hardware damage because of overheating (in spain this might be even more tricky).
    Just for there server a fan-less design might be possible. The question is if you need to on-the-fly reencode to stream i.e. to a Android tablet/phone.


    Do you need to have the VDR OSD ? Or is timer programming, playin of recordings enough ?


    HD - Video or not?


    How many clients ?


    Your dockstar together with the sundtek stick can do that. User "hepi" in this forum has been running that for a while.
    One tuner per client is the minimum for conflict free live-tv.
    If you want to record in addition than: The more the better.


    For the connection to the clients there are seveal protocolls/plugins that might work.
    Please answer the HD / SD question first...


    Options to connect to a VDR Server:
    -VOMP using raspberry pi
    -DLNA plugin with DLNA mediaplayer
    -Samsung SmartTV plugin
    -VDR Client using streamdev-client
    - every XBMC client with XVDR or VNSI plugin include.




    Regards,
    Joe

  • Hi DocViper.
    Thanks for joining our discussion. The more the merrier, right?


    The hardware decode on FullFeature cards is for playing recordings and viewing live (reduce CPU load) over an integrated composite-out or hdmi out. This eliminates the graphic card of the pc.


    That's what I thought. Thanks for clearing that out for me.


    But be aware that there is no hardware decoding tuner card on the market right now - and it would not help you project either.


    Good thing you pointed that out for me. I was under the impression that the Sundtek SkyTV Ultimate (DVB-S/S2) was full-featured.
    I gotta pay more attention next time.


    The only real alternative is a VDPAU Nvidia graphic card if you want high quality HD video playback/live-tv.


    As you stated above, not needed for my project.


    Complely without fan has been testest but it's risky to have hardware damage because of overheating (in spain this might be even more tricky).


    This here is Portugal but, yea, it's right next to Spain.


    Just for there server a fan-less design might be possible. The question is if you need to on-the-fly reencode to stream i.e. to a Android tablet/phone.


    Thank god. I hate fan noises.
    Yea, I plan on using it for backend only and I won't need transcoding to smaller less powerful devices.
    All my devices will have to cope with 1080p natively with HW decoding.
    My current player supports it and I'll make sure my future players will also support it too.


    Do you need to have the VDR OSD ? Or is timer programming, playin of recordings enough ?


    That's a tricky one.
    Yea, I'd like to have:
    - OSD stating which channel I'm watching
    - what's on that channel now
    - what will be on that channel next
    - and how long until the current show is over
    And of course I would like to have EPG with recording capability and last but not least ability to watch one channel while simultaneously recording another channel.
    This last part is tricky. Can I watch one channel in one transponder while recording another channel from a different transponder?


    HD - Video or not?


    Yep, I need HD.


    How many clients ?


    Well, I will have 5 clients but I can live with 2 or 3 simultaneous clients.
    That's both my kids in different bedrooms and either the kitchen or the living room.


    Your dockstar together with the sundtek stick can do that. User "hepi" in this forum has been running that for a while.
    One tuner per client is the minimum for conflict free live-tv.
    If you want to record in addition than: The more the better.


    I'll try to contact him. Maybe he can join this discussion here :).


    For the connection to the clients there are seveal protocolls/plugins that might work.
    Please answer the HD / SD question first...


    Done.


    Options to connect to a VDR Server:
    -VOMP using raspberry pi
    -DLNA plugin with DLNA mediaplayer
    -Samsung SmartTV plugin
    -VDR Client using streamdev-client
    - every XBMC client with XVDR or VNSI plugin include.


    Excellent.
    My current client supports DLNA.
    My future clients will support XBMC with plugin or they'll be smarttvs. Will any smarttv accept the plugin?
    Thanks

  • 3 Clients watching LiveTV would require at least 3+ tuners. (3 Suntek or other dvb cards (Linux4Media dual or quad tuner for example) for pci-e slot on a normal mainboard)


    Do you have you own sat-dish that you can hook up with a Quad LNBs ?


    Zapping channels using DLNA is imho no fun. Just to slow in channel change.


    The epg info features will also not work with the DLNA system.
    XMBC is able to view those infos and you can browse the upcoming tv shows and mark them for recording.


    The SmartTV Plugin works with certain samsung TV and Blueray players:
    http://projects.vdr-developer.…jects/plg-smarttvweb/wiki


    VDR is from the principal setup not a server-client software. Users adopted and expanded it to partially provide those features.


    You could first start with a basic setup (one server plus one client) and try it.


    Regards,
    Joe

  • 3 Clients watching LiveTV would require at least 3+ tuners. (3 Suntek or other dvb cards (Linux4Media dual or quad tuner for example) for pci-e slot on a normal mainboard)


    Wow. That's a whole lot of tuners and a whole lot of money to buy them :(


    Do you have you own sat-dish that you can hook up with a Quad LNBs ?


    Not yet. I asked for permission to put the dish in the balcony and I'm still waiting for a reply.


    Zapping channels using DLNA is imho no fun. Just to slow in channel change.
    The epg info features will also not work with the DLNA system.
    XMBC is able to view those infos and you can browse the upcoming tv shows and mark them for recording.


    Yep, i get what you mean. For now (while testing) it will do. Later on for a nice experience I will use xbmc devices.


    The SmartTV Plugin works with certain samsung TV and Blueray players:
    http://projects.vdr-developer.org/projec…smarttvweb/wiki


    I'll take a look at this too.


    You could first start with a basic setup (one server plus one client) and try it.


    That's exactly what I intend to do.
    Thanks a lot.
    Cheers


    PS: I have PM'ed user hepi and asked him to kindly visit this thread and give is advise.