Monday, 19 May 2014

A Productive Weekend

I got some more time this weekend to play with the MediaServer8 box and to address a few issues;

I expanded my array from 6TB storage to 11TB with the addition of a 4TB parity drive (Seagate NAS), a 4TB data drive (HGST) and an additional 1TB WD Green. My case is now full with 12 drives, 10 dedicated to the array and 2 for TV timeshiftimg and storage.

With 4TB in place as parity, I'm set to gradually replace all my 1TB drives meaning I'll be able to get up to 32TB with my current set up.

I transferred the replaced 1TB parity to act as parity in my old 32 bit Xeon unRAID server which is now packed with 500GB drives. It's acting as a backup of critical data such as work files etc.

While I had the system out on the bench, I took the opportunity to do a spot of re-cabling, tidying up some unsightly runs and fixing an issue I had with power intermittently failing to my satellite tuner cards. (turned out that it was a poor molex adapter where pins were not seated correctly - what a crappy standard that is!

With all the system stuff taken care of, I spent most of Sunday addressing an issue I had with my second TV client.

I have had one Windows 8.1 VM running well for several months now, set up with MediaPortal client and connected to my living room TV via HDMI, with USB for IR receiver and keyboard/mouse combo.

A few weeks ago, I'd copied a previously set up Windows 8.1 VM into the MediaServer8 system with a view to setting up a second virtual client system in my lounge.

However, whenever I tried to run MediaPortal on both systems, both would lock up, failing to play more than a few seconds of video content at a time.

I decided to bite the bullet and completely re-install windows on a freshly made .img file. It took a while with all the required windows updates etc. but thats to a very concise listing of Windows VM post-install tasks in this thread by landS, the second VM now works perfectly.

So I now have my unRAID server providing parity protected storage and running multiple VMs as follows;

Win 7 headless MediaPortal / ArgusTV server with passed through DVB-T / DVB-S2 tuners and M-Audio Delta 410 for multi-room audio

Win 8.1 MediaPortal client + netflix serving my living room with GPU and IR / Keyboard / Mouse passthrough.

Win 8.1 MediaPortal client + netflix serving my lounge with GPU and Keyboard / Mouse passthrough.

Headless ArchLinux VM running Logitech Media Server for whole-house audio

I'd love to drive one more TV zone but my PCIe slots are full so no more room for an additional video card, unless I can find a way to re-purpose the card used for unRAID boot. Next task I guess....


Anonymous said...

How did you manage to connect your centralized server to your various TVs throughout the house?

Peter Mee said...


I'm fortunate in that two of my TVs downstairs are in back-to-back rooms and just above them is an attic void which is also next door to my Home theatre.

Therefore, all my displays are no more than about 20' from my server - an easy run for HDMI and USB.

This maxes out my VMs. Any additional TVs in rooms further away would access the server via an actual HTPC.

Thanks for looking!