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Live TV with HDHR Connect on MacOS - System Requirements


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Working on proof-of-concept testbed using available hardware at hand. Decades of pro IT experience, but total noob with Emby for home use.


Emby Server is running on a Mac mini (Mid 2010), 2.4G Core 2 Duo, 16GB RAM, its stock internal HDD (320GB 5400 RPM), with an external drive to house recorded media. 


Recorded mp4 (m4v) media streams perfectly on all devices, no worries there.


Added HDHR Connect to experiment with streaming Live TV, it set up very smoothly and displays 32 available local OTA channels.


SD channels and subchannels stream just fine with default settings, using ffmpeg transcoding, on both wired and wifi connections (and on the server machine itself).


But, it seems that 720p and above HD channels are simply too much for ffmpeg to handle with this CPU, and I have to manually change settings on the remote app (iOS is all I have played with so far) down to 480p/420k for those HD streams to keep CPU load for ffmpeg below 100% and get the HD channels to stream at all. Same result with the Roku app.


This Mini has the Nvidia GeForce 320M 256 MB GPU, but there is apparently no support for that, and it probably wouldn't be much help anyway.


Grateful for any wisdom on the recommended system requirements to support live HDTV transcoding from the HDHR Connect, since clearly this is not enough! Or, maybe I need to get the Extend with built-in transcoding to h.264...(?)

Edited by MikeTech
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I think you have really answered all your own questions!!.   CPU is king - spend the money there and not on the Extend.


Generally a good I5 will handle a couple to a few streams and I7 will handle more.  Its not an exact science but if you go for a core per transcode plus a couple of cores for overhead you wont go far wrong.


I have an I7 gen 3 quad core giving 8 virtual processors and that works very nicely for me with 4-5 transcodes





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OK, thanks for confirming my suspicions. I was just hoping that I was missing some secret sauce or configuration setting that would dial back the processor load enough to get the HD channels streaming to mobile devices without errors.


So, it seems the wiki info found here is not necessarily adequate for dealing with the full HD stream from the HDHR Connect:


Recommended Configuration — transcoding HD Content:

Intel Core 2 Duo processor 2.4 GHz or better
If transcoding for multiple devices, a faster CPU may be required
At least 2GB RAM
Windows: Vista or later
OS X: Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later
Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS or SuSE Linux
The Emby test setup I am running now is adequate for my main purpose, which is to have an indexable access to a lot of one-of-a-kind stored media files already in mp4. The live TV aspect is just something fun that I noticed as a cool feature of Emby, not really interested enough in it to spend a bunch more money. And, after being up my eyeballs in IT all day, the last thing I need is a new "hobby", lol! Maybe when I retire, I'll be more interested in building an HTPC from scratch, but at this point in time when I get home I'm definitely more interested in plug-and-play, like an off-the-shelf NAS or something.
As it stands now, if I select 360p (instead of auto) on my iOS phone app, it works well enough. I'd be happier if I could hard code those resolutions on the server side or even set the resolutions on a per-channel basis on the iOS app, but this works.
Thanks again for the reply!
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