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NUC for first server?


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#1 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 05:00 PM

Hi, I just recently startet looking into media streaming with Plex / Emby. (Plex did not work so well)

Having been looking around for the right hardware, I wanted to get a professional opinion before committing to a system.

 

I need something for 2-3 concurrent streams, worst case 1080p, h.264 video from Blu-Rays, additionally i want Owncloud to run on it and (possibly in the future) recording live tv with a dual tuner.

My clients would be a Windows PC, 3 FireTV-Sticks (First Gen), an LG-TV (webOS) and various iPhones, iPads, Android Phones and Tablets (not all at the same time though).

Network runs over Devolo PowerLAN (those things you plug into a power outlet and it sends data over the wiring) but i can reach speeds of 50-60Mbit/s at the absolute worst case (300 Mbit/s normally). I have tested Emby already and it works ok (for now).

 

I have narrowed my search down to these three:

 

1. NUC7I5BNK: i5 7260U (Passmark 5680) ~410

2. NUC8I5BEK2: i5 8259U (Passmark 11003) ~470

3. Dell PowerEdge T30: E3-1225 v5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD (Passmark 7819) ~470

 

https://www.cpubench...993vs3299vs2707

 

For 1 + 2 also (included in price already):

RAM: Crucial CT8G4SFS824A 8GB
SSD: Crucial MX500 CT250MX500SSD4 250GB M.2

 

Media itself is on an external 6TB drive.

 

 

Is the (1) enough or should I get something more powerful?

Should i go for a tower like (3)? I would rather have something smaller.

Is an i5 "better" than a Xeon for Emby? (The i5 seems to use less power, but the E3 is a server CPU and therefore fits the job description better)

Is 8 GB RAM enough?

Can I use Windows 10 or should I go for Windows Server or Linux?

Are there alternatives to those three systems that are better?



#2 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:10 PM

Hi, yes nucs are pretty nice little boxes. @Doofus do you have any experience with them?



#3 Doofus ONLINE  

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:17 PM

I have never had a NUC, unfortunately. But that looks like a healthy start.



#4 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 12:54 PM

Okay, thank you,

 

guess I get a NUC8I5BEK, just to be on the save side CPU-power-wise.

I have looked into the RAM requirements and it says 2 GB for encoding HD content, so 8 GB should be enough, but I think I will get a single stick to be able to upgrade later to 16 GB if needed.



#5 Doofus ONLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 12:59 PM

Remember that it's not just video transcoding you need to think about. You have to think about what you require of the server, too. Also, audio transcoding always goes through the CPU. Audio transcoding is an easy function, but on top of other processing the server may require, you may create a bottle neck.

Edited by Doofus, 17 April 2019 - 01:01 PM.


#6 jon_ OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 01:25 PM

One thing to bear in mind with the NUCs is they might thermally throttle (slow the CPU down to reduce heat) themselves if you run them at high CPU for a while - I don't have first hand experience but I understand they can be prone to it.. 



#7 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 02:33 PM

Well I only need the server to supply 3 people with media, either someone watches a movie or listens to music or looks at pictures etc. If a server can handle 2-3 movies, I think it would handle 1-2 movies & 1 song or 3 songs at the same time.

The thing I am worried about would be recording live TV while streaming something to clients. The i5 8259U sounds already pretty powerful, faster i7s would be twice as expensive while not having that much more power. (i7-8559U https://www.cpubench...59U/3302vs3299)

 

I have looked into thermal throttling, the 8. gen seems to have much improved cooling and vents than compared to previous generations, according to this (https://nucblog.net/...ek-nuc8i5beh/2/) there isn't any throttling, though I am not sure about 24/7 usage.



#8 mastrmind11 OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:43 PM

fwiw, I have #3 in your original post, and have never had an issue streaming and recording at the same time.  That's plenty of power for 3 users, and NUC #2 is even more powerful so I'm fairly certain your good to go with either of those, probably even NUC #1


Edited by mastrmind11, 17 April 2019 - 03:43 PM.


#9 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 04:29 PM

Thanks for clarifying that.

 

So, I am gravitating towards (2), but (3) has a bigger case for possibly better cooling and PCIe slots for tuner cards. :unsure:

 

Guess I have to look into USB-tuners for recording, but thats a bridge I will cross when I have the server and emby up and running already.



#10 jaycedk OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:30 PM

Instead of a USB tuner, I would get https://www.silicond...erun-expand-eu/



#11 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:02 PM

It doesn't seem to work with DVB-S/S2, I am getting my TV signal over Satellite.

 

Are there alternatives to HDHR with support for DVB-S/S2?



#12 jaycedk OFFLINE  

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 12:01 AM

I found this https://www.digital-...worktuner?c=163

but I have no experience with the product.

So I can't tell you how good it is, or if it works with Emby.



#13 jon_ OFFLINE  

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 04:45 AM

I've got a Megasat SAT/IP receiver which is totally standalone from my server - sat connections in one end, Ethernet out of the other. 

 

https://www.megasat....at-ip-server-3/

 

I've then got that fed into TVHeadend, which Emby can interface with, either via the TVH plugin, or you can provide Emby an M3U feed of channels.

 

Currently I'm using TVH for TV/Recordings directly and not scheduling anything via Emby, but I could do everything via Emby if I wanted. 



#14 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:57 AM

Does TVheadend work on Windows? Their page is down and other sites/forums are only talking about linux.

Can't I just directly link the Sat>IP server to emby?

How do you get EPG data in emby to record stuff? Schedules Direct subscription or does that come from TVHeadend?



#15 jon_ OFFLINE  

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:15 AM

I don't believe there is a native windows version (I'm running it on linux so to be honest I've never checked) - but there is a docker version, so you in theory could run it in a container on windows, or as a hyper-v image. Worst case you could run it on a raspberry pi.. 

 

I believe Emby can pull in the TVH EPG data, but you can also use the native Emby EPG as well. In TVH you have loads of EPG options - Schedules Direct, XML, or you can harvest the EPG over the air if your provider is supported.

 

I don't think there's a native SatIP plugin for Emby, so you'd need something like TVH in between. 



#16 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 11:55 AM

Ok, guess I have to see, I already have a RasPi so I can repurpose that maybe.

The EPG data seems to also come OTA fpr DVB-S here, so I hope I don't needing to use Schedules Direct.

 

I must say the community seems great and really helpful. I didn't expect to get that many replies so fast.

Thank You All! :lol:



#17 Marc_G OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 03:33 PM

Sorry to chime in a bit late, but you should also look into small form factor (SFF) Optiplex, ProDesk, and similar business models that are for sale cheap on eBay. Here in the US, for $250 shipped, you can get an i5-6500 machine with 8GB RAM and a SDD for the OS. These machines can fit two hard drives for storage in them nicely; I have one running my security camera system.

 

Just go to ebay, enter i5-6500, and choose "Desktops and All-in-ones" then sort by price. Avoid anything that is 6500U or 6500T as those are slower variants.

 

These off lease machines typically come with Win10Pro licenses, and some include warranty.


Edited by Marc_G, 26 April 2019 - 03:34 PM.


#18 Suruatnecs OFFLINE  

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for the help, but I already bought and set up a NUC (btw works great).

 

But maybe it helps someone else.






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