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Old 03-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #31
lrhorer
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Welcome to the thread. A number of users on this forum have experience with either the Synology or Netgear systems. The advantages of a NAS are they are usually small in footprint, comparatively speaking, and they usually enjoy very low power consumption. On the down side, they tend to be a bit more expensive than a roll-your-own, and unless you purchase a high-end model, expandability can be a real challenge.

I will take the time to enter into a little more lengthy discourse this evening, but in the mean time I request that you think a bit about your needs in terms of capacity and usage both now and in the near future, and let us know what they are. The answers will help determine a good path for you to follow. Note that you need to think about not only how much capacity you will need, but also what types of files ( video only or audiom photos, video, and perhaps general purpose files? MPEG-II? MKV? h.264? ), and what you will be doing with them (transferring to a handheld device? Burning to DVD?). It also encompasses how much you want to spend.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:39 PM   #32
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Well, the latest version of Debian Linux, named "Wheezy", was released just a few days ago. I haven't upgraded, yet, but it looks pretty nice. I'm probably going to upgrade one of my desktop PCs this weekend. I'll post my findings here.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:31 PM   #33
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Say, I have a general question about this. I've been running pyTiVo on an old computer with Windows XP on it, and I've always assumed the slowness of file transfers were due to me using wifi. Well I ran a long ethernet cable as an experiment, and a 2-3 GB file still took hours to transfer, so I'm guessing the bottleneck must be whatever pyTiVo is internally doing during the transfer. It must be doing a bunch of data crunching or something.

It seems like I remember you or somebody saying that pyTiVo could be installed on my NAS directly. (Currently I have the XP computer transferring files between the TiVos and the NAS.) I actually now have two NAS's in my house, both made by Synology, which I think might be linux-based, if I understand correctly, which made me think of this thread. (One NAS contains 2 x 3TB in RAID 0 configuration, and the other has 4 x 3TB in RAID 5.)

So my question is this: If I were to install pyTiVo on one of the NAS's, do you think there would be a significant boost in how fast I can transfer files?

On another subject, pyTiVo freezes on me pretty much daily, and I think it's because of the wifi network. My attempts to use MOCA have failed, but my BIL thinks I should install a high quality wireless access point (instead of relying on the router's built-in wifi), and he's offered to help me run ethernet to the center of the house through my attic to get this set up, so hopefully that will work. I'd consider running ethernet to the TiVos, but that would involve parts of my attic that are very hard to get to. Getting to a central location is easy though, as that part of my attic is very accessible.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:42 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
So my question is this: If I were to install pyTiVo on one of the NAS's, do you think there would be a significant boost in how fast I can transfer files?
My initial response is no. The "data crunching" is pyTivo transcoding the file (via ffmpeg) to a format the TiVo can play. You can minimize transcoding by keeping your files in formats the newer boxes can play natively so that really you're just copying the file instead of re-encoding it (which is CPU intensive). NASes usually have slower CPUs than a full-blown desktop machine which is why I say you probably won't see a performance boost moving pyTivo to the NAS (although I have no experience with the Synology units).

As for the networking setup, wired ethernet would be the way to go, then MoCA (which I personally love and use with all of my TiVos), and then WiFi.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:55 PM   #35
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The kind of transferring we're doing is mainly just moving a file from the TiVo to the NAS. Should that really even involve transcoding the files? It looks like the files are showing up on the NAS with a .TiVo suffix, plus a small meta data file in text format. Are the files stored natively on our TiVos in .TiVo format? By the way, the 3 TiVos we use with pyTiVo are 2 S2, plus one Premier. (My TiVo is a TiVoHD, but I don't bother transferring files from that one.)
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:48 PM   #36
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S2s are slow as hell. They're almost always the limiting factor in a transfer. You should get pretty good speeds to a Premiere, though.

The TiVo's internal representation of recordings doesn't really resemble a conventional filesystem. But .TiVo files are the transport mechanism in and out of the TiVo.

A .TiVo file might still need transcoding, e.g. if you were attempting to watch an HD recording on a Series 2.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:14 AM   #37
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Well my wife almost never attempts to watch an HD recording on her S2's, but it sounds like even without transcoding, slowness can be caused by the hardware inside the S2 itself, which I assume must participate in the work of the file transfer.

So it's sounding like whether I continue with my XP box, or house pyTiVo on an NAS, I'm still going to be limited by the S2. And my BIL's suggestion I install a high speed 5GHz wireless access point (to get higher speed wifi) wouldn't necessarily help that much either.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:12 AM   #38
lrhorer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
Say, I have a general question about this. I've been running pyTiVo on an old computer with Windows XP on it, and I've always assumed the slowness of file transfers were due to me using wifi. Well I ran a long ethernet cable as an experiment, and a 2-3 GB file still took hours to transfer
It should not take that long, but using WiFi, it might. WiFi speeds can be unspeakably low, but one should be able to get at least a couple of Mbps out of even a weak link. Two Mbps is 900 MB per hour, so if your link is only managing 1 or 2 Mbps, then a couple of hours or so is not unexpected for a 2G file.

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so I'm guessing the bottleneck must be whatever pyTiVo is internally doing during the transfer. It must be doing a bunch of data crunching or something.
No, pyTiVo doesn't do anything of note during a transfer from a TiVo to the server. The TTG transfer protocol is actually just a standard Secure HTTP transfer as far as the clients are concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
It seems like I remember you or somebody saying that pyTiVo could be installed on my NAS directly.
It surely can, as long as the platform wither allows alien software, or else can be hacked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
(Currently I have the XP computer transferring files between the TiVos and the NAS.) I actually now have two NAS's in my house, both made by Synology, which I think might be linux-based
Yes, I believe that is true of most, if not all Synology units.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
So my question is this: If I were to install pyTiVo on one of the NAS's, do you think there would be a significant boost in how fast I can transfer files?
Well, it depends on the topology, but I expect not.

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Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
On another subject, pyTiVo freezes on me pretty much daily, and I think it's because of the wifi network.
That is the best first guess. It could be something else, however. Without more information, it is not possible to refine the guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
My attempts to use MOCA have failed, but my BIL thinks I should install a high quality wireless access point (instead of relying on the router's built-in wifi), and he's offered to help me run ethernet to the center of the house through my attic to get this set up, so hopefully that will work.
It may or may not help. Again, we would need more details to guess more effectively.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:18 AM   #39
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The kind of transferring we're doing is mainly just moving a file from the TiVo to the NAS. Should that really even involve transcoding the files?
Well, yes and no. The transcoding, if any, is not done by the server in that case, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
It looks like the files are showing up on the NAS with a .TiVo suffix, plus a small meta data file in text format. Are the files stored natively on our TiVos in .TiVo format?
No, they are tystreams. On S1 and S2 TiVos, the tystreams are an extension of MPEG2. On the S3 and S4, I believe they can be coded as either MPEG2 or h.264 extensions.

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Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
By the way, the 3 TiVos we use with pyTiVo are 2 S2, plus one Premier. (My TiVo is a TiVoHD, but I don't bother transferring files from that one.)
Do you experience the same low transfer rate to / from the Premiere? If so, then it lends more support to the notion of your problem being related mainly to the WiFi.

Last edited by lrhorer : 01-07-2014 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:23 AM   #40
lrhorer
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Well my wife almost never attempts to watch an HD recording on her S2's, but it sounds like even without transcoding, slowness can be caused by the hardware inside the S2 itself
It's possible, but the rates you mention sort of sound more like something else. It's hard to tell without quantitative data.

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Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
which I assume must participate in the work of the file transfer.
There are ways to speed it up - a lot. Not, however, if your wireless loop is the main culprit.

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Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
So it's sounding like whether I continue with my XP box, or house pyTiVo on an NAS, I'm still going to be limited by the S2.
At some point, yes. Whether you are at that point now, or not, is another matter. We need to know what segments are wireless and which ones are wired. Is the link from the NAS to the XP machine wired or wireless? From the XP machine to the S2s? To the Premiere? Remember, when you host the download server (pyTivo in this case) on the XP machine, the data has to transfer from the TiVo to the server, and then from the server to the NAS. Add to that the fact the wireless links are half duplex, and not very fast in the first place, and it would be no wonder the transfers are slow if the data is passing across a wireless segment twice.

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And my BIL's suggestion I install a high speed 5GHz wireless access point (to get higher speed wifi) wouldn't necessarily help that much either.
If you can get us some real numbers, we might be able to tell you better. In partcular see what speeds you get to and from the Premiere. The Premiere is not slow, comparatively speaking. Most routers have stats for their wireless clients. Posting those would help, as well.

Last edited by lrhorer : 01-07-2014 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:27 AM   #41
lrhorer
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My initial response is no. The "data crunching" is pyTivo transcoding the file (via ffmpeg) to a format the TiVo can play.
He seems to be using pyTivo to transfer from the TiVos to the NAS, rather than the other way around. If so, your point is moot for his use.

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Originally Posted by windracer View Post
As for the networking setup, wired ethernet would be the way to go, then MoCA (which I personally love and use with all of my TiVos), and then WiFi.
Wireline fits in there somewhere, definitely above WiFi.
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