Consumers Can Now Manage TiVo DVR Recordings from HP MediaSmart Servers

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by sbiller, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. dbtom

    dbtom Member

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    Feb 14, 2002
    New York City

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    Although I keep most of my media on the homeserver acting like a NAS, I still find it very helpful to have an image backup of each PC. If a PC dies, I can easily roll back to an earlier version. It's really easy. Realistically there are always some files on my PC that aren't on the WHS-- a spreadsheet I had been working on etc. I am sure there is some way to do it on a NAS, but it's so easy on WHS. I don't think a restore is impractical. It's really easy.

    Your NAS choices aren't cheap. I bought a 4 bay HP WHS for $300 on sale with a 500GB drive. If you wait for a good sale you can probably spend $300 - $400 on a similar unit. WHS has been rock solid for me and all the features you highlighted are supported.

    I am not a Linux expert. If you are a Linux guy a NAS might be a better solution. But it really is worth giving the WHS a shot. One of the best tech products I've bought in a while. This is a set-it-and-forget it product as well.
     
  2. pcbrew

    pcbrew Member

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    Mar 14, 2008
    DFW
    How do you get it? Does it just show up as an option to install?

    I have an older EX475 (2nd gen) - do I get?
     
  3. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    You would have to upgrade to version 3.0 (which means going to the HP support website for your EX475 and spending about $30 for the upgrade software disc).

    Then you would have to install the 3.0 update, any other updates and then download (again from HP) the Tivo add-in and put that in the /software/add-ins/ folder on the EX475 and then install it.

    I'm not sure whether or not this add-in will work with older Mediasmarts if they are updated to 3.0 but I don't see any particular reason it would not work.
     
  4. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Actually, anyone who argues that WHS is a viable fault-tolerant server storage solution, has never spent much time with a modern NAS.

    You should have nothing on any client PC except the OS and apps. You should once-in-a-blu-moon do a full image backup/incremental image backup, to the NAS. You can then restore from the NAS as needed.

    And most people seem to forget - when you need to do a full restore on a client PC, unless it's just the HD, it requires a real techie to do the *fix* and then the restore.

    Otherwise, the client PCs are mostly dumb application clients.

    And WHS fault tolerance is a twisted mirroring. This gets very lame very fast with any sort of significant storage. Or, you lose fault tolerance on the data. With a NAS, you get RAID 5/6 (with more than 2 drives), which is much more efficient, and gives you fault tolerance of everything.

    Anyway, I've had enough experience with this whole thing to know that this is an evolution - people start with nothing, then go to WHS, thinking it's the best for what it is, and then eventually grow up to a NAS and realize what they've been missing.
     
  5. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    Jun 19, 2002

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    Sorry to interrupt the WHS vs NAS battle.

    Installed the HP software onto my home server. It didn't find any of my 3 Tivos. I checked the event log on my home server and noticed an error from the HP software complaining about listening on UDP ports. Suspecting a port conflict, I stopped both the pyTivo & Streambaby services on my home server and recycled the HP Tivo extender service. Second time around it found one of three Tivos and I was able to transfer a file.

    So the software works somewhat though I have no idea why it only finds one of three Tivos nor why it conflicts with pyTivo or Streambaby. For me, PyTivo + Streambaby > HP Tivo extender software so I'm uninstalling the HP software. To be fair, I'm a tinkerer and the HP software is lacking for me however it might be suitable for others.
     
  6. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    You apparently don't understand enough to know that I've run Linux NAS boxes for over a decade, and used to have a job as an engineer supporting a RAID based box with NAS functions for huge clients all over the world.

    WHS is better than NAS in almost all situations one will encounter in the home. WHS boxes have higher performance processors, run a full OS (based on Server 2003), have more RAM, are capable of running virtually any software you might like and it does not take a "techie" to recover a client machine that is hosted on WHS.

    Your RAID5/RAID6 arguments are a joke. Anyone who really understands storage would know that RAID 1+0 is really the way to go. RAID5 becomes worthless if the controller goes out and your RAID set is corrupt. RAID 5 discs don't do anything for you when the array is not working. By comparison the drive extender in WHS gives you totally useable dual copies of all of your data that are not dependent on a controller card, they can be read in any PC (or Mac/Redhat box for that matter). Want to add some storage to that RAID5/RAID6 array? Oh boy, you get to back all the data up externally, then rebuild the array, and then restore the data. I'm sure non techies can handle that when compared to simply adding a drive or removing it in the WHS console.

    The ONLY reason anyone would choose RAID5 or RAID6 for the home is that they are either ignorant of RAID (and thereby think it's better) or they need ultra high performance for a multitude of simultaneous client computers, something that is almost never seen in a home environment.

    Maybe you should get a stop watch and time how long it takes to recover your OS, applications, updates, anti-virus, driver updates and other "non critical data" vs how long it takes to pop a WHS recovery disc in the CD tray and restore a system to a pristine image that was created weeks or months earlier.

    You should seriously get off of your high and mighty "people graduate from WHS to a real (HE-MAN!!) NAS solution.

    Maybe you can take it up with the hundreds of people who populate WHS user forums who have graduated the OTHER way into WHS after running NAS solutions for years.

    Many of them being IT professionals like myself.
     
  7. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    Mine found both of my TiVos, but not until I ran the latest HP and WHS updates. After getting all of the updates for my box, then rebooting, then reinstalling the add-in, it saw both of my TiVos and I have successfully copied shows from both of them with the add-in.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    well which is it? The WHS's full image/incremental backup is worthless. Or your NAS that you use some other tool to do your client backups to is superior?

    there's more than one way to get a job done in the world, you might be better off to have an open mind and realize that 2 rational people can find a a way to get the job done in 2 completely different manners with the same basic endpoint.

    In this instance for some a WHS is a better choice. For you and others a NAS is a better choice. Neither is "right" nor "wrong" just different.

    No wonder we can't solve any of the real problems our country has when people can't even act rational about a stupid box to hold their digital files on.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    when you use more than one 'desktop' solution, be it pytivo, tivo desktop, galleon, and now the hp plugin- you have to fiddle with the ports (on I think what is called the "beacon") as they all default to the same one and bump into each other. I believe pytivo and galleon both have places to change the port number. I dont think tivo desktop does so I'd doubt the HP thing does either. Streambaby I'm not sure at all - but assume you can change it like the other 3rd party tools since the folks who make those tools seem to really have things well under control.

    sometimes it takes a bit to 'see' other boxes- I'm not sure if there's a time thing or what. But eventually I'd bet all 3 will show up if you decided to only use the hp thing or used it alongside the others (after fiddling with ports)
     
  10. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Nice in theory, but in reality, there are often objectively better and worse solutions.

    WHS is, objectively, an overall worse solution. It's really only useful to techies, but targeted at home users. And yet home users can't do much with it, and have no idea how to actually take advantage of any of it's "features". And techies are constantly fighting with it to get access to a low enough level to actually do things with the OS. And WHS has lousy fault tolerance.

    WHS is potentially great in concept, but in practice does a bunch of things, not very well.

    There's really nothing about WHS, except the novelty of it, that can't be better done (using the same people resources), with many other options at comparable (not equal) cost. A modern NAS is just one of those options.
     
  11. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    I would really like to know what the source of this misinformation is that you need to be a "techie" to set up and use the WHS that you continue to parrot as if it's a fact.

    Maybe you should refer to the scores of positive reviews on Amazon, CNET and elsewhere from regular people who found this product easy to install. In most cases a regular person can get one of these installed on their network for file access and backups in under an hour.

    You continue to speak as if you are in a position of authority on this, but appear to be anything but an authority on home storage.
     
  12. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    sure. ;-)

    2+2 = 4

    2*2 = 4

    By your figuring I assume clearly one is objectively more correct?

    I think you need to look up the definition of objective. Opinion is not part of it. FOR YOU one is clearly better.

    Haven't seen one example that you have given how one is or is not objectively better than another. Price? Power? Abilities? Customize-ability (is that a word- lolo) ? Ease of use? Fault tolerance? set it and forget it? data security? disaster recovery?

    Honestly there very well may be lots of items that the NAS is better than a WHS but you have yet to point to one with any specifics rather than just a general statement.

    BTW- Have you ever used one? I'm not sure why you think techies are always fighting with it to get to the OS. You install a plug in that allows you to get desktop or explorer access and then you click it. Presto chango you are logged in as the admin sitting at the desktop. it's not rocket science once you set it up.
     
  13. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    I suspect it was a zeroconf conflict for UDP 5353. If the HP software were more compelling, I might have spent some time fiddling.

    I waited an hour while a 6 gig file transfered and the other two Tivos never showed.

    The HP Tivo extender software is missing three things that would make it interesting for me; auto-transfers, commercial detection and trim, and decrypting the .tivo file & converting it from mpg2 to something requiring less disk space. If I have to do any of these steps on another PC, I might as well do them all on the PC like I do today and just store the final file on the home server.

    While the HP software was installed, I did look at the files that were installed on my system and it was interesting to see that they use a command line program to do work all the work (aptly named tivocli.exe) with another GUI front end app.
     
  14. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

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    Tualatin,...
    One argument against WHS is the nasty file corruption bug that festered for many months before Microsoft got around to fixing it.

    Of course most NAS vendors aren't better in terms of "we don't care; we don't have to; we've got your money; go fuqqq off if you don't like how the product works".
     
  15. balboa dave

    balboa dave well rounded

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    Newport...
    Now you're just a troll. In practice, WHS does a lot of great things, and it's spectacularly easy to use. I bought a HP475 the day it came out, and it took less than an hour to set up and another few hours to back up 4 computers, and that was just because it was the first time. It runs 100% unattended. All my computers run automatic daily backups, most of the time only needing a few minutes to do so. One of my computers had a spectacular hard drive and controller failure, and after that was repaired, all I had to do was plug in a CD, and WHS restored the entire computer. I have a hosted web site, a WHS feature, from which I can access anything on the server. Both my XBOX360 and PS3 can access all WHS media files and most internet media through WHS. I also have added a local USB drive for backup of WHS itself, and on-line backup is also supported. The only drawbacks I'm now facing is the HP47x series uses an slow CPU and limited RAM for use as a top end media server, but those issues are being addressed in newer models.

    That was addressed from the very beginning, and at no time did I feel like the developers were giving this short shrift. Despite the publicity, that was an obscure and hard to pin down (but critical, I'm not minimizing it's importance) bug that only affected very few users. It was reported as soon as it was confirmed, and was fixed almost two years ago.
     
  16. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Nice, because I disagree with you I'm a troll. You must be fun to live with!

    In less than 5 years, WHS will disappear. And there will be no 2008-based WHS. It's a one-shot deal, and is already mostly abandoned by MSoft. NASs have been around for much longer, and will continue to be around for much longer.

    WHS is a blip that no one will remember, except those that got burned.
     
  17. balboa dave

    balboa dave well rounded

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    Jan 19, 2004
    Newport...
    You just don't have a clue, do you? Here's one. (Hint: It's 2008 based.)

    Oh, and you're a textbook example of a troll because you have nothing to say about the subject of this thread, and are only intent on bashing WHS.
     
  18. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    I'm under NDA with Hewlett Packard, but I can assure you that you are wrong on all counts.
     
  19. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

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    Tualatin,...
    Even if it disappears, so what? Will your existing hardware stop working if MSFT doesn't release a new version? It isn't a marriage, just an appliance. And a lot of marriages don't last 5 years, either. :)

    I don't own WHS, but I think of it as similar to Apple's Time Machine, which I do use. It's a way for me to get painless backups. It's not perfect, but it's a LOT better than what I did before, which was manual backups every few months.
     
  20. tomlavelle

    tomlavelle New Member

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    I bought an Infrant (now Netgear) ReadyNAS NV when it first came out. Loved it for years. Upgraded the drives twice (from 4x500GB to 4x1TB to 4x1.5TB) using the brilliant X-RAID technology that does an in-place storage upgrade and volume expansion without having to move off data and rebuild the RAID set.

    I built a home-brew WHS box a year ago after hearing friends brag about it. I was skeptical of trusting storage to PC with a fat OS that gets patched every Tuesday. Then I started setting up backups on all of the machines in my house and I was hooked. I have never used a easier backup solution for my Windows PCs/laptops. It just works, beautifully. I also set up protected shares for photos and videos, gradually replacing my ReadyNAS since the data access/streaming performance of the WHS box was so much better than the ReadyNAS (to Windows clients, PS3, XBox 360, and Tivo Series3s).

    My homebrew WHS box doesn't have the SATA ports/drive bays that I need and when I heard the Tivo/MediaSmart news a few days ago I pulled the trigger on an EX495. I have 2 (1TB upgraded) Series3 Tivos and I hate dealing with the buggy Tivo Desktop to archive content. I'll gift my homebrew WHS box to my brother who, like many, is pretty exposed when it comes to keeping safe backups of digital photos, family videos, home finance data, etc. WHS's backup service is reason enough to buy one, and the long list of additional features/services is gravy.
     

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