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Thread: Nextpvr & virtualization

  1. #1
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    Nextpvr & virtualization

    hi everyone just looking for some opinions before i make changes and ruin my setup

    will i be ok running nextpvr in a virtual machine does anyone else here run this virtually or has tried

    Host: Unraid server with a haunpeggue quad hd tuner pci/pcie

    Guest OS: windows 10 pro running the nextpvr server software

  2. #2
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    Works fine. Need a network or usb tuner else your virtual machine canít see it. But other than that itís fines. Then you can have the client where and how you want.

    Mine is virtualised Windows 10 on hyper v. My client was windows 10, but now Apple TV/Plex.

  3. #3
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    Just to add to the psycik's answer above, one user tested a several pcie tuners inside a VMware install that supported pcie, and while a couple of the devices limped along and kind of worked, they all had problems that stopped them being usable. So...if you needed to use physical tuners, I'd probably stick with native windows installs, but VMs should be fine for network or iptv tuners (or possibly USB).

  4. #4
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    Yes, I have an interest into that too as it would be nice to combine my unRaid NAS, Plex and NPVR Server into one server, however it looks like the options so far is limited for the UnRaid Linux based system in loading the Linux kernel drivers for PCIe TV cards by downloading the unRaid DVB Edition, which is a modified version to include the drivers for TV Cards.

    Users then either use a docker based software like TVheadend or Plex Server (with Plex-pass subscription) which also supports the WinTV-HD quad tuner card to record and watch live TV. All of this have only come about within the last year, so fairly recent.

    I have not yet seen a post of someone successfully running a Windows VM and NPVR on an unRaid platform, then pass-through the PCIe TV card without issues with seeing the card or stutter or even being able to tune in channels, but there has been movement from the unRaid side of things and never say never that it won't happen, but it is a risk to try now unless you build a separate rig to trial it without dismantling your present one.
    Server: ASRock P67 Pro3 B3, i5 2500K 4.0Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia GT430 HDMI, Win 10 Pro 64bit.
    Hauppage Win-TV 2210 Dual DVB-T & analogue, Win-TV Quad HD, Win-TV Nova-T USB.
    Client: Intel NUC i3 Broadwell, 4GB Ram, 128GB SSD, Win 10 Pro 64bit.

  5. #5
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    I run my NPVR server in a Windows 10 VM under Proxmox using KVM & VirtIO drivers which I understand is the same underpinnings as used in unRaid. In the past I've successfully passed through a TBS Quad DVBS2 pice card and a usb DVBT tuner, although currently I use network devices (HD Homerun and a SAT>IP). I understand that having the correct h/w (CPU and motherboard) to ensure that you can pass through pci devices is important. In the intel world both need to support VT-x and VT-d.

    Chris

  6. #6
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    Waking the dead here... I have the PCTV 291e USB tuners and struggled with performance on the veiw/record quality (digital breakup) Passing through 2 USB sticks directly to the VM.
    Im not sure where this degradation happens since you get USB 3 speeds R/W to USB devices so its not an IO issue.
    Could be a driver optimisation issue i would imagine, not looked into different ones to the default VirtIO.
    Anyone else had any luck?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tompeel View Post
    Waking the dead here... I have the PCTV 291e USB tuners and struggled with performance on the veiw/record quality (digital breakup) Passing through 2 USB sticks directly to the VM.
    Im not sure where this degradation happens since you get USB 3 speeds R/W to USB devices so its not an IO issue.
    Could be a driver optimisation issue i would imagine, not looked into different ones to the default VirtIO.
    Anyone else had any luck?
    I had the same problem originally with these Tuners (not in a virtual machine) After changing Aerials cabling etc. I finally narrowed it down to the USB sockets not supplying enough power for the tuner chip which is, I believe, a Sony TV chip.
    Put the Stick on to a powered hub and reception / picture was fine. Later on added a 292e to the Hub as well (had to update the driver for the 291e to the newer one for them both to work)

    Other place that can cause a problem is the micro coax aerial connection being a loose fit.
    It's not an overly complicated system - it's more - overly simple operatives

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lao Pan View Post
    I finally narrowed it down to the USB sockets not supplying enough power for the tuner chip which is, I believe, a Sony TV chip.
    Put the Stick on to a powered hub and reception / picture was fine. Later on added a 292e to the Hub as well (had to update the driver for the 291e to the newer one for them both to work)
    Likewise. After regularly freezing, needing an unplug/plug to recover and video breaking up I moved them to a powered hub and haven't had a problem since (at least a year)

    (plain HP Microservers , as never got a VM working with USB)


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lao Pan View Post
    I had the same problem originally with these Tuners (not in a virtual machine) After changing Aerials cabling etc. I finally narrowed it down to the USB sockets not supplying enough power for the tuner chip which is, I believe, a Sony TV chip.
    Put the Stick on to a powered hub and reception / picture was fine. Later on added a 292e to the Hub as well (had to update the driver for the 291e to the newer one for them both to work)

    Other place that can cause a problem is the micro coax aerial connection being a loose fit.
    That's an interesting thought, never struck me as a power issue but definatly had this issue before on other machines, mostly the ITX HTPC build that started this whole thing, then i went down the server/client route and now im at the Server/Shield place but would like to move to a VM in my unraid, ill buy a USB3 PCI card as they are pretty cheap, even for a good one.

    Ill report back with my findings on Unraid/winddowsVM/USB card pass through.

  10. #10
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    UPDATE
    I added a self powered USB3 PCI card to my Unraid, (by this i mean no extra power cable to the card form the PSU all over PCI bus power)
    I have been streaming for 24 hours now and all seems stable, no restarts or freezing.

    Initially i thought it wasn't going to work as i was watching the Video on the VM over RDP which as i only have 2 cores 4 threads allocated to the windows VM i was using caused a bottle neck in performance.
    As long as i accessed the server remotely, WEB/Windows/android clients i could have 2 simultaneous streams going at between 50-70% CPU Might have squeezed a 3rd in but didnt bother.

    So.....
    What we learned -
    USB Passthrough on a VM of a tuner card specifically the 292e was stable on Unraid (I passed through the whole PCI card not the USB tuner)

    2 x i7-2600 3.6ghz cores is a bare minimum for watching and recording HD TV

    GPU doesn't help in a VM unless your using the monitor directly from the GPU

    Don't use VNC/RDP to judge the output on the local machine.

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