This and the next few posts will be focusing on hard drive selection for DVRs. This post will look at the type of workload that a DVR imposes on drives, using Project Entangle as an example. Subsequent posts will look at various system characteristics that can affect performance and performance measurements from some drives. And we’ll take a special look at shingled magnetic recording (SMR) drives, as they tend to have some very peculiar performance characteristics.
I’ve been in Las Vegas this week for the Amazon re:Invent conference. While there are enough sessions, receptions, and parties to keep you occupied day and night, I just couldn’t pass up a chance to check out the Las Vegas OTA airwaves. The Vdara staff was a bit mystified by my request for the highest south-facing room I could get, but very accommodating. So here I am on the 49th floor with good line-of-sight to the major towers (and a view of the desert instead of the Bellagio fountains, which apparently most people ask for.)
I had packed up a full Entangle development setup, including my trusty Silver Sensor antenna (aka the Zenith ZHDTV1). What I failed to do while busily packing was to check the RF frequencies of the Las Vegas broadcasts. As it turns out there are a few major channels in the VHF bands, including one on channel 2. Sadly the Silver Sensor is a UHF-only antenna.
This brings up an interesting point regarding the current state of OTA antennas: many of them, particularly the compact ones, are UHF-only. Even the ones that claim to be both UHF and VHF don’t handle VHF very well. At best they’ll pull in VHF-Hi. But can you make do with a UHF-only setup?
One of the interesting things about being in the Silicon Valley is that startups are popping up all around you. Earlier this week I came across Didja, a startup providing a free service that streams local broadcast television, similar to Sling TV or DIRECTVNow. It includes a cloud DVR that allows you to record about 300 hours of shows.
Didja is based in Mountain View, California. As it turns out, they’re half a mile down the street from me and in a building that used to house one of my former clients! Well, with such an auspicious location I had to see what it was all about. Continue reading “First Look: Didja’s Local TV Streaming Service”
April 7, 2018: Please take a look at the follow-up to this review.
Koherence’s projects have long been powered by SiliconDust HDHomerun tuners. At present 13 HDHR4s are feeding the three production Entangles, and a venerable HDHR Rev 2 handles other sundry tasks. The RF and power supply cabling has started to become quite…entangling…so the announcement of the four-tuner HDHomerun Connect Quatro was received with much anticipation. As soon as a (not quite local) Best Buy got it in stock, I was off to get one for evaluation! Continue reading “Review: The SiliconDust HDHomerun Connect Quatro!”
So I’ve been getting this question a lot over the past several months: Why Project Entangle? Why would I go about writing a DVR?
On the surface it’s easy to think I’m crazy (in addition to being inkoherent). After all, there’s the Tablo OTA DVR (in fact I’ve had one since the Indiegogo days, although it’s been gathering dust for a couple years). Plex has added DVR support. And the fine folk at SiliconDust now have a DVR for their HDHomerun devices too. And there’s TiVo. Having been affiliated with them for close to two decades, I have a variety of them from Series2s to Roamios. Continue reading “The Project Entangle Wishlist (i.e. why write a DVR?)”