Backend Frontend split

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Pantera116
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:58 pm

Backend Frontend split

Post by Pantera116 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:21 am

I thought i would share my recent experiences of building a second remote front end and making the original FE/BE a BE only.

It has come about as a result of making the mistake earlier in the year of buying a cheap motherboard. This was intended to up grade
the Linux machine i am using to type this which i keep for surfing. The motherboard was a Gigabyte GA-M52LT-D3. The issue with this
motherboard is that it uses an old nvidia chipset, therefore limited SATA ports and compatibility issues with the latest SSD's. It would
not work nicely with a Vertex 2 which i bought to work with it, however it was suggested to be OK with SSD's using the Indilinx
controller. I therefore bought a OCZ Onyx SSD to use with it and it works fine.

This motherboard and SSD became spares when upgraded again to ASUS M5A97PRO and a Crucial M4 SSD for my Linux surfing
Machine. EUFI instead of BIOS on this board is interesting, improvements in user friendliness if not really any faster to boot.

I used to run a linux box with Geebox installed to act as a duke box for a collection of FLAC encoded albums. I have moved these on
to my mythtv backend so i had a spare case.

I had spotted a degraded capacitor on the motherboard in my BE/FE so i wanted to change it out. I bought a Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H
as a replacement, this has a AMDSB850 south bridge which can support 6 6Gb/s SATA ports. It also has has onboard ATI graphics
Realtek HD audio and Realtek gigabit LAN. Therefore for its use a BE it did not need a graphics card or sound card. I changed the
motherboard out without any issues (Linux normal copes with major hardware changes without fuss in my experience).

The sound card a ASUS Xonar DX and a ZOTAC Geforce GT430 (a replacement for a generic GT220 which blew up) were therefore
available for the FE.

So i had all the parts for the the front-end. Small single SSD for the OS, good Nvidia graphics for VDPAU support, nice sound card.
Decided the Chip did not need to be very powerful as the graphics card would do all the work. So got a boxed Sempron 145. Ram is
4Gbytes of DDR3 1333. Remote is a Playstation3 BD remote used with a Belkin blue-tooth dongle. I may have posted about the
remote before, works really well. So far have not seen loads over 0.1 as reported in the information center even with 1080i material.

So the BE now just has the tuners and hard drives (4 currently 4 TB of storage) and the tuners (3 twin tuners, 1 pcie DVB-S2 and 2 usb
DVB-T). I am now running what was a FE/BE without a monitor mouse or keyboard attached (this does not cause problems). The BE
runs X11VNC server so that i can remote access via VNC using the Vinagre gnome vnc client in my case. The FE software is still
installed but is not run. I an thinking of upgrading to Mythbuntu 11.04 64bit on a fresh OS drive and installing as BE only. This may give
me the option of using a on-line XML listing for the DVB-S/S2 channels i receive (listing is messy at the moment).

I should mention that i am running an Athlon 2 240e CPU in the backend and i have fitted a 80plus bronze psu in order to reduce power
usage. I do not trans-code anything, i do let comm flagging run, do not often see loads over 1.

So over all good to split out the BE and FE functions. BE does not need to power excess hardware when left powered up to capture
recording. FE can run lighter CPU but powerful graphics and good sound and just be powered up when needed.

dmfrey
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:50 pm
Location: Center Valley, PA
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Re: Backend Frontend split

Post by dmfrey » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:33 am

Great info. Thanks for sharing.

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