Author Topic: Additional storage for Skippa  (Read 6897 times)

Offline Wayne Richmond

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Additional storage for Skippa
« on: July 13, 2015, 04:42:31 PM »
I really like what I've heard so far about Skippa and am very tempted to place an order but am I the only one who thinks that 1tb is a tad small - especially considering the Skippa's three tuners!   :)

Is IceTV considering offering a 2tb version?  Our current machine is a TiVo with 1.16tb and it full.  My wife and I often record an entire series before starting to watch it.  We have, for example, a complete set of 'The Wire' ready to be watched at some future date!

I know it is possible to archive files onto a USB drive but we don't want to have to stuff around with that - we just want to have ready access to a large collection of files and, let's face it, a 2tb drive is not an unreasonable/expensive option these days.

Wayne

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2015, 05:07:24 PM »
At the present time it is difficult to find 2.5" AV HDDs; the largest model from WesternDigital is WD10JUCT which has 1TB. Similarly HGST CinemaStar C5K1000 is the largest in the HGST rage and is 1TB. The Seagate Video 2.5" HDD top out at 500gig.

For performance reasons an AV specific HDD is desirable. While some PVR manufacturers have been known to use non-PVR specific 2.5" HDD, they tend to be up-market models. The largest I have been able to find are the Seagate-Samsung MT9 which comes in 1.5TB and 2TB - the 2TB model is available in Australia for about $180. WD have 2TB 2.5" USB drives but does not sell the naked HDD.

Ian
IceTV: 2xTRF-2400 + 2xTF7100HDPVRt + SKIPPA + T2
No IceTV: a few Toppys
Synology NAS
Check out the oztoppy wiki and Topfield Aus Forum for Toppy help
ozSKIPPA wiki coming soon (I hope)

Offline kavey8

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 12:56:44 PM »
A few questions on this:

i) What will be the largest external USB Hard drive supported?

ii) File system?  (FAT 32?)

iii) Will the external HDD need to be divided into multiple partitions, and what will be the max partition size?

iv) To search through a listing of all the content on the external HDD, will the user have to manually switch from one partition to another?

v)  Will any functionality be lost if content is stored on the external USB HDD rather than the internal 1 GB HDD?  (e.g. will ad skipping still work?  full program meta data still retained?)

vi) Same questions, but applied to content moved from the Skippa internal HDD to external network storage or media PC.  Will exported via WiFi be feasible?

Thanks

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 01:58:17 PM »
There would be no point in supporting FAT32 as it has a max file size of 4Gig. A better bet would be NTFS or the media storage optimised ExFAT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT. My recollection is that write speeds are faster if ExFAT is used.

The max partition size is determined by the operating system. My recollection is that the SKIPPA uses Linux, so it would depend on the Linux kernel being used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel. To support partitions greater than 2TB the kernel would need support for GPT. All recent Linux kernel support GPT.

Ian

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2015, 05:17:02 PM »
For external drives SKIPPA supports NTFS as read/write (as well as FAT32!). As SKIPPA 'moves' recordings to external USB drives I would not recommend using a FAT32 formatted USB drive unless you were certain the size of the file you want to move is less than 4GB
cheers

Dave
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Offline kavey8

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2015, 08:24:43 AM »
Thanks, Dave.

Any info on max ext drive / partition size, and also file size per hour of recoded content?

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2015, 08:45:57 AM »
It is difficult to give an estimate of hours of storage due to the different resolutions used on various free-to-air LCNs; all but LCN78 are MPEG 2 ts, LCN78 uses the more efficient MPEG4 ts. Also, raw hours or hours adjusted for pre- and post-padding will differ. The real unknown is how must storage will be taken up by the add-skipping information for each recording.

Ian


Offline Wayne Richmond

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2015, 09:23:13 AM »
Quote
The real unknown is how must storage will be taken up by the add-skipping information for each recording.

All the more reason, I reckon, that it is a shame that the Skippa isn't available with a larger drive.   :)


Wayne

Offline prl

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2015, 10:09:00 AM »
However it's generated, I can't see much need for the ad-skip info to be more than a few hundred bytes per recording and proportional in size to the number of ads in the recording.
Peter
Beyonwiz T4 in-use
Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2015, 11:41:06 AM »
However it's generated, I can't see much need for the ad-skip info to be more than a few hundred bytes per recording and proportional in size to the number of ads in the recording.

My thinking also.

Ian

Offline prl

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 01:25:25 PM »
However it's generated, I can't see much need for the ad-skip info to be more than a few hundred bytes per recording and proportional in size to the number of ads in the recording.

My thinking also.

Ian
Cut marks on the Beyonwiz T series are a gigantic 12 bytes each, 8 bytes for the recording offset and 4 bytes for the cut mark type (the cut mark type is actually only 3 bits long, so there's plenty of room for more types :) ). A pair of them (cut out/cut in) serves to skip an ad, though that has to be done manually on the T series.

So for each ad in a T series recording, you need 24 bytes to skip it. Four ads is a touch less than 100 bytes.

There's no reason that the Skippa would use the same format, but it can certainly be done with very little data. Disappearingly little compared to the size of the recording.

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 06:51:07 PM »
i) What will be the largest external USB Hard drive supported?
Skippa can read from and write to an 8TB HDD in a USB caddy okay.

ii) File system?  (FAT 32?)
Skippa can read from and write to FAT, FAT32, NTFS and EXT4 (I didn't try EXT2 or EXT3). Skippa can NOT see exFAT formatted partitions/drives.

iii) Will the external HDD need to be divided into multiple partitions, and what will be the max partition size?
Multiple partitions are not necessary, but Skippa can read from and write to drives with multiple partitions.

Skippa will always move recordings to the 1st partition of the 1st drive, or the 1st drive if the're only 1 partition. You don't get to choose the destination drive or partition to move recordings to. You also don't get to choose the folder. Skippa creates a top-level folder named 'skippa' and moves the recordings there.

The device info menu page can only fit the first 3 USB drives in the displayed list of connected USB devices. But the actual media menu where you access Local Devices (i.e. USB) or Network Devices (i.e. DLNA) can list many more. I had a USB hub with 3 USB sticks and a USB caddy with a 2 partition USB drive connected and it listed all 5 drives/partitions.

iv) To search through a listing of all the content on the external HDD, will the user have to manually switch from one partition to another?
Yes.

v)  Will any functionality be lost if content is stored on the external USB HDD rather than the internal 1 GB HDD?  (e.g. will ad skipping still work?  full program meta data still retained?)
Currently, yes, meta data, resume points, bookmarks and auto skip points are not moved to the USB drive with the recording. These extra files (or at least 2 of them) are moved with the recording to the USB drive but they are 0 bytes. I believe this will be changed in a future firmware update but I need to confirm this.

vi) Same questions, but applied to content moved from the Skippa internal HDD to external network storage or media PC.  Will exported via WiFi be feasible?
Recording can only be moved to an external USB drive and not copied, so answer above applies.

There is no LAN or WiFi access to or from a computer, other than streaming to a DLNA media player or from a DLNA media server. Skippa is both a DLNA media client and media server.

You can copy a recording's DLNA url from a media player (like Windows Media Player) on a computer and then paste that url into the address bar of any web browser to download the recording's TS file directly to a computer. The TS file will have a number for it's filename so you will probably want to rename the file after it downloads. You can copy the original show's name from the properties in the DLNA media player (where you get the url from). No meat data is copied with the recording when using this trick.

Offline prl

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2015, 06:55:29 PM »
... Skippa can read from and write to ... EXT4 (I didn't try EXT2 or EXT3). ...
If it's the standard Linux ext4 driver, it should also be able to read/write ext2 and ext3.

Offline JPP

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2015, 07:02:25 PM »
As Warkus (Mark) has pointed out on Whirlpool, it may be possible to use an Opera TV app to download files via the Ethernet port.

Another option would be to use a driver-less USB2/3 to Ethernet dongle.

Maybe ICETV could comment on these 2 options.  I do remember that some sort of "promise" was made that perhaps a future FW update would allow direct file transfer via Ethernet, but Dave did not mention that in the post 2 up.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 07:04:48 PM by JPP »
Phil.
Beyonwiz T2, DVDO Duo Video Processor

Offline kavey8

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Re: Additional storage for Skippa
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 10:06:52 AM »
"v)  Will any functionality be lost if content is stored on the external USB HDD rather than the internal 1 GB HDD?  (e.g. will ad skipping still work?  full program meta data still retained?)

Currently, yes, meta data, resume points, bookmarks and auto skip points are not moved to the USB drive with the recording. These extra files (or at least 2 of them) are moved with the recording to the USB drive but they are 0 bytes. I believe this will be changed in a future firmware update but I need to confirm this."


If the exported content (i.e. moved from the Skippa internal HDD to other storage) loses the ability to show program summary, synopsis etc., that is a real concern.  Factors which make this even more problematic are the relatively small size of the internal HDD (1 TB), the amount of storage space wasted by pre- and post- padding, and the stated requirement that the HDD should not become more than 95% full. 

Even my ancient T-Box is able to show the meta-data from exported content.  (Ideally, autoskip functionality should also be retained for content exported from the Skippa.)

This could be a deal-breaker.  Any more news on this, Dave? 

Thanks.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 01:08:54 PM by kavey8 »


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