ARGUS TV on Windows Server
Several ARGUS TV users are successfully running ARGUS TV on Windows Server and Windows Home Server (WHS). There are many advantages in doing this, and a few issues to overcome as well.
The minimum hardware requirements for ARGUS TV are very modest. It runs acceptably on an Intel Atom CPU although you may need to adjust the process priority.
Keep in mind that ARGUS TV also needs other software like SQL to run and these programs also use system resources.
If you are running WHS on powerful hardware, you will likely have no issues. However off the shelf machines are often very low spec, and may need a few tweaks to run smoothly.
ARGUS TV requires Windows to have BDA support, and TV tuner drivers that are BDA-compliant. In simple terms, BDA is a driver for TV tuner drivers. Wikipedia, BDA.
BDA support only included in some server products, see below.
Tuner drivers can appear difficult to install on Windows Server, the manufacturers installers often do not run, and Windows usually does not find them online.
Pointing the "Update driver" dialog to the driver CD is usually all you need to do to successfully install the drivers.
Windows Server 2012
- Windows Server 2012 Essentials: runs "out of the box", no additional software or drivers required.
- Windows Server 2012 Enterprise et al. (except Essentials): required to install BDA support (same as Windows Server 2008)
|Encounter problems with Start-up of ARGUS TV?|
If your ARGUS TV services seem to not always start up properly, change your ARGUS TV services' startup behavior from "Automatic" to "Automatic (delayed)".
Windows Home Server 2011
No special extra requirements, runs "out of the box".
Windows Server 2008
Required to install BDA support.
Windows Home Server v1/2003
No special extra requirements, runs "out of the box".
Windows Server 2003
Windows Home Server v1 is based on Windows Server 2003 so these instructions should apply to both.
Possibly the most important thing to consider with WHSv1, is where to put the shares for time shift and recording. Although creating shares in the WHS Console is the easiest way, it may not be the best. It can be awkward to share the folders properly and performance can be poor.
WHSv1 uses Drive Extender. Drive Extender works constantly and tries to keep your files evenly spread across all drives in the storage pool. Adding the the shares, (especially the TimeShift share) to the pool can cause very heavy disk usage as Drive Extender constantly tries to balance the storage. The heavy disk usage can cause issues with playback of files from WHS.
The best place to create shares is on a disk that is not part of the pool. If you are short of space, a 0.5 - 1TB USB drive can work well enough.
If you are using a dedicated disk for your shares create your shares just like you would in Windows XP. See Shared Folders.
If you are adding the shares in the console, there are two steps to take.
- First create the share in the console as normal. Do not enable duplication for the time shift folder.
- Next open the "Shared Folders" manager (Windows Key + R then type fsmgmt.msc). Double click "Shares" and find your shared folders. Edit the permissions for each folder, and add the user "Everyone" and give them full permissions.
You should never manually add shares to drives in the storage pool, always use the WHS Console.
Windows Home Server 2011 is based on Windows Server 2008 so these instructions should apply to both.
WHS 2011 does not have Drive Extender and so shares can be added as normal. You may find it easier to add shares manually, as you would on a desktop machine. Shares created this way will still show in the dashboard as normal.
While WHS 2011 doesn't include drive pooling features, there are some excellent options to add this functionality. Two of these options are Stablebit DrivePool, and Drive Bender. Unlike "Drive Extender" (WHSv1 native pooling) and "Storage Spaces" (Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 native Pooling), these solutions do not have significant performance issues. Infact, with these products, it is possible to get better performance than you would from a single disk.
WS2011E has Storage Spaces for drive pooling, however the author of this article recommends you do not use it. At the time of writing Storage Spaces is unstable, inflexible, and has significant performance problems. HDTV can be fairly data intensive (up to 8GB per hour, per stream) and the performance of Storage Spaces could cause problems including file corruption which causes stuttering.
Two good alternatives are Stablebit DrivePool, and Drive Bender. Unlike "Drive Extender" (WHSv1 native pooling) and "Storage Spaces" (Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 native Pooling), these solutions do not have significant performance issues. Infact, with these products, it is possible to get better performance than you would from a single disk.
It has been noted that Shares created via the Server Dashboard may cause performance issues. It is therefore recommended that you create the folders manually and give all "users" thatrequire access full permissions. Shares created this way will still show in the dashboard as normal.
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