Content is King
I have been using Kodi for quite a while now. I first used it in 2013 when, if memory serves, it was XBMC Version 12 (Frodo).

It has come in leaps and bounds since then and I would not be without it. I started with just a single PC attached to the TV with a USB 500mb drive with about 100 films on it. We have definitely moved on from that. We now have about 2,000 films and, too keep my wife happy, we have moved more into TV shows and have about 700 full shows that include about 13,000 episodes between them.

This did not happen overnight and has been a gradual progression into what we now use. The hardware list has grown somewhat as has the content that we can now consume in Kodi.

Kodi uses MySql for the video and music libraries and all content is on network drive. No local storage at all (or streamed for that matter).
I have 5 Kodi clients using a variety of hardware but they are all setup exactly the same apart from the audio setup on the main system in the front room which is set for 5.1 and audio passthrough.

Before we get to the front end of this we have to understand the infrastructure.
  • Entire house wired for CAT5
  • TP-Link 24 port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
  • Satellite with 8 LMBs
  • TV aerial with 6 way booster/splitter
We can get some servers setup to hold our media. I started off with a single server but this has now become 4 so we end up with the following:

4 of HP Prolient N54 Microservers all of which are setup in the same way
  • Windows Server 2012 R2. End of life will be October 2023 so I will be on Server 2016 by then which has December 2027 as end of life
  • Optical drive removed and the SATA connector used for 250GB system drive
  • 4 x 4TB 3.5" SATA hard drives giving 16TB per server
On paper this gives 64TB of storage but that does not give any resiliency at all and after taking an awfully long time to accumulate all of this content, the thought of losing any doesn't bear thinking about. The HPs are only capable of either raid 0 or 1 which is not worth setting up as it just striped or mirrored data. The way I have chosen to do it there for is to clone 2 of the servers completely and run daily robocopy scripts to keep them in sync. Overkill? probably but the ease at which I could restore data far out ways that. If I lose a single drive I just stop the server, swap it's clone and turn the server back on. If I lose a server, I rename the clone, change its IP address and restart it.

This means I never lose any data and the system is back up again straight away with time then available to replace the drive or server. The downside is of course that my 64TB of storage is only 32TB. I could actually fit 6TB drives to replace the 4TB drives but the cost would be huge - about £2,400 at the time of writing this!

Spread across  these servers I have the following services:
  • IIS Web server
  • Apache web server
  • MySql databases
  • MS SQL databases
  • hMailServer
  • Cloud services also linked to external cloud services on remote hosted servers
We now have our content so we can add the SMB shares to the sources.xml file and in advancedsettings.xml tell it we are using MySql for the libraries.

Front room
  • LG 49" 4k telly
  • Dell Optiplex 780 Intel Core 2 Quad
  • Radeon HD450 PCIE HDMI Graphics card
  • ViewHD HDMI to HDMI with SPDIF Audio extractor to enable 5.1 audio from PC to TV (fakes the EDID response from the TV)
  • Samsung HT-J4500 5.1 Home Theatre System
  • Kodi 18.7 with Estuary MOD V2 skin
  • Cloned Mediaportal PVR add-on to enable the use of 2 MediaPortal add-ons to talk to both Mediaportal servers
  • OneForAll 6 device Universal remote to control all of the hardware
The other installations in other rooms are fairly basic on modest platforms. 3 of them utilise Sumvision Cyclones which are very small fanless PCs which are attached to the VESA mounts of the TVs

I also use PVR functionality within Kodi and I use MediaPortal for the backend. Well, actually I use 2 MediaPortal backends. One has 4 DVB-S2 tuners along with 3 DVB-T2 tuners and the other one has just 4 DVB-S2 tuners.

To access both of these within Kodi, I have had to clone and rename the Media-Portal add-on to enable both to be used together. Kodi does a great job on merging both of these within the UI and it poses no problems at all.

A will have to put some pictures of this setup on here once I sort out the right ones for each section.
Just adding a couple of pictures.


tremendous, what sort of electricity use ?
(2020-07-31, 21:21)ontap Wrote: tremendous, what sort of electricity use ?

Not actually sure but I think the HPs are quite good at idle, probably better than the Dells.

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