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I have a device which give me raw mpeg2 multicast udp video streams. And I'm going to build a server which will transcode (based on VLC) these streams into h264, I have 20 of such streams. My question is : What are the approximate hardware requirements for such a server ?

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migrated from serverfault.com Nov 8 '11 at 13:57

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closed as off topic by slhck, Simon Sheehan, Tom Wijsman, Mokubai, Wuffers Nov 8 '11 at 23:26

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Why don't you actually try encoding a few of these streams on a machine you do have and extrapolate hardware requirements from that? –  Mokubai Nov 8 '11 at 22:49

2 Answers 2

The short answer (totally guessing at all your requirements): ridiculous. You'd need stream processing cards (like nVidia's Tesla cards) or monster processing ability.

The long answer: It's impossible to say. If you crank the quality way down, to unacceptable levels for almost all applications, then a modern multi-core server could handle twenty streams. You didn't mention the input bit rate, resolution, or audio requirements.

Venturing a guess, you've got an HD HomeRun or similar product, sourcing ~5Mb HD Video streams from a cable provider or broadcast. If you simply wanted to transcode 20 such streams to "normal" x264 and MP3 or AAC audio, it would without a doubt require processing add-on cards.

I have a HD HomeRum, my 3 year old quad-core home server can transcode to x264/QP=25 and MP3/Med (with a good number of quality & speed optimizations, available upon request) using mencoder at roughly 1.5x realtime (meaning it can't even do two video steams at a time, if I'm recording multiple shows they have to be queued and processed later).

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Two Core i7 950 (10-14 channels per server depending on transcoding parameters) will be sufficient for your requirements. You will have 50%-70% load on the CPU for each server. Also you don't need very much ram, and 8G will be good enough.

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