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Unraid Capture, Encoding, and Streaming Server


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  • 2 months later...

Copying my comment from the spx labs blog post, since it may be more appropriate to post here.

 

Hi! Really nice tutorial. One issue I'm having is high CPU usage in the OBS docker even when idle. I'm trying to use my GPU for encoding the video, and that part works, but the CPU usage of OBS itself (without encoded video) is too high to be feasible. Did you see this behavior as well?

 

I wonder if this is because the CPU is being used to render the OBS scene compositing. Is it possible to use the GPU for this as well? Would this require a different Ubuntu Gui container base? Is it even possible?

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  • 1 month later...

Could I use this guide for my situation?.....

 

I'm extremely new to all this but I have started a YouTube channel and I create the content using my phone. I had been just using my phone directly to YouTube but have some followers in 3rd world countries where data is very expensive and they would like my content as only a podcast so that it doesnt use much data.

 

Could I install this docker on my Unraid server, then run some kind of app on my phone that sends the video to the server. Then the server automatically publish it to YouTube and a audio podcast somewhere? Can the OBS publish just the audio to a podcast automatically along with the full video to Youtube?

 

Also, I'd like to do this away from my servers local network as I make the videos on the go, often on the road. BUT, I can VPN with my phone to my router that is local to my Unraid server.

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  • 1 year later...

Gday,

 

Since it was hightlighted in the newsletter under usecases, i figured i'd read up on this.

The only question i really have is, why would i want to do this for just streaming?

 

With Nvenc encoding (only applicable for nvidia gpu's) the load on the gaming system is near to none (compared to 60% cpu utilization of your server with 16 cores / 32 threads?).

Instead, this will load up your local network, which could cause issues with bandwidth depending on the network setup, as you will 'upload' the stream to the server, then 'upload' it to twitch. Causing it to require 2x the bandwidth compared to directly streaming, not to mention priority QoS settings.

 

Next to this, since everything is virtualized, you (generally) do not have direct acces to the virtual machine. (docker is a virtual machine afterall). If your gaming system crashes, you have no more control over the stream since you have no more access. But the stream still goes on till and if you regain control?

 

There are a couple more reasons i can think off why i don't think this is a good idea. But i'd love to hear some pro's (aside of offloading recording of the footage)

Edited by Caennanu
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  • 3 weeks later...

@Caennanu  All great questions and points!  I'll take a stab at it lol

 

- The only question i really have is, why would i want to do this for just streaming? 

Part of the reason I wrote this was to give people ideas of other ways to utilize their servers that they would like to "do something else with" besides a media server or file share.  I feel posts like this are important because it gets peoples gears turning to come up with new ideas and try new things (I hope).  Maybe a blog post like this will help someone get more comfortable with Unraid, Docker, and/or services.

 

- With Nvenc encoding (only applicable for nvidia gpu's) the load on the gaming system is near to none (compared to 60% cpu utilization of your server with 16 cores / 32 threads?).  That is true with newer NVIDIA GPU's but NVENC isn't always great. 

 

I will agree that this is not really the most ideal configuration but I guess it really depends on "your" use case.  I think most of the "homelab" community tends to purchase used enterprise equipment that often has high core counts and threads.  Ideally, what you would do instead is use a GPU on the other end instead of a CPU, in my honest opinion, but hey, we can only work with the hardware we have.

 

On the network side of house, that's not something I can really speak to because I'm no expert.  QoS could definitely be an issue but from my somewhat limited experience most equipment doesn't have QoS enabled by default.  The network stuff can be a real rabbit hole because it is super hardware dependent, so forgive me for not really touching this portion.  My blanket stance is; ehhh it will be fine, I'm not worried about it, you shouldn't worry about it, I'm not worried at all.

 

- Next to this, since everything is virtualized, you (generally) do not have direct acces to the virtual machine. (docker is a virtual machine afterall). If your gaming system crashes, you have no more control over the stream since you have no more access. But the stream still goes on till and if you regain control?

 

From my understanding, full time streamers prefer to use a second system in case their gaming rig crashes, so their stream doesn't go down.  They often would rather the stream continue on while they get things back up.  Now, ideally, you would be using a capture card and not using NDI/the network.  However, I believe for the aspiring streamer who is extremely tight on cash would love a method similar to this.   Presumably they would out grown this use case and move on to a different configuration.  Like a capture card + Quick Sync, on a second system.

 

- There are a couple more reasons i can think off why i don't think this is a good idea. But i'd love to hear some pro's (aside of offloading recording of the footage).

 

For me, another big reason is noise and heat! Especially heat.  Being able to utilize the network instead of a capture device often means you can place a second system in a different room, further away, and is generally less expensive with ethernet.  So now you only have one system generating heat in your office/studio/bedroom/place of gaming sessions, instead of 2.  Plus all your body heat! Yikes.  Ethernet cables also allow for more distance and tend to be cheaper than HDMI cables.  HDMI cables also have length constraints that need to be overcome with "active cables" that may or may not be good quality due to the manufacturing process and with the loose "standards" that define what is HDMI 1.5, 2.0, or whatever version.

 

Finally and more importantly than anything, it's all about options!  It's information for everyone to know that there are multiple ways to tackle a problem and find a solution that "you" can implement with the hardware, money, and use case that best fits.  After all, not everything is one size fits all.

Edited by spxlabs
  • Like 2
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@spxlabs Thanks for the reply!

 

- Totally agree that blog posts like this push other idea's, and makes people think further than their comfort zone. So for that, defo kudo's!

 

- Nvenc is not always great, totally agree. But its better than consuming 60% off a CPU. It would indeed be better to do the en/decoding through an GPU. But i geuss, if you don't have that option, it is a valid point.

 

- networking. It is a shame really that this subject isn't touched. In a typical homelab networking is basically key. I do agree it is a rabbit hole. But there-in also lays the problem. If this is not performed right and for say, you're streaming raw data to the server, it can actually tax the resources on your gaming rig more than when streaming locally. So i geuss this is more a followup advice for any1 seriously thinking about a solution like this. Please take networking seriously. Read up on it, before you crash your network and maybe even worse, the wife aggro when it goes down!

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@Caennanu

 

Oops, sorry I did gloss over the CPU usage lol my bad.  It is definitely not ideal to use that much CPU especially if your system is pulling double triple duty with other services yikes.  There should definitely be a caveat in the blog post or a blurb or something mentioning that YMMV and recommending GPU encoding whenever possible.  Or quick sync at the very least.

 

So, you bring up something I never really considered and that is how a setup like this would affect others on the network.  You got me thinking about a much more casual crowd of folks that may not have similar "pro-sumer/business/enterprise" equipment like I do at home, so the worry of over taxing never crossed my mind.  While I can't update this blog post on Unraids' website, I can update it on mine and in the future for similar projects give a warning for side effects that may occur.  lol I've definitely annoyed the wife pretty often with all the tinkering I've done on our home network so this really rings true to me.

 

Man, you really gave some good feedback here.  I've been so reluctant on learning anything "advanced" with networking and recently, many people have been pushing me to really learn and understand the network aspects of a homelab.  UGH, I really don't want to though lol.  It's clearly too important to at least not acknowledge it though and I think that is the underlying argument I've either willfully ignored or wasn't really able to extract from short commentary.   Either way, I think you got something moving in my head hahaha.

 

Oh and I don't know if it's worth anything but this also does exist as well, https://unraid.net/es/blog/unraid-6-9-capture-encoding-and-streaming-server, using NVIDIA of course.  Same problems about networking though.

Edited by spxlabs
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, as you can notice i'm not a frequent visitor of the forums, thus the slow reply :D

 

Yeah, myself i run a pretty pro-sumer network myself. Vlan's for this, and that, just to keep everything secure and what not. But most users simply use a modem supplied by their ISP. And most of them, even tho they come with advertisements of 1GbE for internet, can't actually switch / route that simultaneously. Matter of fact, that is why i moved all my routing from my ER-12 to my Brocade. (with the upside that unraid now has dual 10gb connections)

 

Oh, and i totally get you on the wife agro. It's probably the worst, 2nd is kid agro when their downloads are trailing behind because lancache is overtaxxing the network ;).

 

Honestly, the networking part is the most fun part to figure out i have found. Once you get the basics under control that is. Like... why can't i acces my unraid shares from one Vlan while i can from the other. Simple stuff like that, dig into it, figure it out. Apply your study to your usecase so it actually benefits you while you learn.

 

Aye i seen that post too. On that too the tax on the cpu is hefty. Its something i'm not quite getting. Maybe ill have to start streaming just to figure that out. Too bad on that one is tho, even when nvenc is described, it doesn't show the effects off using it to en/decode, in terms of CPU tax.

Edited by Caennanu
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If I remember correctly, the CPU tax was still there but near half the amount of just using the CPU alone.  I'm not sure of the cause of it for back then.  When I've done this more recently between Windows and Linux (not Unraid), the cpu usage is extremely minimal.  I feel like they may have made software improvements since these posts were originally created.

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