SnapStream builds world's largest video recorder

Posted by Emma Woollacott

It's hard to imagine who could possibly want to record 50 TV shows at a time, or store 13 years' worth of programming. But just in case there is anybody out there, SnapStream has decided to oblige.

"We have a knack for throwing together skunkworks DVRs that can record a lot of TV. In the past, these have been done in the wee hours of the morning with parts we’ve scavenged from other systems," says the company's Zack Price.

"But… what would happen if we set out to make the world’s largest DVR? And not from scrap parts, but with shiny new hardware and a real - gasp - budget?"

The monster VCR has 50 analog tuners, recording to over 125TB of storage. It's a distributed system, with the nodes communicating via an HP Procurve 2910 switch, with two 1GB copper Ethernet ports bonded via LACP per server.

All the stored content is searchable via the company's own software and a single, unified search interface.

The base unit is a 1U dual-processor quad-core Nehalem Xeon server (eight physical and eight logical cores) with 'a ton' of RAM, says Price.

"On the price to performance curve in a 1U space, this box is the perfect choice," he says. 

"It can do more than one ShowSqueeze from HD to HD h.264 in real time or can take eight analog shows at once and squeeze to an archival quality file.  Under the hood, we have all of the software knobs to turn and buttons to push so you can optimize the performance of the box to the task at hand."

All the thing needs now, says Price, is a name - and SnapStream says it'll give an iPad to the person that comes up with the best one. There's more information here.