Pi video recorder with MiniDVBLinux

Storing Recordings

A memory card with 2 GByte capacity is more than sufficient for the VDR software itself. However, recordings will soon fill that up. Set up an external USB hard drive as a storage media for your recordings. To do this, first install the software to support the USB storage media.

This works in exactly the same way as the installation of the VDRadmin-am plugin described above. Search for the usb-storage package under Packages | System packages and click on it. The system will then automatically perform the installation.

Next, connect the external hard drive to the Raspberry Pi (see the More Power box). Open the setup | Hard Disks menu and select the Data Storage option. The available partitions and the external hard drive then appear in the list. Click on the hard drive and select Save. After restarting, the VDR system that has been installed on the Raspberry Pi will write all of the recordings to the USB drive.

More Power

With default settings, the USB interface for the Raspberry Pi delivers just 600 mA. This in enough to run a 2.5 inch hard drive with no additional power supply. However, many hard drives require more power to start up and so they can't be used with a Pi. The amperage can be increased to 1200 mA fortunately.

To do this, use a text editor to open the /boot/config.txt file of the Raspberry Pi and add the linemax_usb_current=1. After restarting, the system should then deliver enough power via the USB jack so that even a power hungry hard drive can work at top capacity. This step is not necessary for the Raspberry Pi 3, as the USB ports already supply 1200 mA.


One final tip. As soon as the Raspberry Pi is running to your satisfaction, make a backup copy of the memory card. This kind of backup should be used when you would like to play around with plugins but you don't know exactly how they work. Adding plugins is very tempting as MLD includes numerous packages intended for the hobbyist. This means you can think about doing things like controlling individual GPIO pins via plugins, using 433 MHz technology to switch to the "Smart Home" wireless capabilities and much more. It definitely pays to browse through the package list.

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