[mythtv] Walmart PVR

Bruce Markey bjm at lvcm.com
Mon Feb 3 19:14:31 EST 2003

Michael Stearne wrote:
> I have just recently come across MythTV.  The interface looks amazing,
> it's so polished.  My goal is to make the cheapest PVR possible (isn't
> that everyone's). 

Certainly not my goal. I want the most functional system
possible at a reasonable cost. Several people focus on
the size of the case no matter what it takes to shoehorn
inadequate parts into a small form factor. Other want to
redeploy useless old machines apparently assuming that
'just a PVR' must not need much as far as resources.

I just don't understand these approaches =). I bought the
best 'bang for the buck' parts I could and put them in the
biggest case I could find (I don't have to bend as far to
reach the DVD tray ;-).

To use the walmart PC, you'll need a capture card, probably
a graphic card that supports Xv, either tv-out on a new
graphics card or a scan converter, a sound card if the on-
board sound is inadequate, wireless keyboard and/or remote
control, you'll eventually want a bigger disk to provide
more record time, and the CPU is inadequate to do video
encoding at a good resolution and it would need a new
motherboard to use a decent CPU. So, for $199 you're left
with a case and an under powered power supply :-(.

You would be better building a system from scratch but
if you want to start from a pre-built system, look for
something with at least a 1.2GHz CPU, two free PCI slots,
and preferably an AGP slot.

--  bjm

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