[mythtv] Hardware requirements confusion

Ken VanDine ken at bizrace.com
Tue Feb 4 14:34:49 EST 2003

I had the same thought.  We have some of these Compaq Deskpro EN's where I work 
that aren't considered deployable anymore.  So, I first attempted to try one of 
the small 1Ghz Deskpro ENs and gave up before starting.  There is not an 
available AGP slot.  So, I decided to go with the 866 in the 
larger "convertable" mid tower.  Basically the same system, but it has an AGP 
slot and is only cabable of up to a 933 P3.  The 866 P3 doesn't cut it for live 
tv.  I can record at 640x480 MPEG-4 just fine.  But, to get live tv without 
dropping frames, the quality is terrible, even using RTJpeg.  Watching live tv 
using RTJpeg (170 quality) at 480x480 uses more than 100% of my cpu.  The 
overhead is just too much.  I have tweaked the hard drive parameters to get the 
most effiecent IO.  I have seen an improvement, but still no where near 
acceptable performance.  I am considering investing in a some faster hardware, 
but not sure if I am ready for that.  I am mostly doing this as a proof of 
concept for myself.  MythTV seems to be everything I have been dreaming of for 
a home media center and would love to rely on it.  But, I would really like to 
see it working and get to use it for a couple of weeks to determine if I really 
want to invest in a hot box for it. 

I would like to at some point setup a really hot dual processor box with 
several 120GB drives using RAID and our wireless network to run several 
frontends for TV, movie and music.   

That is the dream! 

How do people do it with the cheaper machines?  I would love to know.  Anyone 
want to tell their story using < 1Ghz box? 


Quoting Michael Stearne <mythtv_list at entermix.com>:

> My thoughts exactly.  These are 800Mhz machines, I could do what is
> necessary with a 400Mhz PowerPC G3 for years, a 800Mhz x86 (even from a 
> shitty maker) should be able to do this.  Have people tried this configs
> or are they just assuming based on specs?  (BTW, Thanks all who replied
> to my Walmart PC post).
> Micah, what is that auction number?  I will take the chance.
> Michael
> On Tue, 2003-02-04 at 13:19, Micah Morton wrote:
> > A while back I bookmarked a site that somebody linked on here.  A site
> > with a hardware database of mythtv/freevo users. Most of the systems were
> > under 1ghz and a LOT of them were 450's and around there.. A while back
> > somebody said that the EPIA 933mhz M9000 motherboard would be
> > insufficient.. but how is a 450 sufficient and a 933 not?  I know the C3
> > is a lesser processor by far, but it does have kernel support and can't
> be
> > THAT much slower to where a 933 is slower than a PII 450.  There are a
> > of under 1ghz machines out there for cheap! (800mhz would be ideal for
> > cost) and it would be nice to be able to use a 800mhz box.
> > 
> > For example. In my lab here at Intel, an engineer brought in a Compaq
> > Deskpro EN for testing. Its small, vcr-sized case would make a perfect
> > candidate for this project. This one runs around 550mhz, however some of
> > them are 800mhz (and a 1ghz model for a lot more money).. On ebay, I've
> > seen the 800mhz model as low as 120bucks with only several hours
> > remaining.  These boxes would make nice set-top boxes.. I'm just
> concerned
> > about performance.
> > 
> > Thanks in advance for any information!
> > 
> > --Micah Morton
> > --Linux Network Test Engineer
> > --Intel Corp
> > 
> > 
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Ken VanDine
biZrace Inc.
kvandine at biZrace.com

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