[mythtv] Walmart PVR

Michael Stearne mythtv_list at entermix.com
Tue Feb 4 15:06:21 EST 2003

On Mon, 2003-02-03 at 22:14, Bruce Markey wrote:
> 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.

I understand the value of a well built machine, even with extra cost up
front, that's why I use Macs.  But my point was exactly to see how
inexpensively I could make a machine with basic specs required for a
useable (record and playback of low/VCD quality) PVR.  So I guess the
800Mhz machines that Walmart sells are for our purposes equivalent to a
~200Mhz Pentium.  I'll try to see how cheap I can get a box with your


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