[mythtv] Walmart PVR

Bruce Markey bjm at lvcm.com
Tue Feb 4 13:38:59 EST 2003

Robert Middleswarth wrote:
> 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. 
> I am Not one of those but if you only have some much space in you living 
> room enterment center and you wife would kill you if you tried to stick 
> a tower in her living room.  Then Yes I could see this being worked on.

Yes, I understand that size/location/appearance of the box
can be a consideration. What I don't understand is making
this the only consideration and neglecting the fact the box
needs to be able to run the application.

>> Other want to
>> redeploy useless old machines apparently assuming that
>> 'just a PVR' must not need much as far as resources.
> Later on you refer to 'bang for the buck' well I am able to get PII 400 
> for $0.00 can't get much better bang then that.

Sure can. Duron 1.2GHz ($33 today at pricewatch) which runs
cool and can easily meet the needs of MythTV. I'm sure you'll
agree that zero bang for zero bucks isn't a good ratio ;-).

If you're going to build a box to do a job, it needs to be
able to do that job. I believe that the results will be
disappointing unless the CPU is >1GHz, the disk supports DMA,
the graphics card supports Xv, etc. For me, I'd start with
these minimum requirements then design for lowest cost,
smallest size, least noise, or whatever.

In a way, I feel sorry for the people want to convince
themselves that the mini-itx boards must be okay. I assume
that after all the fretting, the record and playback results
will be disappointing. I'd rather suggest to people that
they start off by building a machine which can do the job
from the first day and possibly for years to come.

> ...
> In the end there are different needs for different people.  I will 
> probley built 3 Machines that will be built with the idea of being quiet 
> they will most likely be player only and go in the 2 Bedrooms and the 
> livingroom.  I will also build at least 4 probly 8 Encoder Boxes that 
> will going in the computer/server room that will be built with price in 
> mind I wont care how loud they are.

Outstanding. This is the kind of network of myth boxes that
I look forward to. Having two tuners in a box is a Good
Thing but doesn't scale well. If tuners on multiple machines
can be coordinated by a single scheduler and their recordings
appear in a single playlist, then a network of machines
would be very scalable. My thought is that for each location
where I have a machine attached to a screen, I might as well
have the inexpensive resources to support a tuner. However,
in your situation, having small, quiet, tuner-less frontend
only boxes makes perfect sense.

--  bjm

More information about the mythtv-dev mailing list