[mythtv] Advice sought on 3 hardware questions (UK DVB-T related)

Michael Thomson linux at m-thomson.net
Mon Apr 12 06:22:39 EDT 2004

Hi folks

I just realised that as DVB-T is still quite bleeding edge, the users list
was possibly not the best place to post this. Apologies for the cross-post.

I have a MythTV box up and running already (Shuttle SN41G2), but I'm
planning a replacement due to the discoveries made in building the first

Since this will be only the second PC I've ever owned (Yes, I am in that 2%
Mac demographic!), I'm likely deluding myself in all sorts of ways. Patient,
gentle application of the Clue Stick would be much welcomed.

I'm hoping to use the Kanam Accent HT-400 case for several reasons:

1) It looks great
2) It will take a full ATX board - more PCI slots
4) It will take a full size ATX power supply - lots of quiet options
3) Hopefully the cooling will be easier (and quieter) than my Shuttle



   (Argh - sorry for the wrapped URLs!)

I'm thinking of using the MSI K7N2G-ILSR motherboard with Athlon XP 2500+
(Barton), again for several reasons:

1) I'm familiar with nForce2 chipset issue thanks to the SN41G2 history
2) It has onboard VGA output - I intend to run 2 displays on separate X
   servers and I only want one graphics card taking up a slot.
3) It has sufficient expansion slots (5) for my future needs(!)


Initially I'm thinking of putting in a Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T to allow me to
get the Freeview broadcasts in the UK.

I am also considering a Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250 or PVR-350 to take care of
analogue input (allowing two-way recording, possibly from my Telewest
CableTV feed)

Future expansion calls for a second DVB-T card (3 tuners total!) and
possibly a PCI-slot cooling fan if required. The case slots that don't have
matching PCI slote will be used for a second serial connection to drive a
touchscreen detector, and I may require to run a connection for the Vacuum
Fluorescent Display outside the case to the parallel port.

First question
   I believe that in the UK my DVB-T options are:
      Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T
      AverMedia DVB-T PCI card (AVM-DVB-T)

   The PVR Hardware database lists a whole bunch more...
   ...but I have not yet found anyone selling the other cards!

   Links to products / suppliers much appreciated, if you have them.

Second question:
   I read somewhere that the Nova-T has not got an MPEG-2 decoder, and that
   you need the PVR-350 to allow you to playback the recorded streams. This
   implies that I would have to use the PVR350 S-Video output to drive the
   TV? Please correct me if I'm misleading myself here!

   Is it possible to use a software MPEG-2 decoder to output the stream to
   the standard VGA output? I was hoping to use the second VGA output to
   drive an RGB SCART to get best possible picture quality.

   How much CPU hit should I expect? (I'd prefer to under-clock the Athlon
   to keep the heat down).

Third question:
   Is it worth investigating the DVB-T PCI cards for Conditional Access
   Module (CAM) support? Currently I don't believe there is any encrypted
   content on Freeview, but I'm trying to future-proof as far as is

As always, your advice is much appreciated.

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