[mythtv-users] Advice on hardware setup

Mattias Larsson ml at techno.org
Wed Mar 5 02:07:57 UTC 2003

Cedar McKay wrote:

> this is not a fair comparison unless your tivo has two tuners and has 
> multiple front ends. Does it?  :-)   To get the same (almost) 
> functionality you would need two tivos = 16x2 = $32 a month. 

Explain that to my wife :) In any case, the monthly cost is reasonable, 
but I'd hate to waster power (and money) on something that doesn't get 
used, which brings me to overspecing...

> also, your specs are way overboard in my opinion. I think you can get 
> away with a lot less using mythtv's mpg4 encoding. Instead of doing 
> your tests in windows, why don't you do your tests in mythtv and cut 
> out the slop? It wouldn't suprise me if you could get two streams 
> recorded at once (and one playing to boot) with that 2200 xp that you 
> have. Also, I'll send you a buck if you can do a side-by-side and tell 
> the difference between 640 x 480 and 720 x 480 outputed to you tv. I 
> personally can't tell the difference between 480 x 480 and 640 x 480, 
> but no buck this time for you if you can!
I'm quite happy with the 480x480 resolution the TiVo provides me with, 
so I'm certain that will be enough. I figure specing the backend for a 
bit more will give me some headroom so I wont have to suffer dropped 
frames. I do have a number of reasonably fast computers to try as 
backends, for example, I could probably use the 2200 XP and test it. 
What I don't have is a midrange machine, I have slow machines (PII-400, 
PII-450 and such), so I dont really know what will be required for the 
frontend. My laptop with an AMD Duron 900 is the "fastest slow" machine 
I have, but it can't do 720x480 MPEG-4 decoding without dropping 
frames.  I could use an Athlon 1800 or something (they cost about as 
much as a Celeron), but the high power consumption of the AMD Athlon 
series makes this less desirable, if nothing else to require less 
cooling (less noise).  The frontend has to be able to handle 720x480 
even if I only record in 480x480, since I want it to double as a media 
player as well.


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