[mythtv-users] Mini ITX motherboards

Stephen Tait tait at digitallaw.co.uk
Mon Aug 9 19:36:41 EDT 2004

At 18:12 09/08/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>Stephen Tait wrote:
>>>Anyways, i was wondering if anyone has one of these mini-itx boards with 
>>>integrated everything and if it works with mythtv well.
>>Afraid not, but there are plenty of threads on this list archive about 
>>general stuff about the EPIA boards and their ilk. General consensus I 
>>think is that they're great for watching TV and video on, but less than 
>>satisfying for ripping and transcoding MP3's, DVD's, etc - essentially, 
>>all the stuff that requires a lot of CPU time.
>It is for my wife so as long as it can watch live tv/record watch 
>recording, without skipping and such she'll be fine.  She has a DVD player 
>already and i don't think she cares about transcoding.  She does like 
>mythweather, especially if we're going somewhere.  What we have our 2 tv's 
>in our living room.  She gets the big one or if we have guests or if we 
>watch the same thing.  I have a 20in with headphones to watch my 
>recordings on my mythtv box.  or sports or whatever she doesn't like.
>So as long as it acts like tivo she doesn't care.

You're probably running a wife based on the 2.2 kernel. I can heartily 
recommend upgrading to 2.6, as they're much more responsive to incessant 
geekiness (but they can be a bit unstable) ;^)

Part of the beauty of Myth for me is that it replaced about 8 zillion 
different boxes (VCR, DVD player, stereo bits), and managed to be much 
cooler than any of them - but that's computers for you I guess...!

One more thing about the WAF; what are you going to do whilst the TiVO is 
down and the Myth box isn't yet up?! I keep a backup backend just in case 
anything disastrously wrong goes on with my main backend - my flatmates and 
my girly can't live without Myth now, and I didn't want to be forced to 
take out shares in Interflora. Mods like this can take a little time, and 
if you've never set up Myth before, you may well be in for a bit of a 

>>>The one problem i see is the power supply.
>>You can get external PSU's for most iterations of mini ITX hardware, 
>>which will make cooling and modding the case *much* easier.
>External?  How much they run?  Aparently i've never seen one.  I usually 
>build all my friends computers but have never modded something so guess i 
>really haven't done enough research.

Here's an example from a UK site I get most of my HTPC gear from


but that's only 55W; there's a more expensive version rated at twice the 
power over at a similar site (second one down)


As you can see, they both have most of the PSU in an external "brick" and 
use a little bridgeboard to go inside the case.

>>>Anyone know what wattage i would need to run one of these mini's and the 
>>>pvr 250, and a small size, it has to fit between the back of the tivo 
>>>and the harddrives.  Would have to cut a bigger hole for the cable and 
>>>make a few holes for the fan.  I mean if i don't have to buy a case, 
>>>harddrives and such, i just want to use the case.  I dont need a cdrom 
>>>except to install.  etc.  Any help would be appreciated.
>Hard drives not a problem.  If i'm gonna destroy the tivo box anyways i'll 
>use the 40 and 60 already in there with LVM.  OK so does the 350's tvout 
>work well yet?  I know there were issues with getting it to work, and it 
>being difficult to get to work.  Although i mean would 70w be big enough 
>to run all this?  or do i need to go a bit bigger.  I don't think a 55w 
>would be good enough.

A 55W prolly won't be good enough. You can get an estimate of how much 
power peoples EPIA system soak up by searching the archives; a problem will 
be using two hard drives, which I imagine will suck up about 2x the power 
(and noise) of a single 120GB drive.

As someone else noted, it's possible to connect your TiVO up to a network 
and grab the updates that way.

As another personal opinion piece, I'd keep the TiVO and build myself an 
equally gorgeous-looking mATX box with a cheap athlon or something in it, 
and fiddle with lirc until you can get the TiVO remote working on it in the 
exact same way as on the TiVO, and then gradually phase out the TiVO (or 
shift it to the other TV) as your skillz with Myth become ever more mad and 
733t. But then you won't get on /. that way ;^)

My 0.02...! 

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