[mythtv-users] Frontend hardware -> silent box

Stephen Tait tait at digitallaw.co.uk
Fri Aug 13 15:40:17 EDT 2004

At 20:32 13/08/2004 +0200, you wrote:
>Hi Yhan.
>You may want to have a look at the epia stuff made by VIA. There are 
>plenty of postings about this on the ML, maybe you want to search the 
>archive at gossamers. :)
>There's even a distribution for the epias at www.linpvr.org.
>Yhan wrote:
>>I'm looking for a hardware for my Frontend client.
>>What is avalaible and Linux supported on the market ?
>>I would like to use it as MythFrontend, but the box has to be fanless.
>>My goal is to hook up a standard LCD 14' screen, thus the TV-OUT is not
>>mandatory for that box.

Ha! It's a very broad topic, and you'd do well to search the archives for a 
lot of similar questions about noiseless systems.

Systems like the EPIA are very popular because of their small size and low 
powered CPU's which don't need much in the way of cooling, but it's 
possible to turn a quad Opteron into a silent box if you're willing to 
spend the time and money on it :)

My combined front/back end (eventually to be relegated to frontend and aux 
backend) is a KM400 mATX board in a coolermaster case; with a bit of 
mucking about with the fans, I've managed to get it to run very quietly 
indeed (not totally silent, but you can't hear it from 4 feet away) whilst 
still giving me the processing power I want/need, and without any heating 

If it's solely a frontend system you're looking for, I presume you already 
have a master backend chock-full of TV-cards...? If you only want to use 
the frontend to watch TV, practically any EPIA board will do you fine. You 
won't need a DVD drive in it, and you can network boot off the backend, 
hence you don't need a hard drive in it either. If you're looking to turn 
the frontend into a more general TV/movies/music/games/kitchen sink box, 
then you might want to switch to a faster board (only the newer EPIA boards 
have the grunt to do heavy multimedia stuff)... but they're not fanless.

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