[mythtv-users] Several General Questions

Phill Edwards phill_edwards at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 2 11:28:49 UTC 2004

> First off, I was thinking of using this barebones system to build off of 
> http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=56-110-024&depa=0
> All of the on-board hardware looks to be supported, but does the fact that 
> the video card and sound card are built on matter?

I don't see why it should. My sound card's on the motherboard and it works 

> This may be a stupid question, but how stable and 'transparent' is mythTV? 
> Stability is big issue as I won't be around to fix it if something breaks. 
> What I mean by transparent is how intuitive it is I guess.  My mom (not a 
> techie) will be the primary user and it needs to be usable for her.

I think you will find times when it freezes up, for example, and may require 
a reboot. However you should be able to configure something nice and easy 
there like the on/off button doing a controlled reboot. Also, it's possible 
to accidentally exit mythfrontend and end up in KDE so you'd probably want 
to set up a key on the remote to fire up mythfrontend again. Generally, 
however, I think it's very useable and stable although it's probably not 
going to be as fool-proof as a bought one. My 8 year old son worked out how 
to use it for basic stuff very easily. Also, mythweb provides a very good 
interface to manager recording schedules etc from another PC.

> Just for estimation purposes, about how big are the compressed files myth 
> makes?  I'd like to be using 720x480 in DVD format (mpeg-2 correct?).

Depends on what quality settings you choose. Have a look at 
http://www.mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-3.html#ss3.1 - it says "Encoded 
video takes up a lot of hard disk space. The exact amount depends on the 
encoding scheme, the size of the raw images, and the frames per second, but 
typical values for MythTV range from 700 megabytes/hour to 2 gigabyte/hour 
for MPEG-4 and larger for MPEG-2 and RTjpeg". I have seen a quite detailed 
table somewhere that shows how much disk space is required at different 
settings but can't remember where it is - must be in Jarod's guide or on 
www.mythtv.org somewhere - anyone remember?

> One thing I haven't really been able to find is how leaving it on works. 
> I'd assume the machine has to be on 24/7 in order to record shows and have 
> the MythWeb client available etc, is this correct?

It's possible to set it up so that it powere itself off when it's idle with 
no recordings coming up and automatically set a wakeup time in the BIOS for 
the next recording which will automatically reboot the PC on time. So it 
doesn't have to be on 24x7. When you come to this bit nvram-wakeup is what 
you need.

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