[mythtv-users] what cards and tools

match at ece.utah.edu match at ece.utah.edu
Thu Dec 2 21:58:08 UTC 2004

On 2 Dec 2004 at 10:24, Cook, Garry wrote:

> > What is your display? I run a projector that the PVR-350 can't drive
> > anyway, so for me it's a no-brainer, I use a PVR250.
> I'm still a noob, so just getting used to the new acronyms. My main TV
> has an Svideo input, which I believe is NTSC, please correct me if I'm
> wrong. Therefore, it does sound like the 350 would be a good bet for me,
> as the output should work for my TV.

The S-video output from the PVR350 is quite good, but any modern VGA card is 
available with S-video out as well. All but the very stripped-down ones, YMMV.

> My question then becomes, 'Do I NOT
> need a VGA card (GeForce4 or similar) if using the PVR350 output?'.
> If the answer is that I do NOT need an additional video card (I can just
> SSH into the box from another PC, so won't need a monitor), then the
> extra $50 for the PVR350 will be well spent.

If you can first get the OS installed, you can run Xwindows on the PVR350, so no, you 
don't actually need a VGA card. BUT, I don't think X will come up on the PVR350 
automagically during the install. Check Jarod's guide, he walks you through getting X on 
the PVR350. 

Be aware that a TV set usually makes a pretty nasty display for computer stuff...
> > Both are useless for HDTV. Go here: http://www.pchdtv.com/ to see
> > what's required for HDTV on MythTV.

So here we are again  :-)   If you get into High Def, you'll need a VGA card.
> I might be able to convince the wife to keep this PIII 800 (we were
> going to upgrade her to a P4 2.4), and give me the new box for the Myth
> Project. If so, then I won't need to worry too much about upgrading for
> a while, and could probably go with cheap cards without hw encoders,
> although I might just go with a 250/350 combo anyway.
> HDTV is not in my immediate future, but I know that I will want it
> eventually. I guess I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Nah, wives are important and you need to keep her on your side. Here's what I'd do if I 
were you, and it's a little different thought than before:

If you are not ready to do High Def, then make the best use of what you've got and 
forget about upgrading. 

Your current PIII has a VGA card now, right? So you can get the OS up-and-running 
with that. Then add a PVR-350 and get X running on it (because at only 800 MHz the 
hardware decoder will help with MythTV) then you can remove the VGA card if you 
want. This would make an OK  box for NTSC, so start using MythTV and learn your way 
around it.

Then, start saving your pennies, and in 6 months (when you are a MythTV expert, but 
no later than June) you can build a new machine with HDTV in mind from the ground 
up. By then, hardware will have become faster and likely cheaper, and there will have 
been probably 2 more releases of MythTV that you would have gone through.
> Hmmm... This sort of answers my first question, whether or not I need a
> standard VGA display card. Sounds like maybe not. Please let me know if
> I've misunderstood.

Depends on what you mean by the word "need"   :-)


More information about the mythtv-users mailing list