[mythtv-users] Impossible to choose Motherboard?

Craig Read craigread at csi.com
Fri Dec 10 01:30:03 UTC 2004

Scott Alfter wrote:

>On Thu, Dec 09, 2004 at 11:23:22AM +1100, Craig Read wrote:
>>I'm using an AMD Athlon 2800+ cpu, but I think the principle is the 
>>same.  I chose an Albatron nForce2 motherboard (KM18G-Pro2) with 
>>on-board video (nvidia GeForce4 MX440), audio (6 channel with digital 
>>out), networking, firewire, etc.  I wanted an all-in-one motherboard to 
>>keep the cost of the system down.  When I get around to replacing it, 
>>I'll probably go for a board without the video and use a GeForce FX5200 
>>(the MX440 doesn't seem to have any sort of mpeg decoder and it 
>>struggles with HD signals on my Twinhan card).
>>I'd definitely recommend going for a nForce chipset as I've had zero 
>>problems with it.  If you want "ok" quality audio, get one with it 
>>on-board and save a few dollars.  If you want "great" quality audio, 
>>skip the on-board and look at one of the Creative THX certified cards.
>With digital output on the motherboard, there's really no reason to add a
>sound card if you're using SD MPEG-2 hardware compression or HD capture
>cards.  I have a PVR350 and an M179 on an FIC AU13, with the optical S/PDIF
>output on the motherboard connected to a surround receiver.  (The
>motherboard also includes a coax output.) Audio is captured and compressed
>on the capture boards; there's no analog audio path off of these cards.  A
>better sound card might make a difference if you're using something like a
>cheap Bt878-based capture card, but replacing that with a hardware-
>compression card would (IMHO) be a better upgrade.
Well, I'm using a Twinhan VP card (cheap Bt878) and the audio quality is 
"ok".  I have it connected up via the analog out (only have an old 
analog amp in the living room atm), but have tested the digital out 
through Alsa.  Looking at the dmesg output, it does appear that the 
Twinhan has some audio capabilities, but it says "stereo" on the box.  I 
have no idea whether that refers to the hardware or the software that's 
included.  I'd expect a HDTV capable card to be capable of handling an 
AC3 signal, but it is one of the cheapest cards on the market.  I may 
need to connect it up to my Yamaha 5.1 system and do some testing.

The main reason why I'd go for a THX certified card over on-board 
digital out is for sound clarity.  I haven't noticed it personally, but 
I'd suspect that many on-board designs would receive interference from 
other system components (fans, drives, etc).  The purpose of the THX 
certification is to indicate that a product meets minimum levels of 
audio quality.

Btw, are there any decent DVB cards with hardware compression?  I'm 
considering e-bay'ing my Twinhan card and replacing it with a DVico 
Fusion which are reputed to have a significantly more powerful tuner.


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