[mythtv-users] Building a myth box, wanna look over my components?

Brad Templeton brad+myth at templetons.com
Wed Dec 15 08:11:03 UTC 2004

On Tue, Dec 14, 2004 at 09:46:49PM -0600, Mike Isely wrote:
> On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, Derek Gathright wrote:
> > Case: Cooler Master Cavalier 2 Black ATX Desktop Case With Analog Dial
> > & 300W Power Supply,
> > $105
> >
> > Motherboard: ASUS "A7N8X-E Deluxe" nForce2 Ultra 400
> > (Soundstorm right?)
> > $89

Instead, look into the "SFF" computers, such as a Shuttle, or an AOpen
XCube or Asus Pundit, or similar.   Only downside, only one PCI slot so
only one tuner, until the Wintv-500 is supported or one of the USB 2.0
tuner boxes.

Hoewver, only one tuner in this machine.  If you have other machines
that are on the network and always on, you can put more tuners in them.

Or look at a MicroATX with 3 PCI slots, which should let you have your

Some SFFs come with a motherboard with geforce4 graphics built in, but
they can be had cheaply if not.

A touch more money for an SFF, but way nicer form factor, and you don't
have to assemble it as much.  And they are built for silence.

> > Video: Rosewill nVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Video Card
> > $52.50

Probably OK but drivers are an experience!

In theory, you should be fine with a much less powerful card unless
you are playing games -- geforce4 or even earlier.

> >
> > Processor:  AMD Mobile Athlon XP 2600+
> > $95

Not enough (or marginaly enough) for HDTV until xvmc gets working well,
more than you need for SDTV.     Pentium seems much better at mpeg
decoding than Athlon (see other messages for the reason) but runs hotter
for the same reason as it's better.
> >
> > Tuner:  PVR250MCE (Where should I buy this from?  Newegg and ZZF are
> > out.  And isn't there problems with some newer retail versions?).
> > Thinking about a PVR500MCE.  How's the support under myth? (I'll
> > probably go look this up myself)

Not yet supported, but predicted to come soon.  You have another remote,
so that's fine.  If you don't have a remote the non-MCE get you one for
a reasononable price that as a big plus is one a lot of people have.
(ie. support!)
> I just picked up a new Hauppauge PVR-250 from buy.com last week for $125.
> Using their free shipping in effect at the time I got the card in 3 days.

Out of stock, but J&R Music world has a similar price.

Of course the 500 and 150 will become the norm soon, just $60 for 150MCE.

> > Anyone have any reccomendations on hardware?  A64 processors are
> > almost so cheap right now I might go with one of those, throw a 2800+
> > in there and it would add on about $30, but I'd lose Soundstorm, but
> > then again... I'd gain 64 support for future use.

I found that playing HDTV my Athlon 3000 is 10% to 30% idle, while the
P4-3ghz is 50 to 60% idle.  Not much contest there.

I recommend that if you have a server that is on all the time, put
the tuner cards in it (wintv and pchdtv take no cpu) and then build
only a frontend, ideally with no disk (leave the disk in the server).

Another option which will improve over time, a MediaMVP, which at $80
is not much more than the video card you plan to buy.  But it is SDTV
only, and right now the Myth frontend doesn't have full function.

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