[mythtv-users] Can Myth be all I want it to be?

Lane Schwartz dowobeha at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 19:17:18 UTC 2004

On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 09:45:31 -0800, Brent Olson <av4me at bitrealm.com> wrote:
> I want a Myth box, but first:  Can MythTv meet my requirements?

Here goes...

> 1)  DVI Output to a projector at 1280x720p
Shouldn't have any problems doing this.

> 2)  HDTV OTA recording

> 3)  Web Surfing
Yes, but beware - it might be hard to read. The big screen should help here.

> 4)  Picture Viewing

> 5)  Once setup by me, easy to use and pretty to show off

> 6)  10/100 network

> 7)  Wireless remote for normal functions (tv, dvd)

> 8)  Wireless keyboard/mouse for browsing

> 9)  Very quiet operation
Yes, if you choose good hardware.

> 10) DVD progrssive playback upconverted to 1280x720p
I think so.

> 11) Dolby Digital 5.1 output (digital optical or coaxial)
I think so, assuming you have the right hardware.

> 12)  Be able to record 8+ hours of HDTV and 5.1 audio
Yes, assuming you have a big enough hard drive

> So I have the PCHDTV-3000 card.  Which video card to get that
> will work with Mythtv and be able to output everything via the
> DVI port at 1280x720p?

Not sure, but I know a lot of ppl use the nvidia 5200

> What case to put all this in?  I'd prefer it NOT look like
> a pc.  Will the ASUS Pundit work for all the hardware?

Pundit should work fine. Keep in mind though that most of the stuff is
built-in. If you like the stuff that's built-in, then go for the
Pundit. If you'd rather be able to use a different video card, or try
out a quieter heat sink fan or power supply, then go with something
like the Coolermaster or Ahanix cases.

> Motherboard?  Amount of RAM?  Processor?  Disk space?  How much disk space does
> HDTV + 5.1 audio use? 1 hour = XX gigs?

Hmm... if you'll be playing back HDTV, you're safest if you choose a
powerful processor. I got a P4 2.8 GHz HT with 800 MHz FSB so that
when I'm ready, I can add HD to my box. I've heard others say they use
a 3.0 GHz HT P4. That's a downside of the Pundit - no 800 MHz FSB on
the regular Pundit.

With that powerful of a processor, you'll want to be choosy about your
heatsink and fan. Zalman makes good, quiet heatsink/fan combos.
Another reason I went with the 2.8 P4 instead of the 3.0 P4 is that
the 2.8 GHz P4 is the most powerful unit that can still be OK in using
the heatsink fan's quiet mode (I have one of the fan-shaped Zalman's -
it fits in my micro-ATX Ahanix case).

No idea how much hard drive space HD recordings take.

> Budget?  Under $2K should be doable for this, right?

Umm, ya. $2K should be waaaay more than you need. Unless you're
counting the cost of the projector in that figure.

A barebones (standard definition) Myth box can put together for about
$500. For this, my guess offhand would be between $500 and $1000.

Just some rough figures:

Processor: $175
Motherboard: $30-50
Video card: $50
RAM: $75
Hard drive: $80-160
Quiet heatsink/fan: $25
Quiet power supply: $100
Nice-looking micro-ATX Case: $40-80
pcHDTV 3000: $200

That's $915 on the high end assumptions, not counting shipping.

For reference, the $80 case is the Coolermaster ATC 620 at newegg.


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