[mythtv-users] Recommendations

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 00:49:46 UTC 2004

I built mine for about $500. 

I tried it first with an old K6-2 450 (512 RAM) and found it way to
slow. I ended up getting a used P3 700, for $150 and that works fine.
You could probably get it running on a slower machine, but it might
not be worth the effort.

Hardware encoding will definitely be necessary with a pokey machine,
and the PVR-250 is well worth the price. I got mine for around $120,
but I've seen them for less. They include a remote control and IR
dongle, and are completely painless to set up for Myth.

For TV-out, you really don't need the latest and greatest card. You
can save a lot of money here, as I suspect with this kind of processor
you're not looking for gameplay. I use an Nvidia Geforce 2 with
S-Video out. I had this card lying around but you can pick one up for
a song, I'm sure. I run an S-Video to RCA cinch adatper and use the
RCA to connect to the TV's aux in port. It's not HD by any means, but
neither is the TV. If you don't have an RCA-in on your TV, you can
easily run this through a VCR, which will definitely have the port.
The video quality is much better than VHS, but not quite DVD. Still,
good enough for me.

The on-board audio is also good enough for me, though I run the audio
out through a stereo system. Again, not 5.1 Dolby, but I don't have a
sound system that supports 5.1 anyway, and the sound really is good

Keep you eye out for hard drive deals. I got a 200 GB Maxtor at Office
Depot back in September for around $120, no mail-in rebate crap. I
think I saw Staples selling a 160 GB drive for around $100, plus a $40
rebate. You may think 60 GB is a lot now, but just wait till it starts
filling up. Get a big drive from the beginning.

On Sun, 26 Dec 2004 09:50:56 -0500, Dennis B. Hopp <dhopp at coreps.com> wrote:
> I'm toying with the idea of building a mythtv box.  Budget is not as big
> as I would like, but what can ya do...
> Anyway, I was thinking of getting the PVR-250 (the PVR-350 seems to have
> too many problems with the TV-OUT to justify the extra $40-50).  What
> card do you guys recommend for doing TV-OUT?  Also do you think a K6-2
> 500 Mhz proc is enough (will have 384MB of RAM, maybe 512, not sure what
> I have laying around)?   The only thing this box will do is act as a
> media center (with it's primary objective to be a TV-Recorder, and live
> tv).  It will connect to a DirecTV receiver (which has a low speed data
> port).
> Total budget is probably around $500...included in that I need to get
> the PVR-250, a card to do TV-OUT and a decent sized hard drive (probably
> 60 or 80 GB to start with).
> --Dennis
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