[mythtv-users] mythtv noob - hardware questions

John DeLuca johnfdeluca at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 17 17:37:28 EST 2004

See responses

rook at homesonphones.com wrote:
I've been looking at mythtv for awhile and have decided to finally try to 
create my own. I'm new to linux as well, but feel as though I'm pretty 
familiar with system configuration and setup. I also have some friends 
familiar with linux that I can ask for help. My main issue is making sure that 
the hardware that I have or will buy is supported.

Here are my requirements:
-Use my existing Dell Dimension 4100 as much as possible
-1.0 Ghz
-256MB RAM (I don't have a problem upgrading this)
-Digital sound
-standard RCA is required (optical output desired as well)
-Dolby Digital 5.1 at least (DTS preferred)
-S-Video out

It seems like the Hauppauge PVR-350 is the preferred tuner card. However, I 
have some questions:
-Does this card have DVI? 

No.  But if you have a HDTV that you want to connect (as I do), you might want to put in a video card which has has a digital connector that matches your TV. I use an old nVidia card with a VGA output which connects to my TV.

-I've heard that this card uses hardware compression. This is appealing due 
to the low processor speed that I'm working with. Is this true of the PVR-
350? Will I have problems with the processor and a hardware compression based 


The onboard encoding/decoding of the 350 made it attractive to me as it frees up cpu cycles.

-Can I use the PVR-350 for video out in addition to the tuner features? I've 
heard that it has a s-video tv-out, is this true? 


Does it have standard RCA 
out as well? 

Not sure

Can I record while watching the tv with this card alone, or would 
I need a tuner and a graphic card combination?

To record one show and watch another show (live tv), you need 2 video capture cards.  But with one card, you can record one show while watching a pre-recorded show (or watching the same show you're recording).

I've heard that the M-audio revolution is a pretty good card that might satisfy 
my requirements.
-what outputs does this card have? RCA? Optical? Component?
-How good are the linux drivers for this card?
-What audio software can it handle (5.1? DTS?)

I have no experience with M-audio

What would be a good amount of RAM to upgrade to? Over 512MB?

I've heard 512 is plenty. I personally have 1.5GB and have no problems.

I have wireless ethernet (802.11G) are there any cards that are well supported 
in linux? I'm not too eager to run cat-5 around my house.

No experience here either as I have a single frontend/backend machine with a wireless bridge (Linksys WET11)...no streaming audio/video for me.

I have a CD-R, but I'm thinking about upgrading to a DVD-R/CD-R. I would like 
to be able to rip DVDs (a feature of mythtv), but would also like to convert 
programs and burn them on DVD-Rs so free up space. Are there any devices that 
are well supported by linux and run fairly well?

I have an LG DVD-R which works well but not sure I've really used it for alot of ripping.

I think my old computer has an external port for an ATA drive. I would like to 
get an external HDD to increase my capacity. How do I find out if my ATA card 
is supported in linux so I can use this port? Is adding an external HDD fairly 

No experience here either....all my drives are internal.

Thanks for your help,


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