[mythtv-users] Hardware ideas

David Wood obsidian at panix.com
Fri Jun 25 14:44:05 EDT 2004

Hi Timo!

On Fri, 25 Jun 2004, Timo Boettcher wrote:

> > So far it sounds like an Athlon XP 2xxx+,
> Why that big cpu? I have two pvr350's, and my p3-933 can deal with it
> very good (even though I only use the pvrs as encoder, and use a
> regular graphicscard for playback, with the cpu as decoder (my display
> has a dvi in))

Good question. I'd certainly like to use less powerful stuff; save $$$,
electricity, noise etc. I think it came out of:

1) Box will be both a front+back end
2) Live TV
3) No PVR-350 TV-out due to driver stability issues, so no hardware decode
4) Also need to playback DivX/Xvid/younameit
5) Was considering software encode as well (i.e. AverTV etc rather than
PVR-250/350), though now it sounds like that's not worth it.

EPIA sounds neat, especially some "fanless" configurations, but I was
unsure this would fly as a front+back end in this config. Actually, it
sounds from what I'm hearing now like it probably would work with a 350,
but Jarod explains that his EPIA+350 isn't strong enough for some codecs -
of which I have too many.  :( So close, yet so far.

> > a big HD, and a Hauppauge PVR-350. But I have some reservations
> > about the 350, since it sounds like the TV output device driver is
> > in flux and not reliable/stable. And is it true that I won't be able
> > to play movies through it that aren't in MPEG2 format?
> No, you just won't be able to use the TV-out with
> hardware-acceleration for mpeg if you are doing something non-mpeg.
> There is a framebuffer-driver that you can use.

OK. I'm getting inconsistent reports on this. I've read recent posts that
people couldn't playback certain video formats due to performance problems
with the current framebuffer driver. Then other folks (thanks again Jarod)
have mentioned they think it might be fast enough if you have a good CPU,
but it's just too unstable to tell.  :)

If I felt like the 350 was stable and could play all my codecs I'd
certainly get it. But if there are going to be issues it sounds better to
get an mx440 and 3d graphics as a fringe benefit. Provided... provided the
tv-out on the nvidia can be made to look decent on linux. There's no point
in any of it if it looks like crap.

> > Will I have to awkwardly switch between using it as a decoder and
> > using it as a regular X display?
> no

OK, that's good. :)

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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