[mythtv-users] Some questions before I breakout the Mastercard

Kevin D. Snodgrass kds.mythtv at cox.net
Thu Mar 18 20:23:30 EST 2004

Jarod C. Wilson wrote:
> But do note that you can only use one of the inputs at a time (some 
> people miss that distinction, just wanted to throw it in for clarity's 
> sake).

Yes, I realize that.

> Mmm... Plasma... (I've got a RP-HDTV now, and am very happy with it, but 
> again... Mmm... Plasma... ;-)

Someday.  I've already spent too much on toys lately.

> ATI has mediocre driver support, at least for the particular 
> functionalities Myth needs.

OK.  I have one ATI card w/TV-out, but I guess another ~$50 
for an NVidia won't kill me.

I did a lot of research yesterday and today.  I kinda like 
the DFI NF2 Ultra:

>> Support for FC1 will dry up not long after FC2 is out.
>  From Red Hat proper, yes, but not from the community.

I guess I've spent so many years "in the server room". 
Since this will be a "server", I like the idea of not 
needing to upgrade all the time.  Once I get it working I 
would like to leave it, except for basic patches, for a long 
time.  That's my NetWare background...  (There are STILL 
some NetWare 2.15 servers running!  Uncle Bill will never be 
able to match that...)

> Which sort of adds a point against SuSE 9, despite Maarten's objections 
> to my statement that its asking for trouble. Same situation as RHEL3, 
> nobody maintaining all the packages. (Though hopefully, that'll change 
> in the future, because yes, SuSE 9 really is quite nice).

I think SuSE 9 (or the soon to be available 9.1) will get 
installed on this laptop.  After the MythTV is setup.

>>> Patches exist for 2.6.x. There's really no need to go 2.6 though, and
>> The improvements in the scheduler (both process and IO) and the new 
>> driver model are big things for me.  I guess using the hardware 
>> [en|de]coders on the PVR-x50 cards means that won't be so important.  
>> The CPU just runs the UI and does disk IO.  But doing commercial cuts 
>> might be a different thing...
> Could be. I'll have to try it out sometime soon, I suppose. But I have 
> zero issues to speak of right now, so I haven't bothered.

Guess I'll stay with "what works" and play with new stuff 
later.  Got to make sure things work, everytime.

>> Are you capturing at high bit rates?
> Oh yeah. Higher than most people. 8Mbps min, 16Mbps peak for everything 
> I intend to watch on my HDTV. 4.5/6.0 for stuff to be viewed on a 27" 
> analog TV for my kid.

OK.  I'll just get a single BIG PATA drive.  Maybe use one 
of my old 3-9 GB drives for an install drive and the big one 
for the data files.

>> Most of what I'll be recording I will want to be archive quality.
> I'd call what I record archive quality. A bit space-consuming 
> (3.7GB/hr), but I usually don't keep stuff around for very long. There's 
> always the option to transcode to mpeg4 as well.

I nothing essentially nothing about DVD formats.  Will 
standard consumer DVD players play MPEG4?

>> If the kernel doesn't have APIC support that sounds like this advanced 
>> feature set (more IRQs I would guess) won't be available, right?
> I suppose. Its been a non-issue for me, so I haven't really looked into 
> it. There were some big discussions on this list about it a few months 
> back if you want to poke through the archive to absorb some info from 
> people who seemed to know a fair amount about it.

Maybe I'll search through the archives.  Should be enlightening.

> So you may be gravy with just a PVR-350 for output.

If it works for me.  I keep reading about problems...

> Yeah, the 6PCI ones are slightly more rare/expensive. Any of those have 
> worth-while onboard video? I can't recall ever seeing a good ATX board 
> with such a thing, only the micro-ATX ones. Though if you go split 
> backend and frontend...

Server boards often times have 6xPCI and embedded ATI 
graphics.  I doubt if they have TV-out though.

>> The more I think about this the more I think a frontend/backend 
>> solution might be best.  I'm guessing the max distance for S-Video is 
>> much less than the distance from my spare bedroom to the other end of 
>> my apartment.  Ethernet doesn't have those constraints...
> Very true. This would mean either splitting off the 350 into the remote 
> frontend machine, and recording to the local driver or over NFS back to 
> the master, to be able to utilize its tuner, or foregoing the 350 and 
> just using a video card in the frontend, without any capture cards in 
> it. This certainly can lead to a much quieter system by the TV...

Or trying the XBox thing.  Not being a gamer I almost never 
read ANYTHING about XBox.  Solding iron needed?  MWave.com 
has an XBox for about $170 right now, much cheaper than 
building a dedicated PC for frontend/playback.  No fan noise 

> The more I ponder your situation, the more I think a split 
> backend/frontend setup would be ideal. But then you definitely don't 
> need the 3GHz CPU in the backend, or the frontend for that matter...

Hmmmm, cheaper Athlon in the backend, XBox for a frontend, 
ethernet cable running down the hallway to the "server 
room".  That might work.  I have to get capture working 
first, though.

>>>> and a DVD burner.  Might even go with SATA RAID 5, if I can get 4 
>>>> disks attached.
>>> Are your TV recordings really important enough to want to use RAID 5?!?
>> I want the storage space AND the reliability.  I also expect this 
>> machine to handle this task for several (5+) years. Outside of a 
>> server room I've had quite a few hard drive failures.  And yes, the 
>> Stanley Cup Finals are that important to me. :-)
> Stereotypical die-hard Canadian hockey fan, are ya? I'm *almost* that 
> way about baseball, but not quite. ;-)

I am most definitely NOT Canadian!  Lived most of my life in 
Nebraska.  Hockey and football the the best games to watch, 
baseball and foosball the best best to play.  And yes, the 
Huskers will rule college football again.  5 championships 
in 25 years and more to come!

>>>> I'm not afraid to spend money to get what I want
>>> Me neither. Just don't tell my wife. =)
>> Ok, I won't. :-)
> Me and my potential future children thank you.

Being single does have certain advantages. :-)

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list