[mythtv-users] Couple more questions before I buy parts

Robert Kulagowski bob at smalltime.com
Mon Mar 22 12:11:45 EST 2004

> I spent most of the weekend reading (and reading), the XBox frontend 
> looks like the best option for me, *IF* the output is as good as that 
> from an NVidia GF4MX or similar.  Yes/no?

Output looks fine to me.  The res of a TV screen is a lot lower, and the 
eye is pretty forgiving.

> Can it handle playback the mpeg2 captures from a PVR-250 straight away, 
> or do they need to be transcoded?  I assume this is the case, since the 
> XBox comes with a DVD drive and mpeg2 is the DVD standard.

They don't need to be transcoded.

> The XBox comes with 64MB RAM, which I think I read somewhere is shared 
> with the video.  Is this really enough?  I've got 512MB in this laptop 
> and I'm always swapping to disk.  Maybe the MythTV-XBox setup has a very 
> small footprint.  Can I add more memory?  Would it matter?

It's not easy to add memory AFAIK, since you'd need to solder it on. 
64MB is fine.

> Oh, one more question, if I go with the XBox frontend the MythTV backend 
> will not need to be near as powerful.  I've got an old Intel PII-300 
> dualy that is currently no being used for anything.  Is MythTV SMP 
> friendly?  Would a dual PII-300 with 512MB handle 3/4 PVR cards?

MythTV is SMP agnostic, since nothing in MythTV will specifically take 
advantage of SMP.  The question is:  will the ivtv driver be SMP-safe? 
There's a lot of work going on in that area now on the ivtv mailing list.

The PII/300 will make commercial marking slow though, since it only 
happens after the program has been recorded.  With a PII/300 it might 
take longer to mark the commercials than the program is long (ie, 45 
minutes to mark the commercials if the program is 30 minutes long), but 
you won't know until you try.  Assuming that the chipset you've got on 
the motherboard isn't bothered by a lot of DMA/PCI access you should be 
able to run multiple cards.

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