[mythtv-users] Building HTPC with Mythtv on weak configuration

Mark J. Small msmall at eastlink.ca
Mon Nov 15 16:07:01 UTC 2004

On November 15, 2004 11:22 am, Kevin Kuphal wrote:
> FeNiX wrote:
> > Hi!
> >
> > I want to turn my old computer to HTPC. I am thinking using linux with
> > mythtv.
> >
> > Computer specs are:
> >
> > Celeron 400
> > Asus P2B-F (BX chipset)
> > 64 MB SDRAM
> > Matrox G400 DH
> >
> > I want to be able to record and live pause tv program. I am thinking
> > of buying Hauppauge PVR-250. Is this enough? Maybe i should replace
> > cpu with P3 say 800MHz. Does someone have similar configuration?
> > Is it better to buy tv tuner without hardware mpeg2 encoding and
> > invest more in motherboard/cpu power?
> > Thanks in advance...
> Sounds to me like you might have better luck with a PVR-350 so you can
> be certain to take advantage of the hardware accelerated TV-OUT as well
> as the hardware MPEG-2 encoding.
> Kevin
I really depends on the recording resolution/quality.  I have a backend that 
is a P2-333 and a frontend that is a Celeron 433 and I don't have any 
problems.  I am however recording all my stuff at 352x240.  I have a 20" tv, 
so better resolutions just don't help, they just eat Hard Drive.

You will probably want more memory though.  Add another 128, and you'll be 

With a low spec machine, you REALLY need hardware encoding.  I wouldn't bother 
doing software unless you have a very zippy box.

If you plan an on transcoding to mpeg4, don't spend the extra money on a 
pvr-350. It only decodes mpeg2.   350's are also annoying if you want a 
separate frontend/backend.  If you rely on the hardware decoding, you need 
one for each box.

If you are a real sucker for punishment, you could try to find a Rainbow 
Runner G to go with that G400 of yours. Its what I use in my backend, and it 
encodes in hardware making really HUGE mjpeg files that have to be transcoded 
before they are watched.  Even a Athlon XP 2000+ frontend can't decode the 
mjpeg files to watch them smoothly, thus I can't do livetv.  Its is also an 
incredible pain to set up correctly.


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