[mythtv-users] Advice for under-tele box?

George Styles george at ripnet.co.uk
Tue Oct 19 09:52:51 UTC 2004


The recent death of my Tivo prompted me to press on with a 'proper' myth system (before I was just using Myth to grab tv shows to encode for my palmtop).

Ive finally got my myth system working in client server mode (a PC based backend with 2xNova-T cards running Mandrake, and a XBox as the frontend running GentooX. Both with almost current CVS versions of myth).

The xbox is a temorary solution to test the girlfriend acceptance factor (she hated my Tivo at first, but it soon became 'her' tivo).
Assuming she is happy with the UI, I will be looking to build a always on under TV box.

This is because the XBox is a) noisy and b) frequenty used for games (gasp!) so is rebooted and c) a _little_ underpowered for it (it only has 64 meg of ram). 

Im looking for a PC that has the following: (I am in PAL land (UK))

a) Smallish / good looking (maybe a shuttle?)
b) Powerful enough to decode MPEG2 (I have DVB cards)
c) QUIET (the most important factor!)
d) Has SCART output with RGB out (I think the Americans call it component?). Composite output from a video card is very poor quality compared to the XBox connected via SCART RGB.
I think the RGB output may be the hardest to achieve, although I read somewhere that you can con some video cards into outputing at a frequency that TVs can accept. Any insight/experience?

e) preferably with a remote control (although I can add that later if needed)
f) As cheep as possible :)

I dont believe that I need a very powerful system (i think the XBox would be powerful enough if it has a little more ram) so Im thinking around the 800MHz to 1GHz mark (any more and cooling becomes a problem).

Finally I am considering trying to boot it from compact flash to save on hard drive noise, but that is a 'later' project.

I assume many on this list have already built such a box, and am interested in experiences of others.

I am not interested in a device that can just 'play' MPEG over the network as I want the full Myth GUI.

Also, a couple of PCI slots would be nice so I could maybe move the a DVB card or 2 into it and use it as another backend (but I realise that this may be incompatable with my 'small' requirement)

Any comments appreciated


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