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

Schlomo Schapiro ivtv at schlomo.schapiro.org
Tue Oct 19 16:30:49 UTC 2004


my 2c on this issue (I have 2 computers in the living room that you hear 
only when you press the ear against the cases :-) ):

* Use NFS root and network boot. No need for hard disks in the living room 
at all. With 100 MBit large things (OOo, ...) loads a little bit longer, 
but the quiet makes it worth. (so make sure you get a network card that 
does PXE)

hard disks belong to the basement, IMHO.

* If you can use a PVR-350 for your frontend, then you can use a very weak 
machine, like one of those VIA EPIA boards with a 800 MHz CPU and an 
external notebook-style power supply

* Large cases with only one fan can be very quiet, too (I got one of 
those with a Celeron 500 as backend).

* Those business slim PCs are oftenly very quiet, for example the HP 
Compaq d530 Ultra-Slim (not tested by me). Important is an external power 
supply, as it removes a lot of heat from the computer.

(I use an HP ePC 42 as desktop, extremely quiet, but no slots and no 
TV-out and no USB2 ...)


PS: I am also still looking for the perfect & affordable solution

PPS: If money is not so the issue, buy yourself a nice toy from
http://www.hushtechnologies.net/start.html :-)

On Tue, 19 Oct 2004, George Styles wrote:

> Hi,
> 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
> thanks
> g


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