"Value-minded" system configuration (was Re: [mythtv-users] Looking for your experience)

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Tue Sep 7 12:59:41 EDT 2004

On 09/07/2004 10:57 AM, Ryan Steffes wrote:

>Just for fun I took some of the suggestions on the list and put them
>into the wishlist at toyla^H^H^H^H^Hnewegg.com and come up with this:
(corrected URL based on Ryan's followup post)

>Clocking in at just over $800 it certainly isn't the cheapest way to
>go but I think it covers most of the basics, as well as having parts
>chosen for silence.
Great idea.  To further the cause, I--being a cheapskate--came up with a 
"value-minded" system configuration based on my experience building 
systems for myself and friends.


For the value-minded.***  A $602 dual-PVR-250 combined frontend/backend 
system.  For additional storage, buy a second 160GB HDD for an 
additional $86, making the system cost $688.  If you only want to record 
one channel at a time, drop the PVR-250MCE to save $128, making the 
system cost $474.  Buying only one hard drive or tuner card now, you 
will still have the option to add additional ones in the future.

This  system was created to provide full functionality, but price was 
considered more important than aesthetics.  The system is not quiet, but 
no amount of additional money spent on low-noise components can compete 
with the absolute quiet you'll get from putting the system in another 
room/closet and passing the cables through the wall.  And, for aesthetic 
appeal, nothing beats moving all your components (A/V receiver, 
cable/satellite receiver, VCR, DVD player, etc.) to another room and 
leaving only a TV and speakers in your main viewing room.  Then, using a 
LIRC transmitter, you can configure your Myth box to control all your 
components and relegate all your remotes--save one--to a shoebox in a 

The SiS chipset is inexpensive, but far more stable with PVR-x50's than 
Via chipsets (at least the older, less expensive Via chipsets).  The 
PVR-250 provides a fully functional IR remote control for those not 
wanting to delve into electronics construction, and the long wire on the 
IR receiver can be routed through a wall allowing you to place the 
system in another room.  The PVR-250MCE provides an FM tuner (although 
radio is not yet supported in MythTV, it's there in the event radio 
support is added).  Although you could replace the PVR-250MCE with a 
frame-grabber and save nearly $100, IMO the picture quality achieved 
with the PVR-x50's warrant the additional cost--especially for those 
with good quality digital feeds (satellite/digital cable users).

***Although I have built systems with all these components working as 
stable MythTV machines, I do not guarantee that this system will work 
for others.  ;)


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