[mythtv-users] Hardware requirements, controlers, remotes, and streaming music

Dr NoName spamacct11 at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 19 15:02:13 EDT 2004

--- Gabriel Sechan <gsechan at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm looking to build a MythTV box to get rid of some
> of the excess
> electronics aound my house.  Currently, I have 3 PCs
> (1 linux
> fileserver/gateway, 1 linux box, 1 windows gaming
> box).  I'd like to
> combine the two linux boxes and get rid of my DVD 
> player and VCR at
> the  same time.  What kind of hardware specs would I
> need to have my
> MythTV box be able to:
> 1)Handle at least 2 encodings at once (with live TV
> at the same time
> prefferable)

you should get Hauppauge PVR-250 card. It costs more,
but has hardware mpeg2 encoder, so it requires less
than 1% of the CPU when recording. Also, since the
video is already compressed when it leaves the card,
it uses very little PCI bandwidth (1.5MB/s at max

You need a card for each video stream, so 2 recordings
+ live tv = 3 cards. Of course you can always watch
live tv on your tv directly, bypassing the mythtv box.

> 2)Act as a fileserver (ftp and samba).  This will be
> a low use
> fileserver, only for my PCs
> 3)Be the gateway for my network
> 4)I'd like to be able to use it as a linux PC when
> not encoding. 
> Bonus if its still usable while handling 1-2
> streams.

that's exactly what I'm building. So, other than
PVR-250 cards, all the hardware is pretty standard.
Well, I also bought a nice wireless keyboard with
built-in thumb mouse and I'll be getting a stylish
desktop case (surprisingly hard to find these days!).
But that's just esthetics. 

> In addition, I know MythTV handles music files.  Can
> it do streaming
> music off the web?  If so- is there some way for it

dunno. You should check out MythMusic. I've already
set it up to play my mp3 collection. Of course since
this is a full linux box, you can always use xmms or
something. With KDE (or even other window managers),
you can have mythtv window on one desktop, xmms on
another, etc. and switch between them with

> For its emulation, is controller support decent? 
> I've never used a
> controller under linux.

dunno. I've set up the PVR-250 remote control. That's
good enough for me. Why would you need a controller?

> Is there any way to use a remote control with this? 
> Or is a remote
> basicly a wireless keyboard?

yeah, most TV capture cards come with remotes. You can
also buy one separately. I'm using the one that came
with my PVR-250. The key selection is not perfect
(e.g. I had to map green and blue keys to vol+/-,
respectively), but it is good enough to do 90% of
common tasks. You should still get a wireless keyboard
thogh. That way you don't have to leave the couch to
do some setup :-)

> Any answers to these questions and advice on what
> type of hardware I'd
> need (especially for video cards and capture cards)
> is appreciated).

NVidia GeForce MX seems to be quite popular (cheap,
has hardware acceleration for video playback, and
decent quality TV-out). 

hope this helps,


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