[mythtv-users] Would like opinions regarding some HW choices

David George david at thegeorges.us
Wed Sep 22 17:37:26 EDT 2004

Peter Buelow wrote:

>I'm in the process of getting started on a new OTA HD PVR using Myth, but
>I have some questions. I've been through the archives and a couple of the
>user HOW-TO's. Just need a few clarifications and some HW advice.
>1. I want to get a miniATX box (probably a BioStar iDEQ box) which has
>limited space and only a single PCI slot. Not that big a deal as this is a
>PVR only box sitting in my stereo rack, so I don't need much else. I'm
>choosing the pcHDTV 3000 card right now, and would like to hear how the
>2000 (or if anyone knows, the 3000) card is on heat and CPU so far.
>Obviously heat is an issue in this box so if this card is gonna fry
>something, I would want to know before buying. Is maybe the Hauppage HD
>option a better choice?
I have the pcHDTV 2000 and heat is not an issue.  I am using a well 
ventilated case so I can't speak for the iDEQ.  The Hauppauge HD cards 
are not supported by Linux (or mythtv).  CPU power is not a problem for 
recording HDTV.  Playback on the other hand *needs* CPU.  There is an 
option to use xvmc, but some people have had problems with certain 
configurations (search the archives for more info).

>2. I've read lots of comments about different HDTV video out options.
>nVidia, a video to component adapter, and other choices. What seems to
>work the best? If I don't have to buy a seperate VGA card for this
>machine, then I won't, but it's HD only, I want the quality. And if I buy
>a card, what's the best card for component out? nVidia is the strong
>choice here because it's supported well with Linux and by the pcHDTV
>marketing blurbs, but I'll likely go with what works the best over any
>other choice.
I use an Audio Authority VGA to Component box to output HDTV.  FX5200 
seems to work great and you can get a low-profile fanless version at 

>If the info is interesting, this will be a FC2 install on a really big
>drive and have a USB wireless connection at some point.
FC2 works fine for me.  USB wireless could be problematic.  Make sure 
you get g and hopefully you won't have too many interference problems.  
2.4Gig is getting more crowded by the day.

> I assume as long
>as the audio card is supported under Linux, then that aspect is taken care
>of (S/PDIF out on all my current choices).
Yep, pretty much.  SPDIF is supported on most motherboards that have it 
built-in.  Intel ICH4 and ICH5 are supported as well as SoundBlaster 
(and many others).

>Finally, one thing I didn't see, is how much space an HD program of say 1
>hour will take up? I'm assuming it's much larger than SD programming, but
>how much recording time will 250 GB get me? Assume about 10 gig for FC +
>Myth + whatever else, so in reality, 240.
On my box the HD programs are about 6.9GB for a one hour 1080i recording.

>Everything else seems to be fairly well doc'd at this point. Getting
>pretty excited. Need to keep from abusing credit card at this point.

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