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

Peter Buelow pete at putzin.net
Wed Sep 22 19:01:59 EDT 2004

> At 21:40 22/09/2004, you 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'm not an HDTV user, but the PCHDTV site states you'll need a fairly
> beefy
> CPU to decode the HDTV stream, in conjunction with an accelerated GFX
> card,
> which pretty much means an nVidia. I wouldn't have thought the HDTV card
> would generate a huge amount of heat (since IIRC it's just capturing an
> MPEG stream to disc)... I think the case is a bit too cramped for a
> full-on
> combined backend/frontend though, seeing as it'll need a fairly beefy CPU
> and a fairly beefy GFX card. A quick gander at the inside
> http://www.hwextreme.com/reviews/barebones/biostar_ideq_200t_200n/images/8.jpg
> doesn't leave an awful lot of room once the optical and hard drives have
> been added.
Beefy CPU is easy enough, and since this is Myth only, I can peg it
whenever and not worry about hiccups too much. I'm assuming an AMD 3200 XP
will work just fine. But the combo video + hd input does mean not much
room to ventilate. I'm also going to look into the old desktop cases and
try to find one small enough to look like a piece of audio/video
equipment. A tower in my cabinet would look weird.
>>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.
> You'll get the best quality if your HDTV accept VGA inputs (there's a few
> TV's in the UK that have VGA-in IIRC). If not, I'd be more inclined to go
> for an adapter rather than TV-Out but a) I don't know much about these
> things and b) I don't know if the TV-Out or adaptors support high
> resolutions like wot the HDTV card uses.
Nope, no VGA in. Sucks, but that's life. Some of the nVidia cards have
component adapters, but which one is the crowd favorite is mostly what I'm
after. I would assume that a working xconfig file would be quickly gleaned
from the crowd favorite as well, shortening config time.
>>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. 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).
> Wireless is not a great choice if you plan to network this machine with
> other myth boxen. Linux support is generally poor, and that 54Mbps of
> non-switched-ness will soon get swamped. If you just need it to connect to
> the internet, it'll be adequate (assuming you can get it working ;)
I disagree with the wireless though. I've got a Linux AP running 54g and a
mixed b and g set of connections to it. The Myth box would be front/back
(only one in this setup right now) if I can swing it like this due to
where the TV lives, and where I could put the backend makes running
ethernet cable a major hassle and my hallway's start to look crappy. I
want this to be a clean and not too noticeable setup. USB wireless for
.11b would be fine, and it works with the wlan-ng drivers just great. Not
too big a deal to get up and running. It's just for programming guide data
and FC updates if I need them (plus ssh if I need to login).
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