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

Peter Buelow pete at putzin.net
Wed Sep 22 19:10:12 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).
Ok, that's cool. Thanks. I'm gonna max on the CPU so I'm hoping that's not
an issue.
>>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
> newegg.com.
Read about this. Wasn't sure how it worked. If it does work, then it's
probably worth the investment because I have an FX 5700 sitting somewhere
that I can probably gank. The 5200 might be nicer though because it
probably runs a little cooler. Can you send me a copy of you xconfig? It
would be nice to see what it looks like so I can start to get a handle on
all this.

>>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 don't know of any project that supports 54g yet for USB. Prism54 has it
on their roadmap, and some cvs commits show it's coming, but it could be a
while. I'll cross that bridge when I get this thing going though, which
will have to wait for the pcHDTV 3000 I'm thinking right now. The NDIS
wrapper is an option too, but I'm still investigating that.

>> 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.
Thanks, That helps a lot. I was afraid it would be roughly 2x that much
cutting down on the amount of recording time. This makes my choice of a
250 seem much better.

>>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.
> HTH,
> David
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