[mythtv-users] HDTV Recommendations

Doug Larrick doug at ties.org
Wed Sep 22 22:27:44 EDT 2004

Roy Murphy wrote:

> I see the pchdtv is recommended. It appears the 2K is no longer 
> available and pre-orders for the 3K were supposed to start up today. 
> Anything else?

Nothing else is ready for primetime on Linux, much less Myth.  If you
want to be brave and you have skill with C++, you could try a
Firewire-enabled set-top box.

> Output devices. I see Nvidia is recommended. I'm disappointed. I
> don't like their binary driver policy. How about the Ati
> All-in-Wonder 9600? Is there decent support for that? Anything else
> with component outputs? (No DVI on my HD monitor - component only)

nVidia is recommeded because their Xv is solid, and they support
interlaced modes.  IMHO XvMC is not in as good shape as straight Xv;
some of it's hardware limitations with the current generation of cards,
some of it's driver limitations, and some of it's Myth -- better off to
spend bux on enough CPU to do it in software (see below).  If you have
confidence in Xv working well with someone else's card, go for it.  An
FX5200 is less than $50 if it doesn't work out for you.

For output to component video, you want a VGA->Component converter.  I
use a Key Digital; the Audio Authority model seems to be cheaper.

> Assume that my budget is substancial. What should I be looking at?

Pentium 4 HyperThreaded does seem to have more headroom for MPEG2
decoding than an Athlon.  You want at least 2.8 GHz, which is not hard
to do these days.  800 MHz FSB.  Lots of space for drives; full 1080i is
7-9 GB/hour.  512 MB is sufficient.  I personally built a mid-tower and
hid it in a (ventilated) closet, but get as quiet a power supply and
other fans as will keep your drives cool.  Avoid motherboards with a
northbridge fan if you can.  You will want SPDIF out (optical or coax,
doesn't matter) to feed your receiver.

Visit www.antennaweb.org and antennasdirect.com to set yourself up with
a good antenna suitable for your location.  Best off on the roof.

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