[mythtv-users] Initial Machine Parts

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Tue Aug 2 07:34:18 UTC 2005

Forget the PVR 350s.

Do you need HD? (more important do you already have a display capable
of HD, or $800 to buy one?) If no, than you don't need an HD3000.

You don't even need a PVR 350 (and certainly not two of them). The PVR
250 is what you want unless you feel confident enough to muck about
with ivtv drivers to save a few dollars by getting a 150 or 500.

You also don't really need the kind of processing power you're taling about. 

Save some cash and look for something in the neighborhood of a P4 1.8.
Get a nice, cheap tower with lots of PCI slots for expansion, big
HDDs, and good fans. A cheap generic tower with decent fans will be
better in the long run as a backend (and cheaper in the short run as a
FE/BE) than a fancy case that looks like it belongs in your
entertainment rack.

Since the capturing is done in hardware (you are planning to use a PVR
card, right?) the processing power is only really needed for
transcoding. The difference between your setup and mine (P3 750) is
that you'll probably be able to do my eight-hour transcoding job in
five hours. I got my CPU (and MB and case) for $140. What's the
difference between five and eight hours when you're sleeping?

My advice: build a BE/FE first on the cheap. Make sure it works and
that MythTV is something you'll want to spend your time and money on
(in the case of MythTV, your time is worth a lot). When you know how
it works, building the perfect frontend is much more fun (and much
less expensive).

As far as the minor details like sound go, here's some things to keep
in mind: whenever anything's playing or recording, the drives will be
spinning; whenever anything's transcoding the CPU will be crunching at
full throttle. If you put your backend next to the television, it WILL
make noise. You cannot eliminate this. Accept it.

Build a functioning system, them you can worry about making a silent
frontend (which is possible, because all the noisy bits are on the

Good luck

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list