[mythtv-users] MythTV client node: xbox or mac mini?

Owen Mehegan owen at nerdnetworks.org
Fri Dec 9 15:13:01 EST 2005

I used MythTV with great success a couple of years ago, using one  
system for the frontend and backend. I planned for this to just be a  
proof of concept for me, but it worked out well enough that I never  
bothered to upgrade it or anything. I then moved to an apartment  
where my roommate had, and was annoyingly devoted to, a TiVo, so I  
repurposed my MythTV box for other things.

I've moved again, and I'm looking forward to rebuilding my Myth  
system with much newer code, hoping for some nice improvements. In  
addition, I'm considering making a separate backend and client  
system. There's a closet right next to where my TV is going to go,  
and I have an idea that I will run my cable in there, put the cable  
box, myth server, and network stuff all in there, and then just have  
my TV and a myth client node in the living room. Quieter, no big ugly  
PC case, etc.

I was originally planning to buy a Mac Mini for this purpose, but I  
have since become the owner of an original Xbox. I know there are  
people using their Xboxes as Myth systems also, and I'm wondering how  
practical this really is. My box is modded, so I presume that I just  
need to install Linux and Myth, get it on the network, and I should  
be good to go. But how do I manage playing games also? Is it a simple  
process to just reboot into game-playing mode? Do I need to have two  
different BIOSes on my mod chip, one for Linux and one for loading  
games? Or can I use one of the hacked bootloaders to choose between  
booting Linux or playing games? Is partitioning my hard drive for the  
Linux setup as well as game availability going to be a giant hassle?  
What does one use as a remote control?

On a related note, if I decide to go with the Mac, is there enough  
bandwidth over 802.11G wireless to run video to the client node, or  
am I totally better off just running ethernet for it?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions :-)

owen at nerdnetworks.org (Owen B. Mehegan)
'But I have that within which passes show,
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.'
   --William Shakespeare

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