[mythtv-users] Newbie getting to know mythtv (long)

zoiks2004-ivtv at yahoo.com zoiks2004-ivtv at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 25 15:12:55 EDT 2005

--- Torbjørn Heltne <torbjorn.heltne at amelektronikk.no>

> It is pretty hard to decide which MB, case etc to
> buy. In the meantime I 
> want to familiarize myself with MythTV, so I have
> installed the other HW 
> (pvr-350,DVD-burner/hard disk) in a somewhat retired
> workhorse (P3/500 
> w/384MB).
>  From what I understand that should be plenty
> horsepower to run MythTV 
> because of the pvr-350. Right?

Basic functions will work well with this machine.  I
had a similar setup, only with a Celeron 566, and it
worked basically OK.  Here are some weaknesses you
will find:

1) The responsiveness of the GUI will be slow. 
Frequently, when you start to change a channel or
browse the menus, there will be a delay as Myth checks
the MySQL db and reads files, etc.
2) When I was using the Celeron, yuv/xv was not
available for the 350 - now it is with the later ivtv
versions.  I would guess that transcoded recordings
will play OK on your machine.  If you transcode in the
background, you may not notice how long it takes to do
so (which, with your machine, may be 3-4 times the
length of the video or more).
3) Music ripping will take a long time due to the slow
processor.  As of 0.18.1, you still can't do things in
parallel in Myth, so you'll have to wait ~1 hour if
you are ripping a CD.
4) Ripping a DVD may take a long time.
5) Transcoding down the mpeg2s, mpeg4s, etc using
mencoder, transcode, ffmpeg, etc. to make
dvd-compatible files may take a really long time.  In
some cases (depending on what you're doing and how
you're doing it) you may have to wait possibly even a
day to do some transcoding stuff.  HOWEVER, if you
simply remultiplex mpeg2 files written from the PVR
350 straight to DVD format, it won't take that long. 
Around 1 hour to do a 2 hour movie.
6) Mythgallery will tend to be a little slow.  If you
are using it to view largish (>500kB) jpegs, the
imagemagick routines will delay you a couple/few
seconds to show you the resized images.

All in all, it should work fine.  Just certain things
will take longer than you want them to.

When the hard drive in my Celeron 566 bit the dust, I
took the opportunity to upgrade to a 2.4GHz P4, even
though I was using a P350.  I'm actually pretty glad I
did that.  Much more responsive.

Also, if you are going to compile everything (which
eventually I learned to do) the makes can take
absolutely forever.  Much patience is advised.

For the rest, I have no helpful information as I use
SuSE for my Myth box (*not* recommended, actually). 
As I said, I mostly compile everything Myth needs.

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