[mythtv-users] Re: Hardware Recommendations?

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Fri Jun 3 16:32:17 UTC 2005

Todd Bowman wrote:

> Robert Tsai wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 03, 2005 at 12:25:06AM -0400, Todd Bowman wrote:
>>> I'm thinking of adding a second frontend to be able to watch content
>>> on a second TV and also to relieve some of the recording conflicts
>>> that keep popping up.  I'm looking for an "inexpensive" video
>>> capture card.  Since I have STBs for my digital cable, I don't need
>>> a TV tuner, just S-Video.  Does anybody have any recommendations?
>> I think you're confused.
>> The second frontend will let you watch content on a second TV, but it
>> won't help you with recording conflicts, nor does it need a video
>> capture card. (It will need a video card to display content to your
>> TV.)
>> Adding video capture cards to an existing backend (or building a
>> second slave backend machine) will help you with recording conflicts,
>> but by itself won't let you watch content on a second TV.
>> You can of course have machines running both FE and BE software.
>> (To [not] answer your explicitly-posed question, I don't have any
>> hardware recommendations.)
> I guess a slave backend with frontend is what I meant.  I don't think 
> adding a second capture card to my current MythTV box will work 
> because of the need for two STBs.  Back to my original question:  Any 
> recommendations for S-Video capture cards?

My $0.02...

a) You won't save any money buying an S-Video-only card--SDTV analog 
tuners are dirt cheap today.
b) I highly recommend the PVR-x50's (and, personally, wouldn't touch a 
frame grabber).  If you've got experience with IvyTV, you could probably 
get PVR-150 up and running and it's not much more expensive than "dumb" 
frame grabbers.  If not, there are still some really good deals on 
PVR-250MCE's (which are easier to set up).
c) I have 2 tuners in my single FE/BE and both are connected to STB's 
controlled via IR.  I just had to change the channel code on one of them 
(using code 1 and code 9 of 16).  Works fine--especially since all MPEG 
encoding is done on-card (so it even works on a friend's machine with 4 


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