[mythtv-users] Looking to build my first MythTV box--in search of advice!

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 03:09:17 UTC 2005

Your P II will probably be enough to make everything run and to prove
to yourself (or significant other) that it really does work. Once you
get going with Mythtv, though, you're going to want a more powerful

I built my first system on an AMD K6, which worked but which was very,
very slow to respond. I ended up abandoning that machine and built a
fresh one on a P III 750.

As long as you can offload most of the heavy processing to extra
cards, this is enough to drive a backend/frontend and deliver fast
enough response times.

This does mean that your TV capture card has to do its processing in
hardware. The Hauppage PVR 250 is the obvious choice, particularly for
its level of support in Myth, although there are plenty of success
stories with the 150/500 (newer, lesser support than 250) and the 350
(same as 250 but with TV-Out that has been problematic).

I still use the remote that came with my 250, and I think the rest of
the Hauppage PVR cards come with remotes as well.

Your graphics card should be fine as long as you avoid OpenGL and 3D
effects. If not, there's plenty of solid cards for under $50, like the
the nvidia fx5200.

The problem you'll run into with a PII 400, besides slow menu
response, is that you'll be able to record to mpeg2 no problem, but
operations like commercial flagging and transcoding will take forever.
Again it's probably enough to get an idea of what MythTV is capable
of, but surely you will want something a bit stronger later.
Fortunately, the hardware is very cheap and getting cheaper -- check
out pcretro.com for great deals on older used/refurbished/unsold

If nothing else, your PII has plenty of power to be a file server
later on, particularly after you fill up your 240 GB (which will
happen far sooner than you think).

If you haven't already, have a look at knoppmyth
(http://www.mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html). It is a complete MythTV
installation built on Debian unstable. Other than that, I can't give
you any Debian-specific information, but others on this list and at
the Knoppmyth forum can.

Good luck,

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