[mythtv-users] Summer Project 2005, MythTV Box Proposal

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Sat Jun 18 23:03:04 UTC 2005

What's your goal?

I'm sure you realize how powerful and flexible MythTV is, and how many
different hardware configurations are available. But unless you're
clear about what capabilities you want your box to have, there's no
advice I can give you on any of this.

If you're trying to build a box cheaply, you're probably better off
buying a used system -- anything P3 700 and above is enough if you've
got multiple hardware cards like the PVR x50s. If you're planning on
watching live TV (but why would you be building a Mythbox then) you'll
probably want a P4 1G or better. Neither of these is more than a
couple hundred used for case, power, motherboard, CPU, and if you're
lucky, GPU, NIC, 256+ RAM, an optical drive and an HDD big enough for
your OS, Myth TV, and a nice live TV loop -- 20 G is more than enough
for this. You'll use the 250 from Newegg for storage.

I'm guessing that you're planning to run to a TV rather than a monitor
or LCD. If you're not running to TV, you don't need the PVR 350. If
you are, you'll probably get just as good a signal through the
fx5200's S-Video port (assuming it has one) with a lot less headache.
I don't use a 350, but even a cursory look at this list will tell you
that there are issues with the out on the 350.

Before starting with an arbitrary price, you need to figure out what
you want your system to do, and where you will be expanding it.

Are you building a single system, or do you plan to expand it later?

What is your display device?

Are you planning to use MythMusic (in which case running sound out of
your TV speakers makes your music sound pretty crappy)? Do you want
surround sound?

Do you need HD, or the ability to expand to HD on this system?

What is your TV signal source -- analog cable, digital cable, OTA,
satellite? Will you need to deal with a separate tuner box, and if so,
how will you change the cannels (irblaster, serial, firewire, etc)?

If you want to build a box cheaply, you could do it for $500. If you
want a lot of speed, power and capabilities, you could spend $1500.

I suggest you go through the threads on this list dealing with
hardware, particularly the pieces you're looking at, and have a think
about what you want your box to do. Then maybe folks can help you a
bit more.

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