[mythtv-users] Overwhelmed

PAUL WILLIAMSON pwilliamson at mandtbank.com
Thu Jun 30 10:59:57 UTC 2005

>>> lopemanc at swbell.net 06/29/05 10:09 PM >>>
> Hi All,
> So I am definitely out of date with the home theater technology.  
> I am trying to learn quickly but I am feeling overwhelmed.  Sales 
> people have been useless and misleading.  So here I am.  I just 
> want to put together a fairly low-end home theater.  I have 
> already picked my television and it is on order, Toshiba 62" DLP 
> 62hm94.  Besides that the only things I have are a sony 300 
> carousel and my PS2.

Good TV.  Is the carousel for DVDs or CDs?  Either way, once you 
get Myth running, sell it to finance another hard drive.
The PS2 will only be good for playing games.

> I am planning on a DVD player and an HDTV antenna.  I know a 
> lot of people recommend cable or satellite.  

Don't get a DVD player.  Get a DVD drive for your Myth box.
I don't have HD service.  I get it OTA, as do many people 
on this list.  Cable or satellite is ok, but sometimes not 
worth the extra $$$.

> But I just don't want the expense or even that much TV.  

With Myth, you won't need that much TV.

> We have plenty of VHS tapes so I will probably add a VCR 
> or transfer them to DVD.  

I've gotten rid of all bur one of my VCRs.  And I only use
that one to get VHS tapes into Myth.  I try not to deal 
with ANY media if I can avoid it.

> And of course mythTV to, mainly to get the HD 
> recorder.  

Oh, myth is so much more.  If you only want a recorder, 
look at VDR (I think that's what it's called).

> Speakers and receiver are my biggest point of
> confusion.  I want good sound but don't need to be 
> on the super high-end.  I have looked at the Onkyo 777 and
> like the speakers a lot.

Get something you can afford.  The 777 is discontinued, 
so you may be able to get it for a good deal.  
The HTIAB stuff to me is ok for starter systems, but I'd 
rather buy just the stuff I need.

Rotel has some good entry level receivers too.

> So I am 90% sold on their speakers.  But that is where the 
> confusion really kicks in.

If you aren't 100%, don't do it.

> I can't envision how all this is gonna fit together.  So I 
> can't pick which Onkyo to buy?  And this continues to the 
> other components.  The TV has a tuner built in.  So do I 
> route the antenna to the TV?  Does that take up the 
> only hdmi input?

If you are stuck on Onkyo, I'd go with a TX-SR503.
If the TV has a tuner, use it.  It can't hurt.  Put a 
splitter on it (amp before if necessary), and 
route one to the TV and one to Myth.
I doubt the coax input would take up the only 
HDMI input - save that input for Myth.

> What does the myth TV box need to contain to do 
> 720 P and 1080i?  Do I need a DVD player or is that 
> covered by MythTV?  How does mythtv hook in?

You need a decent processor (2ghz will give you some 
room to grow) and a DVD drive.  MythTV hooks 
in to the TV with a good video card.  I like the 
nvidia 5200/5700 fanless card.  It does the job 
pretty good.

> Well just throw out what you think will work.  I 
> know I asked few direct questions.  But it is just 
> symptomatic of my confusion.

No problemo.  Most of this would be better to 
ask in  AVSforum, but in terms of quality for 
a stereo, get the best speakers you can afford.
A really good receiver will still sound worse than 
a cheap one if you don't have really good 

A decent Myth box will run you about $600.
Speakers will be about $1,000.
Receiver shouldn't run more than $400.

So, you're looking at $2,000 (IMHO) minimum
to get yourself going.


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