[mythtv-users] Lower power usage ideas? (for backend)

Jeffrey Kember jkember at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 00:27:08 UTC 2005

Consider a mini-itx based system for your backend. A fraction of the
power of a multi-GHz machine, on board firewire, support for up to two
pci cards, fanless processor option and can be used with a fanless
external power brick. You can go with laptop (2.5 in hard drives and
slim optical) for a compact build or with standard size components for

Inexpensive, quiet and power friendly...

On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 18:04:18 -0600, Robert Denier <denier at umr.edu> wrote:
> On Mon, 2005-03-14 at 18:19 +0000, colliepon wrote:
> > Just curious both what other people are doing, and feature discussion (not b*tching :) on other methods of reducing the power use of a myth box since it can build up over awhile. (and my next move may very well be off grid - satellite TV, running off solar or wind, so power use is critical but i'd prefer an alternative to the VCR) A few examples i'm thinking of:
> >
> > Could you schedule an expected time-on and time off to work with a normal block of programming?  By shut down time I mean to properly suspend all tasks like commercial flagging without screwing up data or not doing them during the week at all.  This would let you use a standard analog or digital wall timer to turn on the computer and satellite receiver for a given block of time (for instance 6:30pm to 10pm if you mostly like the evening block, or 11pm to about 3am if you like Adult Swim) since I don't know any other way to tell a computer to turn on at a given time.  :) (though if someone knows of a computer-programmable wakeup solution please tell me!)
> >
> > Or perhaps having a C3 machine with a PVR500 for 24hr recording which can wake up a P4 with another card for overflow during peak hours, and also to do things like commercial flagging or recompression. (which also might need to schedule file moves, for instance a 120gig drive on the C3 and 500gig on the P4 as primary storage)
> >
> > Or maybe speed throttling certain cpu's might work - some of the new Centrino motherboards for desktop use http://www17.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20041224/index.html, laptops with a USB grabber, or even the underclocked Athlon XP http://www17.tomshardware.com/cpu/20041001/index.html - does anyone use anything like this? (or have any experience/insights worth sharing?)  I've no clue how/if throttling is supported in linux, or mythTV or anything else, but it would be nice to let the cpu idle during daily recording and to speed up for flagging and transcoding.
> >
> > Is anyone else using a lower power design or strategy with Myth?
> >
> >
> > Colliepon
> >
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> I rather doubt that anything you can build yourself will every be 100%
> designed to be efficient on power.  That being said I'd seriously look
> at laptops.  If there is some way to get myth working with a power
> efficient laptop, perhaps with some kind of Video to Firewire bridge
> then your power issues are solved.
> Of course that might not be possible, and I don't know of any laptops
> that support pci cards, although some might have a docking bay.  They
> are about the only entire systems I can think of that Must be designed
> to be low power, that is assuming they are any good.
> Of course you can design a PC from the ground up to save power, but it
> will still likely be considerably higher than a laptop probably..
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