[mythtv-users] HDTV AIR2PC amd64 frontend/backend

Paul B. Henson henson at acm.org
Fri Mar 25 20:13:44 UTC 2005

I have three AIR2PC cards on back order and want to start building the
system they will go in and the system to connect to the TV. I have a few
questions perhaps someone can help me with...

The PCHDTV card is documented as supporting four cards per system. I
haven't found any documentation on a limit on the number of simultaneous
AIR2PC cards in a system. Will there be any issues with three cards running
simultaneously? Also, does anyone know if the AIR2PC will have any problems
in a shared IRQ PCI slot?

I am leaning heavily towards amd64, as the new socket 939 90nm processors
are very power efficient and generate less heat than comparable Intel
processors (plus 64-bits is just cool ;) ). However, the selection of
socket 939 compatible motherboards is not that wide at the moment, and the
good ones all seem PCI express based. I am currently looking at the ASUS
A8N-SLI Deluxe.

Has anyone had any experience with this motherboard? From my searches,
people are report varying levels of success, it seems like the drivers
might not quite be there yet. I've also heard the sound system on the
motherboard might be suboptimal, in particular it does not have hardware
mixing.  Presumably on a front end system there would only be one program
generating audio though...

How many people are running amd64 based mythtv systems? In particular HD
systems, and better yet ones based on AIR2PC cards? Any incompatibilities
or problems? I understand that mplayer leverages various Windows codecs by
wrapping the DLLs, and a 64-bit mplayer would be incapable of playing those
formats. Windows XP x86-64 should be out anytime now, presumably the 64-bit
DLLs from it could be used instead? Or I suppose one could always compile
mplayer in 32-bit mode and install the emulation libraries.

For the front end, I was going to go with the 3500+ chip. research seems to
indicate that a 2800+ model is the minimum for decoding HD, and I would
rather have too much power than too little, plus the extra capacity might
enable more complicated deinterlacing algorithms or other processing.

I am also having trouble finding a PCI express based nvidia card that is
passively cooled. I would prefer a passively cooled card to decrease noise
levels on the front end. Any suggestions on an appropriate card?

The TV to be connected is a Panasonic PT60LC14, which actually has VGA
compatible RGB inputs. I think I'd prefer to try to get the HDMI connection
working with a DVI-HDMI adapter, but it is nice to have a fallback position
if that doesn't work. Anyone have any experience with DVI and this

Thanks much...

Paul B. Henson  |  (909) 979-6361  |  http://www.csupomona.edu/~henson/
Operating Systems and Network Analyst  |  henson at csupomona.edu
California State Polytechnic University  |  Pomona CA 91768

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