[mythtv-users] Some Quick Questions about MythTV

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Tue Oct 25 16:39:12 EDT 2005

Joshua Lewis wrote:

>Two: Can I even do what I am trying to do? The Windows XP Media Center
>allows you to hook up an X-Box or media extender to TV's so you can watch
>your Prerecorded information from a TV not directly hooked to the Media
>Center PC. That is what I want to do with MythTV.
You will need a MythTV frontend at every TV.  One frontend per display, 
so for 5 TV's, you'll need 5 frontends.  Options include computers

In MCE terms, Microsoft Windows Media Center PC is like a combined 
MythTV frontend/backend.
Media Center Extender is a MythTV frontend.  TTBOMK, you cannot have 
multiple Media Center "backends," but MythTV allows you to use as many 
backends and as many frontends as desired and backends do not need to 
also be frontends.  So, whereas a Media Center PC has to be pretty beefy 
(for playback), a MythTV backend--that's not serving as a 
frontend--typically can be a very low-end computer.

>Although it looks like
>MythTV can record my DVD's to disk drive where I can't get a confirmed yes
>on that ability for Windows MCPC.
Definitely can with MythTV.  Biggest problem is storage space.  
DVD's--especially if you do full menus, etc.--take up a lot of space.

>I would like to load all my families DVD's (If they are all loaded the way
>I want then I don't have to keep baying new DVD's when my kids scratch
>them. I got to get a new Harry Potter this weekend), MP3's and hook up
>like 5 TV tuners to the system so everyone can watch and record TV from
>there own room. Then I can watch Sci-Fi and Westwing until I am blue in
>the face in my bedroom while my wife watches Desperate House Wives and
>America's Next top Model downstairs (ok those two shows have enough
>hotties that I don't mind so much) but you get the picture. I got Barney
>in one room and GI Joe in another and so on and so fourth.
If you stick with satellite (and are using DISH or DirecTV), you'll need 
to keep the 5 satellite receivers (because they encrypt the signals so 
only their equipment can decrypt it).  If not (i.e. if you're using 
FTA), search the lists for more info.

And, remember, you'll need a MythTV frontend for each TV...

>Three: I plan to get a truly beefy system to do all of this. I am looking
>into a SARA raid array to prevent data loss and if possible dual core
>system (do they make duel CPU Dual Core motherboards) I want to avoid any
>kind of Encoding in the main processors. So do I need a certain TV Tuner
>to do everything in the tuner and such? Let's pretend money is no object
>(unfortunately it is so this will be an ongoing project) how would you
>design your system.
Go with Hauppauge PVR-150's (preferred) or PVR-250's (more expensive, 
older, take more power, and lower quality--bigger number doesn't mean 
better) for analog TV.  If you're doing HDTV, you can get HD-x000's or 
Air2PC.  See http://mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-3.html#ss3.1 for more info.

Also, note that bigger is not necessarily better.  Since you're going to 
have to have 5 frontends for 5 TV's, and since frontends need more power 
than backends (when using the PVR-x50's/HDTV capture cards), you could 
"parallelize" the system by making some of those additional frontends 
into combined frontends/backends.


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