[mythtv-users] Current wisdom on PVR-150/250/350/500

Jeff Simpson jeffsimpson at alum.wpi.edu
Sun Apr 16 05:05:27 UTC 2006

> In this post: <http://mythtv.org/pipermail/mythtv-users/2006-April/132083.html>
> Jeff Simpson states "Don't buy a PVR-350 for any purpose."
> Jeff, if you are reading this, can you elaborate?

Everybody says the PVR-350 is great. It is. It's just not worth it
anymore. If I could go back and do it again I'd buy a 150 and an
NVidia card with TV Out (if anybody wants to trade, I'd love to)

The PVR-350 is the same as a 150 or 250, but includes "TV Out"

This TV Out comes in two types, MPEG decoding and framebuffer

MPEG decoding works great, so long as you only want to watch mpeg2,
and you only want to watch it from start to finish. If you want to do
things like fast forward, rewind, or other myth-like features, you
can't use the MPEG decoder. In face, the mpeg decoder only barely
works at the moment in 0.19, and there is no plan to support it in the
future, everyone is expected to go to using the framebuffer in the

The framebuffer is a different beast altogether. If you are going to
be only using the framebuffer X output, you can compare that output to
an Nvidia output as follows:

PVR-150 + Nvidia card = $cheap
PVR-350 = $expensive

Nvidia = OpenGL, Hardware Acceleration, simple installation, higher resolution
PVR-350: PITA to set up, only supports XV scaling, no other accelerations.

Nvidia: fast
PVR-350 framebuffer: slow

Nvidia: doesn't use cpu
PVR-350 framebuffer: eats cpu

NVidia: can display the console, bios, and bootup of the machine
PVR-350: can't do anything until X loads

With the PVR-350 you can't:
- use mythgame (emulators all need hardware support to go fullscreen)
- use mythmusic GL visualizations
- use StepMania (which would be really cool in Myth, in my opinion)
- fast forward or rewind using the mpeg decoder

Oh, also - there's an outstanding bug at the moment where if you use
XV the output jitters if the PVR card is also encoding something at
the same time.

Also - Myth may be going to OpenGL for the menus in the near future.
That means that Myth will be going off in a new direction and leaving
the PVR-350 behind, since the 350 will never support OpenGL.

I'll admit I didn't read through the entire thread here, but that
basically sums up the PVR-350. If you ONLY want to use myth to watch
mpeg2 recordings, you can get away with using a PVR-350. If you want
to use the other features of the wonderful Mythical Convergence box,
use a more multi-purpose output, like an nVidia card.

All that being said, I've done a lot of work to try to make the
PVR-350 easier to set up and use, and I've posted a lot about fixing
"the green screen" problem, as well as how to compile the XV driver.
I've gotten non-mpeg2 videos and dvds to play with much hassle, but
these are all things that just work out of the box with an nvidia

 - Jeff

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list