[mythtv-users] Babelbox: A potentially useful new low-cost frontend?

Ivan Kowalenko ivan.kowalenko at gmail.com
Wed Aug 16 21:09:50 UTC 2006

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On Aug 15, 2006, at 23.36, Nick Rout wrote:

> On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 03:18:44 +0100
> Stephen Boddy wrote:
>> Cost 149 (== ~US$280)
>> http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/08/15/dawe_bablebox_competition/
>> Not a huge amount of tech info yet, but 149 would be very  
>> competitive
>> compared to the cost (in the UK anyway) of a mini-itx solution.  
>> However it's
>> likely to be very underpowered in comparison.
> "The other drawback is that there's no memory management unit - it  
> really is a basic ARM chip, a Sigma 8610 video controller, 64MB of  
> RAM and 128MB Flash, running uCLinux."
> Does myth run on ARM?

At the moment, I'm not sure, but I'd guess you'd get some fatal  
compile errors. However, Myth, I'm sure, didn't run on PowerPC at  
some point too. However, there was a demand for it, so the code was  
modified and optimized for PowerPC, and there you have it. If this  
thing gets into enough Myth users' hands, we'll see an ARM version.

However, is this ARM chip capable of squeezing out enough  
calculations per second to be a usable front-end? Will 64 MB of RAM  
be enough (Many Myth users who used the XBox say "yes, but there are  
pauses")? Can the Sigma 8610 video chip handle OpenGL? If the answers  
to any of these questions are "no," then we could have a problem.  
Theoretically, 64 MB of RAM is just barely enough, and even if the  
Sigma chip can't do OpenGL, it's still usable. However, without  
OpenGL, you'll lose some of the pretties (or at least some of the  
speed of the pretties) we're supposed to see in 0.20.
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