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

Stephen Boddy stephen.boddy at btinternet.com
Thu Aug 17 01:36:42 UTC 2006

On Wednesday 16 August 2006 22:09, Ivan Kowalenko wrote:
> On Aug 15, 2006, at 23.36, Nick Rout wrote:
> > "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.

I checked out the Sigma Designs website, but couldn't find details for an 
8610. There was info on 8510 and 8630 etc. and they all appear to handle MPEG 
2 and 4, so it sounds like there'd be dedicated silicon (i.e. low/no CPU 
requirement) for decoding.

From what they bloke behind it said, it sounds like he expects it to cope as a 
Myth frontend as he specifically mentions MythTV. Also bear in mind that 
these things are targetted at STB's, so they should have the grunt to do the 
decoding ;-)
Steve Boddy

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