[mythtv-users] My first MythTV box

David Schmidt david.schmidt.in.dallas at gmail.com
Mon Aug 21 13:00:41 UTC 2006

On 8/20/06, Greg Vickers <daehenoc at optusnet.com.au> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am building a MythTV box out of a P3 system I have:
> http://www.msi-computer.de/produkte/bare_idx_view.php?Prod_id=101
> It is a slimline system so it will fit in our A/V cabinet and has a P3
> 800EB CPU (Coppermine), 512Mb of RAM and a 40Gb laptop HDD in it. For
> the meantime I'm trying to set it up to play existing media off my
> fileserver, which is in another room. The fileserver has an AMD 1800+
> CPU in it. (They are currently connected via 54Mb WLAN, I will run a
> 100Mb LAN wire sometime.)

If you are doing standard def, the 800 MHz should be fine, presuming
your existing video card can give a little assistance via xv/xvmc.  My
prototype 450 MHz P3 could barely keep up when not commercial flagging
or doing something else in the background using an old Voodoo 3/3000.
It works great all the time using the PVR-350 out, but that's not an
option for you.

If you are doing hi-def, even the 933 won't be enough.

You'll likely have issues with the wireless LAN, especially since the
video has to make a "round trip" see below.

> The media PC will reside in the lounge with the other A/V gear and this
> is where the Optusnet cable TV set top box is.
> All I want to do is capture off the Optusnet feed, I don't want to
> capture TV signals due to very poor reception.

Unless you want to run a long video cable (with signal loss), the
encoder hardware will need to be in that room.  Where-ever the encoder
is is where the backend needs to be.  You can have the DB and NFS
servers on the remote box, but not the backend itself.  If the NFS is
remote, however, video will need to go from backend to fileserver then
fileserver to frontend.  That's a chunk of bandwidth to ask of

> I'm looking to get a hardware video de/encoder (which has to fit in the
> limited amount of space available - 150mm length) since it's a low-power
> CPU.

For decoder, you're pretty much limited to the 350.  However, for
standard def, you have the horsepower that you don't need it.  Low
profile versions of the 150 encoder are available.  I'd compare their
measurements against your case.

> I have a few questions:
> 1) Can I have the capture card(s) in the frontend and have the database
> etc on the AMD where the processing power is?

Database, yes.  NFS, yes with above caveats.  Backend, no--it must be
where the capture card(s) is/are.

> 2) From looking at the MSI web site and the Intel processor finder site
> (http://processorfinder.intel.com/Default.aspx) the fastest
> Coppermine-core CPU is a 933MHz - is it going to make a huge difference
> getting one of these and upgrading from the 800MHz CPU (133MHz FSB) that
> is currently in it?

Not in my opinion.

> 3) I know the Hauppauge 350 is too long to fit in this case - can anyone
> recommend a hardware de/encoder which is shorter than 150mm?

See above.

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