[mythtv-users] Using Macs as Front/Back-End

Ivan Kowalenko ivan.kowalenko at gmail.com
Fri Aug 25 15:26:24 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA1

On Aug 25, 2006, at 07.37, Taylan Pince wrote:

> Hello,
> I know there is a separate thread about using mac mini for front- 
> end, but how about back-end? I have a G5 1.8 that I am currently  
> using, and I am thinking about buying an intel mac mini to install  
> Ubuntu on and create a MythTV back-end, which I would connect to  
> using my G5.

I don't think it would be possible to use one of the new Intel Minis  
as a back-end, because there aren't any PCI slots into which you  
could install a card. If you're running Linux, though, and you're  
using a USB capture device, it's theoretically possible to do this,  

> I have no big ambitions like HD, I just want something to record  
> shows and experiment with, but I am not sure if mini can handle the  
> load.

Well, if there was an open PCI slot, any Mini could capture HD, it's  
not like there's a lot of processing power involved in writing a  
stream to disk. Anyway, my current back-end is a Celeron 600 with a  
PVR-150. Theoretically, it could encode MPEG-4 in real-time (I had a  
P3 500 that could). Even if you had a Core Solo Mini, it should be  
able to beat the pants off of my back-end.

> Another question is, how would I hook the mini up to the cable tv  
> if I were to create this setup?

You'd need a capture card. This is where things get tricky. Most  
capture cards are PCI-based. However, given the size and design of  
the Mini, a PCI card is right out. Not an option. This leaves us with  
FireWire and USB options. As far as I'm aware, the only USB capture  
device supported by MythTV is the Plextor ContertX (I think that's  
it) which has the capability of doing hardware MPEG-4 (which means  
it'll put next to no strain on your CPU). FireWire is good enough for  
HD, but I don't know of any analog cable tuners for FireWire. Good  
luck on this one.

> Thanks to everyone for their help.

Hey, that's what the community is for.

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