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

Taylan Pince taylan at taylanpince.com
Fri Aug 25 19:29:42 UTC 2006

On 25-Aug-06, at 2:22 PM, Ivan Kowalenko wrote:

>> I might buy this and the solo core mac mini to prepare a test setup.
>> Anyone have good resources for installing Ubuntu + MythTV on the
>> new intel macs? I have experience with Yellow Dog Linux on older
>> PowerPC's, but not sure about the new ones and Ubuntu. I would also
>> like to keep Mac OS X on the machine in case I need it.
> You know, this is just a back-end, right? It's not doing anything
> front-end? Just go out and get some el-cheap-o x86 box and use a
> PVR-150/500 ($100 for the 150). Just make sure it has at least a
> Celeron 600, and no less than 256 MB of RAM. Then spend the rest of
> your money on your front-end and on storage.

Well, looking at the $250 Intel Dual Core PC's, that does make more  
sense than getting a $750 Mac mini just for a back-end, so I might  
just do that. Would it be best to go with Fedora Core on such a  
setup? Any suggestions on that area?

> Oh, please don't top-post.

Heh, sorry about that.


>> On 25-Aug-06, at 11:26 AM, Ivan Kowalenko wrote:
>>> 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,
>>> though.
>>>> 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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