[mythtv-users] Cheap front end?

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Mon Feb 13 23:16:52 UTC 2006

Bryan Halter wrote:
> Jay R. Ashworth wrote:
>> On Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 05:24:52PM -0500, Bryan Halter wrote:
>>> I've been looking at those too.  From what I've seen I'd go with a 
>>> fanless SP which comes with built in MPEG4 decoding in addition to 
>>> MPEG2.  There is Unichrome project support for both decoders last I 
>>> heard.  This becomes important if you want to display HD content.
>> Source and price on those?
>> -- j
> You can get the CL board you were looking at here:
>  http://www.iboxpc.com/shopping/product.php?productid=9&cat=10&page=1
> for about $160 and you can get the SP here:
> http://www.iboxpc.com/shopping/product.php?productid=201&cat=10&page=2
> or the fanless variant here:
> http://www.iboxpc.com/shopping/product.php?productid=200&cat=10&page=2
> for $205.  Please note I have no affiliation that I know of with 
> iboxpc.com they just happened to be one of the only vendors listed on 
> the VIA Embedded website that actually sells the SP board.

If you are looking for a board of this sort, you may want to check out  
via's other offerings. There is a new motherboard out which has a VT1625 
tv video out chipset instead of the VT1623 which is in the SP13000. The 
VT1625 is noted as being able to do "HD TV".

The VT1623 in the SP13000 does SD TV through the S-video out plug, 
directly from the motherboard.

I have been completely unable to find out any more information about the 
capabilities of the board with the VT1625 but it sounds very very much 
like something I would like.
Note that this motherboard really requires hardware-capable encoding 
cards, such as the PVR500 and HD3000. The former does the encoding on 
board. The latter of course, does not have to do so, for digital MPEG 
streams. HD level output is another matter.

In a nutshell, these make a fantastic quiet backend or a fantastic quite 
frontend, but not for HD *** at the present time****.  The next version 
may remove that last proviso.

My System:  SP13000 with PVR500, pcHD3000 in Silverstone LC11M case with 
Via's PCI riser and a flexible PCI extension cable, 512M RAM, 120G SATA 
hard drive, DVD+RW reader-writer driven from cable tv feed.  About 28 
unencrypted digital channels from Rogers Cable, Toronto, and 70 analog 
channels available to the PVR500. (Supposedly about 12 HD channels 
available around here OTA...but I have no antenna YET.)



       R. Geoffrey Newbury			
     Barrister and Solicitor
 Suite 106, 150 Lakeshore Road West
    Mississauga, Ontario, L5H 3R2

  905-271-9600  Fax 905-271-1638
       newbury at mandamus.org

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