[mythtv-users] Cost of MythTV Machines

Les Gondor les at totalgraphix.ca
Mon Jan 23 18:27:13 UTC 2006

Ross Campbell wrote:
> On 1/22/06, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
>>With some recent discussion here about CPUs and costs I wonder what
>>the "average" cost of a MythTV machine might be.
> That's sort of like asking a bunch of gamers what the "average" cost
> is for a gaming PC is. I know gamers who would spend $600 on a
> graphics card ...
> Here are some questions to consider:
> - How much is silence in your living room worth?
> - Do you (and other family members) want an "ugly" old computer
> showcased in your living room?
> - How much did you spend on audio/video gear in the past?
> - How much money do you normally spend on your computer hobby?
> - How many hours of recordings do you want to keep? (HINT: it's more
> than you would ever think when your building your first mythtv box)
> - When one of your hard drives fails and you lose your
> system/recordings, how much would it be worth to you to be able to go
> back in time and set up RAID?
> My MythTV box is now at around 600gb and that seems like just about
> enough storage for me for now with non-HD recordings, but I can see a
> day in the not too distant future where the bulk of my mythtv expense
> will be STORAGE, and not computer parts.
> I'd be interested to know how much storage the "average" mythtv user
> has on their system. I'd also be interested to know the % of mythtv
> users who don't use RAID.
> -Ross
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Good points, Ross. I put together my myth box just over a year ago and spent almost $1200CDN on it. 
The original configuration had one PVR-350, P4 2.4GHz, ASUS P4P800SE mobo, 40G + 180G (IDE) for 
recordings. It has since expanded with the addition of a PVR500 and another 300G SATA drive. All 
inside an Antec Overture case. Noise is minimal but certainly not absent. I also had to wield the 
ever-useful Dremel tool to get the CPU heatsink to fit beside the Overture's drive bay.

The storage is non-RAID; This is only TV, after all. The mythconverg data gets dumped into a backup 
directory on the recordings partition in the event of disaster, but otherwise I could just as easily 
rebuild the box as restore it (Thanks, Jarod!). Your recordings will expand to fill the volume 
alloted to them, much like an ideal gas. If I can't get around to watching something in the 
approximately three months it takes to become eligible for auto-expire, I can go without. Having the 
scheduler re-record it if it shows up again is a nice bonus, though.

If I have to add more storage, I will seriously consider a separate storage server with better 
cooling and tuck it away in the basement. With the Olympics coming up, I can see a flurry of 
auto-expires taking place if I don't format-shift a bunch of movies onto DVD, though.

Les Gondor, Total Graphics            les at totalgraphix.ca
If you don't know what you're doing, do it neatly

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