[mythtv-users] Hardware Sanity Check

Mark A. Hoover mahoover at ispaceonline.org
Wed Jun 7 14:12:21 UTC 2006

> ------------------------------
> From: Paul Bender <pebender at san.rr.com>
>> Morex Cubid 3688
>> Pioneer Slim DVD Burner DVR-K06
>> VIA EPIA M10000 Nehemiah
>> Kingston 1GB DDR266 Memory
> It is hard to know without knowing what you want to do with it. For
> non-HD MPEG2 playback, the setup is be fine. For HD MPEG2 playback and
> MythGallery you will find the setup to be underpowered.

At this point, all I'm planning to use it for is playing recorded standard 
TV, mythmusic, and possibly mythvideo.  However, I didn't want to paint 
myself into a corner so to speak where I woudln't be able to run a plugin 
around the corner or go HD at some point in the future.  I don't have HD 
now and probably won't get it any time in the near future.  But at the 
same time I didn't want to rebuy the entire frontend if I ever decided to.

> Also, 1GB of memory might be overkill. 512MB should be enough. In

I initially went with 512MB, but since I'm not installing a hard drive and 
will be PXE booting/NFS mounting the filesystems, I thought the extra 
memory might be helpful.

> addition, if noise is a concern, then the ME6000 may be a better choice
> as it has not fan. I run a fanless ME6000 and a fanless SP8000E using
> 512MB of RAM.

I'm not sure where I sit on noise right now.  Obviously the major 
requirement is that I should be able to watch tv and not hear the fans. 
Ideally, I'd like to be able to sit in the living room with everything off 
and not hear any fans.  After all, my VCR, TV, and DVD player don't make 
any sound right now.

> If size is not a concern and you can afford to spend a little more, then
> for about $70 more you could have a frontend that has the horsepower to
> play back HD MPEG2, display images in MythGallery and will be somewhat
> more responsive in the menus by using an AMD Athlon64 with an NVIDIA
> chipset based motherboard. I run an ASUS A8N-VM CSM motherboard with an
> AMD Athlon64 3200+.

I was kind of hoping to keep to a mini-itx sized case.  Definitely not 
wanting a full size PC case in the living room, nor the noise generated 
from the required fans.  Aren't the MPEG2/MPEG4 decoders on the VIA EPIA 
boards supposed to do the hardware decoding of the MPEG2 streams that HD 
and the PVR-500 cards produce?

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