[mythtv-users] MythDevice?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Thu Jun 8 19:01:17 UTC 2006

On Jun 8, 2006, at 12:42 PM, Chad wrote:

> On 6/8/06, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
>> On Jun 7, 2006, at 9:40 PM, Meatwad wrote:
>>> Brian Wood wrote:
>>>> On May 30, 2006, at 7:12 AM, Anil Gupte wrote:
>>>>> I am looking for something that is mass manufactured specifically
>>>>> to run Linux
>>>>> based PVR software, so the price can come down to say, $300 per
>>>>> machine and it
>>>>> looks good next to my DVD player and Audio system.  Then all of us
>>>>> can justify
>>>>> having a bunch of them - some to use, some to take apart, some to
>>>>> play with,
>>>>> some to bring them all in and in the darkness... never mind... :-)
>>>>> Seriously, someday myth will be all growed up and it needs to have
>>>>> a stable,
>>>>> reliable platform on which people can run it - perhaps even pay  
>>>>> for
>>>>> it.
>>>>> What "couple of outfits" are selling such boxes now?
>>>> As I said, you have described a TiVo perfectly (though some might
>>>> argue about the "looks good" part). Standalone models can be had  
>>>> for
>>>> around $50 US "after rebate".
>>>> The "couple of outfits" I referred to are selling pre-configured  
>>>> Myth
>>>> machines, but these are not mass-produced and the prices are high.
>>>> The Dragon was mentioned here, I think the MyTV online store has an
>>>> offering as well. The Media Ready series from Video Without
>>>> Boundaries is another possibility.
>>>> Be aware that if you are in the US I am not at all sure of the  
>>>> status
>>>> of these machines using DataDirect to obtain their listings, it may
>>>> or may not be a violation of the letter of their license, but it is
>>>> almost certainly a violation of the spirit of it. Of course other
>>>> arrangements could be made with DataDirect, as was done by TitanTV
>>>> and others.
>>>> The current MCE offerings are so poor that there is certainly a
>>>> market for "something better", but I think successfully running a
>>>> Myth system will require better-than-average computer skills for  
>>>> the
>>>> foreseeable future. Third-party software solutions that run on
>>>> standard XP are better than MCE solutions, some are actually pretty
>>>> decent, but quality video hardware will always be expensive unless
>>>> subsidized, as with TiVo and the PVR offerings from Cable  
>>>> Operators,
>>>> and with those you wind up paying in the end in monthly fees.
>>> Very well stated. I nominate this answer to the OP be added to the
>>> FAQ.
>>> With an equally succinct mention of the guide data issues. And the
>>> fact
>>> that the primary developers have no commercial interest in the
>>> project.
>>> Brian?
>> Not quite sure what you mean. If you think that particular opinion
>> would enhance the FAQ I won't argue the point, though I'm not quite
>> sure which FAQ you are referring to, or perhaps the WiKi someplace ?
>> Most posts I've seen regarding pre-built Myth machines seem to come
>> from folks interested in producing them, probably because the
>> potential customers don't read this list, although there may well be
>> some here who would like a machine but simply do not have the time to
>> put one together, or would like to create small frontends to run off
>> their server, but again lack the time.
>> Certainly building such machines is not a path to instant riches, or
>> even a comfortable lifestyle by itself. I doubt that anyone selling
>> such machines today is deriving a significant income from them. As I
>> have said, I think it might be viable as part of a "digital
>> household" type product at high markup, but the support requirements
>> of such a business are high.
>> _______________________________________________
> http://pauselivetv.com is a new small business that is marketing them
> towards non-technical people.
> I like the idea of a "digital household", I've been trying to talk my
> wife into putting one into the kitchen (mythrecipe, food network, low
> volume music...).  She's all for it now, but has put some size
> restrictions on me for the implementation.  :)

Size of hardware or size of budget ??

Depending on exactly what you want to do, you might look into a  
"slug", alias Linksys NSLU2. These are little units that are  
4"x5"x1". They are sold as network fileservers but, since they run  
Linux, can be made to do just about anything within the limits of  
their ARM CPU, ethernet port and USB-2.0 ports. There are Debian and  
Gentoo ports of Linux to run on these devices.

I have one running Postfix for a mail server. They can run as iTunes  
servers, and make respectable audio when used with a $5 USB audio  
device. Some folks even have them running as working asterisk servers.

They sell retail for $90 but there are reports of Walmart closing  
them out for $23 lately. No chance of running a Myth frontend on them  
though, no video hardware and way too underpowered (no FPU).


Going a little bigger there are a lot of VIA CPU based machines, many  
of which *can* run Myth.

Then again, the G4-based Mac Minis might get cheap(er) as the Intel- 
based ones come on line, or even a little laptop on the kitchen  
counter, you can get G3-based Mac iBooks for well under $300, and  
Powerbook 1400s for $50.

Put a $20 WiFi card in the PB-1400 and you have a machine with a  
color display that can run a web browser for $70.

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