[mythtv-users] Cheap Possible Frontend

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Tue May 9 04:24:18 EDT 2006

On May 9, 2006, at 1:22 AM, Stef Coene wrote:

> On Tuesday 09 May 2006 01:07, Brian Wood wrote:
>> On May 8, 2006, at 3:19 PM, David Whyte wrote:
>>> On 5/9/06, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
>>>> But I'm still wondering if you can get decent MPEG-4 playback. That
>>>> requires more CPU horsepower than MPEG-2. Unless it can do MPEG-4
>>>> than I'll stick with my MediaMVP.
>>> I used to do DivX on my PII 300 Windows PC.  I would have thought
>>> 833's would cut it just fine (but I am no expert).
>> . Hmmm...
>> That's a good data point.
>> I have an old Dell PIII 500 Mhz. laptop. Guess I'll just have to try
>> that and see how it does.
> I used a compaq 500 Mhz once as frontend.  I had to use mpeg4  
> because mpeg2
> saturated the pcmcia bus.  The bottleneck was not the cpu, but the  
> pcmcia bus
> that could only handle not more than 1mb/s.
> I discarded the laptop because I couldn't get the tv-out working  
> like it
> should be.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not and sometimes it was  
> garbled.

What was using the pcmcia bus, a network card ??

That's one reason I would like to go to MPEG-4, less data to have to  
transfer over the network. I think the general feeling here is that  
the 800 Mhz. CPU I'm looking at is more than enough to decode MPEG-4.

Hauppauge has some software for Windows that allows the MVP to play  
MPEG-4 files, but it apparently works by transcoding the file to  
MPEG-2 on the fly on the server, which would not help at all with  
network bandwidth limitations.

My goal is to be able to change my system over to using MPEG-4, as it  
would save disk space and network bandwidth. Especially with a  
wireless segment the latter is helpful. The only thing stopping me is  
the MediaMVP's inability to play MPEG-4 files, so if I can replace  
that with this "$119 special" I should be in business.

It's not a good general solution as it depends on having RAM, a  
laptop-style CD drive and a 2.5" HDD hanging around, otherwise the  
cost is impractical and something like an X-Box is probably cheaper.

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