[mythtv-users] Two questions (capture card and backend)

Aaron Howard archanoid at gmail.com
Thu Sep 21 14:33:46 UTC 2006

On Thu, 2006-09-21 at 07:23 -0600, Brian Wood wrote:
> On Sep 21, 2006, at 6:24 AM, Aaron Howard wrote:
> > 1. I don't know if any of you are fans of http://www.woot.com/ but
> > today they are selling a USB tv-tuner called a "Adaptec GameBridge TV
> > USB2 Video Capture/TV Tuner" for $19.95 + $5 s/h.  It looks like a
> > simple framegrabber but I'm curious if anybody's ever used one and can
> > comment on it.  Anyone?
> Don't know anything specific but the price alone would tell you that  
> you are correct, it is a simple frame grabber, and would thus require  
> much CPU to be useful, for the encoding and the USB subsystem.

Any idea if the USB bus would saturate w/ two tuners attached?

> >
> > 2. What are people's thoughts on whether a dual Xeon 3.06Ghz w/ 1GB
> > RAM and two or three 36GB Ultra320 SCSI drives would be able to handle
> > the backend load with two framegrabber cards, one ATSC-110 capture
> > card, and firewire?  It could theoretically be recording two NTSC
> > tuners (CPUs doing the encoding), grabbing an ATSC stream and a
> > firewire stream, while feeding up to three front ends.  One thing for
> > sure is I think the roughly ~100GB from three 36GB drives would fill
> > up mighty fast.
> >
> Your last supposition is quite correct, you would need/want more disk  
> space very soon. The CPU horsepower would seem adequate, but I don't  
> know how well Myth can take advantage of multiple CPUs (not just Myth  
> but everything it needs to run, QT, GL etc.). A single 3Ghz. CPU  
> would probably be adequate though.
> SCSI drives are nice but not really necessary for a Myth system.
> Looks like you are putting too many $$$ into the CPUs and disk  
> system, and not enough into the capture devices. I'd go with hardware  
> encoding and less on CPU/drives. Folks seem to have better luck with  
> the more common, and thus better supported, capture devices.
> But if you have that hardware just hanging around doing nothing it  
> certainly couldn't hurt to try.

I don't actually have it.  A friend of mine bought it for his business
but is no longer in business so it's just sitting in his garage and he
wants to put it to good use.  He asked me to help him with that.  I
already have a box I've been building but I thought this could be a nice
backend for him.  If he bought a couple cheap frame-grabber tuners,
maybe even foregoing the ATSC and firewire stuff...the CPUs should
handle the load.  For about $100/ea he can get MediaMVP boxes to use as
front ends.  The server has a nice bit of horsepower, but not nearly
enough disk space for HD...maybe enough for SD.  I suppose I could just
set it up as a file server for him but that doesn't ring my bell.

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