[mythtv-users] Newbie - General question

Geoffrey Clements geoff at electron.me.uk
Wed Sep 27 08:34:16 UTC 2006

On Wednesday 27 September 2006 05:03, Nick wrote:


Thanks for the very comprehensive answer :-)

> Perfectly possible. To record digital terrestrial (DVB-T), you'll need
> one/several PCI or USB DVB-T card(s). Sticking to digital makes setup
> of MythTV quite a bit quicker (you can scan for DVB channels from
> within setup) than throwing analogue into the mix, although this too
> is perfectly possible. I run a multi-system setup with 4 DVB-T cards,
> 2 PVR-x50 cards, and 3 frontends, recording DVB-T and ntl digital.

One thing I'm not sure about is do I need a PVR card to do any recording or 
can I just use a DVB-T card and MythTV then does the recording from that?
Also do I need to split the antenna cable two ways to go to two cards or can 
the cards communicate with each other?

> On 
> my slave backend/frontend machine I actually use a 19" Acer widescreen
> monitor, which performs very well and simplifies setup.

Ahh good - I was hoping to use an LCD monitor and a couple of speakers (or 
maybe just the speakers in the monitor but I'm not sure the quality will be 
good enough).

> Quiet and low-power tends to mean (in my experience) more expensive
> and having less upgrade potential, but the great thing about MythTV's
> client/server design is you can always add another backend machine
> (that does the recording/stores media etc) in the future. You can also
> configure you machine to shutdown when not required and wakeup (if the
> machine supports this) for scheduled recordings, which can help to
> save additional power.

I'm reading through the documents and wiki at the moment.  I hadn't caught on 
to the client/server architecture.  I assume the machines are connected via 
ethernet LANs.  Arrgghh - more choices :-)

> Note you can also separate the frontend machine (watching your
> TV/media/interfacing with the backend machine) from the backend
> (recording/scheduling) - many people will build a bigger, noisier
> backend machine and hide it somewhere else, and have a small, quiet
> frontend machine in the lounge or wherever you watch your media.

I think I'm just beginning to understand the power of MythTV.  Initially I'll 
just be going for the single machine.  I've found some nice looking 
multimedia cases but it's hard to find details such as do they have an IR 
port on the case and so on.  Also mini ATX looks good but only supports two 
PCI cards.

> For the UK (no HDTV yet) you do not need a terrifically fast machine
> (I've used a Celeron 1.3GHz as a combined backend/frontend with no
> problems) - although if you want to routinely convert your recordings
> to other formats, or use CPU intensive music visualisations, it
> certainly helps. You can use almost any remote control you want, as
> long as you have a IR receiver that supports it (I use a Sky+
> Navigator with concealed keyboard, and my wife has no problems at all
> using MythTV).

Nice to hear that, slower machine = lower power = less noise.  Plus a useable 
interface with wife - perfect!
IR is one of the areas I've never set up on a PC so I'm not sure what the 
correct options are going to be - I need to do more research.

> MythTV has very advanced scheduling capabilities which leave other
> solutions in the shade - whether you want to record a single program
> or want to record something whenever it's on (any channel), you are
> well catered for.
> Some initial questions to think about include:
> i) how much TV you realistically want to be able to record and have
> available at a time
> ii) how many tuners you want (watching LiveTV and recording another
> channel uses 2 tuners obviously, but note if you are watching LiveTV,
> it is also being recorded at the same time and does not have to be
> deleted when you stop watching.)
> iii) whether the box will be a dedicated MythTV machine or a multipurpose
> box. iv) if you want to store other media on the box, e.g. ripped
> DVDs/music/photos - make sure you factor in enough disk space.

Thanks for that - you've given me more to think about than I thought I needed 
to think about - if you see what I mean.
Geoff                                           Registered Linux user 196308

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