[mythtv-users] mythtv hardware plans

Steven Adeff adeffs.mythtv at gmail.com
Sat Feb 3 17:38:41 UTC 2007

On 2/3/07, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
> On Feb 3, 2007, at 9:32 AM, jason maxwell wrote:
> > So I'd like to get some input.
> > I'm working on gathering the hardware to build myself one myth box to
> > rule them all. I want to do this right, but cant totally break the
> > bank doing it. I'll tell you what the plan is, let me know what you
> > think.
> >
> > I will have a Comcast coax directly to the mythtv box, no set top box
> > at all. I would like to have the option of watching and time shifting
> > live or recorded HD content, while also recording other possibly HD
> > content simultaneously.
> >
> > Here's what I have in mind so far:
> >
> > - non-VIA chipset ATX mobo
> >   how fast will my proc need to be to do what i want?
> As fast as you can afford :-)

adding to Brian's always good advice...

> You didn't mention what CPU architecture you're thinking of but there
> are some really good deals on the socket 939 AMD chips these days.
> You can get an FX60 for under $400 and an Opteron 165 for $100. This
> assumes you're in the USA, your reference to Comcast would indicate
> that.

Look into the mATX boards with built in GeForce 6100/6150 cards. There
are a few with DVI output for your HDTV. They will also have SPDIF
output on the back plate or with header pins that you can get an
adapter for ($15). This is a nice all in one solution that can be
easily turned into a standalone frontend later if you decide to go in
this direction.

You'll want a minimum of an Athlon x2 for a combined system.

> > - (2) pcHDTV-5500 capture cards
> Might consider the HD Homerun unit, cheaper for 2 HD tuners.

Agreed, and throw in a PVR-500 or PVR-150 for standard def channels.

> > - SATA ~400GB+ hard drive
> >   I will likely add more storage down the road at some point. I tend
> > to be a hoarder :)
> If that's your only drive make sure your mobo can boot from SATA. I'd
> consider a small (20-40GB) drive for the OS (I can't believe I just
> referred to a 40GB drive as "small").

I agree on the separate OS drive, it makes it much easier to upgrade
your capacity later. Without a major overhaul.

> > - NVidia Geforce4 4200Ti AGP graphics
> >   If mobo has AGP. If not, I dont mind springing for a new PCIX card,
> > but cheaper is always better if this card could work.
> If you get a 939 AGP board a 5200 card is cheap and known to work
> great with Myth.

Get at least a 5200, especially since your going HDTV, if you don't go
with a built in video card. There is some work in SVN on doing
rendering, etc off board on the graphics card, so if you find a cheap
fanless 6800 or 7xxx series nvidia card that may be a good upgrade
choice as the faster the better for this method.

Oh yea, definitely fanless!

> > - (2) 256MB DDR2 RAM
> >   That should be plenty, right?
> Again architecture dependent. The 939 chips need DDR1. I'd go with a
> total of 1GB though, my SD system often has 900 MB in use, but some
> of that is cache of course.

agreed, go with at least 1GB for a combo setup.

> > Is there anything important that I'm overlooking? Other suggestions?
> > Thanks in advance for all responses.
> You are overlooking a good UPS, unless you just didn't mention it.
> The APC units have good Linux support.

can not agree more with this. Even a "cheap" UPS is a good idea,
though I'd recommend purchasing a Smart-UPS and plug this and your
HDTV into. The Smart UPS have voltage regulation circuitry which DLP's
*love* and actually helps extend bulb life and obviously protects from
outages (lets you turn the tv off and have the fan still able to cool
the bulb).

You didn't mention a case, but if you search the list, there have been
many threads about both your initial question and nice home theater pc

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