[mythtv-users] mythtv hardware plans

jason maxwell decepticon at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 17:14:50 UTC 2007

Very well said. I'll be sure to contribute to the wiki once I achieve
my goals. Thanks.

On 2/5/07, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
> On Feb 5, 2007, at 8:35 AM, jason maxwell wrote:
> >
> > If you had up to ~$800 for hardware to build the best dual tuner HD/SD
> > capable box that you could afford, what would your shopping list
> > include? For the time being I will use my wireless keyboard for
> > navigation, but will probably get a nice logitech/harmony remote or
> > something eventually. I have optical drives, and plenty of IDE drives
> > for the OS, but will need mobo, cpu, ram, power, storage, case,
> > tuners, and video.
> >
> This is aimed not just at you but all of the "will this hardware
> work" type of questions that seem to be getting more and more common
> lately.
> Nobody can tell you for certain what will work. The best that can be
> offered is to describe systems that *are* working and what they
> consist of. To this end Steve A's WiKi page is a good thing and I
> hope more of us (including me) get the time to make similar entries
> (and may I steal your layout Steve?).
> http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/User:Steveadeff#My_Life
> But even if you were to purchase the exact same gear that Steve is
> using there are still no guarantees. For one thing the most important
> component of his system is listed as the first item under "My Life".
> With Myth the skill and experience of the user is a very important
> factor in the ultimate success of the box, as are things such as the
> tolerance level of any spouse/partner/children etc.
> There are many many factors that you have not told us about, such as
> will you want multiple frontends, what are your program sources (STBs
> need some method to control them), what sort of display will you be
> driving (and is this to be included in the $800, in which case you
> are pretty well screwed). Other questions might be what sort of
> network do you have or are you planning, and is this cost included?
> You say "HD/SD" but how many channels of each do want to be able to
> record at the same time? An HDHR is probably a better solution if you
> want 2 HD tuners but a PCI card might be a better buy if you only
> want 1. Is noise or appearance going to be a factor for you? There is
> no way anyone can tell you if $800 will meet your needs without a lot
> more info.
> Also remember that the definition of "working" is slippery. You could
> take a complete "working" system that perhaps has a 2 second delay in
> channel switching but is totally satisfying its owner and then
> discover that your wife was totally intolerant of the delay. What
> "works" for one person might not be satisfactory to another.
> But please don't just post the answers to all these questions and
> expect a specific suggestion. You have to decide yourself after
> looking over all of the available information. I agree there should
> be more info in the WiKi, especially for HD systems. We really need
> to work on that but we all have other lives as well.
> It is almost certain, however, that you will ultimately want more
> than you start with. To that end you want to not fill all your drive
> slots with smallish drives, or all 4 RAM slots with 256MB DIMMS,
> because such moves will result in having to throw or give away
> devices in the future. A 500GB drive might cost more than a pair of
> 250s but be cheaper in the end when you upgrade to 2TB for example.
> Make sure you have looked through:
> http://www.mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-3.html#ss3.1
> Perhaps you might want to look at some of the "commercial" Myth
> offerings as well, though I will not mention them by name here. I'm
> not suggesting you buy one, but the H/W specs can be helpful.
> I really hope I haven't offended you. I wanted to bring up some
> factors you may not have thought about and hopefully get you a better
> answer to your question in the long run.
> As for your original question: My personal opinion is that a combined
> FE/BE capable of tuning a single HD and a single SD channel (say with
> a DVB card and a PVR card) in a non-attractive typically-noisy case,
> exclusive of monitor, could probably be built for under $800 if you
> shop around and know what you are doing as far as building PCs. You
> could probably keep it in that range even with the Harmony remote.
> This would not be a super-deluxe unit but it would "work".
> I'd look at some of the older 939 CPUs and mobos with AGP and a 5200
> card as all of these things are getting pretty cheap these days, but
> if you want to play games on the machine that might not be the best
> way to go. For analog reception the PVRs are very well supported.
> I recently picked up a package with an AMD FX60, an Asus mobo and a
> crappy case and PS for $400, you'd have to add RAM but you say you
> have drives. That is a very nice CPU IMHO, and should not have
> problems with HD, but it takes a noisy cooler, so I don't know if
> that's what you'd want.
> But that, as all of this, is just my opinion, and I'm sure others
> have differing ones :-)
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