[mythtv-users] Where to start?

Damian Surr damian at gingermagic.com
Tue Jan 9 12:03:42 UTC 2007

>> Hello all,
>> I'm new to MythTV and based in the UK. I've been reading around it for
>> the last couple of weeks, but have a lot of questions. I'll list my
>> hardware first, then what I'm trying to achieve.
>> I have my old PC:
>> AMD Athlon 120MHz processor
> 120Mhz ??? Do you perhaps mean 1200 or is that machine *really* old?  
> Since you say it has DIMMs I'm assuming you mean 1200Mhz.
Sorry, yes, it's a 1200MHz!
>> 512 DIMM memory
>> KT7-Raid motherboard
>> USB2 additional ports card
>> ATI All in Wonder 128 Pro graphics card (I read somewhere that this
>> can't be used with Myth. Not sure if that just meant as a tuner, or as
>> neither a tuner or TV out)
>> Here's what I would like to achieve if possible:
>> -Media Centre (obviously)
>> -Freeview (UK) TV channels - I've not currently got Freeview, just the
>> normal 5 channels.
>> -Would like to be able to plan and record at the same time, but one  
>> at a
>> time would be fine for now if it's relatively painless to add an extra
>> tuner down the line.
>> -I want to use this with a Projector (don't have one yet .. not sure
>> what to get yet. Thought I'd wait until the box was doing what I  
>> wanted
>> first)
>> -I don't think I need HD, as the projector will just be in our front
>> room. Only 8-10 feet away.
>> -I would like the entire system to be run in the one box and probably
>> based around Ubuntu (KnoppMyth doesn't like my hard drive being
>> connected to the raid port on my motherboard)
>> -I'd like this PC to be the family PC, so ideally email and web  
>> browsing
>> should be pleasant to use. I guess this would just mean using Ubuntu
>> with the projector? Should I/Could I use a higher resolution for email
>> etc on the big screen. I've seen friends projectors (running window)
>> have very small type.
>> Ok, that should do for my list of demand :-)
>> Now for the questions.
>> I'm really quite lost when it comes to TV tuners, and the output.
>> I've been reading lots saying that the Hauppauge PVR 150, 350, 500  
>> cards
>> are great. But then I read (here
>> http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/compare_products.html) that
>> they are analogue. Does that mean those cards are no good if I want
>> freeview and are only good for the 5 main channels? Doesn't sound too
>> great, but maybe they make more sense for the American system?
> The PVR cards will not help you with the reception any digital TV in  
> the UK. You could perhaps use the MPEG decoder output of a PVR-350  
> but that would be a waste of money as the nVidia cards are much  
> cheaper, and the 350s output is no longer being actively developed  
> and won't do the OpenGL stuff or HD. The tuners would be useless but  
> the encoders could be used with composite SD material if you had some  
> sort of STB that output that sort of signal.
Right, thanks for that. I'm left wondering what to buy again though.
>> Also, the output.
>> Can my ATI All in Wonder Pro do the output? What kind of output do I
>> need? Is it different if I use a projector? Different if I'd like  
>> higher
>> res graphics when emailing etc using the projector?
> The nVidia 5200s are pretty much the baseline for Myth systems. You  
> don't mention if you have an AGP slot - if you don't you'll have to  
> try and get a PCI card, but if you *really* have a 120Mhz. system you  
> may need an ISA or VESA video card.
Right, I'll look into the nVidia 5200, thanks. And yes, I believe the 
motherboard has an AGP2 slot.
> Some folks are using ATI cards but they seem to have a lot of trouble  
> with them. I don't think you can use XvMC with them, which you may  
> well need on a slow machine.
Right, I'll ditch the ATI card then. Does the nVidia5200 have the XvMC 
you mentioned? I'll have a look.
> The output required depends on your monitor/projector. VGA or DVI  
> work, S-Video and composite will only work at SD resolutions. If your  
> display device needs a SCART cable/connector you will have to get  
> some sort of adapter, you'll have to talk to the EU resident folks  
> about that, I live in the land of the stupid president.
>> Phew,
>> Sorry that's such a lot, but that's all of my ponderings over the last
>> few weeks condensed into one email.
>> I'm basically just trying to get my shopping list ready so that I can
>> start playing.
>> Oh yes, is my system going to be up to the task is the other thing?  
>> I'd
>> really rather not have to upgrade it all. I'll rethink if this is all
>> such a good idea at the moment if that's the case. I'm happy to buy a
>> couple of tuners and whatever TV/Projector out I need.
> You don't mention how much disk storage you have, you'll want plenty.
There's a 250GB disk in there at the moment. I'll maybe add more when I 
see how it's getting used.

Thanks for your help.

Can anyone offer advice on TV tuners for Freeview in the UK? Someone 
posted on another tread that I'd need a satellite dish. Is that right? I 
thought it came though a normal aerial.

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