[mythtv-users] Where to start?

Damian Surr damian at gingermagic.com
Tue Jan 9 12:16:19 UTC 2007

>> 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.
> I don't know that they are these days. When I was previously  
> interested in MythTV, a good couple of years ago, I think these were  
> well regarded for their mpeg hardware and TV-out. The mpeg hardware  
> decoding was advantageous on the < 1ghz mini-ITX systems that were  
> frontends-of-choice at the time, but I think many users would now  
> choose an Xbox (and separate backend) first, and I think at least  
> some of the chips on these cards is no longer supported in Myth. I  
> don't think you could play back freeview channels through their TV-out.
>> 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?
> Yes.
> The freeview-compatible Hauppauge cards are their "Nova-T" series.  
> The "Nova-S" ca be used to get free-to-air channels using a Sky dish.
I don't have a ski dish. Nor do I want one. Can't you get freeview 
through a normal areal?
>    http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/prods_digital-t.html
>    http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/prods_digital-s.html
> I don't really know much about these products - I'm kinda considering  
> a Nova-S myself, but there may be other / better brands.
Right, that's my main sticking point at the moment. I don't know what 
hardware to buy to go to the next step. Has anyone got this set up and 
can advise?
>> Doesn't sound too
>> great, but maybe they make more sense for the American system?
> Many of the Americans here are also using "DVB" ("digital video  
> broadcast") cards.
>> Also, the output.
>> Can my ATI All in Wonder Pro do the output?
> I'm not sure the performance of the model you mentioned.
>> What kind of output do I
>> need? Is it different if I use a projector?
> Writing as someone who's now considering replacing his telly to  
> accommodate Myth, I advise you to take a very good look at your  
> display device before committing to a video card.
> I know nothing about projectors, but traditionally the "good quality"  
> video input on UK screens has been RGB SCART, with component having  
> also become more common over the last few years; these are ideal ways  
> to connect DVD-players & games consoles to your telly, but it's not  
> very convenient to output to these formats using MythTV.
> VGA & DVI have become more common over the last couple of years, and  
> any telly you purchase retail will now surely have these. They are  
> the ideal way to connect to MythTV - as you know they are the  
> standard out of graphics cards. Many of the TVs currently in the  
> shops are "Hi-Def Ready" which means they have an HDCP-capable input  
> - that's more than we need for MythTV, but it's compatible with DVI.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDCP
The first thing I saw on that page was "*HDCP* is a form of Digital 
Rights Management". Isn't that that bad microsoft type rubbish that we 
all want to avoid?
> Note that there are (for instance) 720p TV sets of 16:9 aspect ratio  
> available with both 1280x720 and c 1024x768 resolution panels. If I  
> do purchase a new TV soon I will be avoiding the latter.
> I guess one advantage of using a projector is that there are probably  
> plenty of older VGA models available cheaply second-hand; I guess a  
> resolution of 800 x 600 would be ok for MythTV - I guess that's  
> better than DVD resolutions, if your DVDs are 4:3, anyway.
Yea, I'll maybe be buying a second hand projector. But I'm interested in 
the possibility of running that OS (Ubuntu) on the projector at higher 
resolutions if possible, so may buy new.
>> Different if I'd like higher
>> res graphics when emailing etc using the projector?
> My experience is that TV isn't really suitable for web-surfing or  
> (especially) email. It just isn't comfortable and doesn't "feel  
> right", somehow. If you really need this PC to be dual-purpose then  
> you might be better having a separate keyboard & monitor for that  
> sort of use - this display could be entirely independent of the  
> MythTV head, if you configure X correctly. To be able to surf & email  
> from the couch then I find it more convenient & comfortable to stick  
> a wireless card in an old laptop.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I assumed MythTV wouldn't be the best for email 
and browsing. I'd want to drop back to Ubuntu for that.
>> Oh yes, is my system going to be up to the task is the other thing?
> Yes. Your system - the CPU, processor & RAM is fine for SD playback.  
> I think there's only one free-to-air HD channel in the UK, and I get  
> the impression you're not in the market for a Sky subscription.
Is it fine for playback and recording at the same time? Pausing Live TV etc?

I just need to nail down what cards to buy now.


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