[mythtv-users] Looking for initial advice.

John Drescher drescherjm at gmail.com
Sun Jan 14 19:02:44 UTC 2007

> I currently do not have a mythtv system, but I am in the process of
> deciding what pieces of hardware I need to create one.  I am making a
> bunch of assumptions throughout here because I am VERY unfamiliar with the
> technologies and terms of video and audio (MPEG-2, SDIFF, etc).
> I live in the US, currently use cable service, have an HD TV, subscribe to
> their HD-tier, and send the audio output through digital out into my
> stereo receiver for 5.1 surround.  I'd like to be able to build a system
> where I don't lose any of that functionality.  I realize that some of the
> HD channels that are in the HD tier may be unavailable if it's encrypted.
Depending on your cable system nearly all of your HD and digital
stations will be encrypted. At least for me I only have 4 or 5
unencrypted feeds + a few movie preview channels with Comcast.

> (2) Video input cards.  The HOWTO lists several different HD tuner cards,
> but says none of them do any encoding.  Does that mean that when it's
> recording the input from the cable that it will have to encode using
> software when writing to disk?
I believe the HD signal is already encoded in mpeg2.

> (3) Video output card.  ATI, NVIDIA?  Is one choice better than the other?
>  I've read some things about drivers, etc.  Also, Do they have models that
> will output to 1080i or 720p?
I would say a nVidia card will give you the least grief as I believe
they have by far the best drivers but I know many here will

> After hardware, I have a few questions regarding the general setup:
> It sounds like it's a good idea to go with a 2 machine setup.  One as the
> backend that records, stores, and manipulates all the shows and one that
> will pipe the recordings/live-tv to the television/receiver.  Is that
> correct?  Would it be better to put both video input cards on the backend
> machine, or put one on the backend and one on the frontend?
You need to have a backend running on any machine that has an input card.


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