[mythtv-users] Seeking Advice

Steve Peters - Priority Electronics steve at priorityelectronics.com
Wed Jul 25 18:03:14 UTC 2007

If you're gonna be doing a lot of transcoding, i'd recommend a Core 2 Duo
processor. But that's not too low end now. To give you an example, i had my
master backend running on a Pentium 4, 2.8ghz hyperthreading, 800mhz bus
speed, 1gb ram, and when i did transcoding with mencoder (slower than
ffmpeg, but imho better quality), it did about 6 frames per second, meaning
a 2 hour video, took around 8-10 hours to transcode. My core 2 duo E4300
overclocked to 2.4ghz can do 16-18 frames per second, meaning that a 2 hour
video takes 3 hours to do (because it cuts out commercials leaving me with a
file that is around an hour and a half). Now i do a lot of recording and a
lot of transcoding so i need the higher fps transcoding. I tried hooking up
my celeron 2.x ghz (i can't remember) as a slave backend and it did a lousy
2 frames per second, so i just didn't use it cause it took forever. I would
say that the most important thing in your myth box is your processor
selection because you will be doing transcoding. So check this out to
compare encoding times:
&chart=429> &model1=946&model2=882&chart=429 and go from there (that's what
i did anyways)
You can get good myth apg and pci video cards for around $20-$30 those are
cheap, so i wouldn't worry about getting an integrated tv out in the
motherboard. Also, you can't upgrade that if need be in the future.

-----Original Message-----
From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org
[mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Joshua Gottlieb
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 10:35 AM
To: Discussion about mythtv
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Seeking Advice

Well, yes, I do want to utilize the full functionality of mythtv... I want
to be able to burn dvd's straight from the box... transcode down to divx or
whatever... play divx encoded stuff, edit stuff I've recorded... etc, etc...

On 7/25/07, Steve Peters - Priority Electronics
<steve at priorityelectronics.com> wrote: 

If you're gonna use the latest Ubuntu edition (as i did), and you're gonna
be running Gnome, i'd recommend a minimum 1gb ram. I was running it on a P4
2.8ghz with 512mb ram, and it did fine, but there was a huge improvement
when i moved to 1gb ram. Also, you can do just fine on as little as a 1ghz
computer (or even slower) but the slower you go, the slower the response
time of myth will be. If your computer has an AGP port, get an Nvidia FX5200
(i have an extra if you want one), it works great, and if you want to
upgrade to HD in the future, it will work great for that too. Also, you prob
want to get a tv tuner with hardware encoding, like one of the Hauppague
ones (PVR-250, PVR-150, PVR-500). I have a PVR-500 and when recordings are
in process, the cpu is pretty much idle. I tried a tuner without hardware
encoding, and the CPU was around 25% when encoding, and that's with a P4
2.8ghz. On something slower, the CPU would have been much higher if not
maxed out.
I recommend you don't get a Celeron cpu if you're gonna be doing
Also, when you say a myth setup, that can mean a lot. For example, that
might mean that you watch just a few hours of TV each week, and just delete
the shows after you record them, or it could mean that you are recording
shows all the time and are trying to save as much as possible via
transcoding or nuvexport.
Hope that helps.


-----Original Message-----
From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org [mailto:
<mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org> mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On
Behalf Of Joshua Gottlieb
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 9:23 AM
To: Discussion about mythtv
Subject: [mythtv-users] Seeking Advice

Ok, so I'm a noob at all this.  Now I have tried to do a good deal of
reading on the forums and what not trying to get a feel for the recommended
hardware etc.

I'm trying to build a box from scratch, specifically for mythtv.  Originally
I had planned on getting a Hauppauge PVR-350 so I could have the MPEG2
decryption on the card.  This seemed like the ideal solution and I could get
very low end hardware as all the work would be done by the card.  However,
then I saw various comments about how the card is being phased out, soon to
be not supported etc, etc... 

So I started doing more research and noticed that there are a few small form
factor motherboards that have TV-outs and built-in MPEG2 decryption, so I
thought maybe that would be a good path, but there didn't seem to be very
many folks having used the newer hardware. 

Anyway, what I'm trying to do is get advice from the experienced folks on
here to setup a good solid mythtv system.

I don't really need dual tuner right now, but might in the future.  I don't
need HD support and most likely won't in the foreseeable future. 

So if someone were just going to build a mythtv system and didn't need HD,
what would the general best hardware be?

I'm looking for something that is not going to be crazy difficult to setup
as well.  So hardware that works well and is well supported would be
preferred.  That said, I am a pretty solid Linux user and would probably be
building this under the latest Ubuntu distro. 

Any advice would be MUCH appreciated.

And yes, I apologize for asking what is surely a much too frequently asked
question, but I just haven't been able to come to a good conclusion based on
what I've read so far in the forums... 


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