[mythtv-users] New to building computers and MythTV

Phill Wiggin alamar at gmail.com
Wed Mar 21 17:02:12 UTC 2007

Some of my responses are geared towards other people new to myth, so
I'm making points you've probably considered. Please don't take it
personally if I suggest something that you've already covered. :)

On 3/21/07, Jon Sustar <digitaldoodler at gmail.com> wrote:
> >  How many channels will you want to record at the same time?
> >
> I want to have 2 tuners, so I can record and watch at the same time.

A couple of points on this one.  You don't necessarily need 2 tuners
to watch and record at the same time.

If you mean "watch something and record it at the same time", 1 tuner
will work fine for that.
If you mean "watch a program and record another" where the 'watched'
program was previously recorded, 1 tuner will work.
If you mean (as I suspect), "Watch LiveTV on 1 tuner, and record
another channel on another tuner", then you need either a pvr-500, or
2 individual tuners.  Some other people have given input on the 500's
in this thread.

> > How much TV do you want to store for later viewing?
> For now, I'd probably get a 500gig HDD, but I would also want enough
> internal drive bays to allow for an additional 2 or 3 HDDS.

If you want to add capacity in the future, you've got 1 of 4 choices:
1)  Set up your storage area as LVM   (explained on the Myth site's HowTos)
2)  Use SVN MythTV for Storage Groups
3)  Be prepared to move _all_ your recordings when adding a larger drive.
4)  Wait until Myth .21 for Storage Groups official release

> > How many TVs do you want to be able to use Myth on?
> >
> Most likely one, but would it be difficult to use it on two?

Nope, not at all. Just build a standalone frontend. (I did this for
about $160, but you could get off cheaper, proabably.)

> ----
> Also, is it necessary to have a frontend and backend system?  Or can it all
> be run on the same box?

You can run it in one box, but it'd generally need to be close to your
TV.  Many people find the noise/size of the case to be aesthetically
displeasing.  If you have a SO to consider, keep their opinions in
mind. My wife _hated_ the idea of having a computer in the living
room, but once I scaled it back to be just a frontend (slimline case,
looks like a DVD player), she's very happy w/ it.

> I've searched Google a lot for answers to a lot of these, but a lot of times
> the documents seem to be geared towards people who already know what they're
> talking about in regards to computer building.  I, on the other hand, know
> almost nothing.

No problems there. We all have to start somewhere!

For SD, you don't need a really beefy system. If you're using hardware
encoder cards (hauppauge 250/150s, etc) and are only watching SDTV,
you can get away with a lightweight box.  However, if you want to
archive anything (turn it into .avis for later viewing with less space
requirement), a faster processor shortens the conversion time.


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