[mythtv-users] New to building computers and MythTV

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Wed Mar 21 19:19:17 UTC 2007

On Wednesday 21 March 2007 14:56, Jon Sustar wrote:
> I like the idea of having a separate backend box, but I'm concerned about
> the increase in cost.  I've never used MythTV, so maybe I should just have
> it all on one system (in case for some reason I don't like it, which I
> doubt), and then, if it's too loud or I need more space, I could expand to
> have a backend too?

For SD content, I think the better plan, if you decide your initial combined 
frontend/backend is too bulky/loud/whatever, would be to convert that system 
to a dedicated backend, move it someplace convenient, and add a less-capable 
frontend-only system to where your TV is. This would involve less disruption 
to both your hardware and your software configurations, and for SD content, 
the CPU power is probably better placed on the backend, where it can be used 
for transcoding and, if you decide to use them, framegrabber capture cards. 
The frontend only needs to be able to play back a single stream, which takes 
~600-1,000MHz of CPU power -- very little by today's standards. Just be aware 
that the CPU needs change if/when you shift to HD.

> What all would be involved with having a backend?  How does that connect to
> the front end?  Anybody have any specs of their own?

The backend and frontend have to be able to "talk" to each other on a network, 
so you'd either need some sort of network wiring (presumably Ethernet) 
between the two computers or you'd need to have wireless network adapters for 
both systems. Your initial system will need some sort of network connection 
from the start, so presumably half of this will be done by the time you get 
that initial system up and running. MythTV uses its own protocol for 
frontend/backend communication, but you don't need to worry too much about 
the specifics -- just provide the network connection, including either static 
IP addresses or some way to attach fixed hostnames to each machine (or at 
least the backend).

Rod Smith

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