[mythtv-users] HD thin client?

Tom Greer trgreer at gmail.com
Wed Jan 30 17:55:30 UTC 2008

On Jan 30, 2008 9:20 AM, Scott D. Davilla <davilla at 4pi.com> wrote:

> I see conflicting performance. With my mythfrontend only 1GHz
> pentium-m, 256MB ram AppleTV running linux, I can do mpeg2 software
> decode of 480p (less than 25 percent cpu) and 720p (60 percent cpu).
> That's great for a less than $250 silent box that includes 40GB hard
> drive, 10/100BaseT ethernet, 802.11 b/g and n wireless IR w/
> controller, HDMI video, component video, analog and optical audio.
> 1080i mpeg2 software decode saturates the cpu and I need to do xvmc
> assisted mpeg2 decode. However, ever since the ffmpg sync about six
> months ago, 1080i with xvmc has been creeping up in cpu usage. What
> was once 45-55 percent is now 65-80 percent cpu usage. Have not tried
> svn since before the multi-record sync. From the commits on the dev
> list, the code is still settling down. Maybe in a few weeks, I'll try
> svn again.
I agree that there is a big difference in the resource requirement to decode
HD depending on the content.  Not only is the format make a difference
(1080i, 720p, etc.) but also the scenes being displayed (rotating large
panoramas seem to be the biggest strain along with fast action scenes).

On the xvmc front, I tried to use it repeatedly over the years and was never
satisfied.  While it mostly worked, I was always frustrated with the
tradeoffs.  With the low cost for adequate CPU/GPU/memory, xvmc just does
not make sense to me.

With that said, I've repeatedly looked at the AppleTV box.  It's an
attractive value for a quiet and really small device.  But I'm waiting until
there's enough horsepower to play HD in all scenarios.

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