[mythtv-users] HD thin client?

jedi at mishnet.org jedi at mishnet.org
Wed Jan 30 18:42:46 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.

    I think if more PC makers get into these sorts of machines,
then the niftiness of both the mini and the appletv will wane.
We currently have a rather perverse situation right now where
Apple is actually the "cheap option". Everyone else wants to
charge you more money for slower systems and sometimes dramatically
more money for roughly equivalent systems.

    It's really really weird.

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