[mythtv-users] does my system make the cut?

Johnny Russ jruss at mit.edu
Wed Jun 4 15:17:24 UTC 2008

> 1. Will this be sufficient to run the backend? I'd like to be able to watch
> live TV, and record something and watch something else simultaneously.

I am not sure what you mean by watch live TV ... and watch something else
simultaneously. I have a PIII 1 GHz  with 384 MB of RAM and I can't watch
and record at the same time unless I use XvMC. So you need to make sure you
have a video card that supports XvMC if you are going to have the frontend
running on the same machine. I have commercial flagging running as soon as
the show starts recording. If you only have commercial flagging run after
the recording is over then you can free up some more CPU cycles. Even with
XvMC my system still starts to stutter if something else like
mythfilldatabase starts to run. I have to pause and wait for it to finish. I
have mythfrontend running from Gnome. So you could probably free up some
more CPU cycles by using a lighter windows manager or a mythfrontend only

> 2. Assuming that my computer is sufficient, what video capture card should
> I get? The Hauppauge PVR-250? I'd like to spend as little money as possible.

Others would know more than me, but I believe you would want to go with the
Hauppauge PVR-150. They revised the hardware (combined chips, etc) to make
it more efficient to manufacture. So the 150 is basically the same as the
250, it is just cheaper. The 150 is one of the most popular cards used with
mythtv, so you would have no problem getting help with it.

> 3. Can I watch my stored programs on my newer PC (a Dell Dimension E510),
> on which I'm running Windows XP Media Center? I don't want to install Linux
> on my newer machine, but I see there are Windows frontend programs like
> WinMyth, MythStreamTV... I'd like to be able to skip commercials.
Someone recently posted a win32 setup package for MythTV .21, but it is
still apparently under development (
I got it running on my Vista machine. Generally the windows frontends have
been behind the standard Linux releases. Even if you get it working you may
not always be able have it work and fixes would come slowly or not at all.

> If that doesn't work, I guess I could always install the MythTV frontend on
> my older machine and just hook both my desktops up to the same monitor (I
> only have one) using some kind of monitor switch. Would that be better?

This could work but like I said above you are definitely going to need XvMC.
Look that up on the mythtv wiki.

> 4. Can I watch stored programs on my Mac Powerbook G4 laptop?
> 5. Can I use my Iomega 80GB external hard drive to supplement my 80GB
> internal?

You can do this with MythTV 0.21 using storage groups. But I don't believe
there is any straight forward way of doing it with earlier releases.
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