[mythtv-users] Advice on Building a Quiet MythTV Box?

James Crow james at ultratans.com
Tue Nov 18 20:42:27 UTC 2008

On Sun, 2008-11-16 at 12:05 -0800, Charles Iliya Krempeaux wrote:
> Hello,
> First, thanks to everyone to responded to my first e-mail:
> http://mythtv.org/pipermail/mythtv-users/2008-November/238792.html
> So given people's comments in there, I'm exploring building a MythTV box myself.
> The first thing I'd like a MythTV box (that I would build) to be, is
> to be quiet.  Completely silent if possible.  Does anyone have any
> advice or experience in doing this?
> Is using SSDs (Solid-State Drives) instead of a Hard Drive an option?
> (Anyone have experience using them?)
> What about not having any fans?  (Like no CPU fan, no power supply
> fan, no graphics hardware fan, etc?)
> Does anyone have a list of hardware that is known to work (with Linux
> and MythTV)?  (Such that I could pick parts from the list?)
> Also, what considerations are there for video playback?  Is it
> recommended to get a system that can playback certain video formats in
> hardware (rather than in software)?  (Like a hardware MPEG player or
> something?)  And if so, what hardware of this type is known to work
> (with Linux and MythTV)?
> Also, what output jacks should I be looking for (in people's
> experience)?  Is RCA (3 plug) output enough?  Or should I go for a
> system that supports SVideo?  Or do I want a system that support HDMI?
>  Or is there some other output jack that I want a system to support?
> (Note... I'm not an expert on output jacks.)
> Obviously, I'd also like the system to support a remote control.  And
> have wireless networking support.  But is there anything else I should
> desire in a system?
> Thanks.
> --
> Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
> http://changelog.ca/

I had a hard time finding a half-height PCI-E fanless card with
component out for my Myth box. In the end I bought a Nvidia 8400GS
half-height card with a fan. The fan was ridiculously loud and I ended
up replacing it with a heatsink I got from a local computer store. I
have no idea what the heatsink came from, but it is about 50MM^2 by 35MM
tall. I had to do some minor modifications to make it work, but now my
video card is fanless and under load is cooler than my full size 8400GS
fanless. The downside is that the heatsink covers the PCI slot next to
the PCI-E slot. Not a problem for me, but may be for others.

If you want to see more details of it I just put up a post about it:


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