[mythtv-users] Navigating the hardware mine field

Joe Henley joehenley at kc.rr.com
Tue Sep 2 19:34:42 UTC 2008


Paul Gardiner wrote:
> Joe Henley wrote:
>> Paul,
>> I have a Via M6000E running as a front end only.  It has no fans (the 
>> M10000 has a CPU fan) and no disks.  It runs MiniMyth for the front 
>> end.   It does fine with SD and with the OSD.  The only time I get any 
>> screen problems is when I fast forward on a recorded show while I'm 
>> recording another one.  That's more likely a problem with the back-end 
>> than the front end.
> That's encouraging. Minimyth and the M6000 are really looking like a
> simple solution for me to get small and silent.
>> So I'm reasonably happy with it.  However, I would never recommend any 
>> Via product to anyone; nor will I ever buy another.  As much as I like 
>> the small form factor, and the particular hardware Via put on this 
>> board, the company's tech support is abysmal.  For years they 
>> advertised as supporting Linux, which was a flat-out lie.  They have 
>> recently hired someone to work on improving support for Linux, and 
>> that person does seem to making some headway, but so far the progress 
>> is all on their newer product lines and none on the older stuff (like 
>> the m10000 or M6000).  In other words, helping them get new business, 
>> but not supporting the current customers.
>> I spent several _months_ trying to get a straight answer from their 
>> Tech Support about the operation of one of the parameters on their 
>> closed source drivers and never got a meaningful reply.  For months 
>> they would say only that they were strong supporters of Linux, but 
>> never addressed the question I asked.   Maddeningly frustrating.
>> It is possible their recent efforts may someday lead to decent Linux 
>> support, but first they have alot of work to do and alot of current 
>> Tech Support people to retrain or replace.
> That's hopeless, isn't it. So a good chance that Minimyth doesn't
> support the CN700 chip exactly because of what you say above.

You should check out the MiniMyth site, minimyth.org.  There is a very 
good set of forums there, moderated by the guy who created and maintains 
MiniMyth.  You can see exactly what's up with CN700 support from there. 
  I think you'll find that Pablo, the guy who runs it, is very helpful 
and _extremely_ knowledgable.

>> I'd strongly suggest you look at some of the new Intel boards to build 
>> your Myth FE.  I find MythTV to be new enough and sufficiently complex 
>> that it is .... "challenging" to get up, running, and fully tweaked to 
>> your liking.  I suspect you'll find, as I did, that you don't need any 
>> additional headaches from the hardware.
> That's the frustrating thing. So far MythTV has been really easy to set
> up. I have a server running as an MTA and web server, using SuSE 11.0.
> Installing MythTV, as a backend, on that proved dead easy. I had a
> problem with the tv card, but that turned out to be a duff card (in fact
> with some help from linuxtv.org, I had the duff card working for a while
> with a driver hack).

I suspect you'll find the Intel mobo's no harder to work with.  For 
sure, you'll find getting (the inevitable) problems fixed to be much easier.

> I also set up a temporary frontend on my spare, unused server, and
> that went really easily. Now I feel ready to build a real frontend
> to drive my TV, and I'm stuck just because I can't determine with
> confidence the motherboard to use.
> Your reply is very helpful, just in saying "I used this and it works
> without significant problem".

Glad to help.


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