[mythtv-users] Commercial PVR offerings - is MythTv still competitive ?

Yeechang Lee ylee at pobox.com
Tue Feb 10 02:10:35 UTC 2009

David Brodbeck <gull at gull.us> says:
> The amount of discussion on this list about how to get proper HD
> playback suggests otherwise.  It seems this is a really difficult
> issue for a lot of people.

People who today have difficuty with MythTV recordings' HD playback

1. using inadequate frontend hardware
2. using a non-Nvidia video card
3. using an Nvidia video card but not the Nvidia proprietary drivers
4. trying to play back HD-PVR recordings without a VDPAU-capable video
   card or a Core 2 Duo 3.0GHz

2 is very rare, nowadays. 3 happens sometimes, but is easy to remedy
unless in an unusual situation like a Mac mini. 4 is also rare because
anyone savvy enough to run trunk for HD-PVR support presumably knows
about the heightened playback requirements. That leaves 1.

> At any rate, I know my 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 can't do it.

It's--no exaggeration--not possible to buy a new desktop computer[1]
that doesn't have enough CPU horsepower for HD playback. It hasn't
been possible for going on two years.

[1] Except, again, for an unusual situation like certain mini
ITX-based systems. Or so I gather; having never seriously considered
buying one I don't know for sure.

> Buying a machine with the minimum specs for smooth HD playback
> would, at this point, result in my MythTV box being the most
> powerful computer in my whole house.

What's wrong with that?

The three most-powerful computers in my house are, in order,

* Storage server/slave backend (December 2006).
* MacBook (July 2006; also can run mythfrontend).
* Frontend/backend (November 2005).

None was top-of-the-line at purchase, although the storage server's
capacity was admittedly extreme then and more or less still is
today. The only one I might replace in the next 12 months is the
MacBook, and it won't be for MythTV-related reasons. I bought my
frontend more than three years ago at a Fry's Thanksgiving sale. VDPAU
means my frontend might run for another three years.

Frontend/backend:	P4 3.0GHz, 1.5TB software RAID 5 array
Backend:		Quad-core Xeon 1.6GHz, 6.6TB sw RAID 6
Video inputs:		Four high-definition over FireWire/OTA
Accessories:		47" 1080p LCD, 5.1 digital, and MX-600

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