[mythtv-users] The $99 frontend is here. Is this too good to be true?

Bill Williamson bill at bbqninja.com
Thu Jul 2 04:46:52 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 2:23 PM, Jarod Wilson <jarod at wilsonet.com> wrote:

> On Wednesday 01 July 2009 23:32:39 Sean Goodpasture wrote:
> > WAF?  Good for myth.  Bad for media, especially trying to get VDPAU to
> work
> > causing DVD ISOs to die and general instability on the frontend.
> Let me just point something out...
> The VDPAU code is still relatively new, and only (officially) in the
> development branch of MythTV. Its still being twiddled almost daily.

This is a point in favor of a non-myth frontend though, if the options are
"don't watch HD content" or "watch HD content" for the time being...

> And VDPAU for DVD playback? Why?!?

Deinterlacing and scaling.  Back 5 years ago nvidia had the best dvd
playback with their pure-video stuff for windows.  It's only gotten better.

> Note that I have yet to bother jumping on the VDPAU band-wagon, so
> perhaps I'm missing out on something, but last time I used an nVidia
> card in a Myth box, it could handle even HDTV recordings w/o the
> cpu even scaling up from its minimum frequency. Oh, and all my boxes
> have been pretty much rock-solid running VDPAU-less svn trunk for ages.
> Hell, even my Atom N270 and Atom 330 systems w/gma 950 graphics can
> *almost* do HDTV fine, so anything better than an EPIA w/an nVidia
> card should be more than fine w/o VDPAU for playback of everything
> but h.264, I would think...

Everything "HD" now is h.264.  The new dvb-s2 stuff is h.264, and around the
world dvb-t is slowly moving to it as well.  There are some current HD
channels in DVB-T that broadcast in mpeg-2 high bitrate, but 99% of the time
they are 1080i and thus you need a beefy machine to do deinterlacing that
doesn't look completely horrible.

You need a REALLY powerful machine to do this in software with
deinterlacing, or do to it all for blu-ray type bitrates.  Your systems
cannot do this.

> Moral of the story: VDPAU still development code, and not a magic
> bullet (yet). Don't expect miracles. Play with fire, get burned. Etc.

Again, the options are:
1. use unstable vdpau now
2. use NOTHING now and wait for vdpau to stablize
3. use a different solution

I'm doing a combo of #1 and #3.  I use mythtv for my DVR tv, and a PCH for
all recordings/dvds/etc.  I'm working on a small python server talking the
mythtv API so that I can use a PCH for EVERYTHING.

Mythtv is still unbeaten on the back end so that doesn't come into this at

None of this is meant as unappreciation, but to show where people are coming
from.  Once .22 is out and stable I'll likely come back to it, but for now
it's either XBMC or PCH for me, and the PCH is tiny, silent, and cheap...
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