[mythtv-users] Minimum hardware recomendation

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Mon Jun 22 18:02:39 UTC 2009

On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 10:07 AM, Allen
Edwards<allen.p.edwards at gmail.com> wrote:
> My daughter told me my father's day gift was that she was moving out (have
> you heard of boomerang kids?).  She was kidding but had heard that was a
> recommended gift.  We went to her new place yesterday and got OTA broadcast
> from her Menlo Park apartment with and old UHF antenna I have had for 50
> years and a single dipole at Channel 7 taped to her balcony.  Everything
> comes in very strong.  Now she needs her own MythTV system.  She also needs
> something cheaper than buying cable w/DVR for a year.  Perhaps that cannot
> be done...
> I know with the Atom-ION systems things are changing fast so perhaps it is a
> good time to ask this.  I looked at newegg and realized I don't know
> anything about these solutions.  What kind of power supply, case, etc.   Can
> you get a barebones or complete version of these systems?  Lots of
> questions.  I looked on Tom's hardware and didn't find anything useful.
>  Perhaps someone on this list can help.
> Allen
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> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
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OK, this is probably about as cheap as I know how to go, but it's
actually what I'm running right now for my backend server: Please note
that I don't currently use it as a front end so there is some risk but
this could be solved. I have used it as a front end for older SD
material when I was using the PVR-150s.

1) A used PowerPC MacMini from eBay, such as this one for $215, maybe
cheaper if you look around. I've seen them as low as $80 once in


(Line breaks are certainly going to kill the link but I searched for
'PowerPC Mac Mini'

2) Gentoo Linux for PPC - I can supply build files, etc., for the
kernel and configuration

3) HD Homerun from NewEgg for approximately $160

4) A cheap switch and an extra 1 foot network cable if she doesn't
have them already - say <$20.

That's about $400. 80GB will record about 60 hours of what I'm seeing
on Comcast right now. I use an external USB hard drive so she could
add that later if she wanted.

Just a different take on the problem. The Mac Mini is close to
perfectly silent so it can run all the time even in a bedroom and
likely won't bother anyone sleeping. Only draws about 85 Watts or so,
according the the power brick. Throw in another 30 Watts for the HDHR
and it doesn't break the bank for electricity.


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