[mythtv-users] OTA ATSC Down-convert to SD/S-Video

Michael Donaghy mdonaghy at michaeldonaghy.com
Mon Mar 2 06:43:12 UTC 2009

I'm planning to build a Myth machine, and have a few hardware questions.

Presently my TVs are Analog / Standard Definition (~440 lines IIRC),
but at some point over the next few years I do plan to upgrade to HD/HDMI
capable.  I do have a AVR with SPDIF optial & coax inputs that understands
DD5.1 & DTS.  As NTSC broadcast will disappar by this summer in the US, I'll
need to do OTA ATSC capture.

If I buy a motherboard with on-board GPU with VGA, DVI, HDMI, SPDIF output
& then add a PCIx16 video card with SVideo out, will the video signal be
sent to the PCIx video card?  (once I upgraded TV+AVR, I'd de-commision
the PCIx16 card)

Does MythTV have the ability to "down convert" a HD stream to SD?

I've read that some nVidia cards are known to have overscan problems.  Do
the binary nVidia drivers solve this problem?  If not, is there a solution?
I'm confused by the conflicting(dated) information I've found so far.
Remember, I need to send an analog signal via S-Video to a SD TV.

Does a 512MB video card provide any advantage over a 256MB card for video
playback?  I won't be using this system for games.

Here is the build that I'm thinking about at the moment...

Motherboard: (1 of them)
  Both contain:
    - NVIDIA GeForce 8300 (North Bridge)
    - NVIDIA GeForce 8 series (video) - VGA, DVI, HDMI
    - Realtek ALC1200 (Audio) - S/PDIF (coaxial or optical), 6 Audio Ports
    - Realtek 8211CL (Network)

Video Card (1 of them for purpose of S-Video out):
  ASUS EN8400GS SILENT/HTP/512M GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16
  ASUS EN8400GS SILENT/HTP/256M GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP
  EVGA 512-P2-N738-LR GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready

  AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600 Brisbane 2.9GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core

  CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

  OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Active PFC

Disk: (1 of them)
  Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
  Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s

  SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F

ATSC Capture Card:  (2 of 1 of the following models)
 (2)  pcHDTV 5500
 (2)  Hauppauge WINTVHVR1600

  Rosewill Wind Ryder RZLS142A-P BK Dual 120mm Cooling Fans and Mesh Design Front Panel Steel ATX Mid Tower
  SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum front panel, 0.8 mm SECC body LC17-B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

  ATI Remote Wonder II  ???

A few other questions...

Will I regret not spending the extra $100 on a HTPC case?

Are there any heat concerns I'd need to be worried about GPU heat when
VDPAU support is included in a myth release? (or I get comfortable enough
to run what is on SVN) -- I've tried to pick nVidia parts listed on Myth
VDPAU page?

Is there any reason to pick pcHDTV 5500 over WinTV1600?

Thanks in advance for scanning the HW & letting me know if my strategy
to convert ATSC to SD will work!


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