[mythtv-users] Energy Efficient Front End

Jan Hufenbach mail at jan-hufenbach.de
Thu Mar 26 08:17:32 UTC 2009

> 2009/3/25 Yan Seiner <yan at seiner.com>:
>> I have a car-puter that has a myth be/fe on it. It's not used for
>> recording at all - no tuners.
>> It's an energy sucking hog. This is a problem since it kills the
>> batteries in short order.
>> Is anyone using an energy efficient car-puter with myth? Mostly for
>> movies; HD would be nice but not necessary. The slowest, least energy
>> hungry CPU out there. An ARM box would be nice.
> When I looked at doing this the via EPIA boards were what most people
> were using.  They have inbuilt S-Video and handle standard def pretty
> well.  They're still around but guess they're pretty long in the tooth
> now though and there are a lot of new mini motherboards about.
> I didn't go ahead in the end.  What I actually did was buy a twin
> screen car DVD setup for about 80 with a composite input and plug my
> IPOD classic into it.  One screen can be watching a DVD while the
> other listens to music or watches an mp4 video(transcoded via mythtv)
> off the IPOD.  It's turned out really well (once I realised that for
> some reason you need to really boost the audio volume when
> transcoding).  The IPOD can easily hold 10 to 20 hours of video.
> It's hardly HD  (320 x 240 pixels I think !!)  but on a 7" screen that
> looks suprisingly sharp and a 7" screen is big enough when it's right
> in your face.  If I were you I'd do without HD, particularly if you
> want to minimise power.
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The epia-boards are still around and being upgraded. If you really want
something small and energy efficient, you could take a look at the
pico-ITX and nano-ITX boards from VIA. They give you sufficient processing
 and graphics performance for a car computer or even a myth-box (FullHD
could be a wee bit tricky) and fit into the space of a 3,5"-HDD. They are
a litte overpriced, though.

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