[mythtv-users] New frontend... Atom?

John reidjr at btconnect.com
Mon Nov 9 19:32:29 UTC 2009

Steve Hill wrote:
> I'm looking for a new frontend system - something quiet, reasonably 
> small, with a DVD drive and capable of playing 1080p/1080i H.264 AVC 
> streams (e.g. BBC HD).
> The Intel Atom processors look interesting, but I've not been able to 
> find much in the way of performance specs.  Does anyone know if any of 
> the Atoms are remotely capable of playing HD H.264 AVC?
> My laptop (Core 2 Duo T5500 with Intel 945 graphics) seems reasonably 
> happy playing the BBC HD stream, so I've been using this as a base 
> line performance requirement.
Got lost in the threading, so replied to the original message :-)

I have a core2duo frontend (Antec Media CAse) running trunk, with a 
core2duo e2100

As ffmpeg decoding is effectively single threaded my 1.6 GHz dual core 
is just not quite good enough for BBC-HD. With a little patching [ 
http://svn.mythtv.org/trac/ticket/4653 ] it uses both cores and all is 
well . Thats why I keep trying to get the devs to include the patch for 
it ( ;-) ).

I have a 6200 silent NVIDIA card on the frontend, which I had been using 
over S-VIDEO, as I have a CRT interlaced TV.

I have recently moved to using a VGA-SCART cable, and custom modelines, 
so delivery is straight interlaced content to the TV.  So despite having 
a perfectly working frontend .....

I have just bought a Aspire Revo, and been playing with it this weekend. 
To avoid the confusion further down the thread there are 2 Linux 
versions floating about:

ebuyer etc have :
92.G1DYZ.UI0 which is Linux, Single core 230 Atom, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, no 
SPDIF. 150 delivered

A few smaller places are selling small quantities of:
92.NVDYZ.UI0 which is Linux, Dual core 330 Atom, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, 
Optical SPDIF. 150 + delivery.

Ignore all the advert descriptions and the R3600/R3610 stuff go by the 
manufacturers product code. The suppliers are pretty confused and often 
get the description wrong.

Worth searching for the new dual core version {92.NVDYZ.UI0  } , if you 
want to use it for anything that uses the processor, and it also comes 
with optical out. Testing mine at the weekend I was watching BBC-HD with 
95% Idle CPU. Thats what I call CPU offload :-). With the GPU doing all 
the work the single core is fine as a myth frontend. The revo has VGA 
and HDMI, but no SVIDEO for people with old technolody TVs (like me). I 
am again using the VGA-SCART connection to trial, and I could port the 
xorg.conf straight over from the 6200 based frontend, and it worked 
straight away. So the only thing missing is a remote.

As a few other posters have said, don't mess around, buy one. I was 
going the self build route, but buying a Zotak board, a DC-DC power 
supply and adaptor, 1Gb RAM a case and a 2.5" HD will cost way more.

best regards,


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