[mythtv-users] ION "LE" suitable for FE/ slave BE?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Nov 11 00:43:15 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 10 November 2009 12:22:38 James D. Goddard wrote:
> On 11/10/09 9:29 AM, "Johnny" <jarpublic at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> What is it that makes something "a great Myth FE box", as opposed to "
> >> greate Myth FE/BE box"?
> >
> > The frontend priorities are usually, HD playback, small, quiet, etc.
> > The backend priorities are usually disk space, disk I/O, CPU/RAM
> > (transcoding, comm-flagging, database). The recently released nvidia
> > ION systems tend to meet the priorites of a FE better than what we
> > have had in the past and they hit a better price point. Having
> > hardware accelerated video with VDPAU means the system can use a low
> > heat, low power CPU (Intel Atom). So the whole system can be very
> > small and quiet and still playback HD H264 material. However being
> > very small and having a less powerful CPU doesn't tend to be ideal for
> > a BE, but some make it work in very simple setups.
> I have a question regarding these Atom/IONs.
> I have a decent fe/be, and won't be changing it anytime soon ($$ and WAF).
> What I was considering was trying to buy an ION, perhaps one of the Revos,
> or one based on the Zotac ION-ITX-F that has a PCI-e slot (if I can find a
> mini-ITX case that has an expansion slot), and put a tuner in it as a slave
> frontend.  I am not entirely clear what extra services need to run on the
> slave backend, if the master backend is hosting the database and storage.
> Seems that for another few dollars, it would be great to be able to add an
> extra tuner, and I have a cable drop already in the bedroom.
> Any clue as to whether they would stand up to a slave backend load?

Probably, if you didn't push it too hard. The Revo has a 2.5" 5400 RPM drive, 
so if you want a lot of disk I/O you might want to use the eSATA port to add 
another drive.

I'm curious why you can't just put the extra tuner into your present fe/be, 
and use a Revo-like device as a f/e only. 

As has been said, the ION machines are great as F/Es, and can operate as fe/be 
combos in very simple systems, so it should be able to operate as a slave 
b/e, especially if only one stream has to be read or written to disk at a 
time, and no significant transcode or commflag load is put on it.

Brian Wood
beww at beww.org

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