[mythtv-users] For HD Myth users, what is/was your cost?

Jim Morton Jim at Morton.hrcoxmail.com
Tue Nov 24 14:31:53 UTC 2009

Bobby Gill wrote:
> I am curious what the total cost is/was for you to get everything up 
> and running (asides from time, which depending on whom you are may be 
> the priciest...).
> So for example, an HD capture card, a capable backend, the frontend(s) 
> of course, the subscription to a provider and/or an antenna-- and if 
> an antenna, did you do it yourself? Order it online, buy from a shop, 
> hire someone to install, etc.? Not necessarily asking for the life 
> story but some brief explanation of the components as I'm really 
> trying to get a gauge on what entering this arena may cost me, and 
> whether it's /worth/ it or not...
$705 and some change. (In May and June of 2009. Myth went live here June 
22, 2009.) Everything is a little cheaper now. I know because my wife 
told me I spent over $1000 on it so I gathered up every receipt and 
totaled them up just to prove her wrong. (I don't get to do that very 
often, and before you ask, no proving her wrong wasn't worth it.)

But in all fairness about $130 of that was network infrastructure that 
wasn't strictly needed but is a benefit and left me in a great position 
to expand things and add frontends later. I'm not a big fan of wireless 
and since I own my home I thought it wise to wire it. (In my mind 
wireless is good for renters only.)

That includes building a hefty FE/BE box, an HDHR, an antenna for OTA, 
two 8 port gigabit switches, Schedules Direct subscription, cat6 and 
coax cabling and connectors, and even a few tools, etc. It does not 
include my Samsung 42" tv which was right around $1300 a year ago. That 
tv purchase is what started the ball rolling towards a Myth setup. That 
also does not include the stereo that I run the tv sound through now 
since I already owned that.

I did it all myself over about 2 months. From building the FE/BE to 
installing the antenna to pulling cat-6 through the walls. There were 
some frustrating days but I learned a lot and had a great deal of fun. I 
would do it again in a heartbeat. The antenna I got was this one 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882790012 . All of 
my OTA stations are within 10 degrees of each other so this antenna 
works very well.

I got rid of an $84 a month cable bill. So in about 8 months I'll break 
even. That's a pretty good payback in my thinking.

It was difficult at first giving up all those "good cable channels" but 
with my current system we record more shows than we can watch so I think 
program-wise it's all a wash. We never starve for something to watch and 
never ever watch live tv anymore. Having an ever changing library of 
shows to watch has become just so entirely a cool thing that it is 
difficult to put into words. And I'm not a big tv watcher either. Maybe 
1-2 hours a day at the most. My wife and kids just say it's "the bomb". 
But I digress...

I didn't enter into this project trying to save money. I found the best 
components I could and then evaluated the price/performance and 
generally speaking bought premium stuff. I could probably have trimmed 
off quite a bit if I had built an economy system.


 Jim Morton 

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