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

Nick F nikos.f at gmail.com
Tue Nov 24 20:01:10 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 10:36 AM,  <doug at fawnanddoug.com> wrote:
>> 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...).
> A big step for me was recognizing that Myth is a hobby and not a cost
> saving pursuit.  I originally persuaded my wife with some (delusional)
> math that building a Myth box would cost about the same as buying a TiVo +
> lifetime subscription (~$500 at the time).  Since then I have built and
> rebuilt a number of boxes and am perpetually adding/changing something.
> My point is, I think most people start off in the $500-$1000 range but it
> will quickly grow as you want to add the hot new recording device or pop
> an extra frontend in another room, etc etc.
> In addition, I wouldn't discount the time factor.  Myth (at least for me,
> and I suspect many others) is a constant work in progress and not a
> finished product.  It requires tweaking and maintenance.  Some people love
> this (like me), but others may find it a burden.  Part of the cost (a
> large part for me) is keeping up with this maintenance and staying on top
> of the lists and SVN, etc.  I think the "worth it" aspect has a lot more
> to do with the time investment than the dollars.

This post nails it.

My route was to try out myth on an old laptop with a USB tuner.  It
was enough for me to play with, get used to the concept, and figure
out it was something I wanted to do.  The incremental investment was
about $30 for the USB tuner.

Once I decided that, I quickly came to the conclusion that a combined
FE/BE was never going to cut it for me.  There would be too many
design constraints.

I built my current backend just over three years ago, with what at the
time were good specs (C2D processor, 2GB RAM, three 750GB HDDs in
RAID-5 plus a small system disk) and three frontends (that old laptop
I had played with now connected to a LCD, an early intel mac mini
connected to a plasma and an even older laptop connected to a 21"
monitor for the kitchen)

The backend has survived with only upgrades to the HDDs (it now has 8)
and a UPS.  The frontends have changed a lot given the very different
needs I have now (HD/blu-ray) and technology available (VDPAU).

So - given the inevitable expense curve, I'd start off by recognising
(at least in my humble opinion)
1. A separate BE and FE architecture allow you to get the most out of myth
2. Frontends evolve faster than backends
3. You can never have too much HDD space (especially once you start
ripping your DVDs and Blurays to use through myth)
4. Start with good technology and you'll have a lot less grief and
better longevity (compared to trying to make that Pentium work)
5. This is a hobby.  If you want a cost-effective appliance, go elsewhere.

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