[mythtv-users] Can Myth 'tune' these 'free' converter boxes?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Nov 25 14:48:49 UTC 2009

On Wednesday 25 November 2009 07:30:32 Eric Sharkey wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 7:57 AM, Ronald Frazier <ron at ronfrazier.net> wrote:
> > 1) Some people had a brief period where they got to enjoy more
> > unencrypted digital content than they previously did (ie: you got
> > spoiled for a short period of time)
> I don't consider that to be a fair assessment.
> What the cable companies are doing is unreasonable.  If they wanted a
> viable solution for conditional access they could have promoted cable
> card in a sensible way but instead they've figured that the way to
> maximize profits is to rent more STBs.
> > 3) Yes, you do have these extra boxes, but they are relatively small
> > and are very low on power draw (a couple of watts each).
> What's the power draw of 2 Motorola DHC 3200 units doing mpeg -> 1080i
> component -> 2 HDPVR units compared with 1 HDHR recording the same two
> channels?  What's the carbon footprint of that difference assuming
> coal power generation?

You're never going to get the cable companies to change their ways based on 
what's best for the planet. Capitalism doesn't work that way, which is why 
the planet is having problems.

You would also want to look at the planetary impact of manufacturing those 
STBs, and their alternatives, as well as the eventual disposal problem.

The STBs are not spinning hard drives, perhaps a 10 watt savings per drive. 
They are using LSI chips for decoding, more efficient than using gamer-type 
GPUs for decoding, also a savings.

STBs are probably more efficient overall than typical Myth systems, but that 
doesn't necessarily mean Myth is not a better solution. After all, reading a 
book is more energy efficient than any TV system, but the WAF might be 

Brian Wood
beww at beww.org

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