[mythtv-users] Dell Inspiron 537s?

Travis Tabbal travis at tabbal.net
Sat Nov 28 20:10:45 UTC 2009

On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 12:33 PM, j2u4 j2u4 <j2u44u at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm looking for a single slender box (maybe even mini-itx) that can serve
> as a BE and dual FE (powering 2 tvs, dual tuners). One TV is HD 1080p, the
> other is SD.
> Does this look like it might have the goods, assuming I added an Nvidia
> with PureVideo HD (or two - or maybe use the built-in intel GMA x4500 for
> the SD, and an Nvidia for the HD)?
> http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/desktops/desktop-inspiron-537s/pd.aspx?refid=desktop-inspiron-537s&s=dhs&cs=19&ref=dthp
> Or, am I trying too hard? Should I just go with a Zotac ION N330? Or maybe
> two N230s, one for each TV?
> Is anyone running a single box as BE/dualFE, and what's that experience
> like?

The biggest problem I can see is going to be disk I/O. You would be better
off with more HDDs in there, but you could add them as needed. There are at
least the 5.25" bays.With the OS, database, 2 recordings going and 2 playing
back, you might have issues with a single drive. Personally, I like to run a
large, ugly, loud, cheap BE server hidden away with small quiet good looking
FE boxes at each TV. I've never considered running 2 FEs on one machine, but
I have heard of people doing it. For NVidia cards, the PureVideo thing only
applies to Windows. You need to look for VDPAU support. Most any modern card
can handle it. 8000 series and newer.

I certainly hope it's wrong, but the Dell website specs those with 10/100
ethernet. No gigabit?!?! Even if you aren't using it now, it's nice to have
for the future. And it's cheap, so if they cut corners there, I have to
question the quality of the rest of the box. Even the Atom based boards have

Honestly, I think it's going to prove much more complex to set up what
you're talking about than the usual Myth systems. I would do Revos at the
TVs and a cheap BE server with at least 2 disks. One can be slower/smaller
for the OS and database.

If you're going to include Hulu, you need a fair bit of CPU at the TVs. GPU
assisted decoding doesn't exist for Flash, so you are stuck doing everything
in CPU. The dual-core Atom boards have been talked about for Hulu. I haven't
tried it myself, I just don't find Hulu that interesting.
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