[mythtv-users] help needed speccing out small silent frontend.

Greg Oliver oliver.greg at gmail.com
Fri Aug 6 02:01:19 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 9:55 AM, John Baab <john.baab at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 5:44 AM, Ryan Duffy <dusteur at excite.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'd like some ideas for a small silent low-power frontend, if anyone has any experience they'd like to share.
>> I've only ever built tower PCs before so not sure what to look for in a small HTPC.
>> The Gigabyte H55N-USB3 looks like a good motherboard with a bit of future proofing, but might be a bit cutting edge for linux (i'd like it to work now rather than in 3-6 months time). Has anyone tried this board?
>> My worry here is that on-board graphics would probably only come from using the right sort of Intel CPU, and I think I've read that they're not good enough for hardware accelerated video. Is this true?
>> Perhaps some other sort of motherboard then.
>> What about silent and efficient PSUs?
>> Built-in wireless N would be nice, but not essential as I have a suitable USB stick to provide this.
>> Budget not really a consideration, but I'd like it to be cheap but fast enough. As I'd only use it for tv, plus a bit of web browsing I guess an SSD might be unnecessary. I'd just put it in standby when not in use so it would start up instantly anyway.
>> I'd need a case too. For silent operation, I suppose the case might be important so that the PC is well cooled.
>> Any thoughts?
>> Thanks.
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> I run System 76's Meerkat Ion: http://www.baablogic.net/drupal/node/2
> You can see in my review that I customized quite a bit, including
> removing the hard drive and booting from usb instead.  As with many
> others here, I would run a wire, trying to stream HD over wifi is
> going to cause you a lot of headaches in the end.

I have 2 1600's (only 1 running mythtv)..  It is a BE/FE recording 2
dual tuner HDHRs ATSC.  It does have a 8TB Raid enclosure hooked to
the E-Sata port though..  I have recorded 3x1080i and 1x720p broadcast
while watching a x264 video on the tv with no hiccups..  Granted, I
could not do that before I added the external raid box, but...

On another note, the cpu usage is a tad too high when I want network
storage throughput (backing up home PCs, etc..), so I am gonna get
another one to just run the raid enclosure...

All in all, the 1600s I have have been very good to me..  (especially
for the $225 invested in each..  225 after extra ram...)


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