[mythtv-users] Hardware Suggestion for under $1,000

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Dec 15 22:44:09 UTC 2010

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 03:23:25 pm Blake Perdue wrote:
> I am new to MythTV. I've been doing research to put together a
> hardware list. I have budgeted $1,000 for this project.
> While I'm new to MythTV, I've built other systems before, most
> recently a hackintosh machine.
> I am having trouble figuring out a good hardware setup for my needs.
> Details below. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks!
> -Blake
> I live in New York City. I am a Time Warner Cable subscriber. I have
> a Scientific Atlanta cable box that outputs HD and SD channels to
> our HDTV. What I need is a frontend and backend in one system that
> can:
> - record a minimum of 2 HD or SD channels at one time; I would prefer
> to record 3 or 4 (2 HD plus 1-2 SD) channels at the same time - do
> commercial flagging
> - have lots of storage to build up a media library (I'm thinking a
> RAID array of two 2TB drives) - room to expand the RAID array (so I
> need a case and motherboard that can handle a RAID array of at least
> 4 to 8 disks) - a good CPU to also do DVD ripping and other media
> operations - a bluray drive to play bluray discs
> - decent video card for HDMI output to an HDTV
> - have enough RAM and CPU power to last a few years and eventually be
> the backend for 2-3 front-end systems
> Thoughts? Do I even need a cable box for this? What CPU/Motherboard
> and capture card/video card combos do you recommend? Thanks so much!

Some more or less random thoughts:

The Wiki has a lot of info on hardware requirements:


Make sure you are familiar with Linux in general, MythTV is IMHO not the 
best first project for Linux newbies.

You will not be able to play Blu-Ray disks under Linux, though you can 
rip them and play the result. IANAL, so I can't speak to the legality of 

You may be able to use firewire capture with your STBs, and thus reduce 
or eliminate the requirement for capture hardware.

You will want an nVidia video card that can handle VDPAU, see the WiKi.

$1000 buys a LOT of hardware these days. You can start with little 
storage and add more later.

Other than firewire, the only way to capture HD today is an HD-PVR, again 
see the WiKi. You'll need component outputs from your STB.

Just about any modern hardware will be able to do what you want. If it 
can run your Linux distro of choice, it should be fine. Myth systems can 
be built with just about any Distro, the more mainstream ones will have 
more Myth users to turn to for guidance, obviously.

You might want to consider a RAID system that's external to the main 
machine, if you want to do 8 disks or more. 

But again, the WiKi is your friend, most of your questions can be 
answered there.

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