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

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Dec 15 22:56:38 UTC 2010

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 03:44:09 pm Brian Wood wrote:

> The Wiki has a lot of info on hardware requirements:
> http://www.mythtv.org/wiki
> 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 this.
> 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.

Just a clarification:

I said that F/W and an HD-PVR are the only way to capture HD. Off-Air HD 
channels can be captured directly by many different capture devices, I 
meant that *other than* OTA channels you need a working firewire setup, 
or an HD-PVR.

If you are lucky enough to have some HD channels available from your 
cable system as Clear QAM, you can capture these as well, but in NYC I 
think all you will get is the OTA channels and maybe a shopping channel 
or two.

For anything that needs an STB to watch, F/W and HD-PVRs are the only 
available solution.

There is a new product in the works (the HDHR Prime) that may allow the 
capture of encrypted cable channels using a CableCard, but this will 
almost certainly be restricted to channels marked as "Copy Freely", so 
it's not a total solution. There are no drivers for Myth yet, the Myth 
devs are good, but even they can't write a driver for something that 
doesn't exist yet.

Since Hauppauge (maker of the HDHR Prime) has shown good cooperation 
with Linux and Myth in the past, I think we can expect they will 
continue to do so.

There's nothing special about Myth in terms of computer requirements, 
any reasonably modern desktop machine will make an acceptable 
backend/frontend machine.

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