[mythtv-users] Zotac Zbox vs. MAG for Frontend

Robert Shields rwshields at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 19:23:22 UTC 2010

I have been wrestling with what I should do for a frontend for my 40' LCD TV
(it will only be used run MythTV, nothing else).  I have been looking at the
Zotac boxes because they seem to have the right specs.  I am, however
confused about the difference between these two units:


In particular, I am confused about the the audio systems.  I did a side by
side comparison on zotac's
found this:

MAG's Audio: Onboard 8-channel Digital Audio, Stereo Analog Audio

ZBox's Audio: Onboard analog stereo high-definition audio/ 7.1-Channel LPCM
digital audio (HDMI)/ Optical Digital S/PDIF audio output

Does this imply that the MAG won't be able to output sound via HDMI?  Is the
MAG not capable of outputting surround sound?  Eventually this will be
hooked up to a stereo system, so I would like to make sure that is an option
down the line.

Ideally, I would like to get the MAG because the HD and RAM are already
included; saving me some setup time.  That being said, if the Zbox really is
a better choice, I can go in that direction...

Any thoughts/personal experiences with either of these would be greatly

Thanks -
Rob Shields
Email: rwshields at gmail.com
CWRU Computer Science PhD Student
S.A.G.E. Project Developer (http://darwin.cwru.edu/)
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