[mythtv-users] Hardware recomendation

Travis Tabbal travis at tabbal.net
Thu Jul 15 15:07:46 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 9:26 PM, German Pulido <gapf2010 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi!
> I am trying to assemble a good MythTV box (will probably use mythdora or
> mythbuntu). However, I am having issues finding the right hardware for this
> task. My requirements would be:
> 1. Small form factor (something like a mac mini or even a dell zino, but
> not bigger)
> 2. Because of 1, I think the TV tuner must be USB.
> 3. Ability to watch analog TV (my country uses NTSC standard)
> 4. Ability to watch digital TV (my country chose DVB-T as standard for
> digital TV, but it's not widespread yet, most channels are analog).
> 5. IR remote control (supported by lirc). For this I guess any el-cheapo
> USB remote control would do, right?

Sounds like you're working mostly with SD material then (NTSC). Just about
any modern box will handle that fine. Is the Aspire Revo available in your
country? 200USD for a well supported small form factor box. Hard to beat
that in the US. A Mac Mini would also work well, even an older model as SD
can be decoded reasonably well with a slower CPU. A PPC version might even
be OK, but I'm not sure how well the video out is supported on those. Some
Mac Minis have onboard IR receivers that work in Linux. I don't know how far
back that feature goes though.

Not sure on the tuner, I'm sure others will give options for those. I never
really did analog, just ATSC. The HDHomeRun has a DVB-T version I believe,
that would be a good choice for that, and it has a well supported IR
receiver that will work with about any IR remote control. For analog, look
for a model that does MPEG encoding for you, it keeps CPU needs down to a
reasonable level. And yes, with a small box like this you will likely need
USB for the analog tuner. The HDHR uses ethernet.

Have you considered storage? These small boxes usually run a single laptop
type HDD. With the higher seek times you see in those, I'd really recommend
putting the OS and recordings on different physical drives. That would mean
either install Linux and Myth to a USB device and boot that, or use a USB
external HDD for recordings. I've done Linux and Myth on an 8GB USB flash
drive, it worked great, and it was cheap. :) If you are doing mostly SD
recordings, you might get away with the single HDD. Just pointing it out so
you know about possible problems.
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