[mythtv-users] Low-power/energy-efficient SD backend/server

Eric Pheatt eric.pheatt at gmail.com
Thu May 20 15:35:11 UTC 2010

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 12:35 PM, John <reidjr at lineone.net> wrote:
> On 19/05/10 11:14, Vitani wrote:
> Good morning all,
> I'm currently using a full-blown 2.8GHz P4 (with HT) for my backend, but
> it's costing waaay too much to keep that running 24/7 (and it sounds like
> the inside of an aeroplane in our living room!). I was wondering if anyone
> here had any recommendations on what I should replace it with?
> Things I use the backend for:
> - Recording 1-3 SD programs simultaneously from a PCI Nova T500 (Dual tuner)
> - Sharing those recordings, plus other videos, music & pictures using Samba
> (my frontends are Xboxes running XBMC)
> - Mythweb & Webmin
> - Transmission torrent client
> Things I *don't* do:
> - Transcoding or comm flagging
> - Live TV
> - HDTV
> I've done a bit of Googling, but all the site/thread/posts I find are 2 or
> more years old, and thus are pretty irrelevant (or are they?). I'm happy to
> build my own box from scratch, or use something pre-built.
> Thanks!
> Vitani

It's possible on certain nas boxes, but not simple unless you already
have a full distro up an running.

I'm using a Buffalo based NAS (the Kurobox HG WR) with 128mb ram that
has been converted to use Debian with lighttp, mythweb. mysql and
mythbackend as my MBE. I started using it with .20 (with some patching
and build reconfiguration to get the PowerPC wo/AltiVec working
properly) but the latest .23 release package from
debian-multimedia.org installs just fine now without patching as
altivec is now disabled by default for PowerPC builds. I have a
Plextor ConvertX PX-TV-402U usb encoder (for analog cable below ch 33)
and a HDHomeRun for digital ClearQAM and OTA in my setup. There is
just enough memory, processor and io available to record three things
at the same time while playing back another recording on an AppleTV
frontend if you minimize the memory footprint of mysql. I am not doing
transcoding or comflagging on this machine and have my workstation
setup with mythjobqueue to take care of those tasks when it is

But... my setup won't help you keep your Nova-T in a master backend
since it does not have a pci slot and you would need to get either a
usb and/or a HDHomeRun capture device.

Here are some links on the specs of my setup:

http://buffalo.nas-central.org/wiki/Mythtv (info from my .20 setup)

I've looked at switching to an ARM based NAS with room for multiple
drives, but I have not had time to vet the options available myself.
That said things look promising based on recent posts to the QNAP
forms (http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=10572&sid=1108f9b41b70024cfbddbd8a04a899f1&start=10).


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