[mythtv-users] Most Cost Effective Portable Frontend

Tortise tortise at paradise.net.nz
Thu Sep 9 19:49:53 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Brian Fischer
To: mythtv-users at mythtv.org
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2010 5:08 AM
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Most Cost Effective Portable Frontend

>> I've been very happy with some 3 yr old Dell D830 Latitude's running
> vdpau, (normal not high vdpau) 15.4" with 1920x1200 displays. Can dock
> to DVI and then HDMI. Cost likely much more favourable. Need 2G RAM and
> the NVS-140M video card version. I've posted previously.

>It seems this option is better than a $300 netbook as it will play flash.
>However, the DVI->HDMI adapter will not provide digital audio.

I don't use digital video (currently) but understand its just digital and goes out over DVI also - search the list or others might 
advise you, might need to start a new theread and ask.

> Are you using analog audio to the TV from the docking station?

No, I'm using them portably.  I did use one briefly over a dock, and I recall I just plugged the 3.5mm into the side of the 
notebook, as the audio did not work straight off, but I didn't do anything to look into that either.  There is also a comment ont he 
list about setting up BT headsets however I've not got around to exploring that yet either, however that has appeal also and the 
Bluetooth pairs up out of the box also.

> Is there a docking station that has a HDMI and S/PDIF port?

Not HDMI for the D Series to my knowledge.  S/PDIF is there.  Google "Dell D Series Docking" or similar for a Dell brochure, also do 
"Dell Latitude D830 specification pdf" will also probably help you with the spec pdf which is also on the net.  There are various 
dock models, these are also cheap on auction sites, and generally in excellent order from little commercial use!

> Are there any issues/limitations with this laptop on linux?

Like what?  They've been well behaved for me, not like the E6500, which has suspend issues and while the graphics chip is more 
recent, the number of cuda cores dropps from 16 to 8!

The funny thing for me is these notebooks are designed for the commercial business sector and not the multimedia market, yet they 
are one of the best mulitmedia notebooks around, in my assessment anyway.

When I got each I put the latest BIOS on, and vacuumed the fans.  Be sure to get the Intel WiFi versions which work.  Even 3G cards 
work in them, but I've not tested a myth FE over 3G (yet)!

>> Whether extra cost (significant?) justifies the small improvement that high vdpau has,
> is for you to decide. (Not to mention the 1920x1200 screens are hard to get in 15.4".)
> Can also get a 2nd modular battery if wants. N WiFi is a better option to consider.
> I've got 2.0 and 2.2 C2D CPU's, they were available upto 2.6, however so long as all
> your apps run in vdpau, 2.0 is heaps. Game over.

>It looks like a D830 with nVidia + docking station + a few extras may work.

Do let us know how you get on. 

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