[mythtv-users] Getting started questions

John Baab john.baab at gmail.com
Sat Sep 18 21:56:47 UTC 2010

On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 5:51 PM, Ken Cheney <kencheney at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the responses so far everyone!
> Kevin you are right about it not being cheap.  However I am starting to
> think that there is a way to stop paying for TV service all together.  That
> will be step 2  of my plans to eliminate the DVR payment to Verizon and the
> need for another STB. :D
> I think based on this response I am going to scale back my initial thought
> of recording 2 and watching 1.  In that case I could just get one PVR and
> save $200.  I think what I have read and my thoughts have been confirmed -
> most of the tv cards for computers will not record HD and that the HD PVR is
> the only option right now if I want to record HD shows.  True?
> The hard wiring of the Myth FEs will be a snap since the two HD tvs I have
> will be very easy to wire, the other tv is a standard def TV and may work
> well over wireless.
> Kevin do you have one of the
> http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html in your config?
> ________________________________
> From: Kevin Ross <kevin at familyross.net>
> To: mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> Sent: Sat, September 18, 2010 4:19:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Getting started questions
> On 9/18/2010 10:35 AM, Ken Cheney wrote:
> This is my first venture into building my own DVR and I have a billion
> questions.  I have worked some of them out by reading through some of the
> archived messages, but I am hoping that if I offer my current state, and the
> desired outcome, someone can tell me what makes the most sense.
> Current state: I have Verizon FIOS with multi-room DVR - HD on one of the
> TVs the other TV is non-HD.
> We are planning to add a third TV that is near the HD TV.
> Desired outcome:
> 1. Have a multi-room DVR that we can record 2 shows while watching another.
> What is a good, better, best capture card for this?
> 2. Have the third TV be able to operate by only watching what is DVRed so I
> dont have to buy another cable box from Verizon and pay the monthly on it.
> More or less the 3rd TV would become a monitor to view what is already
> taped.
> 3. Have all of the TVs be able to watch recorded shows
> 4. Have the non-HD tv be able to watch live shows and watch recorded shows.
> 5. Have the MythTV dvr be operated with a remote control.  (most of what I
> have read I didnt really see anyone talk about a remote control, so I am
> guessing almost anything will work and that it isnt a big deal)
> THanks to all!
> I have almost the exact setup that you are seeking.  I also have FIOS.
> MythTV can do everything on your list (and then some).  However, it will not
> be cheap.
> As you know, MythTV is split into two parts.  The part that does the tuning
> and recording is the backend.  The part that displays the content on the TVs
> is the frontend.  They don't have to be on the same computer, and I
> recommend that they aren't.
> For the backend, you will want a computer with lots of storage.  The
> computer doesn't have to be small or quiet, since you can put it in another
> room.  It can be an old computer you have laying around.  To record from
> FIOS, since you want to be able to record 2 shows at once, you will need:
> Two (2) HD-PVR's, at a little less than $200 each.
> Two (2) HD non-DVR set-top boxes (STBs) from Verizon, which I believe is
> $10/mo. each.
> A Firewire card to change channels on the Verizon STB, about $20.
> At each TV in your house, you need to set up a MythTV frontend.  You'll need
> a computer at each TV.  Think of them as MythTV set-top boxes.  The easiest
> option is an Acer Aspire Revo (make sure it has at least 2GB RAM), at around
> $330 each.  If you want to save money at this step, you can try to re-use
> existing computers you may have, but you'll need to make sure it has the
> right kind of video card (an nVidia card that supports VDPAU).  But
> recycling an old computer won't be small, quiet, or attractive in the living
> room.
> For the remote control, the standard is an MCE IR receiver, such as this:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16880121001&cm_re=mce_remote-_-80-121-001-_-Product
> You can use a different remote, such as a Harmony, with that IR receiver.
> To hook the frontends to your master backend, you'll need to run network
> cable.  I don't recommend trying to use wifi, especially since you're doing
> HD.
> If I haven't scared you away yet, and if you have more questions, feel free
> to ask!
> -- Kevin
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Let me throw this out there.  If you are looking to reduce the cable
bill adding an antenna and a HDHR for your locals may be a good idea:

You can most likely get away with a HDHR and a HDPVR and be able to
record just about anything.

Wifi should work for SD, but keep in mind you will need to record both
HD and SD recordings then.  It would be much easier to just record HD
and wire up everything.

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