[mythtv-users] Hardware configuration and capabilities of MythTV

Richard Morton richard.e.morton at gmail.com
Fri Feb 4 22:58:49 UTC 2011

> I would like to setup a backend server that has multiple tuners in it.  I
would like at least two of those tuners to be able to receive cable
broadcasts, including those that are encrypted (maybe with a “CableCARD” in
the tuner?).  Additionally, I would like at least two more tuners that are
capable of receiving NTSC and ATSC broadcasts.

I have 4 dvb-t tuners and 2dvb-s2 tuners in a single backend recording to a
single 7200rpm sata2 hdd... just limit the number of user jobs to two of you
run out of hdd throughput. Your mileage may vary depending on the amount of
data (quality) of your recordings.

I run this on a quad code q6600 intel chip, but this is overkill except it
allows me to play wii games from mythgame using dolphin emu, or thats the

> My question is this... are there any tuner cards available that are
compatible with MythTV and have the ability to receive the encrypted
channels?  It’s OK if I have to pay the cable company to rent a Cable Card
or something similar.  I’m not looking to steal cable (of course, I’m open
to suggestions J ).  Hopefully these tuner cards could also receive the
premium channels (like Showtime) and interactive content (dubbed “iControl”
by Time Warner/Brighthouse).

It is probably possible but you have to look at other lists that deal with
that. You cant talk about it here. I dont know though as i dont follow
cablecard talk as i am in the uk. Please dont steal cable or media only use
what you own or subscribe to. If you dont like the prices encourage your
government to promote competition i.e. non geographic monopolies.
> My ultimate goal would be to setup a backend server with multiple tuners,
and then setup small machines in each room of the house that could watch
Live TV via one of those tuners (over my wired network), or watch
pre-recorded content.  I assume these machines would only need a video card
with an HDMI output?

The method most are using recently seems to be ION based systems or ION2.
There are the price of set top boxes in the uk and silent when using solid
state storage or netbooting. Yes, theyre typically connected to tv or
monitor using vga dvi or hdmi.

> Brighthouse (Time Warner) transmits many of the free HD channels so that
an ATSC tuner can pick them up.  It would be desirable if the MythTV server
would be “smart” enough to select the ATSC tuners when a channel can be
received without the use of the tuners that have a cable CARD, and use the
ones with the cable CARD only when necessary.  This would free up those two
Cable CARD tuners for use by programs that require them.  Many programs that
I like are on the big networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, and so on... those can
all be received in HD via ATSC from my cable TV provider.

Yes. There are ways to set this up. Probably just by getting the sort order
of the tuners correctly.

> You see, my problem with the DVR from the cable company is that it only
has two tuners... and they don’t have a whole-house DVR solution.  There are
many instances when I would like to record more than two programs... and
often times this could be accomplished without needing an additional
(rented) cable CARD at additional expense.
> What kind of tuner cards will accomplish my goal?

Sorry as i said being in the uk i cant be helpful too helpful but look at hd
homerun and hd pvr... simply google these brand names both are supported.
> How much horsepower does a backend server need in order to handle 4 to 8

Not much, modern dual core will be fine and thats only because of the
commercial flagging and transcoding. Mythtv simply instructs the hd pvr or
hd homerun it wants a particular channel and starts receiving the video over
ip and saves it to disk while looking for keyframes and stores the positions
in the db.

> I would want one backend server and five frontend machines.  Will this
work over a 100Mbps wired network, or will I need to upgrade to 1Gbps (or
perhaps just 1Gbps from the backend server to a switch... and then 100Mbps
to each frontend machine)?

Honestly, this isnt a simple question, how many will be used at the same
time and will recording on all tuners be running at the same time as
playback. What quality recordings, what codec/bitrate

Not wifi, even for frontends, feelfree to try but transient interference is
really annoying.

Sounds like a lot of bandwidth with 13 video streams simultaneously. I would
go for gigabit ethernet.

You could put 2  1gbps enet cards and seperate/network traffic of
acquisition and frontends if you get bandwidth issues, would need to do the
math to see if it would be an issue, maybe someone could advise better.
> How much horsepower does a frontend server need, if the backend server is
on a separate piece of hardware?

As said, ion is a good bet, ion2 even better. Otherwise a cheap box with an
nvidia 85xx series card or later will let even old systems work at minimal
> Is it possible, with Myth software to rip DVD and Blu-Ray discs to the
hard drive on the backend server, so they can be accessed by any of the
front-end servers?

Rip, nope, use handbrake. Once imported mythvideo allows the use of the
media. Mythmusic similarly for music.

> Any other info you think I need to know?
> Thank you in advance.
> Brian K. Reynolds
> Sr. Applications Supervisor
> Spectrum ASP
> Credit Union Solutions
> Fiserv
> Office: 321-268-2622, ext. 5249
> Fax: 321-264-2942
> www.creditunions.fiserv.com
> _______________________________________________
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