[mythtv-users] recommendation for new combined frontend+backend?

Frank Hartmann soundart at gmx.net
Sat Nov 5 17:20:02 UTC 2011

Nick Morrott <knowledgejunkie at gmail.com> writes:

> On 30 October 2011 18:02, Frank Hartmann <soundart at gmx.net> wrote:
>> Frank Hartmann <soundart at gmx.net> writes:
>>> What I would like to achieve by the upgrade is (most import stuff first):
>>> 1) silence (harddisk and fan of current box is a small bit too noisy)
>>> 2) 720p50 record and playback (Astra ARD/ZDF/Arte HD) - I think this is H264 encoded
>>> ..
>>> So I am searching for
>>> * a silent chipset/mainboard CPU combo, which can decode 2) and
>>>  do the recording housekeeping in parallel in the background
>> Would the
>> * 1.5 GHz AMD Turion II Neo, or the
>> * 1.3 GHz AMD Athlon II Neo
>> as found in the HP proliant miniservers manage to decode above streams?
> As I've got an HP MicroServer available here I thought I'd have a
> look, but then realised I haven't got any 720p50 content to test with.
> However, testing with Big Buck Bunny (720p24, h.264) revealed no
> problems during playback using the server's 1.3 GHz AMD Athlon II Neo
> CPU and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 chipset.

Nick, many thanks! I have bought encouraged by your test a HP N40L
MicroServer (the one with 1.5GHZ) and yesterday it arrived here.

I have installed amd64 debian testing and prebuild mythtv packages from
Christian Marillats repository.

Playback of 720p50 recorded from ARD is 167% load (based on top,
probably max=200%) using vlc.

Playback of normal PAL stream using mythfrontend is around 25%.

This looks very promising! If I can find Nvidia Cards suggested by
Michael and a fitting DVB-S2 card (Tim) I am ready to go!

The problem here is that the Microserver is really 'mini' and the 2 PCIe
slots are 'low-profile' (==small) and have other constrainsts which I do
know how to handle excatly:

* 1st PCIe - x16 - 25W max # this seems to be for the GPU
* 2st PCIe - x1            # so this for DVB-S2

The first passive graphic card I investigated was a GT520 which seemed
to fit quite well (was relativly cheap) but at second glance the thing
occupied both PCIe slots (one exclusivly used for cooler space and

Other impressions: 

* I like the machine. It really feels well-made!

* it is a bit noiser than hoped. As loud as my old setup, but using
  lower freqs. 

* wake-on-lan works without any configuration of the N40L

* I did not find a bios timer to start the machine (at 20.00h for
  recording a show)

* I did not find a soundcard. :( So either I have to use HDMI Audio and
  try if the TV gives me the the audio back for playback over the hifi
  system. Or use a USB soundcard which makes me already shudder.

* I did not find the power-meter uptonow so no watts to report.

viel Spaß

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