[mythtv-users] Low end hardware/software recommendations

David Watkins watkinshome at gmail.com
Mon Nov 14 10:47:26 UTC 2011

>  1. How stupid is it to use a standard-def TV through an S-Video
> converter box instead of blowing $350 on a new 32" TV? My parents
> really don't care about video quality, but readability could be an
> issue.

If you're only watching SD broadcasts then I don't think it's too stupid.

I was running MythTV over SVideo into a 28" Widescreen CRT for several
years.  I had no problems with readability, if fact the quality of the
myth menus was excellent.

>  4. I guess Netflix streaming isn't currently supported on Linux. One
> solution I've seen is to run Windows/IE in VMware Player. Would the
> Windows VM be able to use the ION's hardware video decoding or would
> it fall back on doing everything on the CPU? If the latter, is the CPU
> fast enough for that? Would I need 4GB RAM for that setup?

The suitability of the ION platform for myth use is entirely down to
it's association the the VDPAU-capable NVidia graphics processor.

I would not rely on the Atom CPU for anything CPU intensive.  You'll
read lots of bad things about it on this list.

As far as I can deduce the case against the Atom seems to be based on
the fact that its performance has been restricted as a marketing
exercise rather than an intelligent attempt to produce a useful,
low-powered CPU.  It's been pointed out that other CPUs will throttle
themselves back to Atom power levels when idle, while still providing
a bit of grunt when you need it.

Having said that, if you don't need commercial flagging, transcoding
or to watch content that can't be decoded in hardware the the ION
boards are hard to beat on price and I'm still happy with mine running
one as a combined BE/FE. Its performance is fine on the menus and
playing SD and HD.

Since you want to dabble with streaming I think you'd be running a
risk with an atom.

>  5. What about MythTV (and IE) on Windows? Would it support the
> remote(s)? Would it support the HVR-1250? I gather the answer to the
> second question is no? Should I give up and use Windows Media Center?

MythTV on windows doesn't get discussed much here.  It's probably not
the best system to put on someone else's computer and walk away from.

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