[mythtv-users] Low end hardware/software recommendations

Tim Draper veehexx at gmail.com
Mon Nov 14 11:29:55 UTC 2011

On 14 November 2011 10:47, David Watkins <watkinshome at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  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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speaking from first hand experience, the atom 330 is too underpowered
for a BE or combined FE/BE system.
i'm using mine as an FE only, and have to leave mythfrontend running
(rather than using mythwelcome) as it just takes too long to load
mythfrontend up.

i would not consider using it as BE at all, nor would i even suggest it.

as a FE for recording/TV, it's excellent. silent, small low power.
i've not yet played 1080p content yet (BBC HD 1080i works fine).. if i
find a need to upgrade for blueray/1080p content, then i3 with onboard
nvidia is where I'll be going. shouldn't be an impending issue, i have
a PS3 for the bluray stuff :)

right now im using a core2duo E6550 (2.33ghz) as a dedicated BE, and
if i were to buy now, i'd be looking at a core-i3 model.
core i3 (the 35w model if you can stretch +£10), ITX motherboard, 2x
1gb sticks, HDD and optical drive, job done. forget VDPAU, and use the
onboard intel gfx using non-accelerated video.

a reference was made on streaming capability - has anyone tried flash
11 (which has hardware accelerated playback) on an atom based mythtv
system (be it intel, amd or intel based gfx)?? if i find some time, i
might give that a go tonight....

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