[mythtv-users] Secrets for low powered front ends ?

PJR pjrobinson at metronet.co.uk
Wed Oct 12 16:06:29 UTC 2011

On 12/10/11 15:29, jedi wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 10:18:19AM -0400, Raymond Wagner wrote:
>> On 10/12/2011 04:58, PJR wrote:
>>> On 12/10/11 00:33, Nick Rout wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM, Raymond Wagner<raymond at wagnerrp.com>  wrote:
>>>>> On 10/11/2011 17:37, Richard Morton wrote:
>>>>>> Don't forget that the people that know (the devs) don't recommend
>>>>>> ion/nvidia/vdpau systems because they are very codec/encoding
>>>>>> dependant. With that said I have a early dualcore atom
>>>>> We absolutely do recommend nVidia hardware, and we don't try to dissuade
>>>>> people from VDPAU.  What we are recommending against is people buying
>>>>> ION systems, thinking hardware decoding is the end-all solution to
>>>>> everything, without knowing its potentially severe limitations.
>>>> In terms of future proofing you are probably right in that the
>>>> broadcasters coulepotentially change their encoding streams at any
>>>> time, but wouldn't that also stuff up many STBs?
>>> What are the severe limitations of ION systems? Is it only that the
>>> encoding streams may change? What are the others? I'm just about to buy
>>> an ION2 board and I don't want to make a mistake.
>    What's the alternative? Some machine that costs $800? Another that costs
> $1000? Or something else that gets big and unwieldy fast because you have to
> bolt an aftermarket discrete video card onto it?
>    A GPU that doesn't need the beefy CPU is still the best option to include
> with whatever you buy or build (that has a more respectable CPU). 
>    ...thus the "perverse solution" that someone else mentioned.
>    I'd love to be able to take a i3/i5 mini-itx board and shove it into an 
> ultra low profile Antec case. I just don't think it's going to do the job. 
>> The severe limitations are simply that you're not getting a worthwhile 
>> processor.  Hardware decoding is inherently inflexible.  You have 
>> whatever capability was burned into it during fabrication, and that's 
>> it.  Should you ever want to do anything the decoder is not capable of, 
>> you have to fall back on the CPU, but in the case of an Atom, it does 
>> not have sufficient power to handle whatever you want in software.
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I'm running an Intel 1.6Mhz Atom 510 as my main desktop machine and am
using it with a usb PC nanoStick DVD-T2 device as an experiment.  It
plays SD TV without any problems but stutters v.v.badly on HD TV. This
suggests the cpu is ok for most video decoding but not HD hence an ION2
should be ok for just about anything (with presumably the option for HW
decode for those formats not supported by the nVidia GPU).

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