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

Patrick Ouellette pat at flying-gecko.net
Wed Oct 12 18:22:42 UTC 2011

On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 01:53:10PM -0400, Raymond Wagner wrote:
> On 10/12/2011 13:02, Patrick Ouellette wrote:
> > HDMI cable
> Are you actually bickering over something you can pick up for $2?

No, just being complete in the list of what was included for the $.

> > VDPAU (cheapest Nvidia card is GeForce8400GS 512MB $29.99)
> > If you add the video card, you need a different case
> VDPAU is nice, but not necessary, especially when you provide enough CPU 
> power to do without it.  The more pressing reason to use nVidia is for 
> reliable OpenGL support, and other driver configuration options to aide 
> with TVs.

VDPAU *is* a capability of the Atom/ION box and is the reason people use them. 

> > VESA mountability
> So get a mini-itx 1155 board, and a case that allows VESA mounting.

Find me a mini-itx 1155 board and mini-itx case that allows VESA mounting
at the price point we are discussing.  I haven't been able to find one.

> > SD/Media card reader
> You're stuffing it behind your TV, in a place anything but conducive to 
> easy access for a card reader, and then complaining that you have to buy 
> a separate card reader?

Completeness again.  My TV is on a dresser, and I can easily access a
top mounted card reader in the VESA mount.

> > In other words, it will be difficult to beat the total cost
> > for purchasing an integrated Atom/ION2 box with equivalent
> > functionality and form factor using i3/i5/i7 processor compatible
> > components from a single vendor.
> You are absolutely correct.  You are not going to be able to build a 
> "real computer" for the price you can build an ION based system.  Once 
> you start talking about ION barebone systems, the tables turn.  The 
> cheapest you're going to find one is around $200, on top of which you 
> have to add a receiver, memory, and optionally a hard drive.  You're 
> right up with that Celeron system in cost.

Not looking at building a "real computer" (whatever that is), just one that
can perform as a MythTV frontend displaying 1080i/p decoded from *today's*
broadcast standard and *today's* disc formats. (Neither system included any
optical disc player)

> Don't make the mistake that it is an "equivalent" system though.  A 
> single 2.4GHz SandyBridge core is going to be considerably more powerful 
> than the fastest Atom chip on the market.  The point were trying to make 
> is that should hardware decoding fail for whatever reason, you have 
> nothing to fall back on.

Unless I'm using the system for commercial flagging & transcoding, that extra
processing power is going to go unused.  Since the purpose is a frontend,
commercial flagging & transcoding are not going to be happening on it.

The points I am making are:

You CAN'T build an i3/i5/i7 box for the price of the Atom/ION box.
Especially if you look to equilivent features outside processor speed.

Hardware decoding will fail when new codecs are used.  For broadcast OTA
that will force everyone to replace or update all the current TVs (again).
By that time, there will be better/faster/cheaper hardware available.

I don't need the processing power, so why pay the premium for it?

No one forces anyone to use a particular platform.  Use what works for you.


Patrick Ouellette                 pat at flying-gecko.net
ne4po (at) arrl (dot) net         Amateur Radio: NE4PO 

What kind of change have you been in the world today?

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list