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

Mark Lord mythtv at rtr.ca
Wed Oct 12 18:32:45 UTC 2011

On 11-10-12 12:05 PM, Brian J. Murrell wrote:
> Power consumption is not my goal (although it's nice gravy) but rather
> small enough to hide behind the wall mounted TV and (for all intents and
> purposes) silent).  Big honking 400W (or even 250W) PSes with fans don't
> fit that profile.

I have now assembled two systems based on the Zotac ZBOX line.
The first is a HD-ID11 acting as combined backend/frontend
with 250GB internal hard drive and a single HVR-950Q USB tuner.
Works perfectly -- silky smooth Advanced/2X playback during record/commskip.

The second is very similar, using a Zotac HD-ID41 nettop.
Slightly faster CPU, plus USB3 (not used yet), otherwise pretty similar.
Again, a single HVR-950Q USB tuner and running combined BE/FE.

Both are tiny systems that can use the included brackets to mount
behind a TV or monitor, and are perfect for basic PVR and video playback.

Storage on both is expandable, with a larger capacity internal drive
and/or more fast external drives over eSATA, USB3, and/or USB2.
I tested record/playback over USB2, and that worked quite well.

The number of tuners can be expanded, probably up to 3-4 USB tuners,
but the bottleneck would then become horsepowe for commskip flagging.

Of course, the same boxes would make great FE-only machines too.
For TV, they're as future-proof as that new LCD screen in the rec room is.
More so, actually, since the TV really only knows how to deal with MPEG2 TS.


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