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

Daniel Born born_daniel at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 13 17:12:33 UTC 2011


> I've seen FFMPEG crash on good data and on bad data that hardware decoders

> just breezed through.  I've also seen the reverse. The only advantage software

> decoding offers *right now* is the ability to patch it to deal with such 

> situations.  I happen to know a 1.8GHz processor can software decode at least

> 720p video, and some 1080i MPEG2.  For my use, I know I'm covered with the

> lower processing power.  I expect the system to last 2 years as a front end.

> I haven't seen the hardware requirements for MythTV significantly change

> since before the introduction of VDPAU and the abandonment of XvMC. 

When I bought my first Mythtv box (a BE/FE fullsize tower), I didn't know enough about what I should be getting and VDPAU had just begun (at least to me) so I ended up buying a motherboard with onboard *intel* hdmi and I put an Intel core2duo 3.0GHz CPU on it with 4GB ram (and several TB HDDs).

At firsft I was using the CPU decoding for H.264 1080i stuff and was pinning one, if not both cores (can't remember) at 100% leaving little room for things like commflagging to run. Needless to say the box was responding quite sluggishly while watching recordings or liveTV. I then decided to get an NVidia GT220 to be able to use VDPAU instead. Now the CPU can be tasked to other things than just rendering the video.

3.0GHz core2duos might not be considered "fast" anymore but still, they aren't exactly underpowered...

I have an original Acer Ion box (hypertheading single core) as a separate frontend playing my H.264 1080i stuff on a bedroom 720p TV and it works "well enough" for now, it's hidden behind the dresser so it gets high WAF. The day that it can't fulfill its mission as a small FE, well then, it'll just turn into another one of my pet project toys (I've got boxes of old hardware, Buffalo NASes, IDE HDDs, nics, usb cards, etc...)

To me, this is the nature of the hobby. Buying something that lasts forever is just plain boring! ;-)

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