[mythtv-users] Best front-end machine?

Tom Bongiorno two.bits.11 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 13:19:10 UTC 2011

On Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 2:49 AM, Raymond Wagner <raymond at wagnerrp.com> wrote:
> On 9/2/2011 02:16, john.baab at gmail.com wrote:
>> There are some pre-built ion boxes too, which generally have smaller
>> cases but don't give you the flexibility of building your own.
> Pre-built or not, Atom-based systems have zero flexibility.  The CPU
> does not have enough power to do anything of interest, multimedia
> related, so you're stuck with whatever the capabilities of your hardware
> decoder (VDPAU) are.  If you know exactly what you want your frontend to
> be capable of, and you know all that is supported by VDPAU, and you have
> no desire for future expansion, then an ION system will work fine.  If
> you want a good, flexible frontend, then you want something with a real
> processor.
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I agree it is important to consider Raymond's points when selecting
hardware.  I fall on the side of cheap, small, and quiet.  My last two
builds cost me just over $200.  I have been using Zotac IONITX and
ZBOX products with much success.  I have switched to ION2 also, and
the have purchased ZBOX HD-ID11-U models for my last two builds, but
would consider the HD-ID40-U model as well.

Remotes are personal preference, but I listed mine below.  I basically
use the receiver only and programmable macro based JP1 remotes, but
that is a different topic.

System (~$200):
Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11-U

Zotac ZBOX HD-ID40-U

RAM (~$10-$15):
Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 800MHz PC2-6400 DDR2 CL5 SODIMM Notebook Memory

Storage (~$10):
Transcend 8 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS8GSDHC10E

Remote (~$5-$10):
XBox DVD Remote/Receiver


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