[mythtv-users] Will these machines give me xorg headaches?

Damian myth at surr.co.uk
Fri Jul 6 13:24:53 UTC 2012

On 06/07/2012 07:25, Karl Newman wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 3:59 PM, Damian <myth at surr.co.uk> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I'm planning on replacing an old MythBox and 'always on' LAN server with one
>> of the selection here:
>> http://www.mediacenter-tv.co.uk/slim-line-media-centres.html
>> The thing I'm worried about is the graphics output and if I'll be able to
>> configure it.
>> I have an old BenQ W100 projector which has a native resolution of 480p.
>> Yes, I know that's rubbish, and I'll get HD when it dies, but it's perfectly
>> adequate for watching SD films until then.
>> When I first set up the last machine, I had a NIGHTMARE getting a workable
>> resolution though to the projector. I had a lot of help on this newsgroup,
>> and after about 2 months of trial and error I got the nVidia drivers doing
>> what I wanted them to do. They feed a 720p image to the projector, which the
>> projector can interpret.
>> These new machines mostly have integratd Intel graphics cards. Is that going
>> to give me a headache again??
>> I temporarily have a Windows XP machine plugged into the projector, and that
>> doesn't know what to make of it. I've not spent time trying to solve it as
>> it's only there for a short time, but I'm back to the 16:9 ratio being
>> ignored and the only options available being 4:3.
>> If it helps to see how good/bad this problem is, here's a link to the
>> xorg.conf file that gets around the problems with my nVidia card and lets
>> things display properly:
>> http://pastebin.com/Eb70dVYV
>> I'd really appreciate your best guess as to whether those xorg.conf changes
>> may work with any graphics card, or if they are nVidia dependent.
>> And while we are on the subject, how does Intel graphics on the motherboard
>> compare to nVidia's for MythTV use?
>> Looking forward to your thoughts,
>> Damian
> Well, I just replaced a failed nVidia system with an intel setup and
> it was far from easy. All told the system was offline (for myth
> purposes) for over a month. A big part of my problem was getting the
> video modes to work correctly. I have an old SD CRT (480i only) and am
> using an HDMI->S-video converter to get a signal to it. I had tried
> earlier using a HDMI->component video but had a terrible time trying
> to get an interlaced mode working. It sounds like your projector
> understands progressive modes so maybe you'll have better luck. I
> played around with the new (in 3.3 or 3.4) kernel ability to insert a
> custom DSDT to specify the available modes (and thus override that
> read from the video output device). I did get it to work, but it was
> still better and simpler for me to downgrade my output type to
> S-Video. As far as Myth's support of intel, I have VAAPI working fine
> with low CPU usage. From what I've read on the list, several others
> have tried and failed, but it wasn't all that difficult for me to get
> it working; just a few key settings/libraries. The quality with isn't
> fantastic but heck I'm still using a 480i display so obviously it
> doesn't bother me much!
> So, I guess my advice is: Good luck! Most likely it will not be plug and play.
> Karl

Thanks for that Karl, I'm glad I asked!

If I play safe and go to one of the machines that has onboard nVidia 
graphics (and cross my finger that the display works), then those 
machines have:

- Intel Core 2 Atom processors (rather than the Intel i3 iCore on the 
higher models) and
- 1 TB 2.5" 3GB/s HD (rather than 1 TB 3.5" 6GB/s HD).

Are those two items up to the task of an 'always on' home network server 
and running the main MuthTV FE/BE?


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