[mythtv-users] Raspberry Pi suitability for MythFrontend

Raymond Wagner raymond at wagnerrp.com
Sun Sep 2 18:13:21 UTC 2012

On 9/2/2012 13:09, Eugene Nadyrshin wrote:
> Hi all, new to the list.
> Just wanted to add that a few days ago the Raspberry Pi foundation made
> it possible to buy MPEG2 (and VC-1) licences from their shop at
> http://www.raspberrypi.com/mpeg-2-license-key/ for £2.40 (around $3.81)
> Surely this is quite a game changed and removes the main obstacle to
> using the RPi as a fully featured myth front end?

Not in the slightest. With many DVB users recording H264 directly, 
combined with users running HDPVR encoders, imaging their Bluray discs, 
or taking the time to recompress MPEG2 recordings, anything with a 
sufficiently robust H264 decoder is useful.

The two big obstacles are support for the hardware decoder (OpenMAX), 
and memory consumption. OpenMAX support is straight forward enough, 
someone just needs to spend the time to write it. With the performance 
of a low end P2, and less than 200MB of memory once the graphics core 
has had its fill, the RPi is similar in capability to the old desktop or 
dumpster-dived machine one might have sourced for MythTV at its original 
release. MythTV is designed for modern desktop hardware, and the RPi is 
about 15 years too late for that designation.

The CPU load probably won't be a big issue, but when you consider that's 
going to amount to maybe a couple percent the performance of a modern 
dual core CPU, it's hard to say what will happen. There are some known 
issues when entering Watch Recordings on low end Atom CPUs. More 
importantly, mythfrontend wants a lot of memory, and mythfrontend 
running at 1920x1080 wants a lot more memory. The RPi is going to be 
well into swap trying to run it. There is a good deal of work that needs 
to go into slimming things down before one might want to attempt using 
an RPi to run MythTV natively.

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