[mythtv-users] Backend/Frontend hardware (new system)

Michael Watson michael at thewatsonfamily.id.au
Tue Sep 18 00:45:26 UTC 2012

On 18/09/2012 9:39 AM, Nick Rout wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 9:36 AM, Michael Watson
> <michael at thewatsonfamily.id.au> wrote:
>> On 18/09/2012 7:27 AM, Tyler T wrote:
>>> Do you still intend to record TV for later viewing? I don't see a
>>> tuner in your hardware list.
>>> FYI a DVR doesn't require expensive hardware if you're willing to give
>>> up commflagging* and transcoding**. Pretty much any PC new enough to
>>> have SATA will work as a backend-only, so you could get some random
>>> used desktop PC for cheap off Craigslist and run it headless in a
>>> closet. Then you can use whatever you like for a separate frontend
>>> such as a WD Live or similar media player***.
>>> * I prefer manual 30-second skip anyway
>>> ** Just get a bigger hard drive, not worth the trouble IMHO
>>> *** Note that using something other than an actual Myth FE will
>>> require you to schedule recordings via MythWeb, but most probably
>>> won't find this a dealbreaker
>> Nor do you really need a big beefy machine for frontend work.
>> I have several P4 3.0 Ghz Machines with GeForce 8400GS Cards that work
>> excellent as frontends.  (There are plenty of SFF HP/Compaq/Dell machines
>> that will work perfectly as a frontend)
> And most of them power hogs! There is certainly a tradeoff between
> cost and power saving and speed and quietness.
I don't believe so.  Last time I did the figures, the TCO over expected 
life span of each machines, it worked out roughly the same cost (new low 
power machine vs low cost second hand equipment), if you then include 
cost to the environment, then the s/hand equipment wins hands down.  

Given that the P4 3.0 HT (82W), with Ge Force 8400GS 512Mb runs at 10% 
CPU Usage whilst playing HD content, its not hard to keep it quiet, if 
you are only using it to play content.

>> You can still run commflagging on old machines.  All my frontends assist in
>> commflagging jobs whilst powered on.
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