[mythtv-users] New laptop - what video do I need for MythTV these days?

Stephen Worthington stephen_agent at jsw.gen.nz
Tue Jun 29 17:10:56 UTC 2021

So I have ordered one of these:


I was looking at 15" screens since that was all that I could see that
was in the price range I wanted to pay, but when I got to the Dell
site, they had a whole lot of laptops on special, including this 17"
one (at 30% off) that seems to do what I need.  That 30% brings it
within budget and its other specs are decent, including enough USB
ports - most laptops seem to have only three, and this has four,
including a USB 3.2 Gen 2 one (combined with Thunderbolt 3).

Since I was not willing to pay over NZ$8000 for a laptop, there are
some compromises.  Here are the ones I know about:

- According to the reviewers, it is not very good for gaming due to
having not entirely adequate cooling - it tends to get to the point of
thermal overload and slow down when used for gaming.  Since I am not
going to be using it for gaming, that is not a problem.

- The 2060 GPU will not do the new AV1 codec (you need a 30 series for
that), but that should not be a problem for a few years yet, and it is
likely powerful enough in the CPU to do AV1 anyway.

- For some strange reason the numeric keypad does not have the
navigation key markings on the keycaps, but as it does have a NumLock
key the navigation keys are likely to work when NumLock is off.

- The Ins and Del keys usually found at the bottom of the numeric
keypad on desktop keyboards are missing, but it has four programmable
keys (A, B, C D) above the keypad I can probably use for that.  This
seems to be a common problem with laptop numeric keypads these days,
and most do not have programmable keys to help fix that.

- The CPU is last year's model, but there are not a huge number of
differences between the 2020 and 2021 Intel CPUs, so that should not
be a problem.  It is going to be *much* faster than my old laptop,
which was not at all slow anyway.

- It is not shipped with the mounting hardware for using the second
M.2 slot, so if I want to install a second M.2 SSD I will have to
order that hardware.  Dell assures me that it is available to order.

Dell have shipped it and I am currently waiting on a tracking number
to know when it will probably arrive.  Dell is estimating 12-Jul-2021,
but they have done every other step of the order significantly faster
than their initial estimates, so I can hope for sooner.

When I get it set up for MythTV, I will report on how well it works. I
am interested to see how a 144 Hz screen works and what modes it can
do.  I have not been able to find much information online about that.
It would be nice if it was able to do 50 Hz and 24 Hz as well as 60 Hz
and 24 Hz, but 

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