[mythtv-users] Replacement for Atom Motherboard

James Abernathy jfabernathy at gmail.com
Fri Mar 8 10:16:32 UTC 2024

On Fri, Mar 8, 2024 at 3:59 AM David Watkins <watkinshome at gmail.com> wrote:
> For the last 10 years or so my MythTV setup has been a combined back/frontend running on an Intel Atom motherboard with NVidia graphics.  Inputs are a pair of external USB DVBt sticks, storage is a couple of SATA drives and the whole lot sits inside an Antec Fusion multimedia case.  The case is mostly a pig-ugly monstrosity but it has a pretty front panel with a LCD display and it looks good in my TV cabinet where you can't see the rest of it.
> The point of this post is that I think the Atom motherboard is getting long in the tooth now and increasingly vulnerable to sudden death syndrome; I'm also wary that at some point a software upgrade could fail because some part of the hardware is not longer supported -  so I'm looking for a replacement.
> Ideally I'd like something exactly the same but newer. that is:
> Combined Frontend/Backend.
> Silent (in the huge Antec case the Atom is easy to cool with a big slow turning FAN).
> Low Power, which I think means hardware video acceleration.
> Fits inside the Antec case.
> Is there such a board?
> I've been looking at:
> - Raspberry PI.  The connections would be a bit messy and I'm not sure if I'd need a second PI/Firestick etc for the Frontend, but I think I could get it to work.
> - Some flavour of Intel NUC.  There seems to be a lot of choice and I'm not sure if hardware video acceleration is available, which means that CPU performance and cooling might need managing.  I seem to have a bit of a blind spot with motherboards and am wary of buying one that either won't play video smoothly or uses significantly more power than my existing setup.
> - Some super low power motherboard and a Pi/Firestick/etc for the frontend.
> Thanks for any advice.

You could use a Pi4/5, but not sure you'd be happy with the video
performance, comm flagging speed, or compression.  If you went this
way using a FireTV 4K Max as a frontend solves the remote issues and
you get the best picture if you use Leanfront on the FireTV.  A PI 4
could easily handle the backend part.

I have a NUC as a combo for my RV. It's an ASrock 1165G7. You don't
get or need video acceleration outside of the Iris graphic in the 11th
Gen Core i7. It have an M2.nvme 1T stick and a 1TB SSD.  It has a fan
but you only hear it if you are compiling Mythtv or gaming.  I like
that it's compact and has lots of connections and built-in wifi and
bluetooth.  However, I still use it mainly as a backend in the TV
because I have to have the 2 FireTV sticks (den and bedroom) for
Netflix, also.  I also think Leanfront is the best picture
particularly on a 4K UHD TV.

If you end up with FireTVs for frontends, you can get the new fanless
N100 Intel PCs made by everyone. Some say the graphics are good.

The N100 is more expensive than a PI but not as expensive as a main
steam NUC. I like the Fanless part.

Jim A

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