[mythtv-users] Very Low Cost Frontend

Jeremy D. Eiden theonlyrealperson at gmail.com
Mon Dec 30 04:32:32 UTC 2019

Sorry to double reply, but for my RPi4's i use the Flirc case, it's 
great - and fanless.  I've never had a heat issue with it.  Also, can't 
say enough good things about their usb dongle.  It allows my wife use 
her Tivo2 remote control, which greatly increases the 


On 12/29/19 10:20 AM, Ken Mandelberg wrote:
> Jim
> Thanks for all the info. I am interested in the RPi4 solution, but 
> still concerned about no GPU support.
> I notice that Newegg has a low end 7th generation NUC for $138 
> (BOXNUC7CJYH1) thats with a
> 2.0 GHz - 2.7 GHz burst, Dual-Core Celeron J4005 and a UHD 600 
> Graphics. 4GB of ram is $18 (although I would probably go for 8G at $36).
> RPi4 with case +fan + power with 4GB, is about $85, so that comparison 
> in cost is $85 vs $156.
> I presume the UHD 600 GPU would make use of vaapi (with improvements 
> under the new render).
> Which solution would work better running as a frontend running the 
> master?
> Right now the 10 year old Macmini FE/BE is running Ubuntu without 
> internal storage, root and media on a huge USB SATA disk. The mini is 
> only USB 2 while the disk is USB 3, so either RPi or NUC would be a win.
> (By the way, I run the HDHR-3 for US cable, waiting not so patiently 
> for the HDHR Prime 6.)
> Ken
> Jim Abernathy wrote on 12/26/19 8:10 PM: Celeron j4005
>> On 12/26/19 4:57 PM, Ken Mandelberg wrote:
>>> My 10 year old Macmini/HDHR running Ubuntu Myth front/backend is 
>>> having issues. I'm looking for a very low cost replacement. I build 
>>> the trunk frequently, and want the standard frontend not Kodi. The 
>>> Mac has an old Nvida GPU which worked well for years, and I really 
>>> want something with a GPU that Myth supports.
>>> From what I read there is no GPU support on the PI4, which other 
>>> than would be a nice price point.
>>> I know a NUC would work, but they start getting pricey once 
>>> configured, and its not clear to me what the cheapest one without 
>>> media format limitations is. I know there are other boxes in similar 
>>> form factor, but don't know if there is a better value than a NUC.
>>> Storage is not an issue, I already use a large USB disk for both 
>>> root and the media on the mini.
>>> It seems like even cheap phone/tablet SOCs have better GPUs than the 
>>> old Nvidia.
>> I've done a lot of testing recently. The RPi4 is an excellent backend 
>> with HDHR Quatro as a networked tuner. That gives you 4 tuners and 
>> the CPU horsepower to handle the recording using a USB3 SATA SSD or 
>> even hard drive.
>> The good news is the RPi4 can also handle 4 recordings and do the 
>> mythtv-frontend at the same time. For me that's 4 OTA mpeg2 programs 
>> while displaying a previously recorded program. The quality is quite 
>> good for the video playback.
>> However a separate FE is slightly better. I've tested a RP3B+ running 
>> LibreELEC (KODI) with the kodi-pvr-mythtv addon. I've also tested the 
>> FireTV Stick 4K running the Mythtv-frontend and the 
>> Mythtv-leanfront.  Both are excellent.
>> So for cheapest do a Combo RPi4 FE/BE with a 1TB USB3 SATA SSD using 
>> an adapter.  For best leave the RPi4 as a backend only and use the 
>> FireTV stick 4K as the frontend.
>> That's the cheapest I've found. Since storage is the same for any 
>> solution, the comes down to $25 for the FireTV stick 4K and $100 for 
>> a RPi4 4GB DRAM kit.
>> I'm parallel testing both my Core i7 Sandybridge backend with hard 
>> drives again the RPi4 backend. Using the FireTV stick 4K and a Shield 
>> TV frontend on both. No difference in quality of recordings or playback.
>> Jim A
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