[mythtv-users] Plextor TV402U, laptops, saving power and a rebate
brad+myth at templetons.com
Wed Apr 25 01:57:28 UTC 2007
I noticed a $40 rebate this month on the Plextor Convertx TV402U, which is
a USB device and the only Mythtv supported device that does hardware MP4
encoding, which seems worthwhile compared to the issues of software encoding
or transcoding from mpeg2 from my wintv-pvr-x50 cards.
So first I am curious about experiences people have had with it. Since
the drivers are not in the kernel, it's obviously some extra work to get
going (and to recompile with each new kernel) which is always an issue.
However, the thing that's made me think about it is that as a USB device,
it can be put on an old laptop that I might turn into my master backend. CPU
would not be an issue since there would be no playback on this backend, but
there would possibly be commercial scan and the odd transcode (not too necessary
with hardware mp4.)
Why do this? Power. Here in California, most people with above-average power
use are paying incremental prices of 30 cents/kwh or more. What that means is
that every watt of always-on-server costs $2.67 per year. A 100 watt
server is $267 per year. Anything to get rid of that is worth the price of
a device like this (especially at $130 after rebate, making it competitive with
the mp2-only wintv-pvr-usb2.) The laptop should probably draw just 15 to 20
watts, and of course has a built in UPS. (My UPS itself adds 20 watts to the
draw of a server.)
However, a laptop has sucky CPU, and sucky and small disk. One could add an
external 500gb USB drive (proably about 10 watts). Or one could consider
a script to move files to the now tunerless frontend when it's up.
The other thing is to work harder at trying to get hibernation or
maybe S3/suspend-to-ram working on linux boxes with nvidia cards and the
nvidia proprietary driver. I'm afraid I can't report much luck there.
Web searches report the same trouble for many others. For a frontend,
suspend-to-ram is nice because a full boot or de-hibernate is annoying when
one just wants to sit and watch TV, if the power level is low enough.
Having to log in to watch TV is also annoying and has poor SOAF (Sig-other acceptance
factor, WAF is sexist) as well. And of course one must also get wake-on-lan
For HDTV, the only option seems to be the hdhomerun. Expensive if you already
have other cards, but presumably low power and able to be used by any backend
including a laptop.
So I'm interested in people's tales of how hard it was to get these things
The tv402u or the wintv-pvr-usb
Suspend/hibernate with nvidia card
Automatic script to move recordings when slave comes up
Master backend on an old 1.2ghz presario laptop.
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