[mythtv-users] Advice on a silent PC/Mini ITX for DVI and DVB-T (maybe -S)

Simon Allcorn simon.allcorn at gmail.com
Tue Apr 1 09:45:02 UTC 2008


just had a quick look on ebay and there is a 2.8GHz P4 dell same as below
for 110GBP:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dell-OptiPlex-GX260-SFF-2-8GHz-PC-1GB-40GB-XP-Pro-DVD_W0QQitemZ310034901555QQihZ021QQcategoryZ179QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

(no affiliation with seller, I just picked it randomly !)

also here is the spec from dell:
http://www.dell.com/downloads/us/products/optix/gx260_spec.pdf
(it's the 'Small Form Factor - SF' one)

Simon

On Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 10:38 AM, Simon Allcorn <simon.allcorn at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi,
>
> here's my 2p:
>
> I'm in the UK, with 2x nova-t dvb-t cards running on a ~2Ghz Celery
> backend. I've just purchased a Dell Optiplex GX260 SFF (
> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,668796,00.asp ) for a frontend - it's
> small (about the same size as the original xbox),  2.4Ghz P4, 1Gb memory
> and DVD drive (laptop style).
>
> *And best of all this frontend only cost 80 !*
>
> To be fair this frontend box is not silent, however it is very quiet.
>
> Also worth noting that I specially got one with DVI out and I can
> definitely recommend *NOT *using DVI if you have VGA available ! Perhaps
> it's just my TV (26' Samsung with HDMI & VGA -
> http://www.shopuk.co.uk/media/images/product_detail/LE26R41B.jpg ) but I
> could not get the correct resolution without oversan using HDMI/DVI but with
> VGA it worked perfectly first time (this table is very helpful when
> configuring xorg - http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Modeline_Database). Technically the HDMI/DVI should give a better picture, but the VGA is
> really very,very crisp and drives the TV at it's native resolution with
> little hassle. I'm sure using HDMI/DVI could be made to work but it was way
> too much effort for me.
>
> Using this kind of frontend will require adequate ventilation (mine is in
> a cupboard, with a big exhaust hole in the back :) )
>
>
> hth
>
> Simon
>
>
>
>
>
>  On Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 9:35 AM, Steve Smith <st3v3.sm1th at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > On 01/04/2008, Nicholas Piper <nick-mythtv at nickpiper.co.uk> wrote:
> > > Chad,
> > >
> > >
> > >  On Mon, 31 Mar 2008, Chad wrote:
> > >
> > >  > >  Does anyone have a recommendation for a Mini ITX motherboard
> > which
> > >  > >  would have DVI output, is cheap (so slow is OK), but has a
> > supported
> > >  > >  hardware mpeg2 decoder to make up for the lack of overall CPU
> > power?
> > >  >
> > >  > If you can find one, the Commell LV-667D makes a nice option in
> > this area.
> > >
> > >
> > > Thanks for this suggestion. I can't find a D variant stocked anywhere
> > >  yet. I've written to a vendor to see if they can help. Ideally, I'd
> > >  want the E8 variant too (800 Mhz Eden, fanless) I believe.
> > >
> > >  I can find the regular one:
> > >  http://www.icp-epia.co.uk/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=101 to
> > >  which I could add a Mini-AGP DVI card
> > >  http://www.bvm-store.com/ProductDetail.asp?fdProductId=156 ? Is that
> > >  how Mini-AGP works, or would then I not be using the Unichrome
> > >  processor anymore?
> > >
> > >
> > >  > If size is not that much of an issue I'd strongly suggest you look
> > at
> > >  > something MicroATX instead or even look at an Intel-based mini-ITX
> > >  > system (though that really will kill your above mentioned budget).
> > >  > The VIA systems, for lack of a nicer term, suck, due to lack of
> > real
> > >  > help from Via that is actually usable to the vast majority of Linux
> > >  > users.  I've got an SP13000 and a Commell LV-667T that are fairly
> > >  > useless for anything HD or mpeg4.  I've done a lot of work to get
> > them
> > >  > to the usable point they are at right now, and cannot imagine how
> > much
> > >  > effort would be involved in getting them to actually do the mpeg4
> > >  > acceleration that VIA claims or fully work with MythTV and HDTV.
> > >
> > >
> > > Your LV-667T has a CN700, which apparently can do 2048x2048 mpeg2 -
> > >
> > >
> > http://wiki.openchrome.org/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php?page=HardwareCaveats
> > >
> > > which sounds 'HD'?
> > >
> > >   Regards,
> > >
> > >   Nick
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > >  mythtv-users mailing list
> > >  mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> > >  http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
> > >
> >
> > Nick,
> >
> > Although I'm a die hard SD user (well you can get really nice CRT
> > screens for NOTHING literally nothing these days), with Freesat the UK
> > is on the cusp of going HD. So if you're going to spend money on a
> > Mythbox now, you should probably make it HD capable.
> >
> > For that you're probably going to have to ditch the mini-ITX idea (for
> > the Frontend at least), the power of these boards just isn't up to HD
> > and linux driver compatability remains a bit of an issue. (I suppose
> > one way might be to run the evolving Windows Mythfrontend client with
> > Windows drivers?)
> >
> > Have you considered a near-silent frontend? You can build something
> > pretty quiet these days either using off the shelf parts or doing some
> > hardware hacking yourself. E.g. my P3 933mhz, Nvidia 5200, 3x
> > harddrive runs quiet enough that me and the girlfriend have slept in
> > the same room as it (in fact its the overly bright hard disc light
> > that distracts us most!).
> >
> > With a bit of work you should be able to get a Core based box running
> > pretty silent, some of the AMD processors can work pretty well
> > undervolted which really helps out with the noise.. Check out
> > www.silentpcreview.com for help. Then you can go with a tried and
> > trusted Nvidia video card to get your HD output with the connector
> > types you want for your TV.
> >
> > What you could use the mini-ITX idea for, is a low powered back end.
> > Use USB tuners, and a 2 way PCI riser. (In the UK commflagging is a
> > bit of a loss at the moment so you won't need huge lumps of power).
> > With a separate backend you can keep the FE powered off (& absolutely
> > silent) when you're not using it.
> >
> > Of course if you want to stick with SD, the mini-itx should be pretty
> > good, some of the more powerfull ones should be able to cope with SD
> > Mpeg4 (my p3 runs about 30-40% on most SD mpeg4s so a 1.5ghz C3 should
> > just be able to cope)
> >
> > Sorry for the ramble...
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Steve
> > _______________________________________________
> > mythtv-users mailing list
> > mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> > http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
> >
>
>
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