[mythtv-users] Building a Simple, Barebones, Minimalist, Cheap Backend
mikep at randomtraveller.org.uk
Sat Sep 20 17:27:14 UTC 2008
Brian Wood wrote:
> Ivan Kowalenko wrote:
>> Hey all. It seems my repurposed HP Pavilion is giving me some trouble,
>> and this might just be the excuse I need for a new back end system.
>> I'm looking at making something smallish (mini-tower or smaller,
>> hopefully), low powered (Geode or Atom might be cool), and cheap (Sub-
>> $250, circa-$100 hopefully). I've already got a capture card
>> (PVR-150), and a pair of hard disks (one 6GB drive for the OS, one 250
>> GB drive for recordings, both PATA), and I'm not looking for any real
>> playback capabilities (I use my laptop as an incidental front-end as
>> I'm the only user of the system). Any advice on where to find
>> hardware? I've looked around at NewEgg and TigerDirect, so far I've
>> got an OK system put together for about $125, but it's using a Via C3,
>> and I have no idea what those things are like. Any advice?
> The problem with a VIA CPU is that they are most often attached to
> motherboards that use VIA chipsets, and those have been problematical
> with MythTV systems. DMA problems mostly.
> I think you will find that 250GB is pretty small for recording storage,
> I'm finding 1TB to be tight, and that's only for SD. 500GB and 750GB
> drives are getting quite cheap (I saw a 500 for $65 yesterday).
> The most important thing for a backend is I/O, not CPU, unless you need
> fast commflagging or transcoding.
Most modern VIA mini-ITX boards are OK if you are only looking at SD playback. I
am running one as a frontend myself with minimyth. I would have thought that for
a backend-only machine and MPEG-2 coming in a via board would be OK, provided
you get a C7 processor, not a C3. C3's don't have the grunt to do much
time-sensitive processing at all and you are also limited in RAM. Note they only
have one PCI slot so you will be restricted to just your single PVR-250 card,
unless you top-up with USB tuners.
Also, check whether your chosen board has SATA or PATA connectors. Most large
disks available now will be SATA, should you decide to take Brian's advice.
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