[mythtv-users] Laptop as a Front-End (HD)
iaindb at netspace.net.au
Fri Feb 19 00:38:52 UTC 2010
On Thu, 2010-02-18 at 15:58 -0500, John Welch wrote:
> Thanks for the responses so far. I really appreciate the input. I
> haven't been looking at whether or not the laptops have minipci-e
> slots or not, but I will have to check
> Just want to reiterate, though, that I'm considering the use of the
> laptop as an HD capable front-end as a "nice to have" feature, not a
> necessity. Further, at least at this time most of my recordings are
> from the HDHR, so not being able to playback h.264 isn't a huge deal.
> This could change for me depending on "The Comcast Digital Transition"
> that is going on in my area now.
> Basically, I'm looking to find out if I need to go to the higher end
> of my budget to get a faster processor and/or NVidia graphics, or if I
> can get away with looking at the lower end, which mostly have a
> Pentium T4300/T4400 processor and the Intel graphics.
I have an older ati (RV350, 9600 pro) which only works well with the
legacy ati drivers. Even though I can get great frame rates on 3d
screensavers and the like, it sucks at playing HD mpeg-2. I was trying
to use it as a combined BE/FE though, and it only has one disk. As a
backend it's perfectly capable.
Look for a built in infra-red port (handy but not a show stopper); good
cooling (go newer than both the Pentium 4 M or Mobile Pentium 4); and I
would recommend nvidia - vdpau capable seems to get some people over the
Built-in video out might help - in my case the WAF is much higher on our
32" SD TV than my 17" 1080p laptop. Multimedia buttons also help for
quick access to volume etc.
Finally, give it a "service" when you receive it. My old P4 laptop was
constantly shutting down and crashing, until I took it all apart
(including CPU, video card, fans, heat pipes, heat sinks) and gave it a
good dusting. I also reapplied my own thermal grease. It's over 10
degrees cooler now, and the fans hardly ever go full speed. Beware of
Iain Buchanan <iaindb at netspace dot net dot au>
Whenever anyone says, "theoretically," they really mean, "not really."
-- Dave Parnas
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