[mythtv-users] Bob's Huge List of Questions [Was: 0.22 annoyances]
msmall at eastlink.ca
Wed Jan 6 11:21:43 UTC 2010
On January 5, 2010 19:58:09 Bob Cunningham wrote:
> On 01/05/2010 07:25 AM, Johnny wrote:
> >> His opinion surprised me. In short, he said: "Put all your work into a
> >> feature-rich UPnP backend, then get a SageTV or Popcorn or similar media
> >> box for each TV." From the perspectives of cost and ease-of-setup, this
> >> advice seems logical. If I can get a box that's just smart enough to
> >> let me to access MythWeb, then it would seem I don't really need a
> >> MythTV frontend, and thus wouldn't need an HTPC.
> >> Comments? Reactions?
> >> What would the best Media Player box be, assuming it would be talking to
> >> a MythTV backend?
> >> If this strategy seems prudent, then next step would be to craft the
> >> best bang-for-the-buck MythTV backend, which I assume would be a vastly
> >> simpler problem to solve (a 3 watt PlugComputer + HDHR?). In which
> >> case, I'll not hijack this thread, and will start another thread for
> >> that subject.
> > I don't agree. Going with UPnP device will limit your ability to use
> > some of the best features of MythTV. You would generally need more
> > than a 3 W plug computer for the backend, although not too much more.
> > You need disks, a CPU that can handle the database, commercial
> > flagging, etc, and you want to have a good network (I would go with 1
> > Gbps if I was starting out). The idea with a backend only machine is
> > that it doesn't need to be pretty or quiet. You can put all the disks
> > you need in it, etc, and then just stick it somewhere where you don't
> > see it or hear it.
> > In the past it would have made more sense to go with something like
> > that popcorn hour, but now you can get a variety of small, quiet ION
> > based frontend machines for approximately $200. So they will have
> > basically the same footprint as a popcorn hour, but you get a full HD
> > capable frontend. So you get a full frontend that can do commercial
> > skip, time stretch, scheduling, etc. Also you can run other things
> > like XBMC or Boxee on there if you like. I don't see a compelling
> > reason to go with a UPnP frontend at this point.
> > _______________________________________________
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> Last night I searched for ION boxes, and was pleasantly surprised: 9400M
> graphics +1.2 GHz CPU for US$200! Power consumption still seems massive
> compared to the SageTV-type boxes, but it's a lot less than a regular
> PC. And, yes, the cases are tiny.
> I suppose my initial joy at the thought of using something like a SageTV
> box was simply due to the fact that I'd not have to do any significant
> hacking to get instant functionality. But with a MythTV frontend, once
> the first one works, cloning will be easy.
> After taking a quick look at the entire *minimal* processing chain from
> the cable TV to the disk and to the TV, the only part that always
> requires significant CPU horsepower seems to be SD compression (the vast
> majority of my channels are still SD). A quick check shows it uses
> about 25% of a 3 GHz Xeon core, meaning it could saturate a 1 GHz
> single-core CPU, especially with multiple SD tuners.
> Are analog tuners with hardware compression worth it? Do any
> USB/Ethernet analog tuners support SD compression? (I haven't found any
> via Google.) Can I somehow use the GPU for SD encoding?
> The next most CPU-intensive operations seem to be transcoding and
> commercial-flagging. Since this does not need to be done in real-time
> on the backend, this means I'd simply have to use the TV tuner for
> LiveTV. An acceptable trade-off, since I seldom watch LiveTV.
> Let's say I get an analog tuner with hardware SD compression (I *really*
> wish the HDHR had two of them). Can I do transcoding and flagging
> without an FPU? Can I consider using an ultra-low-power ARM CPU on the
There's a fellow around who is using a sheevaplug for his master backend.
Apparently it works great but it without and FPU commflagging/transcoding is
just too slow to be feasible. He uses the sheevaplug as a master backend
that does no recording that wakes up a slave backend to do the recording.
Have a look here:
You could do analog/SD recordings on a sheevaplug/equivalent with a Hauppauge
USB-PVR2. Its a hardware encoder with a USB connection. They show up on
ebay now and then. Driver info is here (Its in the recent kernels):
Hope this helps,
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