I have had a Myth box made up of old parts for a while now, I built it to try out an old TV capture card that a friend of mine was about to throw out. The SD recording straight from the cable worked really well, and I actually found myself using it quite a lot as we don't have any other recording devices in the apartment. I have a couple of major problems with it though, firstly, because the system was made of old parts, videos don't playback very smoothly. Secondly, the system has a very low WAF, without a remote and some of the setup being a little unreliable, if something needed to be recorded I would always be the one setting it all up.
So after I was happy that everything was working close to how I wanted. I decided to invest some money in a purpose built system, with a new capture card which has dual tuners, the Hauppauge HVR-2250.
Case: Antec Fusion Remote Black
Power Supply: OCZ StealthXStream 500W
Motherboard: Asus M3N78-EM (GeForce 8300 with HDMI out)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 7850 Black Edition (Dual Core 2.8GHz)
CPU Fan: Arctic Cooling Alpine 64
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 2GB DDR2-800
Hard Drive 1: Western Digital 40GB IDE
Hard Drive 2: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA
Optical Drive: LG DVD-ROM Super Multi
Capture Card: Hauppauge HVR-2250
Operating System: Mythbuntu 12.04 LTS
The build went quite well, with the combination of the power supply, case and motherboard. There was a couple of tricky bits, attaching the 4-pin 12V ATX connection was a stretch as the cable out from the PSU and connector on the motherboard were on completely opposite sides (I may try to get an extension at some point and run the cable around the edges. Also the IDE connector on the motherboard faced sideways on one side of the motherboard rather than up, and because of the chamber structure of the case it was a bit tight getting the IDE hard drive connector in with out removing the motherboard again. Everything else went very well, the motherboard has all the necessary connectors for the case's front ports and extras (audio, USB, LCD and IR). I still need to tidy up the cables a little bit to ensure they don't interfere with the fans.
When I turned the system on for the first time I was happy that even with all 4 fans (2 Case, 1 PSU & 1 CPU) running the whole thing was very quiet, the rubber dampening around the case for the hard drives and PSU appear to work very well.
I had a good experience using Mythbuntu for the old system, so I downloaded the latest release version 12.04 and installed the OS on the 40GB hard drive, using the whole disk. During the installation I decide to do some custom partitioning for the main drive, I created 3 partitions.
- Primary partition 10Gb ext4 mounted to / (root)
- Logical partition 4Gb swap
- Logical partition 25Gb ext4 mounted to /home (home folder)
Then the 1TB hard drive where I plan to store all of my media file is formatted to a single partition. Later on I will change most of my storage groups to record to this partition instead of the default (/var/lib/mythtv).
- Logical partition 1TB ext4 mounted to /content (new content folder)
I like the fact that Mythbuntu includes the NVidia drivers (which picked up the on-board 8300 immediately), Samba and VNC server. Once the installation was completed I immediately ran and installed all available updates, using the update manager. The version of Mythbuntu I have installed only comes with MythTV 0.25, at the time of installing the current stable release of MythTV was 0.26. Luckily in Mythbuntu Control Centre you can change the repositories that updates are installed from, so I changed this to 0.26 and ran all the updates again.
Finally installing the Hauppauge HVR-2250 TV Tuner took a little googling as it's not fully supported in Linux. I eventually came across an Ubuntu forum post (#99) which explains the process of installing the firmware for the tuner.