Shuttle XPC M2000

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At least one person (the creator of this page) has installed MythTV on a Shuttle XPC M2000. The distribution used was Ubuntu Edgy Eft, but any recent distribution should work fine.

This is a fairly expensive box ($1800usd) and most (but not all) of the hardware is compatible.

The installed system was configured as follows:

  • Core Duo T2400 processor (1.83ghz)
  • Two 1gb DDR2 sodimms
  • One Seagate ST3400620AS 400gb SATA-2 hd
  • BTC/Emprex 2016IM 16x DVD-RW
  • Integrated USB flash card reader
  • goofy USB2 2.5" harddrive enclosure
  • BTC/Emprex wireless (RF) keyboard w/ integrated trackball (USB HID device)
  • Front-panel VFD
  • Shuttle MediaCenter remote control
  • on-board Intel Pro/1000 gigabit ethernet
  • D-Link 802.11g wifi (USB device mounted inside case w/ external antenna)
  • Intel Azalia HD Audio with ALC882 codec
  • Leadtek PCI Express Geforce 6600 LE w/ 256MB of ram
  • AverMedia A180 ATSC (HDTV) tuner
  • PowerColor Theater 550 Pro TV tuner / MPEG2 encoder

All 8 audio channels are brought out to RCA connectors on the back panel. In addition, optical digital output and input are on the back panel.

The Geforce card is capable of component output, and the component video is brought out to RCA connectors on the back panel. There are VGA and DVI connectors as well.

There is no RCA composite output. The tv-out jack on the Geforce card will give you S-Video if you break the little plastic tongue out of the end of your S-Video cable or S-Video to Composite converter.

It's all good until we get to the mpeg encoder. This uses an ATI chipset and is unlikely to ever work in linux.

Perhaps they felt that IVTV compatible encoders might run too hot? Most IVTV cards have at least a heatsink, some have a heatsink and integrated fan. The ATI encoder chip runs cool and has no heatsink. Still, you've got to wish that the guys at AverMedia had offered to cut them a deal if they'd included an M179 right next to the A180.

If you don't mind voiding the warranty on an $1800 computer, you can pull it out and replace it with a Haupaugge PVR card, some other supported encoder card, or maybe another HDTV tuner.

The wifi component uses the zd1211rw driver, available in recent 2.6 kernels. It does not support scanning, but otherwise works fine.

The remote control sensor is compatible with lirc_mceusb2 as of 0.8.1pre3, or you can add the USB ID to previous versions by hand and recompile. It is capable of transmitting, and there are 3 ir blaster ports on the back panel.

The remote itself is not as nice as some mce remotes. It is rather flat, and thin, with an unimaginitive and non-ergonomic layout consisting of two tight grids of small buttons with a constellation in the middle. It should be possible to use any other MCE 2005 remote with the integrated sensor.

The AverMedia HD tuner works well with the DVB drivers in the kernel.

The front-panel VFD is supported by a python script (URL) but not directly supported by MythTV. There is a Freevo plugin for the Shuttle VFD. Somebody once posted to a mailing list a url for their patch against lcdproc to support it, but the url is broken, it's author has dropped off the planet, and people who have tried the code have said that it was unreliable.

If you have two grand to burn, or some anonymous company wants to just give you one in return for testing some goofy video-on-demand service with it for a few weeks, it can easily be made into a pretty decent MythTV HD system.

The downsides are as follows:

  • You pay for a full license of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
  • The included NTSC tuner/encoder is not linux compatible, and you void the warranty if you replace it.
  • The included hard drive, while fast, is not particularly quiet, and does not support standard acoustic management ioctls.


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