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Myth and Home Theater Setup

One of my many hobbies includes home theater and all the little nuances that come with it. I got into mythtv in late 2003. I've tried many different things and currently use plex for the majority of my video stuff, but still use mythtv to record live tv

Home Theater Gear

Debian and Openmediavault 3.x 64bit

Server Rack
  • Motherboard: Quanta (1.5U 2Node) Open Compute Server 2 nodes
  • Processor: Dual Intel Xeon E5-2650L - 15k Passmark
  • Ram: 32GB (8gbx4) Nanya 2Rx4 PC3-10600R ECC
  • Sas3 Raid card: LSI SAS-9300-8E flashed to IT mode
  • Sas x2 8644 to QSFP+ cables
  • Sas Expander card (not currently in use): Intel RES2CV240
  • Case: HGST 4U60 (for drives)
  • Hard disks in HGST (ssd's in Quanta Node: 80GB Intel SSD in raid 1 plus hot-spare for system disks) 128GB and 80GB intel SSD for cache/database/transcoding. Total usable storage 120TB usable main MergerFS pool, 12TB scratch/working pool, 500GB ssd working drive - 8TBx2 for snapraid parity drives - all connected by dual external sas3 to 4U60 enclosure
  • Video Card: headless using IPMI
  • Power supply: HGST 1.6KW x2 (1 connected), Quanta node - 208volt built in PS
  • Network: Intel Dual bonded Gigabit (backup), Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN 10gbit fiber
  • Power usage: Each Quanta node idles at 64 watts, idle configuration, 1 node and HGST idle no drives: 55 watts
  • Software: Openmediavault on Debian Jessie. Server is also running a combined Sabnzbd plus, Couchpotato, Plex, Emby, TVheadend, Headphones, Sonarr and SickRage setup
  • Live TV: Subscriptions to a few different IPTV providers. IPTV handled through TVheadend and brought into plex and Emby through that
  • Total rack power usage: Currently 377 watts idle or about $35 a month

3D projection - Home Theater Frontend

  • Motherboard:Biostar NM70I-1037u
  • Processor: embedded Intel 1037u
  • Ram: 4GB ddr3 1600 1.35v Crucial low profile
  • Hard disks: 64GB Torx 2 SSD
  • Video Card: Nvidia GTX 950 with Nvdia 3d Vision through pci-e
  • on-board gigabit
  • Remote: Logitech Smart Remote
  • Software: Windows 10, Kodi with PlexKodiConnect, Plex, PowerDVD, Sophos Home AV
  • power usage: 22 watts idle
  • Case: Random 1U case, modified for pcie nvidia card and silent fans

Living room Ion Home Theater Frontend

  • Small form factor pc:[1] Giada Cube N3
  • Ram: 2GB HP ddr2
  • Hard disks: 8GB sdhc class 10
  • Video Card: onboard nvidia ion
  • Power supply: included with ion board - system uses 22 watts max, 16 at idle
  • Remote: Harmony 550 remote (configured as MCE remote - Mythmote on android samsung s3 phone and android 4.2 8" tablet
  • Network: Gigabit
  • Software: Openelec

Personal PC

CPU: Core i5-3570K
Ram: 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LK
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
Graphics: Radeon HD 7850
Hard drives: 128GB Toshiba Q series SSD primary, 500GB Samsung 850 Evo secondary storage
Network: Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN 10gbit fiber
Case: Nmedia 6000B

Work PC - Used for 3D scanning/CNC work/laser cutting/engraving


Router/Gateway - Pfsense - custom built

  • Motherboard:MSI H61M-P31W8
  • Processor: Intel G2120
  • Ram: 8gb Crucial 1.35v DDR3 1600 - Low Profile
  • Case: Supermicro SC512L 1U
  • Network Cards: Built in gigabit, Chelsio t420 10gbit SFP+ dual port
  • Hard Drive: Sandisk 128GB SSD
  • Power Usage: 32 watts
  • Wireless AP - WNDR4700 - one upstairs, one in basement


  • All personal computers have Smart-ES APC battery backups
  • Rack has: Eaton 5PX3000i with network module, Eaton 72v EBM module and an APC 9626 step-down 208v to 120v transformer. This powers the server, home theater gear, network gear, and HTPC

Old theater area

old home theater setup
old home theater setup

Retired Gear

Debian and Openmediavault 1.x 64bit storage system and Myth .27 running as virtualbox guest os

Parted out and sold on ebay for upgrades

Freenas ZFS storage server
Freenas ZFS Storage Server
  • Motherboard: SuperMicro X8DTi
  • Processor: dual Intel Xeon X5670 hex core - 13k Passmark
  • Ram: 32GB ECC Registered DDR3-1333 (sweet ebay deal was looking at 16 originally)
  • Sata 6GB Raid card: IBM SERVERAID M1015 flashed to IT mode
  • Sas Expander card: Intel RES2CV240
  • Case: CoolMaster Stacker STC-T01
  • Kept Hard drives - Hard disks: 64GB SSD for system disk, 128GB intel SSD for cache/system uses, Mix of drives. Total usable storage 29TB main pool, 3.58TB cachepool - 8TBx2 for snapraid parity drives
  • Video Card: headless using IPMI 2.0
  • Kept Sata Hotswap: three 3in5 hotswap cages
  • Power supply: high efficiency active power supply
  • Network: Intel Dual bonded Gigabit, Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN 10gbit fiber
  • Power usage: 110 watts idle, 160-200 watts under load
  • Software: Openmediavault on debian x64 with VirtualBox extension. Mythubuntu 64bit 14.04 running as guest OS with 2GB of ram allocated. Raidz share in use through virtualbox guest extensions addon. Server is also running a combined SABNZBD plus, Couchpotato, Plex and SickRage setup, Windows 7 running as MCE extender and for CetonTV xbmc server/plugin
  • Main Router in basement - Belkin Play Max / N600 HD (F7D4301/F7D8301) v1 - Running tomato 1.28

3D projection - Home Theater Frontend

  • Motherboard:Gigabyte G31M-ES2l Microatx
  • Processor: Intel E6600
  • Ram: 8GB ddr2 random memory
  • Hard disks: system: 3.5" Maxtor 750GB
  • Video Card: Nvidia GTX 460 with Nvdiia 3d Vision
  • Dual bonded Gigabit nics for high throughput
  • Remote: Monster AVL300 remote configured as MCE remote - Mythmote on android Evo phone and android 2.3 8" tablet
  • Software: Windows 7 64, Windows Media Center, Myth for windows, XBMC, Nvidia stereoscopic player, TMT5, PowerDVD

Personal PC

Experience: Not happy with the ati card in linux (fine in windows). It has a lot of glitches with the linux drivers available. Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Nas4Free 64bit storage system and Myth .25 running as virtualbox guest os

avs forum link for freenas system

  • Motherboard: Abit IP35 Pro
  • Processor: Intel Q6600 G0 stepping @ stock speeds
  • Ram: 10GB ddr2
  • Case: CoolMaster Stacker STC-T01
  • Hard disks: 1GB usb flash drive for system disk, Main storage- Raid 5 ZFS file system - 2TBx6 (one is a hot spare) Myth recording: zfs stripe - 4TBx7 Raidz sata 2 western digital, secondary backup storage a 1TB Samsung drive UFS formatted - Total storage ~16TB
  • Video Card: cheap low power nivida
  • Sata Hotswap AMS -B 5-in-3 SATA-II Cage x2 (up to 4 can fit)
  • Internal Drive Cages - Cooler Master Stacker 4-in-3 internal x2
  • Port Multiplier sata 2 port multiplier 1 to 5 x2 (up to 4)
  • Sata PCI-E card PCI-e 2 channel esata card SIL3132 chipset x2
  • Power supply: high efficiency server active power supply
  • Network: Dual bonded Gigabit
  • Power usage: 100 watts idle, 180 watts under load
  • Software: Nas4free - Sandstorm (revision 573), with VirtualBox extension. Mythubuntu 64bit 12.04 running as guest OS with 2GB of ram allocated. Raidz share in use through virtualbox guest extensions addon. Server is also running a combined SABNZBD plus, Couchpotato and Sickbeard setup

garage/workout/gym frontend

Experience: Handles 1080i content no problem for me with xvmc bob deinterlacing. I use this on a 32" standard def crt television in my garage. Basically this is to display tv/movies while working out with the home gym in the garage.

Scottsdale, AZ PC

old watercooled server - retired

Parents Combined backend/frontend

Notes: this is my retired mythbackend system. It has been undervolted to lower operating temperature and power usage. mythbuntu 64-bit

Retired Master Backend - Via C7-D lowpower

  • Via Motherboard with cpu: Via PC2500E
  • Ram: 1GB PQI ddr2 cas 4
  • Hard disks: system: Seagate 2.5" 160GB 5400rpm momentus(system disk)- IDE
  • Video Card: Onboard Via Openchrome
  • Tuner Cards: HD-PVR 1212, ATI HDTV Wonder x2
  • Ethernet: 10/100 onboard but not much of a problem as the recordings have plenty of transfer bandwidth to the NFS share on the freenas drive.
  • Software: Running Mythbuntu 11.04 32 bit which includes support for diskless booting for clients

Mythtv .24-1(fixes)
Running webmin current version to handle administration and setup of shares, etc

  • Power Usage: About 38 watts with two pci cards, ethernet and 2.5" hard drive active.
  • Thoughts: Finally decided the Q6600 quadcore backend was way overkill and went for a more streamlined install. The lower power usage is nice, but I did have to give up a few things though. I no longer have storage on the backend, and I turned off all commercial flagging which wasn't a big deal as I wasn't using it anyway. I'm using nfs shares on the freenas server for the video directory and sabnzbd plus usenet download directory and no problems so far. I had the via board setting around for a few years and never really used it. Will also use an old pc for slave backend duty to add my other two tuners into.

Backend Retired -10-08-07 due to high power requirements and noise

  • Motherboard: Asus P5WD2-E Premium
  • Processor: Intel Pentium D 830 Dual core 3.0Ghz - Processor is undervolted and underclocked to 2.4ghz
  • External water cooling: Cooler Master Aquagate RL-HUC-E8U1
  • Ram: 1GB PQI ddr2 cas 4
  • Hard disks: system: 40GB IDE disk, Myth recording: 500Gbx2 sata 2 rebadged seagate 7200.10, Raid 5 number 1: 500Gbx5 seagate 7200.10 drives, Raid 5 number 2: 300Gbx5 sata 2 drives. Seagate 7200.9. Total Storage ~5TB
  • Video Card: Nvidia FX5300 - PCI-Express
  • Case: CoolMaster Stacker STC-T01
  • Tuner Cards: PVR-500, ATI HDTV wonder, Aver A180 and firewire through Motorola 6412 cablebox
  • Dual bonded Gigabit nics for high throughput
  • Software: Fedora 7 32 bit version for compatibility. Modified kernel with port multiplier support and also removed experimental firewire stack in favor of the old working stack.
  • Power Usage: Using a kill-a-watt meter, all components minus raid disks use 140 watts of power in idle (I have undervolted the cpu heavily to get it this low). With raid disks in idle, the power usage is 232 watts. Hard disks spin down after 2 hours and system drops to 140 watts of usage. At my current power rates, this is ~ $60 a year.

Experience: Main control is through WebMin 1.350 and VNC. I highly recommend if you want to run a headless system
Hellanzb 0.13 and it's webportal zussaweb - automated nzb downloading/checking/decompressing
Apache in secure mode for website hosting
Torrent client
Secure ftp server

Old Frontend

Retired November 2006- Given to parents as combined frontend/backend, but is now being given to my sister to use in her apartment while she attends university.

  • Motherboard: Asus P4V8X-MX microatx
  • Processor: Intel P4 2.4Ghz socket 478
  • Ram: 512MB random brand memory
  • Hard disks: Cheap 20GB maxtor 7200
  • Video Card: Nvidia fx5200 agp fanless
  • Ethernet: Gig ethernet with realtek card
  • Other: Audigy 2 SB0240
  • Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech Wireless Duo - RF
  • Remote: Windows MCE RC6 remote

Experiences: Handles 1080i and 720p content. I can even turn off bob and xvmc and it has enough power to run it software decoding.

Xbox Frontend

  • Xbox 1.6
  • Executer 3 modchip
  • 160GB harddrive
  • Running Avalaunch to XBMC and uses new connect scripts in perl

Experience: Able to run standard def and avi no problem with standard kernel deinterlacing - i no longer really use this much. Havn't updated

  • Sony VPH-1272q projector - I like to run these at 1280x1024 to get the best picture out of them. One in is the main home theater and one is mounted on my ceiling in my room.