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I have been watching the development of MythTV from the sideline for a few years every now and then and have finally decided to put together my own HTPC. Below you can find the specs of my system (being build).

My HTPC system

Origen AE X15e HTPC (silver)


I just ordered the OrigenAE X15e case for my HTPC system, which will be using MythTV. To match with my other audio devices I ordered a silver one (it is also available in black). As I do not like to have my TV on all the time when selecting a radio station or other audio to listen to I really like the build in TFT screen in this case. The case is made of high quality bezzeled aluminium and the current version (V2) can hold up to a maximum of 4 harddrives, one optical drive and a card reader at the same time. The case is a bit high but this allows for the use of normal PC cards to be used upright. This case comes with a remote control that is driven by IRTrans. They also provide drivers for Linux systems. Using the Alchemy_LE_Ubuntu_Netboot#IR_Receiver_and_VFD page I was able to get the remote control running on my system quite easily.

Important.png Note: Please read up on installing the IR Receiver as it provides you with a view vital clues to get the remote controller running quite easily.

For more information on the case have a look at the OrigenAE website.


To have enough power under the hood I choose the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 2.1GHz processor.


To store enough data and have a fast harddisk I bought a Seagate SATA disk with a capacity of 500Gb and a throughtput of 3.0Gb per second. On top it is a very quite disk which is a benefit as I am trying to build a system that looks nice and is quiet.


I have chosen the Asus M2A-VM HDMI motherboard as at first glance it seemed an excellent choice as it had a lot of desired functionality build in, like a videocard, but also a HDMI and DVI output. Unfortunately after installing MythTV and trying to get everything to work it seems a little less excellent, mainly because of problems getting MythTV to work with the build-in ATI Radeon X1250 card, which as I found out is not supported MythTV. It has to do with some problem with the AtiProprietaryDriver which does not fully support the on board graphic card.


I recently tried to upgrade my box to 4Gb of memory and experienced serious problems, the system would not even boot properly anymore I started investigating the problem. At first I thought it had to do with the SATA drives in my RAID configuration as I also added a couple of hard disks at the same time. I was experiencing "ata1: Soft reset failed messages:" for all drives. After a long and tedious search I stumbled on this post mentioning a problem using over 4Gb of memory and after reducing the memory to 2Gb I was able to boot again.

Operating System

As the whole goal was to install MythTV on this system, the OS has to be some flavor of Linux offcourse. However with this motherboard I had problems installing some of the common Linux flavors like Fedora and Ubuntu, even with a wide array of boot options found as suggestions on the internet. Eventually I discovered that Centos 5 worked almost out of the box, so far it seems that I do not need to use any boot options to get my kernel booted.


As it seems that the on-board ATI Radeon X1250 video card has some problems in combination with MythTV I will probably by a NVidia card as these have been reported to function properly with MythTV. After having a lot of trouble getting my on-board video card to work with MythTV, especially live TV and watching recordings using the MythTV interface, I decided to buy a nVidia based graphic card, with which I eventually still had freezing frames while watching live TV and recordings.

I also noticed I still had the following error message:

NVP: Timed out waiting for free video buffers.

After Googeling on this string in combination with nVidia I hit the Troubleshooting:NVP: Timed out waiting for free video buffers in the MythTV wiki, which I had found before but then made no sense as I was using an ATI based card.

The first option suggested of disabling did not bring much releaf, the whole systems still freezes and I had to kill mythfrontend to get control over my system again. The second option however solved my problems in the end. I know it is not advised, but as a quick check I renamed the /dev/rtc (real time clock) so Myth TV can not find it and will not use it. Immediately I was able to watch Live TV and recordings I made earlier.

Incomplete.png Incomplete, needs to be expanded. Please help to fill the gaps or discuss the issue on the talk page



I bought a Hauppauge PVR-500 tuner, as this tuner has two tuners and a FM tuner (but unfortunately radio does not seem supported in MythTV although there is a page on wrapping FM radio into MythTV using the PVR-150 card, perhaps something to develop for the future) and also has the ability to do hardware MPEG encoding which will save some CPU use.

Although I have some problems getting my videocard to function properly with my TV (which prevents me from watching liveTV and playing recordings using MythTV) I have already been able to record some episodes and the tuner seems to function very good. It seems to have a clearer image than when watching television on my TV directly.


X15e for German users