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The start
I started playing with the idea of building a Linux based PVR when our VRC broke down and we had to replace it. I had read about MythTV before somewhere, and it must have stuck with me, because it was the first software I looked into.

Hardware requirements
So initially I did a lot of reading to find out what would be the basic requirements for a dedicated MythTV setup. Since I am living in Belgium (no HD broadcasting), I don’t care about HD recording and its higher system requirements. So I figured I could look out for a decent second-hand PC to give it a try.
Nevertheless, I bought already the following items, realising I would need them.

  • Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150 PCI card (TOW the remote)
  • Nvidia FX5200 128MB fanless AGP graphics card
  • Linksys WMP54G Wireless PCI card

I had set up some Linux servers in the past with RedHat Linux, so Fedora Core was my first choice as OS. Initially, I started off following the guide from Jarod C. Wilson for Fedora Core 4 (at that time), but soon discovered MythDora. I have nothing but praise for Dennis and Ryan for this all-in-one system. It is small, installs very rapidly and contains everything one needs for a dedicated PVR. Additionally, the MythDora forum is helpful and often the developers are the first ones to respond. I would recommand this to everybody who starts with MythTV. If you mess up something, just reinstall and you are good to go again.

First try
The first second-hand PC I bought was the following system, for EUR145:

  • Generic case
  • Asus A7V400-MX
  • AMD Athlon XP 1800+
  • 512MB RAM
  • 80GB hard disk
  • CD-writer

From the beginning I had problems with the LIRC daemon - it kept crashing right after start-up. I figured the VIA chipset on the motherboard was causing me trouble, so I sold the PC again. I got EUR180 for it, so no big loss there :-)

Second try
This is where I am at now (Nov 2006). I bought a second-hand PC with the following components, for EUR200:

  • Generic case
  • Biostar M7NCG 400
  • AMD Athlon XP 3000+
  • 512MB RAM
  • 80GB hard disk
  • DVD-writer.

MythDora installed just fine, MythTV is configured and records, Wifi card is working, I get EPG data via JXMLTV. The system is still in a testing phase, sitting on my desk.
Everything is running except automatic wake-up via the BIOS RTC alarm. If someone can give some advice here, this will be very much appreciated, since it is the last (but decisive) element to get working.

Components for the future
I just ordered an Antec NSK2400 case and a Seagate 250GB hard disk for when I transfer it next to the TV.

More on this later

Linksys WMP54G Wireless PCI card
More on this later

--Roebi 17:03, 21 November 2006 (UTC)--