I have a combined frontend/backend setup with the following components
- Silverstone LC02 case
- Via EPIA SP13000
- Samsung 250GB 5400RPM harddisk
- Hauppauge PVR-150MCE
- ATI Remote Wonder "BOB" remote control
which I run a Debian Etch-based system on. This page will contain some comments about the installation.
I'm not particularly happy about the Silverstone LC02. It looks very nice, very much like HiFi equipment, but it is noicy and gets warm quick. I was baffled by the noice first, it was almost like larger servers sometimes sound. I got this down by disconnecting the system fan (only using the PSU and CPU fans), but it's still too noicy for my liking.
The case also gets warm, which aggreviates the noice problems. I wouldn't recommend this case. I've now replaced the CPU fan, which turned out to be the source of the worst noice, with a ADDA 40mm fan. Supposedly should spin at 14db, but it hums along quite noicily still. I've moved the PSU outside of the case, which brings down the heat a bit. I'd be grateful for more tips.
The Via EPIA board works very well for me. While watching TV, it runs at about 20-25% processor load. The hardware is well supported, basically everything works as expected. I can do ACPI suspend to disk, nvram wakeup etc. A slight problem is that the TV output sometimes start in gray scale, which seem to be a problem with the via Xorg driver.
I've not had any problems (yet?) with the Via DMA lockup bug. I've not used the "Longhaul" CPU frequency scaling, which apparently is buggy.
The ATI Remote Wonder "BOB" wireless remote deserves a special section. It works very well and has been a nice aquaintance so far, but just how ATI manages to bundle a remote control with sexual suggestions on the box ("push MY buttons, babe!") is beyond me. But other than that it works well.
I'm using Debian/Etch with Marillat's MythTV packages and ivtv debs. So far, it has been a very easy ride software-wise, Debian supports practically all hardware in the defaut install and almost everything worked out of the box. The things I've spent time configuring is the nvram wakueup and tweaking display settings. The automatic shutdown uses the logic described by George Nassas .