I use Gentoo Linux as my OS of choice. I've tried them all though (Slack, RH, FC, SUSE, Deb, you name it) and I do appreciate the "just works-ness" of Ubuntu. But I prefer to admin a Gentoo box. Just don't forget to enable DMA like I did. Couldn't figure out my DVD skippage. Turns out it's not started "by default" on a Gentoo box. ;-)
I'm pretty happy with the way everything is just now (even though I have some tasks yet to accomplish). My next upgrade will probably be to add a Roku soundbridge to do music via uPnP for the nice stereo pair in the living room. Probably later this summer, as I still have to BUILD those speakers...
I'm concerned about what'll happen when Time Warner kills all their analog cable channels. If there's no option but cable boxes (we'll see if they keep opening up stations as 480p QAM), count me as one of the people VERY interested in the Hauppauge h264 encoder. When it comes along, I may switch over to satellite or AT&T's IP TV service (my neighbor works for AT&T and will let me know when he's got it).
Master Backend / Frontend:
- STATUS: 95% complete. Proper HD channel listings are still oustanding.
- Primary duty: This is the most heavily used machine in the setup, not just as a backend. It spends more time front-ending than the other machines combined ever will.
- MythTV 0.20.2_p14xxx (gentoo ebuild). Will be upgrading to .21 around the end of the month once the Gentoo ebuilds smooth out a tick.
- AMD X2 4800+ Brisbane
- ASUS M2NBP-VM CSM (highly recommend, uber stable, has 4 SATA & 2 IDE channels)
- 2GB PC6400 (1GB x 2)
- MSI nvidia GeForge 7300LE
- (2) 250GB Maxtor IDE drives in RAID 1 (OS, home dirs, etc)
- (4) 400GB Samsung SATA drives in RAID 5 w/ LVM (recordings, media storage). 200GB unallocated yet for a rainy day.
- CoolerMaster 4-in-3 drive cage (highly recommend for greater storage density. cool drives live much longer, too)
- Plextor IDE DVD burner
- HD HomeRun (tried QAM, it sucked, tried ATSC, went back to QAM for now)
- MCE2 USB receiver & remote
- Custom VGA-over-ethernet wiring from basement office to HP Plasma upstairs
- STATUS: 90% complete. Mythgame needs config'd.
- Primary duty: This machine will spend most of its time doing MythVideo, with occasional MythGame action when there's a hankering for some old-skool NES action.
- MythTV 0.20.2_p14xxx (gentoo ebuild).
- EPIA EX15000G w/ SVN OpenChrome, plays back SD-res w/o XvMC MPEG-2 & MPEG-4 at 35% & 45% respectively. HD & H264? Yaright.
- 512MB RAM
- 60GB laptop HD (it's what was in my parts bin). The standard IDE drive was getting WAY too hot in the Silverstone case.
- Dynex PCI wifi card. Madwifi compliant. Got it on closeout for $20! I bought two. Note: For some reason, I have to restart the wifi in rc.local before it actually works. I think something's not getting initialized in time when the net.ath0 is brought up.
- Silverstone LC02 profile case. Very quiet, but it does have a noticable hum. Configured mythfrontend to allow poweroffs.
- MCE2 USB receiver & remote
- Twin Logitech Precision 2 gamepads. I like 'em, wife complains they're not square with red buttons. Pffft.
- Connected via VGA to Toshiba 20HLV86
- Installed now, still needs to have myth plugins tweaked.
- Fast-forwarding is very skippy and slow. No doubt a combination of system speed and the wireless. Still, commercial skip saves the day.
Home Theater Frontend:
- STATUS: 85% complete. Gentoo is installed, myth is emerged, recently moved out to home theater and connected to Sammy.Still need to configure X and decide whether to use Xine or VLD for DVD / MythVideo.
- Primary duty: Upscaling & enhancing DVD content as it's connected to the home theater. Also MythGaming NES, SNES & PSX.
- AMD X2 4800+ Brisbane
- ASUS M2A-VM AMD690G. Would have gotten the same mobo as in my BE, but that one is discontinued. First time with AMD-chipped mobo, we'll see how it goes. I did have to build the PATA / IDE drivers into the kernel. As a module, the controller was running in generic mode and I couldn't enable DMA.
- 512MB DDR2 667 (turns out not to be a bottleneck vs DDR2 800)
- PNY GeForce 8300GT. Active cooling, but I can't hear the fan.
- 160GB Samsung SATA (again, overkill, but it was in the parts bin). Zippy fast, though!
- Sony DVD drive
- Athenatech HTPC case. Very desktoppy, but seems to suck less than I expected. The PSU is set up wierd, and despite it being standard ATX size, if it dies, I think I'll have a hard time finding a proper replacement.
- SB Live w/ SPDIF daughterboard connected to Yamaha HTR-5960. Getting SPDIF to work was as simple as unmuting the iec device.
- MCE2 USB receiver & remote. Controls volume directly on Yammy, so no software volume concerns with the SPDIF. Copied the lircd.conf file from master backend. Done.
- Same Logitech game pads as above. Hooray for the ubiquity of front-mounted USB ports.
- Connected via VGA cable to Samsung DLP HL-S5086W. I tried component, but there was significant overscan. I was surprised that I got a native 1280x720p with zero overscan. I did have to tweak the DisplaySize setting to get the 100dpi that Myth likes.
Office dev box
- STATUS: 50% complete.
- Primary duty: No real rush on this one. Has mainly been a testbed and still dual-boots XP. Some time this winter I'll scrape it all back together.
- AMD XP 2400 (2.0Ghz clock)
- 1GB RAM
- 250GB WD IDE
- Some ancient half-dead ASUS NF2 mobo
- Chaintech GF 5900XT
- SB Audigy 2
- USB Keyboard
- BT878-based tuner