Born Long, Long Ago, in a land far away, when Big Iron ruled the world, and manly men carried boxes of punch cards. Yea, verily, in those days men were men and you could break your toes if you dropped your code on them.
I'm an Engineer working for Pierce Corporation. I design control systems for irrigation equipment; huge semi-autonomous behemoths nearly a half-mile long squirting water on crops.
After my kids were born, I got tired of replacing VHS tapes that they destroyed. (No, you cannot pave the sidwalk with VHS tapes! Yes they do make a cool crunching sound when you walk on them.) So I built a dialog-driven PVR of sorts. It played recorded tapes and DVDs, and kept usage logs so the most commonly viewed movies were kept locally on the frontend. It also kept track of new arrivals, and automagically downloaded those to the frontends.
Then I started to upgrade it to do some of the things Myth can do, but about that time Myth matured enough to do the things I wanted to do, so I started using it.
My MythTV Systems
The backend serves as the main house server, the web server, and the workstation for my wife and me. It's a dual-headed box.
It is based on a Gigabyte mobo, with a 1.6Ghz Core2 Duo CPU and 2 GB of RAM.
It has a PCI-16x Nvidia 6200 video card, an Nvidia Quadro PCI video card, a pcHDTV-3000 digital tuner, and a PVR150 analog tuner.
The frontends are a variety of Franken-ends. They're built of hand-me-downs and junk, except for the video cards.
The main frontend has a Athlon Sempron 2800+ CPU, an Nvidia 6200 AGP card, a SCSI drive, and drives a 37" Sharp Aquos.
The secondary frontend has an Athlon XP 2000+ CPU, one Nvidia 5200 AGP card, two Nvidia Quadra PCI cards, two monitors and a TV. It runs my kids' study
There are two other frontends:
An Intel based CappuccinoPC, with a 1.5 GHz CPU and i810 (blech) graphics. It serves a dual purpose; as a satellite front end, it drives the kitchen display, a 21" Planar LCD panel; as a standalone backend/frontend, it is moved to the travel van and uses a 17" drop down LCD monitor when we travel.
Another Intel based frontend sits in the guest room. This is the frankenmonster. It has a 733 (??) Mhz CPU, a Matrox G-400 video card, and drives a 17" CRT monitor.
The rest of the story
The house is wired with Cat-5 cable. The server has a Cat6 feed going to it; at some point I will replace the switch with one that can handle Gigabit from the server.
I use two OpenWrt APs to provide wireless coverage. One of the APs also acts at the main firewall, and as the communication hub with the travel van. The travel van has another OpenWrt hub, which does many things - downloads cameras, takes pictures, runs the GPS, and so on.