Best CPU for DTV-OTA recording? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-07-2011, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm building a home-theater PC and I have a question about how much processing power do I need.

I have an existing home-built desk-top system with a dual core AMD Athlon 3Mhz that has a TV-tuner and video PCI -cards. I use the Linux-based Myth-TV software to receive over-the-air digital TV, watch live TV and make the occasional recording. In the new system, I just want to receive the digital signal, make the recording, store it and access it over my home network as needed. My home-desktop PC would actually be the front-end where I would watch recorded programs. There is no connection to a TV set now.

The first option would be a Micro-ITX system that uses a Intel Atom series processor such as the Intel Atom 330 and on-board Video, 1.6 Mhz with 2.5 inch hardrives, and no DVD player or an AMD E-350 APU 1.6 Mhz also with on-board video.

The second option has more processing power and consumes more power. The second may be a larger case, maybe a Micro-ATX size with an Intel i3 processor such as Core i3-2100 at 3.1 Mhz or an AMD, A series like the Llano A4-3400 at 2.7 Mhz. I think these are about 65 Watts.

I'd prefer to go with the system that consumes the least power, so I'd prefer option 1. But does the process of using ota digital signals by the TV-card need the extra processing power of option 2? Would the process work at the lower power at all? Perhaps going with the bigger processor will ensure the signal will be processed normally? Your views will help make a good decision about this new project! Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 06:52 AM
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Since no one has chimed in I thought I would even though I don't spend a lot of time worrying about hardware - I tend to buy the biggest, fastest my wallet can muster.

Handling OTA or QAM digital signals is not CPU intensive. I mean it's just a data stream being written to disk - IO is more of a consideration but it sounds like you won't be recording too many streams at once. Having said that and never using an atom on a backend, my guess CPU usage for that is not a problem.

However are you going to do any commercial flagging? Transcoding the raw mpeg transport stream to something else? How many clients watching video at the same time? It's these extra duties that will stress your atom.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 09:04 AM
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Windoz user here. I have a 3 year old HP desktop w/2.2 Ghz Pentium dual core E2200. I use this as a DVR with Win7 and this serves 3 extenders. Added a Ceton 4 channel tuner 2 mo. ago. This works but leaves me wanting more snap in performance. I believe extenders are notoriously slooooooow and my 32bit 3GB RAM system is just not up to the task.

As a frequent reader here, smart folk in the linux forum, I recall a thread a few years ago where a poster indicated that he had the perfect Myth front end. It was and Acer Aspire Revo w/single core atom/ion.

So my question, for you the smart folks who frequent here, is are you going about this backwards? You may want to consider using you current system as the back end and you new "green" machine as the front end.

Food for thought.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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DJB:
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Originally Posted by djb61230 View Post

Handling OTA or QAM digital signals is not CPU intensive. I mean it's just a data stream being written to disk - IO is more of a consideration but it sounds like you won't be recording too many streams at once. However are you going to do any commercial flagging? It's these extra duties that will stress your atom.



That's the thought I had about receiving and recording the signal. My Athlon is actually only 2.1 MHZ and last night I observed the CPU usage at 50% during recording. I do run the commercial flagging feature after record. I happened to be home after the recording ending and the Usage went up to 100% for about ten minutes--the recording was 1.5 hours long.

I'm the only user off the back-end, so there is no additional load. I read that some Atom cpu/cards are including NVidia ION--does that make a difference?

Thanks for the input!

Ger
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Josrq:
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Originally Posted by josrq View Post

So my question, for you the smart folks who frequent here, is are you going about this backwards? You may want to consider using you current system as the back end and you new "green" machine as the front end. Food for thought.


Good question! I pondered that one for sometime. What I finally realized was this: I needed to move the card and the back-end off the DVR system to a new computer because for each update to my system, I would lose the system settings for the DVR, and have to reinstall, which in an open-source application can be time-consuming. Front-ends, on the other hand, are light-duty, and the set-up is easier. So to to clarify, my htpc will function as the server to the internet, contain the tuner card, and hardware, and I would access the recorded shows from a front-end--usually my desktop-- but also from another location. I guess at some point a TV connection might work too but it's not a priority. Also the back-end stores the recording schedule, so it needs to be on continuously, but the front-end can be turned on as needed, and draws more power. Thanks for your input!

Ger
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-23-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

This link should take you to a newegg wishlist with my component list except for a recycled drive and TV tuner card. The tuner card is for a full-size slot, and the hdd is PATA.

Attachment 226219

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Gehre

Edited 10-25-added word-document
edited link 10-28

 

build-1.doc 17.5k . file
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-23-2011, 06:57 PM
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No go on the link, Gehre!
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