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my first htpc, need hardware help

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I wanted to list my proposed hardware setup for review, criticisim, and recommendation. I plan on using mythtv installed with knoppmyth. My main considerations in order of importance are:
1) Blu-ray/hd-dvd playback.
2) HD and sd dual tuner Pvr functionality (I am a tivo customer and would like similar features)
3) Harmony remote compatibility
4) Audio playback for mp3 and aac
5) Video playback for all major video formats (wmv, mpeg, etc)
6) Internet access
7) Internet radio would be nice

Here is what I have in mind for my hardware:
1) LG ggc-h20l blu-ray/hd-dvd drive
2) nmediapc 500 case
3) zalman ZM360B-APS psu
4) GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L mobo
5) E4600 core2 duo cpu
6) Ninja mini cpu fan
7) 2gb ddr2 800 ram
8) WD Caviar SE16 500GB Hard Drive
9) GIGABYTE GeForce 8500GT GV-NX85T256H
10) tv tuner, 2 of these possibly?

it will all hook up to an onkyo tx-sr875 and then to a samsung lnt5265f 52" lcd
post #2 of 10
The tuner cards look pretty good, they even come with a Media Center remote, receiver and blaster.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to be supported in Linux yet. This is according to the V4L-DVB-Wiki:
http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.ph...CIe_%28M780%29

Things change rapidly in Linux (sometimes), so support could be being developed. (Edit: I see that the card has a chip by nGene, and that they seem unwilling to provide the necessary info to develop Linux support)

For BluRay/HD-DVD support, some have it working on Ubuntu.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Re...BluRayAndHDDVD (Thanks newlinux)

I never liked Knoppmyth, so I would recommend Mythbuntu.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info; do you have any suggestions for tuner cards (HD and SD dual tuner?) I like mythbuntu as well; I think I will use that instead. I hear the gui setup is easier for noobs like me to understand. The blu-ray hd-dvd player may just have to come later once it is more easily playable in Linux, and optical drives come down in price. I am admittedly unfamiliar with any and all Linux related software. (Unfortunately I have been using Bill's software since the dos days.)
Thanks again for the info,
Jason
post #4 of 10
If you need both types of tuners, it would be better to get separate cards for each tuner. The Hauppauge PVR-150 is usually considered a good SD card. As for digital, any card listed in the DVB wiki should work ok.

I personally have and use these in Linux:
AverTVHD MCE A180
Air2PC-PCI (2nd rev)
pcHDTV HD-3000

This one I have and does not work in Linux:
VBox Cat's Eye (DTA) 150
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Right now I am receiving sd only, but I expect that to change in the next year so future proofing was my goal. maybe sd only until then? I heard that the pvr 500 is essentially the same as two 150's. If the quality of sd is good then I will use that. Has anyone used one?

thanks again waterhead
post #6 of 10
I am also in the process of building my first linux HTPC box. My system specs are very similar to yours with one exception (my system is listed down a couple of posts). You list the 8500GT as your video card. I'm leaning towards the 7600GS. The reason being is, my understanding is that the only advantage of the 8XXX series cards is that they support Direct-X 10 and HDCP both of which are not supported under Linux. A major disadvantage is that they don't support XvMC, which allows the CPU to offload much of the video processing to the video card freeing up the CPU for other tasks. I believe that the 7XXX series cards are that last to support this feature. At least for the near future. I could be wrong and if I am hopefully some of the experts here will straighten me out.

Good luck, Tony
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Upon further reading maybe mythtv is not for me. It doesn't look like hd DVD and blu ray are going to be fully compatible and easily viewable with Linux for a while. Maybe Windows is my best option. Tony, I like the 8500gt because I believe it has the ability to decode h.264 bit stream and I believe the 7600 does not, but I'm probably wrong. Correct me if I am.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarperTony View Post

... that the only advantage of the 8XXX series cards is that they support Direct-X 10 and HDCP both of which are not supported under Linux. A major disadvantage is that they don’t support XvMC, which allows the CPU to offload much of the video processing to the video card freeing up the CPU for other tasks.

I read postings from people who just use the CPU to do the video processing (software XvMC), and it should be fine with the new CPUs such as the OPs, which are 100000x faster than my XP2100+. However you do not list gaming among your requirements, so a card like the 8500 which doesn't do hardware XvMC (but has powerful 3D) is unnecessary. Actually, even if you wanted to play games, I don't think 3D acceleration for the 8xxx is supported in Linux.
post #9 of 10
I believe you are correct that the 8500 will decode h.264 and the 7600 will not, but that is only under windows not under Linux, no direct decoding is supported under Linux
post #10 of 10
Refer to this link for typical hardware usage using Mythbuntu:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=566529
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