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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a problem. I have a mythbox that works well (after, shall we say, a bit of work). However I bought everything online and my case - an Antec Fusion NSK 2400 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129014 - came out a touch bigger than I had anticipated, but more to the point big enough that my wife despises it. The problems are twofold: (1) it is just bigger than she would like and (2) at 17.5 inches deep it won't fit in the correct manner in our home entertainment center, I've had to turn it sideways. I had got the case because it runs cool and is quiet, but at this point those are secondary compared to her problems with it.


I'm looking for advice on ways to reduce the under TV size of the equipment. Needs to be able handle HDTV. The cable box underneath has a depth of 11 inches and is no problem at all. I'm guessing I could go to 14 inches deep without problems, but am wary of pushing it beyond that.


In terms of options, I see two.


1. A new case - If I could find a case that's small enough that would fit under easily and looks slick enough to convince my wife that would work. I could just rebuild into that and sell the case on ebay. But to do this, I need to be pretty confident that the new case will be small enough to fit and pretty enough that my wife will feel good about it.


2. A SFF solution under the TV - The size of the current case would be less of an issue other places in our apartment, so I could just move the current system and get a new one underneath.

a. Simplest would be a mac mini, but cost is an issue here. I would rather not drop $600 on in, though a very realistic possibility at this point. If I do that, does the mythfrontend play nice with the apple stuff?

b. The other option would be to build something new for under here that would be only a front end. Issue is I need to be able to handle HDTV, which rules out some of the commercial solutions as far as I can tell. I have an AMD core 2 sitting around that will handle HD no problem, especially with an NVIDIA card, but not really any other parts. Though I could pull a memory stick from the current computer (1gb) also to help keep costs down.


Other relevant details:

TV is a Panasonic professional plasma, so have component, VGA, HDMI connections. Cable box is on one (of 2) of the HDMI inputs. Mythbox is on VGA.

Right now just running stereo to an old set of computer speakers I have. Will probably switch to a receiver and new speakers at some point.

I have an AMD core 2 sitting around that will handle HD no problem, especially with an NVIDIA card, but not really any other parts. I could pull a memory stick from the current computer (1gb) also.

Needs to be quiet, but not too quiet (live in NYC). Heat is an issue, as in the NY summer the last thing I want to do is emit more of it.


In hindsight, the ideal solution would have been a mac mini and a NAS for anyone still planning in my situation.


Thanks for reading all of this and for any advice you can give.
 

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A couple of suggestions for you, both require moving your system to another room and having gigabit (preferably) hardwired:


(1) SageTV plus HD Media Extender (around $300) --> http://sagetv.com/

(2) Build a small, diskless MythTV frontend (more expensive)


The good thing about SageTV is that it's written entirely in Java and is, therefore, easily customizable. I love MythTV, don't get me wrong; but, the media extender thing that SageTV has going for it is completely awesome.


----------------

Now playing: Kraftwerk - Die Mensch-Maschine

via FoxyTunes
 

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So get a small mATX case, and just run it as a frontend. Maybe diskless, or USB drive to boot from. Nvidia based with onboard video and a low power AMD cpu. Cheap mini case and all the parts should be under $200 if you know how to shop. Personally, I'd just tell the wife to get used to it. In fact, that's exactly what I did. And I've got a tower sitting on top of the entertainment center. It is black though, and I did install a quiet PSU in it not long ago. No way in hell she'd let me take it out now.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the suggestions.


I've looked around at sagetv today, and that is an option though there is a part of me that isn't ready to abandon myth yet since I put a pretty good amount of work into getting it up and running.


Are there any micro atx cases that are really small? Looking around today I've had little luck seeing any that seem to be small enough to make her happy. Any suggestions of ones that are would be much appreciated. And in that case, i could just move the hardware over as I am currently running a microatx board.


Instead, it seems as if I would have to go to mini itx, and I'm still in the process of trying to figure out what will work and what will not for HD if I go down that direction.


And look at it this way, to make my wife happy I get to play around -- perhaps building a whole new system. Somehow, getting to build a new system doesn't seem like the end of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, an update on what I ended up doing. Actually went a different route, though I appreciate all the suggestions that you guys made.


I got an appletv and am using that as a mythfront end. Appears to be working great so far. Since there is now an atv-bootloader ( http://code.google.com/p/atv-bootloader/ ) that no longer requires you to open anything up, this is a much more palatable alternative than it used to be. Has a very helpful messageboard associated with it for any problems you have during installation.


The advantages are that (a) it's freaking tiny and (b) it's cheaper than pretty much any alternative. In all, was a great solution.
 
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