Well, here goes. I heard this was THE place on the net for HTPC info, and I see you have a linux forum which is great!
Currently, I am interested in putting together a HTPC, for use on my standard NTSC TV (doesnt have to be HDTV ready). I would like to use MythTV, and am thinking about possibly doing a frontend/backend system. Here is what I am thinking:
I currently have an Athlon 1.1ghz, w/512mb RAM. This machine is my internet gateway for the house, as well as my web/database server. I also do quite a bit of computing for my grad school research, and I use this machine to do some processing. This machine is running Mandrake 9.0.
I am also planning on purchasing a new computer- something much more up to date, to set up a HTPC system with. The way I see it, I have 2 choices-
1) Leave the current router/server as is, and make no changes to it. Then, get a modest system for MythTV- say an Athlon XP 2400, 512mb ram, 160gb hard drive, Win-PVR-250 tuner, GF4MX440 64 meg video card, and wrap it up with a DVD drive, in a nice looking case. Then just put this machine in the HT, and have it be a stand-alone unit.
2) Purchase a more powerful system- say a P4 2.8, 1gb RAM, 160gb HD, etc.. As well as the PVR-250. Replace the current router/web server (trust me, this thing isnt under a huge load or anything) with the new P4 system. This system would then also be the MythTV backend- have the tuner card, and be interfaced with the DirecTV reciever. I could then take the weaker Athlon system, and turn it into the slave machine, running the MythTV frontend, and have it hooked up to the HT. This way, I figure I could use some of the computing power of the P4 2.8 when necessary, and also have a HTPC setup.
I suppose I could also do option 1, with the P4 2.8, but that seems WAY overkill for a stand-alone PVR system.