I run a separate mythbackend machine that carries all the tuners, stores the recordings internally, and streams the programming over my Gigabit Ethernet home network or Wireless B/G wlan. In today's configuration I'm using the following gear on it:
- AMD X64 2-core CPU on MSI mobo with 4GB ram and 3TB dedicated recording storage space on separate raid from 500GB OS & miscelaneous use system disk, all running on Mandriva Linux 2010 with PLF software
- runs on command line (init runlevel 3) but can go into GUI mode if I ever need
- I run regular system and mythconverg database backups to an eSATA external hard drive
- 1 pcHDTV 5500 PCI card for DTV
- 1 Hauppauge 950Q USB device for DTV
- 1 Hauppauge 950Q USB device for Clear QAM cable TV
- 1 Hauppauge 950 USB device for DTV
- 1 Hauppauge 150 PCI card for NTSC analogue OTA
- 1 Hauppauge 150 PCI card for NTSC basic analogue cable TV
- DVD burner, multi-card reader, USB 2.0, Firewire, and eSATA connectivity
Before anyone cries "heresy" about the OTA Forum Moderator using cable tv
I have the basic cable connection because I use Delta Cable High Speed Internet as my ISP. Delta Cable often has Clear QAM channels.
Of all the DTV tuner devices I've tried over the years, my favourite is the pcHDTV 5500
. It works perfectly, it has excellent command line diagnostic tools, and the DTV performance is top notch in my experience. If I had another PCI slot available I'd swap in my second pcHDTV 5500 for one of the USB devices in an instant. The analogue side of the pcHDTV 5500 is good too, but I prefer my old Hauppauge 150s for that.
My main mythfrontend machine is part of my Home Theatre apparatus feeding into my Onkyo AVR and Sony 60" HDTV via HDMI. I've configured it as a high performance multimedia, Internet, and office desktop PC running on Mandriva Linux 2010 with PLF software. It runs an AMD 4-core CPU on an ASUS mobo with 8GB ram and 2TB of storage on a separate raid from the OS disk. The video card is an Nvidia GT220, which fully uses the excellent vdpau
functionality. It has separate DVD and Blu-ray burners, a multi-card reader, USB 2.0, Firewire, Bluetooth, IR, and eSATA connectivity. I use a wireless keyboard and mouse to watch MythTV programming. I used to run a fully featured Hauppauge remote control and then trained my Harmony remote to control it instead, but I got tired of playing with it when the keyboard does everything I want so I don't spend much time on that anymore.
I found that for my personal uses and old habits, scripts, programs, settings, etc. it was much easier to install MythTV over a full Linux distro than to use the dedicated MythTV distros (MythDora or Mythbuntu) which required me to do a lot of fiddling around to get the above personal preferences ready for my use.
With Mandriva the list of available software (particularly the wonderful PLF stuff) is a much better fit for my needs, and I've been using it since the late 1990s so I'm quite familiar with their way of doing things.