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Old 09-02-2006, 09:47 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2006
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Building a Media Center

I am thinking about building a home media center based on MythTV. I would appreciate any advice on how to accomplish this.

I have cable television (comcast, with cablecard support), a lot of DVDs, and some digital media.

I am not sure how to arrange the hardware. My initial idea was to have a MythTV backend with all of the media, and networked frontends at each tv. I am unsure of the specs each of these should have, and how much bandwidth that would need. I would like my computers to be able to function as frontends.

How to store the DVDs is also unclear. I could rip them, but that would take a lot of time, and use a lot of storage. A 300 dvd carousel seems like the best thing, but I would need to be able control it from within a MythTV frontend.

How could I best use the cable television? I want to be able to access it from any frontend, and more than 1 at a time, and control/record (to the backend) it from MythTV. Does MythTV, or anything else on Linux, support CableCard? I've though of having the backend stream the cable, but then wouldn't it need several tuners? I've also thought of have the frontends directly play the cable, and the backend record it.

What kind of hardware is best for this? I was looking at a midrange processor and a lot of storage for the backend, and the cheapest thing possible, with good networking, for the frontend. I am not sure which one would handle the graphical work for rendering the movies, so I don't know what video cards to get. I would like at least 720p capabilities, but 1080p would be preferable if it isn't much harder.

Any preferred distros? I'm thinking of using DesktopBSD (FreeBSD + KDE) or one of the specialized mythtv distros.
Old 09-03-2006, 12:58 AM   #2
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Ubuntu might be good, since it has very good hardware support. As for a cpu go with water cooling or 120mm fans.
Old 09-03-2006, 01:24 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention, I would like to be able to play music over my wireless network, like iTunes. Essentially, I have a portable remote (a PDA with wifi, probably), and I tell it what to play and where to play it. I'm thinking of things like Apple's airport express for the speakers (but without router capabilities, and less expensive). Are there any wifi headphones?
Old 09-03-2006, 01:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by n_ight_vision
Ubuntu might be good, since it has very good hardware support. As for a cpu go with water cooling or 120mm fans.
Thanks. I've used Ubuntu, and it is definitely an option. Thanks for the tips on the CPU, those are to make it quiet, right?


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