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Www.MythFestRequirementsr1.12 - 01 Apr 2007 - 22:25 - BenScotttopic end

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This page describes the requirements for the GNHLUG MythTV InstallFest.

Understand the situation

Dedicated system

To reach its maximum potential, the system will be "on" all the time, running the MythTV software all the time. It will not be usable as a Microsoft Windows PC. It is intended to be used as a media/entertainment center, not for doing homework, finances, etc.

System erasure

The plan is to wipe out everything already on the computer, and replace it with MythTV.

No warranty

THIS PROJECT IS UNDERTAKEN STRICTLY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

We have done a lot of testing, but we can not guarantee any particular results. Your system may not work, or may end up worse off. This is a volunteer effort. If you need professional support, buy a mass-market DVR and pay the monthly support fee.

Hardware Requirements

Summary

Minimum requirements:

  • 600 MHz CPU, 256 MB for Standard Definition
  • 2 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM for High Definition
  • NVidia GeForce 6000 series or faster video card
  • pcHDTV HD-5500, HDHomeRun, or Hauppauge WinTV PVR video capture device
  • "Always on" Internet connection
  • DVD-ROM drive (for installation)

General

A 600 MHz Pentium III with at least 256 MB of RAM is the minimum for standard definition programming. High definition programming needs more power: 2 GHz Pentium 4 or faster, with at least 1 GB of RAM. You may need more CPU/RAM if you are running multiple tuner/capture cards, or are doing "extra" stuff on your MythTV box.

Our install media is DVD-ROM, so you will need an optical disc drive capable of reading DVD's.

You will need lots and lots of disk storage. The more, the better. Standard definition recordings consume about 2.5 gigabytes/hour. High definition recordings consume from 6 to 12 gigabytes/hour. USB-, FireWire-, and network-attached storage can be used.

Due to the "always on" requirement, you may want to consider systems that are lower in electrical usage or audible noise output.

For more information, including a list of hardware suppliers both Internet based and local, please see the GNHLUG MythTV page.

Tuner/capture devices

We are limiting tuner/capture devices to those we have experience with. Others may work, but these are what we support.

  • pcHDTV HD-5500 PCI card
  • SiliconDust HD Home Run external Ethernet-attached tuner
  • Hauppauge WinTV PVR series cards (particularly, the 250 or 500 models)

Be warned that Hauppauge has apparently recently started packaging HVR-1600 cards in PVR-150 boxes, with no indication of the change. The HVR-1600 does NOT work with MythTV. We recommend staying away from Hauppauge unless you are certain you are getting the right model.

Video output card

For this effort, we strongly recommend an NVidia GeForce 6000-series video card (any faster NVIDIA card will also do fine). While Linux supports a wide range of video hardware, not everything has sufficient performance for full-motion video. We know how to get the NVIDIA cards to work, so that's what we're supporting.

We are assuming your TV either has VGA or DVI inputs, or that you will be using a computer monitor as your "TV" for MythTV. Getting any TV-out (composite, RF, S-VHS/S-video, component, etc.) working is beyond the scope of this effort.

Remote controls

We can recommend these remote controls:

Again, others may work, but this is what we are supporting.

Some of the above remotes include an IR or RF receiver, which plugs into the MythTV box via USB. For those that do not, you will need a separate IR receiver. Fortunately, most tuner cards include one.

Internet connection

You will need to have an "always on" Internet connection, with a "home router" (a router is a device which allows more than one computer to use the same Internet connection).

Already assembled

Your system should already be assembled, and at least power-on correctly. Please do not show up with a bunch of loose parts in a cardboard box and ask for a screw driver. Ideally, test it with a general-purpose OS (Linux, Windows, FreeDOS, etc.) to make sure it boots okay.

Registration

Register for the event

Registration is currently closed. There are no upcoming events scheduled.

The information you submit will be used ONLY in the support of the operations for this event. The only communications you will be receiving from us will be about this event. We will not be selling, giving, or otherwise providing your info to any third-parties. We will not even be adding you to any GNHLUG mailing lists (you can do that yourself).

Sign-up with Zap2it

We need you to sign-up with Zap2it, in advance. You can do so by clicking the following link:

http://labs.zap2it.com

For the "Certificate Code", you can use ZIYN-DQZO-SBUT (from the MythTV HOWTO).

(Note that an older version of this document specified a different link, which was not the right Zap2It registration. Sorry!)

This information needs to be done so you can get free Electronic Program Guide data -- information about the programs that you would like to record. Understand that GNHLUG does not control what Zap2it/Tribune does with that registration, so make sure you read and agree to their policies, too.

Logistics

Food

We will be there through lunchtime. While there is a cafeteria, it may not be open. You may want to pack a lunch and some drinks (no alcohol).

Get there on time

We are on a schedule and have limited time.

What we provide

We will have analog VGA monitors, USB keyboards, USB mice, power strips, and IEC power cords, so you should not bring any of those. If your card has a DVI connector, try to bring a DVI-to-VGA adapter, as we may not have enough to go around.

We will also have OTA antenna and cable feeds available for testing. These may not be the same types of feeds which you have in your area, but we will help you set up your box for your home before you leave.
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