The Freevo Box Planning Stages
(Part of the BuildingFreevo set.)
Talking to Henry Stern a while back, I mentioned that I was thinking of building a PVR -- his tip was:
- here's an idea to float by you: Via Epia ME6000, Casetronic Travla C137, Hauppauge WinTV PVR 250
Turns out, after a little research, that's basically what I'm going to aim for. it's fanless, therefore silent, and lots of people have got it working, which is nice. So I'm basing this off that.
EPIA M mainboard: http://www.viavpsd.com/product/epia_m_spec.jsp?motherboardId=81
- VIA Eden 600 MHz Fanless
- 1 DDR266 DIMM socket
- 2 X UltraDMA 133/100/66 Connector
- 1 PCI slot
- ethernet, firewire, USB 2.0 x 2, TV out, S-Video, VGA
some quotes from the internets:
- "PVR with VIA ME6000 and a PVR 250 card. 600mhz fanless." M10000 is "too noisy"; go with M6000 and a PVR-350, for hardware encoding AND decoding.
http://pvrhw.goldfish.org/tiki-view_pvrent.php?systemid=Quiet+VIA (uses dual mpeg cards: PVR-250MCE and PVR-350, in a fanless ME6000 with Eden 600Mhz)
'The best recommended card for a PVR box under Linux is the Hauppage PVR-250, because of its hardware MPEG encoding and decoding capability. It'll save you some CPU.' http://www.courville.org/phpwiki/Hauppauge%20PVR%20250 'The PVR-250 and like being superceeded by the allegedly cheaper PVR-150 and pvr-500 (this is the dual tuner version). If you are thinking of building kit to reuse in Ireland, it may worth investigating the hauppage DVB-S boards as alot of people are adopting the DVB, broadcast/satellite.' '256MB of RAM is minimum (for PVR).'
'On-board sound can be used, but again the best is probably a Sound Blaster Live Value or better. My SB Live Value setup perfectly on RedHat 9 install.' (jm: I'm going to ignore this unless the onboard sound really is crappy) 'Personally I like the Seagate Barracuda IV's more than any HDD ever made. They are not the fastest things in the world but up to this day they are the quietest that I have tested. However, these drives aren't made anymore and we'll have to settle for some other varieties instead. With that said, an 80gig Seagate with either a 2mb or 8mb cache should do everything that you'll want to with this price range HTPC.'
Regarding the PVR-250 -- that's only MPEG encoding. With a 600 Mhz CPU, I want to offload the decoding as well, so the PVR-350 is necessary.
If I build it in mini-ITX form factor, it's quite small and can fit in nice homemade cases like this: http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/minimeshbox/
Although it looks like I might be able to get hold of an old Sun DAT tape drive:
Turns out someone built something similar before -- The EdenStation IPX.
Installing mytv tv on gentoo http://home.comcast.net/~alf_park/mythtv.html
(Froogle finds, for the most part)
EPIA-ME6000 Eden & mainboard http://store.yahoo.com/logicalplus/viaeped60fac3.html
Kingston 512MB DDR266 PC2100 CL2.5 same store
Seagate ST380011A 80GB 7200rpm Ultra ATA/100 http://store.yahoo.com/logicalplus/seba8072inti.html
PW-80 fanless power adapter http://shop.store.yahoo.com/ituner/pw80.html (TODO: look for cheaper)
Linksys LKS-WUSB54GP portable USB adapter http://store.yahoo.com/logicalplus/lilkwipousba.html
OR: D-Link DWL-120 802.11b USB card http://store.yahoo.com/logicalplus/dlindw8011wi1.html
'I've used Froogle, and I've used Ebay. I'd use EBAY iff (if and only if) the ratio of good/bad is > 98%. But hey, that is me. I have only come across one "neutral vote" ebay deal, where the dude didn't tell me that the binding on the book I bought was bad. Other than that, I've had a bunch of good deals.'
'always check with the seller for shipping costs before bidding. the online calculator is often wrong, and doesn't include handling charges which can sometimes be more than the shipping itself.'
'As for shopping for hardware? Froogle is good, so is pricegrabber, pricescan, slickdeals.net, and a lot of people seem to like fat wallet for some reason. But, if your overall savings is less than a hundred bucks, I don't really think it's worth all the concern you have. Spend that money on new equipment and you'll never have to worry about some ebay seller spending your money on donkey porn and sending you a box of iron filings.'
'Just get it from newegg and be happy.'