I haven’t done anything to really upgrade my computer in the last three years. With one notable exception, I purchased a WinTV-PVR 250 card from Hauppauge last may and installed MythTV, which at the time had just gotten suport for the hardware MPEG-2 encoder on the card.
This has been a very nice addition to my computer, especially when I still lived in Chicago and could have my computer record the BBC World News at 6am every day. It was a nice way to eat breakfast in the morning and catch up on the news.
Well, in January I decided that I was watching too much TV. With two episodes of The Simpsons, and then one each of Jeopardy and Conan O’Brien, that just proved to be far too much. So I started shutting the computer off most of the time. As a consequence, I never bothered to upgrade to 0.15 when it came out.
Saturday, I upgraded to 0.16, and it’s come a long way. The program, in general feels a lot more stable. I have yet to see if I’ll still be subject to a lot of those annoying failures to record shows, but we’ll see. It’s gotten a lot more complexe, and could really be daunting for the new user also. But, the UI, especially the on screen display, look FAR better and more professional. It seems to flow nicer.
I’ve realized that there are three main things holding back my performace of my MythBox at this point. 1) The Athlon 700 processor. While I can easily watch TV and record at the same time, that’s about it. I can’t run my web server or anything else in the background. If a high priority task comes (or really any task) it starts to burp. So no fetching mail or anything else while MythTV is running. 2) The hard disk. Let’s face it, a 4 year old, 4500 RPM, 45GB, ATA66 hard disk is not the best for this sort of thing. The disk just CRAWLS. 3) The file system. Apparently the consensus on the Myth bboards is that JFS is the king for MythTV becuase it can delete huge files in under a second.
So I’m left wondering what to do next. I need to upgrade the mobo/cpu/harddisk pretty badly. I also could use a DVD-rom in the box too, as I don’t have one of those. Finally, the pcHDTV HD-3000 card looks pretty damn cool because it is designed for Linux and supports HDTV and NTSC. Also, it doesn’t do the broadcast flag. Which makes it even better. Unfortunately, it says that I need a faster computer for it. Sigh. We’ll just have to wait a bit I guess.