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Shuttle XPC/AthlonXP/PVR-250 = sub $450 MythTV B0xen
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Author:  mcdrama [ Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  Shuttle XPC/AthlonXP/PVR-250 = sub $450 MythTV B0xen

Here is a run down of my hardware:
* Shuttle SK41G (refurbished) $162 after S&H -
* Built on surround sound (I'm only using L/R Front output to RCA/red & white plugs)
* Built on S3 Savage VGA, TV Out (little yellow plug. downside is shared
memory, currently @ 32MB)
* Athlon XP 1700+ (1.44?GHz) $43 -
* 256MB DDR (PC2700) $40 - Fry's electronics, or $27 @
* 30GB 7200RPM 2MB Cache Hitachi hard drive - $40 at Fry's a while back,
today I picked up a 120GB drive for $105 out the door with a $30 MIR.
* AOpen 16x DVD drive. Free - (for $80@Fry's you can grab a CD/DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW burner)
* Hauppauge PVR-250 with IR port & remote ( this works off the bat ) $150
from Fry's, or around $135+/-after shipping from

The installation of KnoppMyth is almost too easy, the only kernel option I
choose for booting the kernel was 'tv' so that the resolution is at
For installation options I chose auto-install which took care of the disk
partitioning, and boot loader install.
After the installer formats and partitions your drive, you reboot the box.

After bootup some other questions are asked, such as IP address, name of
the box, i586, i686, or default install.

1) Make sure you use a fully qualified domain name.
2) Choose i686 or i586 for mythTV install otherwise you will not
be prompted for LIRC or XvMC package options.
3) Do NOT enable the XvMC package, it will make TV playback seg

After the MythTV and LIRC packages are installed, you are asked to answer
'yes' to 2 questions in the XTerm window that appears.
After this the 'mythtv-setup' program automatically starts and gives 4
options to configure.

Before you start configuring mythtv, open a new XTerm and run
'apt-get update', then 'apt-get install xmltv'.
Durring the xmltv install, about 17 other packages will need to be
installed, and one removed(libperl-base-64?).

After the packages finish installing, you should reboot.

After the system comes back up you should be prompted again to say yes
twice, then configure mythtv via the mythtv-setup command.
At the third configure option it may freeze for a few minutes while it
looks for the cable/satalite providers in your zip code.
Don't worry, it *will* come back.
After configuring the 4 options, run 'mythfilldatabase' as a user, not
You will see a list scroll by with the # of programs per channel.

Mythfilldatabase will retrieve 8 days worth of programming.
Now you should be able to go and run mythfrontend.

After playing around and getting comfortable with the mythTV program,
edit the last line in ~/.fvwm/fvwm2rc and comment out
'exec knoppmyth-run' line and add 'exec mythfrontend'.

Edit /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 and change HorizSync and VertRefresh to
these settings if you are outputing to a TV:

HorizSync 30.0 - 50.0
VertRefresh 60.0

If you have an nForce chipset or any nVidia card, edit /etc/X11/XFConfig-4 and add
Option "ConnectedMonitor" "TV" if you want to use the TV out.

WARNING: If you do not make the above changes, and plug the box in to your
TV you can damage your TV.

Last, edit your /etc/lilo.conf and change the vga= to vga=normal.

At this point you should give the box another reboot and you should be
ready to use your new PVR box to watch and record TV.
note: with the Shuttle motherboard, you can only have the monitor, or only
the TV plugged in(at least this is what I read from another post on the

I setup the weather also, pretty slick. ;)

So far the quality is pretty nice, couple things I noticed so far though:

1) Camera angles changing horizontally chop sometimes, not sure why.
2) Video output does not fill the screen of my Sony Trinitron TV like
cable does, but its barely noticeable to me.
3) Have not done any DVD configuration, but when I tried playing the fear
dot com DVD, mythfrontend crashes and I get mad amounts of I/O errors
back in the console and a lot of hard drive activity.

Author:  sklettke [ Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hey! How has the 256MB of RAM worked for you? Also, are you able to record a tv show while watching livetv (or tv that was recorded)?

Thanks a lot!


Author:  mcdrama [ Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

I upgraded the RAM to 768MB and applied the latest bios update and the system is much more stable now. Recording/playback at the same time seems to work now.


Author:  mcdrama [ Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

bumping this old post. only changes to this system is a nvidia FX 5200 graphics card for video output.

almost 4 years with this hardware and still running awesome! currently running R5F27.

Next year when ever I purchase an HD-TV i'll be upgrading to something with a HTPC style case, bigger disk, and HD in/out.

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