HDTV Works! Woohoo!

Finally, HDTV is completely working in my MythTV setup.

The pcHDTV 3000 card is working nicely with the DVB drivers.

My problem was playback performance. After switching to nVidia cards, this is fixed.

I got a nVidia Geforce 6800 card for my main workstation. Overkill for MythTV, yes, but it is a stellar performer with games. Absolutely great. I can run my games at 1600×1200 to take advantage of the native resolution of my flat panel, and they all work great — no framerate problems at all.

Very nice.

5 thoughts on “HDTV Works! Woohoo!

  1. Could you do us a favor and give us a comprehensive list of your hardware? It’d be nice to know what hardware works with Linux and MythTV, and what doesn’t.


    1. My main MythTV system has:

      • Motherboard: Albatron KM18g Pro 2.0, integrated audio
      • CPU: AMD Athlon XP 3000+
      • RAM: 512MB
      • HDD: Samsung SP1604N 160GB (nice and quiet)
      • Analog capture card: Hauppauge PVR-250
      • Digital capture card: pcHDTV 3000
      • Video card: nVidia GeForce FX 5200, 128MB RAM
      • OS: Debian sid
      • Kernel: 2.6.12-rc4

      Let me know if you need any more detail.

      1. In an earlier post, you had mentioned picking up an Auravision SN502-02 USB wireless keyboard. I was wondering how well it works, given that it’s USB.

        Also, I noticed you have an Athlon XP 3000+. From what I can tell from your MB choice, it’s a Socket 462. I’ve read numerous times that an AMD 3000+ processor doesn’t have enough horsepower to decode an HDTV MPEG2 stream in realtime. Unless you’ve gotten XVmC working (thus letting your FX5200 do the decoding), but I’ve also read numerous times that XVmC is too buggy to even be useable. For this reason, I’ve been pricing out an Athlon 64 3200+ socket 939 setup, just for the added FSB bandwidth.

        So I guess my question is, how smooth is HDTV playback on your rig, what’s your percent cpu usage during playback, are you using XVmC, and how well is XVmC behaving for you?

        Thanks in advance.

        1. Actually, my keyboard is a PS/2 infrared one.

          About the HDTV playback: you’re right, that CPU isn’t powerful enough to decode HDTV MPEG2 in realtime. As far as I know, no commonly-available desktop CPU is. Even my Athlon64 can’t decode (and scale) a 1080i HDTV stream in realtime (though it can do some less bandwidth-intensive ones).

          Right now, we are doing some remodeling on our house, so the frontend unit I described is presently headless. So I haven’t ever actually tried HDTV playback on it yet (I got my pcHDTV card working after we had to dismantle the entertainment center for remodeling).

          However, Jarod Wilson (of Mythology fame) has reported success with HDTV playback with the same FX5200 card and a slightly slower AMD CPU than I have — as long as XVMC is used.

          On my Athlon64, it originally had a Radeon 9800 in it. However, no driver — XF86, X.Org, ATI, or Gatos — could keep up with playing back a 1080i HDTV stream. I purchased a GeForce 6800 for it, which also supports XVMC. Enable XVMC, and instant success. CPU utilization is less than 20% for HDTV playback now. So I am expecting similar success on the frontend once we finish our remodeling and get the TV set back up.

          1. Hey Jon,

            Now that you’ve had your HD MythTV box up and running for a while…I was hoping you could make a post providing updated info. How’s it working, any hardware/software changes worth making note of?

            I’m wanting to build one very soon, and have noticed that there really aren’t alot of people who have ventured into HDTV grade Myth yet. I’m trying to make good decisions on processor speed, etc. I’ve heard that XvMC makes things a bit wacky…and that the preferred method is to get a big enough processor to avoid using it. Also, how’s the output quality of recorded HD material on your display?

            Any extra info would be greatly appreciated. I’m really needing something to timeshift those beautiful shows during primetime (since I’m usually too busy to watch TV at those times).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.