So I have really been missing the ability to record/rewind/pause TV. I haven’t had a full time MythTV box for over a year and a half. I sold my old MythTV computer and had been saving the money till something perfect came out to use as a fast and quiet MythTV computer and samba server. I actually bought a Mac mini about 2 months ago in an effort to get it working with a external hard drive for speed and storage. Needless to say, Apple did a good job of making the Mac mini too annoying to try and get it to work the way I wanted it to. I will post a little on my experience there later.
So I returned the mini and found the AOpen mp45-dr. It is about the same size as the mac mini (technically smaller) and it came bare bones. This is great because I could either get the same specs as the mini for cheaper or I could improve the parts I wanted to improve and not get the “features” I didn’t need (like internal wifi or internal laptop hard drive). Unfortunately, the mp45 had one thing I really needed to complete my HTPC, firewire. I looked around to see if I could get firewire out of the eSATA port or one of the two internal PCIe mini ports but I couldn’t find anything that would work the way I wanted and I needed firewire to record premium HD shows from my cable STB. So I found the mp945-dr which is just the older model of the same computer. It looks almost exactly the same but has a slightly slower video card, no eSATA port, and slower chipset (which included a slower FSB). When I really looked at it though, the parts it came with would be plenty for what I needed and so I used the money from my MythTV sale (and a few other side projects) and bought the AOpen mp965-dr.
Here is my build.
AOpen mp965-dr (from Buy.com)
Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 (from newegg)
2GB Kingston Ram (from newegg)
WinTV-HVR-950 Tuner (from newegg)
1TB ministack v3 (from other world computing)
Sata -> eSATA cable (from mwave)
I also already had a HDHomerun tuner and firewire cable for a tuner from my STB.
I am excited to get this up and running again and will post my build as time goes on. Here is a quick rundown/reference to the sections I will be writing. I will update these later with links.
Part 1: Setting up the hardware
Part 2: Choosing the software
Part 3: Setting up software
Part 4: Using the machine day to day