Myth BOX
The home of guides for Myth TV, IPTables, and other linux based phenomena.
 
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The hardware

This project will consist of a dedicated set of hardware, with the aim of blending in with the rest of the appliances found in a common living room. To achieve this, a special form factor case is used called Mini-ITX, and this will keep the box small, have a low power consumption, and allow the box to blend in. The motherboard that will fit into this case will be from the VIA EPIA range, which are boards specially designed for compactness and low power consumption. To do this, these boards incorporate a lot of functionality on-board, and as such each one in the range is suited to different applications. The board to be used for this project will be the EPIA-MS board, which includes 6 channel sound, SPDIF out, TV out, and MPEG-2 decoding for DVDs to name a few. This board only accepts one PCI card, or two when used with an adaptor and specific cases, and thus consideration should be given as to what extra PCI cards are actually required. Considering this, and knowing that the EPIA-MS has a USB sockets onboard, the wireless network card will not be PCI based and so leaving the slot free for the digital TV card, which is essential. It was decided to get the USB based card working, as this could then be set up the same way on the clients as well as the box itself.

In order to save space, the EPIA series are shipped with the CPU fitted and soldered in. Three types of processor are on offer, the Eden processor which offers slower speeds of 800MHz and 1GHz but runs silent - that is it runs using the passive cooling of a heatsink. The other choice is the C3 processor running at 1.2GHz, although this is fan cooled and has been found by some owners to be noisy. The 1GHz Eden processor is perfect for this application, since it is passively cooled so there is no need for noisy fans or case adaptions to make the board run silent, and it is fast enough to run the applications that we desire.

Currently, the guide explains how to set up the following hardware: The hardware listed above is very specific. I am finding that even if you have the same model numbered piece of hardware, there are still variations in chipsets (e.g. the silver modem needs different firmware uploads to the others) and so I urge you to take this into account and save yourself a hell of a lot of time!

This guide will cover the necessary steps that I have followed in order to get the hardware working. It offers tips but is by no means a complete guide. I read that getting DVB hardware working can be a black art, and am I finding this to be true. Hence, this guide is mainly for people with exactly the same hardware as me, wanting to receive digital TV in the U.K. You may still find something useful though, even if you don't fall into this category :)