View Full Version : Minimum Requirements
04-02-2003, 11:24 AM
Sorry for all of us keeping you busy Narflex!
I know this is answered on the website, but the minimum spec is often _just_ the minimum to get it working. I'm getting a spare PC which is a Celeron 300Mhz with 256MB RAM and AGP graphics card with TV out.
What would you class as a minimum spec PC to make Sage TV "comfortable" to use, without going over-board and having a too-fast PC with a CPU which generates more heat than I needed to and hence, have more fan noise?
I'm looking to get a new CPU for the machine and I wanted to know what the minimum speed it should be so that operation remains fluid, but I won't be wasting time, money and fan noise on something which is well-pver spec'ed. The PC won't be running anything else, just Sage TV.
04-02-2003, 12:57 PM
The biggest thing the processor has to do is decode the MPEG2 video; this is highly dependent upon the graphics card you have and how well its decoding acceleration works. There's lots of trial and error to find what a minimum is.
But here's a good reference point:
I just built myself a great single tuner box this weekend out of a VIA EPIA M9000 motherboard. This is a tiny little thing, smaller than a Tivo and VERY quiet. Here's the hardware it took:
Motherboard: $160 (this includes, TVout, digital/analog audio, 933MHzCPU, Ethernet, MPEG2 decoding acceleration....what a package!)
Case: $99 (includes an external power supply, so the PSU is noiseless)
RAM: 256MB for $30
HDD: 120GB for $100
Video Capture: Hauppauge WinTV PVR 250 $140
Total Hardware Cost: ~$540
There's still the cost of the software, which is essentially Windows and SageTV.
But that's a hell of a price for building your own complete box that's very comparable in features to a Windows MediaCenter.
Performance is great. Some things are a little slow, but all in all I'm VERY impressed with the performance of this system. It's now my new SageTV box. Hope that says something about its quality. :goodjob:
If you need more information, let us now.
Thanks for your interest.
04-02-2003, 01:49 PM
Out of curiousity.. is that case ATX or MicroATX? Do you have a link to it? Noiseless PS sounds interesting.
04-02-2003, 02:22 PM
It's neither...it's Mini-ITX.
Here's the motherboard:
Here's the case:
VIA's website has links to even more cases and distributors, (EPIA is what you're looking for):
04-02-2003, 03:55 PM
Oooo, I hate you now Narflex - You've made me want one !!
Those look absolutely ideal for this project. For those of us in the UK, the link to a supplier of the motherboards is:-
and to the cases is:-
Your board works out at £110 quid which isn't bad considering, for the UK. Is it really silent? I take a gamble if I buy one as my Provideo PV256 has been a bit tempramental in some boards
04-02-2003, 04:33 PM
I can tell you the Provideo 256 works in the older mini-itx motherboards because I've tried it...but they weren't fast enough to run SageTV (but the hardware was compatible). I haven't tried in the newer ones however; and I know they have a different chipset so you'll have to see.
It's not 'silent' but it's really quiet; you only hear it if you're listening for it and nothing else is making noise (like the TV). To make it even more quiet there's 2 things you can do:
1 - Lower the rpms on the 2 case fans. They're already very quiet, but you could always make them quieter. :)
2 - Hard disk enclosure to eliminate hard disk noise. This is probably the biggest source of noise.
04-02-2003, 05:07 PM
Man, those things are just too small.. I'm wanting my HTPC to do a lot, and 1 PCI slot with no AGP just won't cut it for me. Nor will 1ghz. Small PCs are cool, but just don't work for me. Thanks for the info though!
05-12-2003, 08:57 PM
Hey, what case is that? The link goes to an Oops! page.
05-12-2003, 09:03 PM
Oh, and what's the picture quality like on that. I'm curious because I replace my GF4 MX440 with a Radeon 9500 and noticed an improvement in color transition, and was wondering how the integrated video on one of the EPIAs is.
05-12-2003, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by stanger89
Oh, and what's the picture quality like on that.
I am running a VIA EPIA M9000 motherboard as a SageTVClient. I have connected to a Sony Trinitron 20in and a Daewoo 20in using the composite out connector. All-in-all, I am VERY satisfied with the video quality on a TV. After several trials, I settled on 800x600 resolution and used the Advanced TV Out settings to adjust Gamma, Brightness, Contrast and apply a flicker filter to tweak in the picture quality.
A couple of "engineering opportunities" I had with the setup of the EPIA board in a Casetronics 2699R chassis:
1) At first, I had an unbelieveably annoying amount of flicker/interference on the TV out on the Sony Trinitron TV. After a couple of frustrating trips to Fry's where the tech couldn't reproduce the problem (and wanted to charge me for more service ?!?!?), I found that I have some AC line noise in my house that the power brick for the 2699 doesn't filter. An AC line filter from RadioShack cured the problem.
2) The box barely has enough power (<60W) for the motherboard, memory, HDD, and PCI slot. I started getting intermittent IDE related failures when a slim DVD-ROM drive was added. Removing EITHER the PVR-250 OR DVD-ROM fixed this problem.
vBulletin® v3.7.6, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.