I finally broke down and bought an HD card. I settled on the HD-5500 from pcHDTV for several reasons. This card had good reviews, many success stories with MythTV and best of all, it is only supported on Linux. My current MythDora install was getting a little long in the tooth and I had little interest in keeping any of my current recorded programs so I decided to start over from scratch.
I replaced the ATI TV-wonder NTSC tuner with the HD-5500 and the ATI Radeon 9600 with an Nvidia Geforce4 (eBay: two cards and shipping for $26, woohoo). I have always been a fan of the way a Gentoo system is set up so I went the Gentoo route for my new MythTV install. The Gentoo wiki’s MythTV HOWTO (link currently dead due to datacenter issues) was a big help here.
The install was fairly painless and with judicious use of Google I was all set up and recording in HD. My aged system can play HDTV, but just barely. It is only watchable if nothing is being recorded, there is no other activity on the system and the OSD is not popped up. A CPU upgrade is in order, but that will have to wait for another day.
In case you are wondering what the minimum specs are to watch HD on MythTV, these specs are pretty close to bare bones.
- AMD Athlon XP2600+
- Asus A7N8X
- 1024MB RAM
- Nvidia Geforce4 MX with DVI out
- pcHDTV HD-5500 ATSC/NTSC capture card
- 300GB ATA133 Hard Drive