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Starting to work on: EPIA + HD + MythTV + Newbie = Questions

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:52 am
by TioEmo
Hi everyone !!!!

I've just "inherited" an EPIA box. The model is this one: ... oard_id=21

It comes with a 40 GB HD that i want to give good use (no USB sticks, no NFS...) I have also attached a DVD reader.

I've downloaded the ram-minimyth-0.20-19b9.tar.bz2 and i'm assuming i could install it on my HD, but being quite a newbie to Linux, my (most probably) stupid plan is to:

1. Format my HD with an EXT3 filesystem
2. Get a CD based Linux distro (recommendations apreciated) and modify the iso to add the ram-minimyth-0.20-19b9.tar.bz2 contents
3. Boot from CD and run the mm_local_install script. I assume i should be hooked to the internet, is this right?
4. Give the script /dev/hd0 as a parameter
5. Have MythTV running !!!!!!!

OK, now you've had your laughs :)

Any help on making my dream come true will be VERY appreciated. My first purpose is to use the system as a DVD/DivX/MP3/VCD player, but in the future i would love to hook it to TDT (Terrestrial Digital Television).

One more thing... my EPIA shares the 5.1 audio out with the RCA Video Out (jumper selected), but if i use RCA Video Out... will i lose 5.1 sound forever???? I mean, can't i use the standard audio out minijack to obtain 5.1 sound???

Well, enough for now. More to come as answers arise (please). Thanks everyone !!!!!!!

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:29 am
by Pablo
I am not sure that MiniMyth is your best choice for this project. You might consider using KnoppMyth instead.

I say this because MiniMyth only contains drivers for very limited hardware and functions. As a result, I believe that you will encounter the following problems.

This original VIA EPIA motherboard has old graphics hardware. I do not believe that it is supported by the openChrome driver for Xorg that is included in MiniMyth. I believe that this hardware requires the trident driver for Xorg.

MiniMyth was not intended to be run on a system that has connected hard disks. As a result, it lacks the drivers and untilities for using hard disks. For the only local file system fornats that it supports are FAT and the CD/DVD file systems. If you are using a hard disk, you really want a real file system such as ext3.

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:19 am
by TioEmo
I have just downloaded the latest KnoppMyth iso. It was my second chance. Will give it a try, but for what i read in its web page, it seems quite demanding on hardware, more orientated towards Barebones or dedicated PCs. My CPU is running at 533Mhz and got 256MB memory.

Anyway, i will try it as soon as i can.

One more question: do you think my system is enough for the purposes i mention (DVD-DivX playback first, DVB playback/record in the future) ???

Thanks once more, Pablo !!!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:16 pm
by delboy711
One more question: do you think my system is enough for the purposes i mention (DVD-DivX playback first, DVB playback/record in the future) ???
Sorry but the answer to that question is NO.

I have one of those motherboards, and also the faster 800MHz version. Any video is unwatchable on both versions.

I use my 533MHz motherboard as my firewall/web server/mail server for which tasks it does a good job.

My daughter uses the 800MHz version as her desktop computer and it is OK for playing mp3 and ogg files and browsing, but not much more.

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:05 pm
by TioEmo
Thanks for the sincerity, delboy711. I was afraid that was the answer...

Anyhow, it manages DivX quite well, but DVD seems to be just too much for it. I've been suggested to use OpenChrome drivers at the forum.

Will give it a try... I guess a 40

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:39 am
by delboy711
I've been suggested to use OpenChrome drivers at the forum.
I think you will find the OpenChrome driver will not work.
As Pablo said that board uses the Trident video.

It is the later versions with the 'Nehemiah' version CPU which has the Unichrome video with the embedded hardware MPEGII decoder that enables DVB/DVD to work effectively.

Whereas my daughter's 800MHz Epia motherboard is unusable for video, my own 1000MHz motherboard with the Unichrome chip set will happily play DVDs with just 13% CPU usage.

Another thing to be aware of is that the processor on the 533MHz Eden is not a true i686 compatible (Pentium II and above) CPU. It claims to be i686, but is missing one instruction.

I used to get crashes on my 533MHz Eden until I realised what was happening, and installed a kernel compiled for i586 (Pentium I)

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:21 am
by TioEmo
Thanks once more for your answers. I take good note of your advices.

It seems that i'll have to look for another use for my EPIA... Pity, 'cause it looked like the perfect toy.