Building a High Capacity, HDTV MythTV System.

We’ve outgrown our current home network/MythTV system.

The front ends, in the living room and master bedroom, are great at standard definition. They have AMD Sempron 2200’s running at I think 1.6 MHz and while they churn through SD with ease, they just can’t decode HD MPEG 2 at any resolution. We now have two HD TVs so that’s gotta change.

The storage is a mess too. I started with a 400GB drive. Then two 400GB and a 200GB drive in spanned across volumes for 1TB. Then I picked up an Adaptec 2400 IDE raid controller and two more 400GB drives for 1.2 TB of RAID 5 storage. That’s hot. But then we ran out of space, again. Upgrading would cost a fortune as my server is a bit dated (2x 2.2 GHz Xeons if you can believe it) and I can’t buy a good SATA 2 PCI RAID controller. I would need a whole new server. So I picked up a cheap PCI SATA card, external enclosure, and 750GB drive. Yahoo, 750 GB of un-protected storage for just about $270. Enough to get us through another couple months. We ran out quickly.

Time to spring for the new system.

The front ends work fine at SD on the HDTVs so they can wait a bit. I have a lot of projects that’ll take a lot of space queued up so I’ve gotta build the back end out first.

The requirements are a backend that can scale to at least 5 TB of storage, run MythTV backend and record SD & HD content. It’ll also be an SGI IRIX install server, host development web sites, general purpose mysql server, and sub-version server.

More on the parts I chose later.

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