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CPU Speed

An AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (Barton core) with a Hauppage WinTV PVR 350 uses about 10 to 15 % CPU time playing back DVD to X VGA out, 2% capturing from Composite-in and 1% listening to FM Radio. More details to follow.

An AMD Duron 1600+ uses about 30% CPU time playing DVD, XVid/DivX, TV with deinterlacing filters under MPlayer (xvidix driver) to X VGA out and 2% CPU time playing MP3/Ogg internet streams under MPlayer [256Mb RAM, really cheap ASRock motherboard, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz audio card, Asus analog TV/FM card, Matrox G400 dual-head 32Mb SGRAM video card]

An Intel Pentium 650Mhz (Coppermine) uses about 50% CPU time playing XviD at video resolution 720x320 to X VGA WideScreen, using the worst Intel 82810 onboard even made, a Surrond 5.1 system ac3 with a Cirrus Logic DMX FIRE (aka cs46xx) and playing over a nfs mount under a Gigabit Network (r8169). Also it is hddless and mounts root over nfs. This system could be fanless and works fine around 50ยบ unless I don't use the games section.

An Intel Celeron 566Mhz (Coppermine) uses about 70% CPU time playing back DVD to X VGA out, using hardware acceleration on a nVidia GeForce4MX440.

Via Epia SP13000 (Nehemiah): 1.3GHz CPU, 512 MB DDR400 (64MB as shared memory for onboard GPU)

Gentoo Linux, Xorg video driver "openchrome", WiFi, 2 HDD, TV-Out 800x600 (Composite) mplayer options: -vo xv -ao alsa -autosync 100 -nolirc -nojoystick -autoq 100 -screenw 800 -screenh 600 -fs -slave -cache 8192

CPU Load:

Power Consumption:

PleaseUpdate : Add more statistics about what CPUs are required (basic, MP3, Divx, DVD, recording).



Should work any Sound card in freevo, it depends on alsa driver. You can use 2 differents drivers, the kernel based driver or separate package. Separate package has fewer features then the kernel driver.

Kernel based

<*> Sound card support
  Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  --->
  Open Sound System  --->

If you will be using the ALSA driver, the Open Sound System (OSS) can be deactivated. Under Advanced Linux Sound Architecture --->:

<*> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
<*> Sequencer support
< >   Sequencer dummy client
<*> OSS Mixer API
<*> OSS PCM (digital audio) API
[*] OSS Sequencer API
[ ] Verbose printk
[ ] Debug
    Generic devices  --->
    ISA devices  --->
    PCI devices  --->
    USB devices  --->

Next, we must enable the correct driver. For most of us, it will be under "PCI devices", but if you are using an ISA or USB audio card go to the appropriate section.

Driver Package

Device Drivers  --->
    Character devices --->
        <*> Enhanced Real Time Clock Support
    Sound  --->
        <M> Sound card Support
            Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  --->
                < > Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
            Open Sound System  --->
                < > Open Sound System

And then, emerge or whatever the package alsa-driver. When it is installed, run alsaconf and it will do the rest.

You can try to use the alsamixer from alsa-utils package to set volumes and other options.

More info:

Gentoo Sound wiki

PleaseUpdate : Add soundcard configuration.

Analog TV Capture Cards

Any videocard that supports the v4l or v4l2 API. Should be possible to use with freevo. However, If you are looking into new hardware, some models are highlighted.

Digital TV Capture Cards (DVB)

If you have a so called full featured card, which means one with a hardware mpeg decoder on board, your card probably also supports the v4l or v4l2 API. The configuration should then be similar to that of a analog TV Capture Card.

Moreover you can use budget DVB cards with freevo. Have a look at http://www.linuxtv.org/, to find information which cards could be used with linux. The complicated thing is to choose the right modules for your card, and often it is necessary to download the newest drivers from CVS, because there is so much development going on in that area and there are many new models around. But when your card is working under linux, the rest is quite easy, just follow the instructions on DVB. On this page you can find some notes on special cards:

TV Issues

You can have a Widescreen TV or a Standard TV, the difference is that Widescreen has an aspect ratio 16:9 and the standard TV has an aspect ratio 4:3. And you have to configure xorg/XFree correctly to see the movies with the original aspect on your TV. I say that because you can have a Widescreen TV at a resolution 1366x768 but your videocard might not support that resolution, just 1024x768, then you have two options: use ModeLines or add a param. to mplayer in local_conf.pylike this MPLAYERS_ARGS_DEF = ('-monitoraspect 1.8 -fs'). The ModeLines is not easy to get, because you have to have a lot of info about your videocard and your monitor/TV.

(Thanks to Justin about that)

Remote Controls

Every remote which could be used with lirc, can be used to control freevo. See Lirc to learn more about how to configure a remote for freevo.

Here are some notes on special models:


CompactFlash or USB flash-drive Based Filesystem

Several Freevo users have set up their system to boot from a USB flash-drive or Compact-Flash card. Detailed information about setting up such a system is located on the CompactFlash Setup page.

Breathing hard disk LED

When watching a movie, listening to music or otherwise freevo'ing it can be a little anoying to have a hard disk LED flickering at you, especially if like me you have a stupidly bright blue light. After some discussion on the mailing list a circuit has been developed to slow the rate at which an led flickers by creating a Breathing HDD LED.

HDD +5v +------+--------[ R1 ]----+
               | + C1             |
              ===                ---  > LED
               |                 \_/  >
               |                =====
               |                  |
     0v +------+------------------+

R is given by the voltage and the current your LED needs. C is calculated as follows: The rise time for C (0-97%) is equal to 5*t with t= R * C.

To fade in 1s from 0 -97%:
R = U/I
C = 1s/(5 * R)

Note: Maybe a more detailed example would be nice for us electrically inclined. For example, I have a 'stock' led in my case, I don't see a resistor anywhere, except for maybe on the motherbord. What values is generally safe for default red/amber/green and blue/white/purple leds?

Thanks to Christoph Gysin and Chris Ellis for their help.


You may host you media PC in the cases presented below or purchase a barebone machine (which already have the motherboard and sometimes CPU/RAM built-in).




PVR Hardware Database

Website contains database of hardware used by people creating their own PVR's. http://pvrhw.goldfish.org/

Freevo hardware Page

For hints what people are using : http://freevo.sourceforge.net/hardware/recommended.php

2014-02-15 05:35