MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 1

Part 1 – The need for a rebuild

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A Little History…

During the winter of 2004 I built my first Home Theater PC.  I had intended on using some of the scrap / spare hardware I had laying around but as the project planning progressed I ended up ordering new components for the construction.  I started by ordering an Asus A7N266-VM motherboard, an AMD Athlon 2100-xp processor, 512 MB ram, a WD 360 GB hard drive, and a Sony DVD-RW drive from  I installed this hardware along with an upgraded heat sink / processor fan purchased from a local vendor into an old gutted Dell Exclaim desktop chassis (it sort of fit).  Somewhere along the line I scavenged up a suitable power supply.

It was my initial intention to load Red Hat Linux as an operating system (I already had, at the time, a file server running RHL 6.2).  The current version at the time, I believe, was Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or 4.  After some research I decided to go with Fedora Core 4 and use MythTV on top of the GUI.  This decision was largely due to discovering some how-to docs from Jarod Wilson’s Fedora Myth(TV)ology which made my attempt possible.  After reading Jarod’s site I ordered (can’t remember from where) a Hauppauge PVR-350 TV tuner card for the project.  After several late nights and a few grey hairs I had a working system.  I was then that I found (somewhere on the internet) a specialized HTPC case, an Ahanix D-Vine black micro-ATX chassis with a 16×2 line LCD screen on the front.

Relocating the system’s internal hardware into it’s new case and a few more tweaks and I had my completed PVR / HTPC.  I named this machine ‘Mediafurnace’ on my network, and usually referred to it as ‘the Myth box’.  This system ran nonstop for roughly 6 years.  During that time my original linux file server died so I moved many of those processes to the myth box, the most notable of which was my ‘home automation’ damon Heyu.

Mediafurnace dies…

At exactly 10:07 PM (according to the LCD display), the night before we were expecting 30 guests at our house for my wife’s birthday, mediafurnace froze.  An attempted reboot resulted in the motherboard chirping quickly and then… nothing.  Dead motherboard!!  A physical inspection revealed some melting and that distinctive burned electronics smell.  Damn!  This machine’s done!!


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