HD MythTV

Our ancient CRT telly has recently started getting a green tint in the lower corner, and Holly just got a substantial pay rise by moving jobs, so we're going to treat ourselves to a new telly. Judging from what I've seen in forums and reviews, the Panasonic 32 inch TX-32LXD70A LCD looks like the business, or possibly the 700A variant if I can work out what the substantive difference is (besides the marketroid-speak "Motion Picture Pro : 100Hz Technology" whatever the hell that is). So it looks like we'll be going the high-def route, not the ridiculous 1080 lines level of HD, but at least somewhat better.

There's a few issues this brings up. First, my front-end is a completely silent box that won't have the grunt to decode low-end HD, let alone the 1080i the commercial channels are pumping out. So that'll need to be replaced, and I'll probably end up with something that has a fan unfortunately.

On the back-end, there shouldn't be much impact. DVB-t capture cards can capture anything pumped out by the broadcasters, including the HD channels. Data throughput could become an issue, and I might do some testing of recording a few simultaneous HD transmissions.

Disk space could become a problem, though I doubt it. I've currently got 600 gigs across two SATA drives. We don't record all that much telly, and mostly on the (lower bandwidth) ABC and SBS. At SD disk space usage, we end up with programmes we haven't watched from months ago being expired off to make space for new programmes. Never been a problem.

It could be that I need to upgrade the network to gigabit ethernet to handle the top-end streams, though I doubt it. I haven't cabled up the new house yet anyway, and I was planning to run Cat 6 anyway, so I should be okay if I need to upgrade.

So it seems as well as the telly itself, I'll have to look into a front-end system quiet enough for the lounge room, but with the playback grunt to decode 1080i (even though I can't view at that resolution).

Anyone got any recommendations or experiences to share, particularly Australian experience?