- Our new Hi-Def TV Recorder -




This is how it looks in the cabinet...
Nobody said it's pretty... It's being kept behind closed doors...
- Power Consumption Measurements -
2.5 Watts in standby (shutdown) mode.
75 Watts while recording.
101 Watts while recording and watching at the same time.



But this is how it looks "upstairs"...
The software is fully automated PVR with timer recording and playback...



Here is what's in it :

1. ANTEC TRUEPOWER TRIO TP3-430 (website)
430W power supply with 120mm low noise cooling fan.

2. ASUS M2NPV-VM motherboard (website)
AMD AM2 socket with AMD Cool'n'Quiet! support
NVIDIA GeForce™ 6150 + nForce™ 430
Dual-channel DDR2 800, PCIEx
Serial ATA 3Gb/s
DVI-D & RGB and HDTV out interface.
8xUSB, 2x1394a

3. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (website)
Dual-Core, 64bit processor
90nm Windsor 2.4GHz, 2x128KB L1 Cache, 2x512KB L2 Cache
3. Thermaltake BigTyp™ 120 ( CL-P0114-01 ) CPU fan (website)
Weighs 820g with 6 x 6mm copper tube heatpipes, fins and fan.
16dBA 120mm ultra silent fan using 3.6W at 1300RPM providing 54.4CFM.

4. pcHDTV HD-5500 (website)
Hi-Definition Television PCI Card for Linux
Based on the 5th generation LG ATSC receiver chips and Conexant's CX23883 NTSC receiver chip.
Supports all 18 ATSC compliant digital formats and unencrypted QAM64/256 Cable signals.

5. TrendNet TEW-423PI (website)
54Mbps 802.11g Wireless PCI Adapter

6. HardDisk : WD740GD (website)
Western Digital Raptor - 74GB, 10000RPM, SATA
1.5Gb/s, 8MB buffer, 2.99ms nominal latency, 4.5ms/5.9ms/10.2ms seek times.

7. HardDisk : WD7500AAKS (website)
Western Digital Caviar SE16 - 750GB, 7200RPM, SATA
3Gb/s, 16MB buffer, 4.20ms nominal latency, 8.9ms/10.9ms/21ms seek times.

8. A cannibalized LED/microswitch panel
The power button is moved up to the control box...

9. CrystalFontz CFA-631 USB LCD (website)
( This unit has been relocated to the display cabinet )
USB interface (115200 baud throughput)
LED backlit negative mode STN 20x2 LCD
Integrated LED backlit 4-button translucent silicon keypad

10. SONY DVD-ROM ( DDU1615 ) (website)
Internal EIDE 16X DVD-ROM Drive Unit


How it was made - Hardware :




Since space ran out on our Panasonic HDD recorder and considering how unreliable
it can be, it was time to buy or build an other one... After weighing in all aspects
( cost, features, support! ), I decided not to buy an other pre-made product, but build
one. Got most of the components from Fry's Electronics and online. The pegboard is from
Home Depot and serves as a mounting surface. The software running this box is entirely
developed by Gabor and myself running on a custom-configured OpenSuse 10.3 Linux base.



Designed the layout...



Had to some custom grinding on the screws to make them fit nicely...



Made the spacer-base for the motherboard.



Made the harddisk mounts...



Mounted a 14.5dB quiet fan to provide ventillation for the disks...



Installed the HDDs...



Checked spacing, connections etc...



Installed the TV card and the Wireless card...



Connected the controls and the LED display...



Mounted a fan to cool the capture card...
( notice the vibration prevention measures )



Put the pegboard on a special material to reduce vibration...



Installed vibration prevention measures on the HDDs and fan...



Installed noise dampening on the cabinet door and wall...



Installed a fan to push the hot air out...
( notice the silicon vibration prevention measures )



Went to RadioShack, got a Project Enclosure ($3.99)
Went to Akihabara/Tokyo, got a Power button with light ($2.50)



Moved the LED display and the power button to the enclosure
and connected the LED in the power button to show HDD activity.



Tested if it works...



Connected it up to the display cabinet...



For a while I was booting from a solid-state
memory card, but it didn't make sense after I
fixed the shutdown and wakeup features...


How it was made - Software :




All the software for this is developed by Gabor and myself in C; a multi-threaded
multi-process application. There is a daemon running in the background which provides
the root access where ever is needed and the streamer is a separate thread. Everything
is with select() and signals based to provide fast reaction time etc...
HighDef (1080i/720p) and StandardDef Record / Playback / Delete are available.



The external control unit provides some useful information,
like information on what is being recorded or about to be recorded...



Information on the recording stream...



Full HD resolution is about 8 GB / hour...



Information on the temperatures in the cabinet...
( I can select these displays with the 4 buttons )



Before shutting down, I get info on the wake-up time...



Confirmation dialog for auto shutdown...
This is a part of the full-automated process...



Shutdown in progress...


Go back to the Home Project page.

SCTE65