HTPC software, what are the good options?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by emorphien, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. emorphien

    emorphien New Member

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    I'm finally spending the money to get my old desktop hooked up to my home theater and the wireless network. I intend to use it as an HTPC, with TOSLINK optical out (if it works, otherwise analog stereo, I've yet to test the audio) and component output from the breakout cable for the X800XL the computer has.

    I'm feeling exceptionally lazy, so maybe I'll reformat and reinstall an OS, maybe not. I don't feel like dealing with Linux, most likely. Ubuntu would be easy to install but I really don't know how well it will play with the Shuttle motherboard and some of the outputs. Windows XP works, I have a legit disc for it, so I will probably stick with that.

    Since the purpose for this computer is strictly going to be some basic web browsing and primarily to access music and video media from other computers on the network (and whatever might be stored locally on it) I'd like to try to improve the interface.

    What I'd like to find, if possible, is an add on/layer to install on Windows XP to give some slicker media center functionality if possible. I don't have the Media Center version so I am looking elsewhere. I've used Xbox media center and have heard of Media Portal which seems to be by the same guys but nobody I know uses it and I haven't heard anything about it. Is there anything out there that installs over Windows XP that works reasonably well? I really don't feel like doing Linux this time, unless it's as easy to install and get working as whatever I can pile on top of XP Pro.
     
  2. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

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    well, you could try this:
    http://www.linuxmce.org/
    it's really easy to install, they have a pretty hot looking girl walk you through the whole thing
    check out the video, it can do some amazing things
    i'm not sure how compatible your hardware will be

    mediaportal is pretty decent to add onto winxp and looks similar to xp media center, kinda bland interface though

    i really like xbmc, but obviously it is somewhat limited because it's on an xbox
     
  3. emorphien

    emorphien New Member

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    Yeah hardware compatibility is my main concern and consideration for being lazy and sticking with Windows :rofl:

    Thanks for your help, I'll look in to LinuxMCE too. I may try a couple things before settling so that LinuxMCE might be worth a go.
     
  4. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

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    i downloaded the hi-def version of the demo video last night. that operating system can do amazing things like arm an alarm system and follow you around the house because of the remote you use etc.
     
  5. SporkLover

    SporkLover New Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTPC

    there are a few packages identified in the wikipedia page

    I am planning to use Knoppix with MythTv. I really like the idea of having a client and server HTPC setup.

    The plan is that the server I build will have 500GB - 1TB of mirrored drives (not sure how much I want to spend yet), 2 - 3 Tuners.

    Then the Front end boxes I build for each of my TV's will be small footprint MythTV clients, with decent video cards with RCA/DVI out, and good 5.1 Sound cards.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007

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