Your HTPC OS Choice?

BitchBreaker

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,836
What os and software do you run and why? Im looking into one and id like tio get all the info from the men and (or) women that use these lil guys.
 

valve1138

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 14, 2003
Messages
11,291
I'm using XP simply becuase I'm not familiar with Loonix flavors. It works quite well.
 

kleptophobiac

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 24, 2001
Messages
7,839
I see three good choices out there at the moment:

Linux with MythTV (knoppmyth makes it easy as pie)
Windows with SageTV
Windows with BTV

I personally use Myth because I'm quite experienced with linux and I'm a cheap bastard.
 

Treyshadow

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2003
Messages
1,392
I am a ease of use guy, though very good in linux.

I had fedora core 2 running mythtv, and switched to Windows XP Pro running beyond tv. I like the support for the firefly remote for windows better in beyond tv than the support for the firefly in linux using mythtv.

Oh, and I can use other windows Apps on the machine without a sluggish vmware session.

The box is an aria with an A64 3000+, a PVR-250, a 9600 256MB, and 2 Seagate 200gig drives.
 

k1114

2[H]4U
Joined
May 5, 2001
Messages
3,153
Currently XP Pro with BTV and TheaterTek, just messing around until I get a good tuner card.
 

BrettG

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Messages
108
I started out with a windows 98 machine running good ol media player 7 years ago, then switched to Freevo on Redhat 9... then I started using KnoppMyth.

If you're absolutely new to linux, just go with windows. I'm no newb, and I only had my stubborn-ness to combat the jillions of 'duh, you didn't know that you had to recompile Mplayer to work on your AMD? idiot!' types of responses to even simple questions. The Linux community is its strongest asset as well as its greatest weakness.

Even KnoppMyth will take you hours to set up, unless you're running specs real close to the creator(s)

I'll probably go back to Win98 (have a license that needs to be used) ... but Linux is very capable and doesn't support all the DRM junk that windows will force on you eventually...

Right now, the best 'HTPC' seems to be a software modded Xbox with the freevo or MythTV package running on Xebian.
 

BitchBreaker

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,836
Im more of a Linux buff, winblows and the Microshaft corp make a great OS for gaming but for any thing i want to work all the time i chose linux.
 

rolo

Gawd
Joined
Jul 15, 2000
Messages
591
Running XP Media Center Edition here, it's definitely the best option if you can get a copy and have the hardware to run it well (like Hauppauge TV cards w/ hardware MPEG-2 encoding).
 

IDversusEGO

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
5,015
Windows XP Pro for the OS. I have Meedio running with Zoomplayer Pro for media playback and SageTV for PVR. So far so good.
 

BitchBreaker

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,836
This is good stuff guys i have taken a look at all of the software that was talked about here and i must say i like some of it a lot, the last thing im waiting to test is xp pro media edition.
 

IDversusEGO

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
5,015
I tryed XP Media Center and dumped it for the more customizable 3rd party options. I much preferred the cutumization of meedio and the developer support for plugins. Also, being able to download themes is very nice. I also had issues with drivers and my "custom" copy of XP media center.
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,670
I'm hearing that MCE 2005 is going to be alot more like BTV and Sage so I'm hoping to try it out at some point. I'm also told that MCE 04 has limited support for some HD tuners too. ;)
 

Bighitter

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2000
Messages
1,685
Even better is MCE2005 is supposedly going to be available via OEMs and not just bundled with a computer.
 

IDversusEGO

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
5,015
what format does MCE record in? I thought it used to record in some odd format that wasn't as easy to backup or play on non MCE pc's. I could be wrong though.
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,670
It's a Proprietary MPEG2 format (it just has some sort of DRM junk I believe) but with a Win update you can play them on other Winboxes.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
794
I just use Win2k for my HTPC. With ATI's Multimedia Center and few well placed Shortcuts I don't need anything more.

:)
 

rolo

Gawd
Joined
Jul 15, 2000
Messages
591
CrimandEvil said:
BTW guys I have found a place that sells MCE 2004. It's local to me and I've been checking up on them all day (talking with a rep via email too) so they look legit.
Link: http://store.viosoftware.biz/wixpmeceedoe.html
reseller rating: http://www.resellerratings.com/seller1308-p1-s1-d1.html

So for those guys hoping to use MCE there it is. Thank lithium726 for the link.

If that's legit, and I'm not completely convinced they're allowed to be doing that yet, then that's definitely the best way to go for building an HTPC.
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,670
MCE '05 is suppose to be available for OEM purchase but as far as I know MS has no real option on '04 other then that they won't sell it via OEM to end users but if anyone wants to try it out they can send me the cash and I'll go and buy it in person to see if it's truely legit (and to play with MCE' 04 of course). :D
 

guavo83

n00b
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Messages
5
MythTV on Fedora Core using the related ATrpms. Fairly simple/easy setup, does not crash or run slow because the OS leaks memory.

http://wilsonet.com/mythtv/fcmyth.php

in service for around 10 months... Commercial auto-skip is the best thing ever :)

Using zap2it for free listings.

I suppose someday I'll upgrade to the newest version of MythTV and FC2... but it works great right now and does everything that it is needed.
 

dboy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2003
Messages
189
XP Pro and Meedio.

Actually, my active HTPC is running XPPro and myhtpc. I'm building a new htpc in an Antec Aria case running Meedio. Just waiting for the tv portion to be available :)
 

nintari

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
1,792
I put WindowsXP MCE on all my machines anymore :D the nagain I have access to msdn and machines/copies for reviewing/testing :D

Once MCE 2k5 hits oem it will be supported more by the HTPC community. I am really suprised by the lack of knowledge by the HTPC community when it comes to MCE.

and BTW MCE is fully customizeable in the way of looks, you just have to know how to do it ;)

Also I think people don't relize how many plugins there are for MCE but all that will be shown and out in time along with much info on MCE 2005 :D
 

liquorman

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
100
Sadly Gotta be XP, I wouldn't be satisfied if I couldn't play Doom 3 or FreeLancer on my big screen.

XP with SageTV
 

JoeKewl

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Messages
133
Gotta be Linux (slack 8,9,10) & Freevo!

Currently 3 of them:
System 1: Movie Cube
Stricktly used for playing movies, fairly portable system with a 250gb HD & over 100 movies in various formats (VCD, SVCD, DivX, XViD, etc..)
Not to mention 50+ of the funniest SNL clips for when I take this thing to a freinds house for poker, drinking, and movies...
All of my freinds love this box, and even the dumbest of them can pick up the remote or keyboard, and navigate the freevo menu's, and play the movies with no instructions.

System 2: Freevo Box
Record TV only from cheap WinTV card to DivX format, quality is just ok, but hours of recording on a small HD kicks ass. Schedule 99% of recording through easy to use web interface.

System 3: Freevo Test Box
Currently using WinTV PVR 250 card for mpeg2 capture, files are huge, but small linux shell scripts easily convert the captured mpeg2 files to DVD iso images ready for burning with the click of one button (I've seen nothing comprable to this in windows environment).


For my needs, Freevo is awsome, and fairly easy to configure. And fast too! Even on the old hardware on my system (Duron 750 128/256MB ram), all these system boot up very fast, and are ready to go! All of these systems were built for less than $400.
The toughest part of everything was getting the linux OS configured to work with some of the TV hardware. What really makes things much more difficult is when damn cable providers broadcast standard TV channels (2-13) on non-standard frequencies (grrrrr.... comcast)!!! Thank god I have moved out of their area recently. But for playing just movies, all config was a snap!
 

Unixmonkey

n00b
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
7
I've been using MythTV on Knoppmyth for awhile, and am pleased with its use and progression. I just wish I had a proper IR remote.

I don't do TV capturing though, I use the .avi playing & emulator gaming stuff mostly.
 

EagleTG

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
186
WinXP Pro and SageTV here. Biostar iDeq 200V SFF. ATi 9600XT with DVI-to-Component output.
 

Jiffylush

Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
728
XP Pro SP2 with Snapstream's Beyond TV and Beyond Media (latest beta's for both)

Wait till you see the new BTV 3.5 before making any decisions about what you want to use, it has really come a long way.

HTPC Specs:
P4 2.4c on IC7 in a Sonata
PVR-250
Radeon 9700pro
1024 pc3200 (2x512 in dual channel)
Remote Wonder
480gb of storage
 
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