It is currently Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:20 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Media centre software options?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:32 am
Posts: 64
Hi,

What are the choices out there for media centre systems in terms of software and OS..

Obviously I know about Windows media centre but in using it I have to think there is something better.. Something simple enough for my folks to use yes sophisticated enough to di DVD upscaling to 1080p..

At this point all I am after is the ability to play DVD's and DivX files..

So far I have used Windows media centre and had a go at LinixMCE..

What else is out there?

TIA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:52 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:49 am
Posts: 713
Location: Denmark
MediaPortal

Mythbuntu

Just to name a few. :)

_________________
I'd rather go synchronize swimming with Angela Lansbury


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:32 am
Posts: 64
Mythbuntu I hadn't heard of.. Will have to give that a spin.. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:20 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:16 am
Posts: 1302
Location: en.gb.uk
I played around with MythTV for quite a while (over a year), tried to use it in a server + client configuration. To be honest ... it just plain isn't finished yet, nor will it ever be (by definition for such a project). There are so many disparate bits of Linux needed which aren't quite done yet. Great fun if you enjoy fiddling about with kernel patches and bits of beta code, but not so much fun if that's what you do for a day job and you just want a weekend doing something else! Not great when the g/f is watching the football and it crashes halfway through. Even so-called one touch solutions such as KnopMyth didn't really work.

I've since given up on Linux and tried SageTV and that's been a much more pleasant experience to get going and usable.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
MediaPortal +1

Also, Meedio (www.meedios.com) is still being worked on, along with a new product called MeediOS. Both will be much harder to setup due to their complexity and flexibility. MediaPortal is essentially ready to go out of the box (or out of the installer as it were).

Depending on what you are doing with your HTPC, there is also GBPVR.

Most Media Center apps are "front ends" and work with other software on your system to bring everything together. Whether it's using external media players or a "back-end" database, it's mainly just a fancy polish covering the dirty work underneath.

Give mediaportal (with the Xface skin) a try and if you find it's too simple and can't do everything you want (unlikely if you're asking the question) you can always start learing Meedio. With either you can use your media player of choice for specific post-processing or use the internal player which can also work with some post-processors.

_________________
HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:29 am
Posts: 132
Location: IN, USA
Give GB-PVR at try. It's easy to set up and very reliable. Very customizable. And free. :D

I don't know what exactly jhhoffma meant by "depending on what you are doing with your HTPC", but I use GBPVR for pretty much everything HTPC related.

If you're just playing DVDs and DivX files, maybe you want a media extender or just a DVD player, and not a HTPC.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Avalanche wrote:
I don't know what exactly jhhoffma meant by "depending on what you are doing with your HTPC", but I use GBPVR for pretty much everything HTPC related.


I meant that if your just looking to do TV and movies GB-PVR is a good option, but if you want to do lots of different things outside of that, then Mediaportal/Meedio is probably a better option due to the size of the community. Not that GB-PVR doesn't have it's own great plugin community, I just find that MediaPortal has a better and more stable selection.

_________________
HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:32 am
Posts: 64
I guess if I had to list what I am after its the following..

Must have
- Simple interface to operate
- Play DVD's upscaled to 1080p
- Play DixX/mpeg uspcaled to 1080p
- DD and DTS audio pass through to AV-Receiver

Nice to have
- Remote control with MCE remote (as I have one)

Very cool to have
- Firewire DV capture to HDD and DVD disk creation (obviously this may complicate the system significantly)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:29 am
Posts: 132
Location: IN, USA
Upscaling is handled by your video card and codecs, not your media center program, AFAIK.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Avalanche wrote:
Upscaling is handled by your video card and codecs, not your media center program, AFAIK.


Upscaling is, in fact, done by the video card. However, resizing (or upconverting) is what most people want when they say this. This is usually done either by the player software or a post-processing filter like ffdshow or Purevideo.

ffdshow is the most ubiquitous post-processing filter because of the insane amount of tweaking you can do to get the picture just right. The freaks over at AVSForum will have your head spinning in about 30sec with what you can do with that.

All of the things you have listed can be done with MediaPortal/GBPVR/Meedio either directly or indirectly. You may have to use and external player or filter along with them, but it's definitely doable. DD and DTS passthrough, if not supported by the player itself, can be done by using AC3Filter as a sound mixer. Every front-end I've ever seen can use the MCE remote natively. Firewire DV capture would be the trickiest thing I can think of, but certainly doable. The forums at each front-end's site will be your greatest weapon, and look for guides on setup as well.

_________________
HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 5:20 am
Posts: 34
there's also mythdora


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:32 am
Posts: 64
Thanks for all the input everyone.. Looks like I have a lot of playing to do.. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: SageTV
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:40 am
Posts: 228
http://www.sage.tv
http://brentevans.blogspot.com/2008/01/ ... agetv.html

There's always the AppleTV with some serious hacking (can't beat the ease & price, though) - http://www.apple.com/appletv/
http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/10/how- ... -apple-tv/

I use Vista's Media Center because it's the "most comfortable", but SageTV with the SageMC front-end is really-really close. Probably more stable and has better guide data, and available for Linux and Mac, too.

You didn't mention the OS, so I assume either Windows or Linux. Apple's Front Row is probably about as simple as you can get, if you can find a way to load Mac OS (www.osx86project.org) on your machine.

Edit: Scratch the AppleTV - no DVD drive. A Mac Mini would work, though for about 3x the price. You've should probably spend some time at AVSforum.com's HTPC area

-Dan


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:15 am
Posts: 10
Location: Portsmouth, UK.
As Nutball said, MythTV (and all the premade MythTV-distros) just won't ever be finished, its too geeky for its own good, I have lived with MythTV for over a year!

I am now setting up a Vista Media Centre HTPC, its just so much nicer when everything works and you don't have to keep delving into text config files. Ok, system overheads might be higher, but its not like its exactly taxing! My HTPC runs on a Socket A Sempron (Barton-core)

I have tried GBPVR, Freevo, MythTV XPMCE.. and the best of the bunch so far is Vista... although XBMC is pretty funky too!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:26 pm
Posts: 1162
Location: UK
Navvie wrote:
I have tried GBPVR, Freevo, MythTV XPMCE.. and the best of the bunch so far is Vista... although XBMC is pretty funky too!

VMC rant:

No DVB-S support without third-party hacks, and then no HD (for Europe) support is a dealbreaker for me. Microsoft don't seem remotely interested in fixing it.

No ability at all to cope with both DVB-S and DVB-T tuners simultaneously - you can choose one or the other, and that's it. Don't even think about trying to use more than two tuners of any kind, either.

It refuses to FF/rewind through avi, mkv files etc - there's a third-party plugin that will provide some of the functionality that's (inexcusably) missing, but it doesn't work very well in my experience.

Don't for the love of god spend ages downloading high-quality album art, name it according to the "folder.jpg" convention, and then let WMP/VMC loose on your music collection... before you can say "oh, bugger," it will have overwritten your image files with nasty low-res 200x200px replacements without so much as a by-your-leave. Yes, you can configure it not to do this, but by the time many people find out it's too late.

Oh, and just give me five minutes alone with the twat who came up with that "wall of thumbnails" idea in the video library... a more useless way of organising media is hard to imagine. Not only is it impossible to identify a particular file in the ugly, confusing, cluttered mess until the cursor is actually on it, but you can't even easily go through them in a logical order because of the stupid up-down-across way they're arranged.

I could go on, but my blood pressure is getting dangerously high already...

/end rant.

Of the Windows alternatives I've tried, I think SageTV seems about the best, although the latest version of GBPVR (1.2.9) is rather nice, and miles better than it used to be (and free of course, unlike SageTV). As far as MythTV is concerned, never was the saying "Life's too short for Linux" more appropriate... :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:40 am
Posts: 228
nick705 wrote:
Oh, and just give me five minutes alone with the twat who came up with that "wall of thumbnails" idea in the video library... ...through them in a logical order because of the stupid up-down-across way they're arranged.

/end rant.


Yeah, that wall of videos is just about as stupid is as stupid does. I'm sure someone is cooking up a plug-in, though, so I'm not too worried. I joined Netflix and don't have time to watch with a toddler, so I'm stacking up AVI's at a pretty fast clip, and the wall just gets bigger and bigger. If they only added a title view, or even did some intelligent scrolling (left to right, anyone??).

Anyway, the thing with MS is that they do listen, and (unlike the ATSC problems) when there is a) Enough pain caused and b) enough people use it, they fix it. The ATSC guide sub-channel issue will never go away, since they think that nobody uses an antenna anymore. <sigh>

Sage IS really good - with the SageMC front-end, it's as close to XBMC as you can get with TV Tuning on top. Sage just requires lots of hacking (and allows lots of hacking), which I just can't get into these days, but it's definately the most Linux-like of the bunch, with the die-hard users and all. Very much like the Slimserver crowd.

-Dan


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: FOR JUST A PLAYER
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:51 am
Posts: 372
Location: Seattle
I use KM Player.


http://www.kmplayer.com/forums/index.php


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group