How to setup HTPC?


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User_Deleted

I am in the process of reconfiguring one of my computers to be a media computer. I am wondering what would be the best why to set it up OS/Software wise. Would Windows XP be better with xbmc or would windows 7 be, also would a hard drive function better linked by a sata cable or by usb 2.0? Thank you in advance!

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DrJohnSmitherson

The software really comes down to personal preference and the power of the machine. Boxee is very popular choice and so is Win7's media center (which I love). But with slower machines, Netflix streaming in Boxee will lag. Win7 will be best since it has the best networking with other PCs. It will let you stream from other PCs. SATA is always better than usb 2.0. I'd go with Win7 and Win7 media center

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spudtrooper

Depends on what you want. Are you using it as a network server? what type of content? blu ray? do you want multiple users streaming? are you looking for something super quiet? Are you doing analog/digital 5.1 / 7.1? hdmi? vga?

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User_Deleted

Well the specs of the machine in question is a amd x2 4400 2.2Ghz, 2x Geforce 7900gs in sli, 2gb of ram, a 320gb 5400rpm hd. I have it hooked up via hdmi to a 40inch philips lcd. I just want it to be used on this tv, no streaming. I have tried that before and since my network is mostly wireless it doesn't work that well. Oh it had optical output to a amp.

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HawkMan

is it a htpc or a media center, HTPC generally implies it will be fully featured for everything, including TV tuner, in which case, xbmc and boxee is out anyway. and unless you're in the states, Windows Media Center is unfortunately rarely an option as well due to the fact they only support the DVB providers there. leaving you with MediaPortal.

Personally I would suggest Win7+MediaPortal in any case. it's a solid system very extendable and easy to use. Also it's built from the ground up for server client setups as well where you may want that.

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User_Deleted

This will be a media center then. I want it to be able to play 1080p movies with a nice UI.

I want something more customizable then with media center :s

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PeteWhite

For the software I would use Windows 7 + MediaBrowser which is a plug-in for Media Centre.

Pete

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DootDootMan

For the software I would use Windows 7 + MediaBrowser which is a plug-in for Media Centre.

Pete

Just asking. Why do users have to end their sentence with their Neowin user name? It's obvious who you are.

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Michael Lacey

You can also bypass Windows / Mac OS altogether and get the XBMC disc that only has a minimal Linux base. You'll maxmize computer resource efficiency that way, unless you need some Windows exclusive features.

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StealMySoda

Like many have said, really depends what your looking for it to do.

Are you using it as a freeview box also, or just to play video files?

If your just looking for something to play video files, then I'd say the standalone XBMC install would be your best bet, it's lightning fast.

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  • 1 month later...
Sir Topham Hatt

I am the same as you, I simply want mine to play movies, none of that music, pictures rubbish :p

I chose Windows 7 for security and ease of use (as my HTPC is connected to the net). However I didn't really get on with XMBC (lots of controls which didn't make sense from the very beginning!), tried Media Portal but there was a problem with that too. Inbuilt media centre worked okay but wouldn't let me skip to various places in the movie and Media Browser just looked like a polished version of media centre, so all in all, I have yet to choose a system to use.

However I am still leaning towards XMBC as it was the most customizable of the lot.

You should also look into Media Center Master to tag all your movies and download art for them. A good piece of free software amde by a developer who actually seems to care :) (Y).

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