Setting up a Home Theatre PC

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5Horizons    1

I'm wanting to get a HTPC, but I'm not sure what to get. Right now all of my computers are Macs, so I was thinking that a Mac Mini would be the way to go. I hooked my MacBook to my LCD TV and gave it a spin, but I had some issues.

My movie collection is all 720p h.264 videos with AC3 sound and thus a Matroska container since mp4 doesn't "officially" support AC3. The thing is, VLC and Mplayer both choke pretty bad playing .mkv -- seeking through a video can cause all sorts of problems and they randomly crash on me quite a bit. It's also been pretty shaky getting Dolby Surround to output -- this can lead to audio sync problems, weird audio issues, and more crashes.

So I was wondering... Is the support for my video files any better in the Windows world? I want a setup that "just works" and for my situation I'm thinking Media Center might be a good idea. Getting things working right on my MacBook has been a royal pain and considering a Mini would be even slower, I'm worried that I would run into even more issues.

Ideally, I'd want to stick with a Mac-based solution, but I have no idea if my "situation" will improve in the near future (I'm planning on doing all this in about 4-5 months, after I buy a new HDTV).

Thanks for reading all that, let me know if you have any advice :)

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