Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 16 Aug 2012.
Well instead of Windows Media Center why don't you run XBMC with plugins for iplayer, netflix, uTorrent, SABnzbd and just about everything else under the sun....
Then you can use windows in the background for media storage, downloading, etc and the xbmc for media streaming?
Windows media centre has been a shambles every time I've attempted to use it over the years.
XBMC on top of a windows or linux system, on the other hand, is hugely expandable, and you can always drop out of it to perform any other tasks you may need to.
I left a message about Android with ARM SoC making a better router, it think it will also be the same for NAS / Media Player Box.
XBMC, as others have said, is fantastic for a TV-centric user experience, in comparison to Win Media Centre. It's extensible, easy to use and reliable. There are other similar apps such as Plex, but I'm not sure whether it's as stable as XBMC tends to be.
Personally, I use a tiny Mac Mini box which runs SABnzbd+, Couch Potato and Sickbeard, which all communicate with XBMC. The Mini is connected to a 50" LED TV. To interact with the OS, I use a bluetooth keyboard and wireless mouse. Movies and TV series are added to XBMC automatically, and a notification pops up telling me they're available to watch. I can even get it to send me a tweet or e-mail!
not sure about combining NAS with HTPC/streamer. the NAS has hard disk in them clicking away and generating heat+noise. the array of hard disks should really be in another room.
i put my NAS box in a cupboard running everything under the sun. then i stream using a jailbroken Apple TV, which was bought instead of other options for Airplay purposes.
Same as most of the above, XBMC on linux, works like a charm (after lots of struggling with windows media player).
I use a mini-itx system with an SSD under my TV for streaming and everything else and have a small NAS tucked away for storage. Works just fine and the noise is non-existent.
HP Proliant Microserver (when it has Â£100 cashback), Bunch of 3TB hard drives, full blown ubuntu and xbmc and a fanless graphics card. Although it is not as quiet as I would like.
Passively cooled mobile Core Duo PC with 1Tb WD Caviar Green HDD, running Windows Media Centre. 30W of quiet functionality. Good enough for me.
Clicking ? I hear my fans running at low RPM in the server, but not the hard drives.
I've 2 HTPC's running old hardware with XBMC and he "server" is on Win7 and all the xbmc's access the shared files
Even the Mrs understands it and uses perfectly, if she's happy I'm happy
When I buy a house plan to have a hidden server running 24/7 for everything and have the house wired for music and media, mrs's is gonna love me soooo much
I run the old WDTV Live (time to upgrade, it's not got iPlayer on it) with a NetGear Ready NAS hidden away upstairs. All our phones (Android) backup images and vidoes straight to the NAS when connected to wifi. The NAS zips and backs up into the cloud (SkyDrive). My gaming PC backs up to the NAS too. We use an old 1st gen iPod to stream music to the kitchen.
You forgot support for multiple Freeview/Freesat HD tuners.
I have a decent gaming PC with 4x freeview tuners in a Silverstone SST-GD04B connected to my TV. I use it mainly as a PVR and a gaming machine. Xbox controller means console style sofa comfort combined with PC quality graphics on a big screen and I have found Windows media Center to be an excellent PVR with adequate support for playback of downloaded / streaming video & audio. The PC is whisper quiet during video playback and not noticeable when playing games.
My main HTPC records TV and stores it locally in a shared folder, so if I want to watch something on my laptop, it appears straight away (the Recorded TV library includes this shared folder). I was disappointed to hear that MS isn't upgrading WMC for W8, but I'm glad it's still there as I don't know what I'd use for a PVR otherwise - I'm not aware of anything that can match it at present. Because of this I can put up with its shortcomings with regards to non-recorded content.
Two recent purchases have greatly improved my HTPC experience: Logitech Anywhere MX Mouse and Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
. They have worked perfectly without any dropouts so far which is a huge step forward from the cheap tat I was using before!
Same as almost everyone else here
HP Proliant Microserver (they're still doing £100 off, only now 1.5ghz for about the same price) with XBMC, Sickbeard & SABnzbd.
I've also gone with WHS2011, its got the GPU acceleration that WHS lacks, automated backups of other machines in the house (4 HDDs, room for an SSD and more in the 5.25" bay area of the HP MS) and its pretty much on par with Win7 but can be picked up legit for around £38.
Media friendly, file storage (and backup), it all comes together to make a cracking little box.
It used to be old linux box running MythTV, Transmission and FlexGet, then I dropped the cable TV subscription and just went to Transmission and Flexget. Frontend used to by my Original XBox, but since getting a new TV with built-in DLNA, the linux box got Serviio installed and everything's just great.
As many others have said, XBMC is your best bet for a frontend (running under Windows if you must for Steam support), and keep all those noisy HDD's in a closet somewhere (the basement or loft) attached to an old PC running Linux.
I am actually in the progress of setting up my dedicated mediacentre/homesever box right now. Amd A6-3650. And I have previously had a lot of success with using xbmc. What I'd really like though, is an app for my android phone which enables me to browse my music selection and control the playback, so I wont have to turn the tv on. Any recommendations?
I suppose windows 8 should solve all these problems with a decent enough app, providing you can navigate win 8 with an xbox controller (haven't tried).
If I were to build a HTPC, a storage server or really just about any multi-purpose rig I'd probably go for the Llano. It can play some games, has all the connectivity and doesn't cost too much.
That said, I don't really have any use for such rig. I already have a standalone NAS-box and all the media comes directly from my desktop.
XBMC Remote ?
I've got a media server running off a C2D e5300 with two 1tb hdds. Stores all my movies and music. Also has enough room for essential backups, and serves as my torrent and ftp box - I use VNC to remote into it for those last two. My main TV accesses the mediaserver share drives via a networked blu-ray player (LG570) that has built-in Netflix, Vudu, and several other "apps" (though I'd love the ability to add new ones), and optical out to my 5.1 receiver (which my wife hates).
I'm buying a Raspberry Pi for media streaming / netflix to my kitchen TV, and allows the wife to browse for recipes at the same time, which has a high WAF (wife acceptance factor).
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