1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

HTPC Media Centre PC: XP vs Ubuntu

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by modgodtanvir, 31 Aug 2008.

  1. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

    Joined:
    28 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have an old Dell lying around and I thought it would be nice to make this the beginning of a little wireless portal of entertainment...

    The specs are:
    800MHz PIII Processor
    512MB of Ram
    Onboard Intel Graphics
    Soundblaster (can't remember which one :p) 7.1 Sound Card
    14GB HDD + 160 Storage HDD

    I was just wondering if I would be better off with the universal and all compatible Windows XP (which is already installed) or if it would be better to squeeze more out of the system with a linux install...

    I'm guessing XP, but I can't be too sure so I thought I'd get a second opinion on it.

    Thanks in advance for your time,
    MGT :thumb:

    EDIT: Also, I was wondering what would be the best way to get a remote control on the PC? I think there is a version of XP called 'Media Center edition' which uses a remote... is there a way of getting just that remote control on a normal XP Home install?
     
  2. mirciu

    mirciu New Member

    Joined:
    7 Jan 2007
    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    first of all, i my opinion that system is a little bit outdatet for video playback in the form of hd. standart def would work just about fine. for the software aspect i would choose linux mce. it's based on ubuntu so you shouldn't have any issues. i found the eyecandy acceptable and the overall experience quite good. for more info visit www.linuxmce.com
     
  3. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

    Joined:
    28 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    2
    The hardware is most definitely outdated :p I'll struggle to play DVDs with this thing, let alone High Def... but I'd like to use this because it was my first ever computer and don't want to throw it away (just yet :p)...

    Thanks for the link to LinuxMCE. I've never come across this before and it looks interesting...

    In the mean time, I decided I might take a bit of a shortcut and get one of these:
    [​IMG]
    It basically turns you system into a media centre. The VFD will control the sound and video system, with many programmable functions, and can even access your inbox and weather forecasts... so that solves the remote problem. Has anybody here used anything by Soundgraph before?

    Also, is there somewhere on the net for Media Centre building enthusiasts? I'd quite like to see what people are doing these days, and check out the current trends. Keep an eye open in the project logs :dremel: I'll get to work soon...

    :thumb: MGT
     
  4. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    XBMC on Ubuntu is fantastic for your kind of hardware but it obviously features limited remote support, or if you want to try something slightly different but not as good - Boxee is in Alpha and based on XBMC.

    The iMon software.. isn't hugely great to be honest. Well, if it's the same one that was used in the Zalman HTPC case we reviewed a while back.
     
  5. Elv13

    Elv13 New Member

    Joined:
    26 Apr 2006
    Posts:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
  6. Woodstock

    Woodstock So Say We All

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2006
    Posts:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    2
    just about any remote will work with linux, using the LIRC program
     
  7. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

    Joined:
    28 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    2
    Dude, thanks for an awesome collection of links :thumb: I'll have to try each one of those in turn since they all look pretty good. :D I've just installed Media Portal and it looks pretty amazing...

    Really? I've seen iMon stuff used in other HTPC's as well... (Antec Fusion?) and tbh, it looks more like eye candy then anything else... I'll have a look for those Crystalfontz style VFD's as well...

    Remote problem solved :thumb: And if its safe to assume the Windows XP MCE remote is compatible, I'd say we're looking at a winner :clap:

    Thanks for the help so far dudes :D

    I'll phone up some local metal companies tomorrow for some aluminium (Keeping away from the plywood :p). Has anyone here ever bought anything from Hindleys? It looks pretty awesome...

    Cheers,
    MGT
     
  8. Cinnander

    Cinnander New Member

    Joined:
    19 Apr 2007
    Posts:
    393
    Likes Received:
    2
    Before you start can I recommend you check that the wireless card you intend to use isn't going to be a pain in the arse - some are, some aren't. Mostly the ones that need firmware in the drivers which is unavailable from the manus are the ones that suck. I guess just google "Linux install <name of card>" and see how many forum threads you find :p Broadcom are especially bad in my experience.
    OTOH you might find it works fine with just a LiveCD running (I had an Edimax El-cheapo-crappo which did exactly this) :eek:
     
  9. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Oh win!

    Now I've got to find my Vista MCE remote in the list.
     
  10. Woodstock

    Woodstock So Say We All

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2006
    Posts:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    2
    lol, was going to use a multi-function remote i picked up cheap, but i sorta knocked it out the window and didnt relise into the next morning, had 10mm of rain that night
     
  11. antiHero

    antiHero ReliXmas time!

    Joined:
    19 Jan 2005
    Posts:
    2,037
    Likes Received:
    13
    We use Elisa Media center on Ubuntu in our Unions clubroom. Works great with a WiiMote as input :D You ca just flick thru everything with a hand movement
     
  12. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    THIS sounds awesome.

    Video please.
     
  13. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

    Joined:
    26 May 2005
    Posts:
    5,841
    Likes Received:
    80
    If its just for (sd) video playback i can't recommend geexbox highly enough, i've been using it for years on kit much about the same as yours, brilliant even the wife can work it. LIRC can be a bit tricky sometimes, although i've not looked at it in ages so it may have improved, i just use an ati remote which is supported by default.
     
  14. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 New Member

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    1,605
    Likes Received:
    4
    Just had a play with XBMC on my 1.2ghz umbum lappy and I impressed.
     
Tags:

Share This Page