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Myth
29-12-2011, 09:41 PM
Hi,

just wondering if anyone has experience making/selling these. I am looking to build my own and am seeking help with various aspects of this.

Ok; my current HTPC was made on minimal budget with old hardware and has worked reasonably well till recently
Old IBM with 2.8 P4, 1G RAM, FX5500 PCI graphics, MCE USB Remote and receiver, ran on Ubuntu with XBMC

Current hardware:
M2N-VM DVI mobo with an AMD 4800+ x2 CPU. 2G RAM. MCE USB Remote and receiver
Will be adding 2TB drive very soon, later will possibly be off-board graphics/audio and possible TV card.
OS???


What I want is this: to boot the computer without keyboard OR mouse - it will be wholly controlled by remote. All I do is turn it on, control the menus via remote, then shut it down when I have finshed with the remote. Is this possible? I see no reason why not.
What OS would be best to do this? Primarily this will be all I need help with and suggestions on

I DON'T want hack jobs (as I currently have to have with the Ubuntu). I want nice and easy to set up; no problems between hardware and OS (so I guess you can kiss Linux goodbye)

Suggestions and helpful hints please ...

Chilling_Silence
29-12-2011, 09:50 PM
Whats wrong with XBMC Live?

Myth
29-12-2011, 10:20 PM
Didn't realise it was any different to XBMC on Ubuntu - isn't that what it is?

If it has no problems with Intel HDA audio, and Nvidia integrated graphics card; then sure I'll give it a whirl. However, from what I have been reading on the fedora/ubuntu/debian (yes I have tried varying releases of these) forums, both of these are not supported out of the box and generally need a tonne of blood sweat and tears to get working.

...anyway, d/l and will throw it on USB

Chilling_Silence
30-12-2011, 05:53 AM
Otherwise, use a Linux distro with VideoLAN Client (VLC Media Player) and use the likes of VLC Remote for your Cellphone :) That also works, just have your fav distro load VLC after automatically logging in a user. Worked for me for a while too :)

Myth
30-12-2011, 06:17 AM
From the XBMC site:


The default username and password are listed below, but during installation, you will be able to change these to your own username and password. We reccommend that you write down the username and password you have chosen, and store it away in a safe place

From OP:


What I want is this: to boot the computer without keyboard OR mouse - it will be wholly controlled by remote. All I do is turn it on, control the menus via remote, then shut it down when I have finshed with the remote.

And yeah, I trialled the LiveCD on another computer with nvidia card... sure enough it hung.

Myth
30-12-2011, 06:49 AM
To put this simply... I want my 7 year old (reasonably computer literate) to be able to start and run this via remote ...

No wireless keyboards
No wireless mice

Just an IR remote control

psycik
30-12-2011, 06:56 AM
You're just after a playback machine?

XBMC is probably a good choice. Can't help you with the remote for that, as I'm windows based, but I have a device called a USB-UIRT which is a usb connected infrared receiver and transmitter. Receives pretty much any type of remote RC3, RC5 etc. It may integrate with xmbc.

If you're looking at recording I use windows 7 and a couple of DVB-T tuner cards - for software I use NextPVR - written (for free) by a wellingtonian.

That said I've used XBMC on my apple tv, and really like it, I'd use it more, but it cant control my tuners, and the apple tv2 hasn't enough grunt to deal with the 1080i Freeview HD video.

Chilling_Silence
30-12-2011, 07:44 AM
If you want an "out of the box" solution like that, buy a WDTV Live, PlayOn Media Player or even this: http://pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=DVAAPA0670

Otherwise, because of the myriad of hardware possibilities and configuration choices, if you're not even willing to setup a distro to auto-login, then you're fresh outta luck.

dugimodo
30-12-2011, 10:35 AM
I don't know, I use windows 7 media centre with a media remote and it's very simple and easy. Plus you can boot without a keyboard, although I use a logitech Dinovo mini blue-tooth keyboard/ trackpad device to control mine for browsing etc (just occasionally).

Good points are - Default media centre remote support, works with TV tuners, gives the same interface for music / videos / TV, Makes a nice PVR, simple and easy to use, can put PC in and out of standby from remote, some new boards support power on/ off from remote also. If you have internet access you can also ue it for general surfing from wndows.

Downsides are - You have to add everything you want to play to the libraries to acess it. Guide only partly works (Now/ Next format, weekly guide still unsupported by windows). It's windows so you really need anti-virus software etc.
I use VLC to and windows homegroup to play stuff over the network which does require a mouse of some kind (Dinovo does the Job).

Regarding the guide, no software has out of the box support for the MHEG5 guide broadcast in NZ, there are tools you can get to download and convert it to a compatible format automatically but my attempts left me thinking it needs more work. (partly worked, got the guide but totally screwed up the channel names in my media centre) and is the kind of thing you said you wanted to avoid.

I also would be very suprised if XBMC worked with DVB-T tuners in NZ, and Blu-ray also.

My media centre PC plays networked media, Blu-ray from it's own drive, My CD collection ripped into WMA lossless format (because it works better with media centre than othe lossless formats), Freeview with a HVR1200 PCI-E, and can play any format that windows can. All with no software except windows 7 home premium OEM and VLC (just for those tricky Video files).

Specs:
Asus P8H67-I ITX motherboard
P4 G620 2.66Ghz dual core (had an i5 2500 but was total overkill so I swapped it with another machine)
4Gb Kingston HyperX
Silverstone Sugo ITX case (forget which version)
Slimline sony slot loading Blu-ray drive (expensive but I think it's cool)
Hauppauge HVR1200 PCI-E TV tuner, gives me TV and FM radio in Media centre :)
Using the Integrated intel HD Graphics with HDMI output to TV and the optical SPDIF out to my 5.1 receiver

I might try XBMC live on it just for a blast, but I am happy with it as is.

narutophantom
30-12-2011, 10:42 AM
I am currently controlling XBMC on windows 7 ultimate with no problems, using an mce usb remote/receiver.
To automatically boot into xbmc without logging in you'll need to use group policy editor (http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Make_Windows_boot_directly_to_XBMC_(as_a_shell) #For_Windows_7_and_optional_EventGhost_:_Using_Win dows_7_Group_Policy_Object_Editor), the eventghost part can be ignored.

For getting full function out of your mce remote I found the easiest way was to use this installer http://xbmccustomregis.sourceforge.net/remote_auto.html making sure that the remote is found as Microsoft eHome Infrared Transceiver under device manager -> Human interface devices and to enable remote control sends keyboard presses in xbmc.

Shutting down the computer can be down by selecting shutdown in the xbmc menu, but you will have to set it to not close down xbmc in settings but to shutdown the htpc. As far as turning on the htpc with a remote I have no idea how to do this and just press the power button myself.

Using the custom registry installer the remote will have the functions as below:
http://xbmccustomregis.sourceforge.net/images/RC6_remote_pic_%20coded_functions3.13.jpg

Myth
30-12-2011, 12:38 PM
If you want an "out of the box" solution like that, buy a WDTV Live, PlayOn Media Player or even this: http://pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=DVAAPA0670

Otherwise, because of the myriad of hardware possibilities and configuration choices, if you're not even willing to setup a distro to auto-login, then you're fresh outta luck.Oh.. you mean this:

echo '# tty1 - getty' > /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo '#' >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo '# This service maintains a getty on tty1 from the point the system is' >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo '# started until it is shut down again.' >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo 'start on stopped rc RUNLEVEL=[2345]' >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo 'stop on runlevel [!2345]' >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo 'respawn' >> /etc/init/tty1.conf
echo 'exec /bin/login -f xbmc </dev/tty1 > /dev/tty1 2>&1' >> /etc/init/tty1.conf

echo 'case "`tty`" in' > /home/xbmc/.bash_profile
echo '/dev/tty1) clear && startx &>/dev/null;;' >> /home/xbmc/.bash_profile
echo 'esac' >> /home/xbmc/.bash_profile

Finding that was one of the many hoops I had to jump through to get the system I have now

Then there was the "how to start XBMC auto". Then the policykit doesnt do what it is supposed to to shut it down. Then ...

Dude, I spent a week trialling different versions of different distros trying to get something that did even close to what it has to.
And even then the closest I was able to get was something which required a mod to the config xml file to do a 2-keypress combo to shut the pc down.

Im over those sort of hack jobs.

Myth
30-12-2011, 04:07 PM
Solved.

One word:

Openelec

Also: thanks to those who replied... esp in regards to Win 7. This may well be a future purchase if I get seriously into it

Speedy Gonzales
30-12-2011, 08:00 PM
There is no XP ultimate. So its probably pirated

wainuitech
30-12-2011, 09:08 PM
ellanmomo is a SPAMMER :spam -- a human possibly, not a BOT this time, and a very poor attempt at one at that :D

Chilling_Silence
30-12-2011, 10:33 PM
One word:

Openelec

Cool, I stand corrected :D

wainuitech
31-12-2011, 04:25 PM
Just had a look at that Openelec, worked Ok and installed easily ( couldn't really be any easier) big problem though - tried it on two different PC,s in both cases it didn't detect the network adaptor which then wont allow to browse the network to add files (music or movies). They are nothing fancy, just standard 775 gigabyte boards.

Myth
31-12-2011, 04:52 PM
Just some observations I noted ...

does your router issue the ip's (DHCP)? If not; this will help you.

I intend to attempt to hook mine up wirelessly .. just not something I intend to start today :D