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View Full Version : Best Media Center OS for this rig..



mabix
17-12-2008, 11:48 AM
Hi there

I'm sick of Vista's Media Center. Here's my rig, and I'm going to turn it into a Full Blast Dedicated Media Center for the home. Everyone has their own laptop, and they all Macs (:banana) and does anyone know which OS would be best for the rig so I can network them all with the laptop? We have Wireless N around here.

Intel Core i7 920 2.66 GHz Processor Socket 1366
GIGABYTE EX58-DS4 CORE i7 X58 ICH10R 3 channel DDR3 PCI Express Motherboard
4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM Triple Channel
Seagate Barracuda 11 1TB SATAII 7200RPM 32MB cache Hard Drive
DUAL LAYER 20X DVD WRITER
2 Way Geforce GTX 260 896MB GDDR3 448bit PCI-E SLI Dual Graphic Card

Thanks.

Speedy Gonzales
17-12-2008, 11:52 AM
You might as well install Linux

I know someone who did this, and wired up speakers all round the house wirelessly somehow

utopian201
17-12-2008, 11:55 AM
Whats wrong with Vista's media centre? My brother uses it, hes basically turned his laptop into a pvr.

mabix
17-12-2008, 12:03 PM
Just don't like it. Preferred XBMC.We don't use TV Tuners, as we have MySky HDI (and can watch ahead on programs like prison break and heroes by searching google), so it's just for streaming Video, Audio, Pictures and files around the house, carvan and the cabin and sleepout on the back, as two of the macbooks only have 120GB HD's, so we want EVERYTHING stored on the Media Center.

Think you're right Speedy, but is there anything better out there than XBMC?

GameJunkie
17-12-2008, 12:08 PM
Media Portal?

CYaBro
17-12-2008, 12:10 PM
Do the Macs have bootcamp to boot into XP or Vista?

I would be looking at MediaPortal. Keep Vista as the OS but disable Media Center and use MP instead.
Set the main machine up as a TVServer as well as a client (if you want to be able to use it to watch/record TV) and then also set up the Macs as clients (if you have bootcamp).
Then all the Macs will be able to watch/record live TV as well :thumbs:

I have a similar setup at home.
I have a TVServer, running XP Pro and just the TVServer part of MediaPortal as it just sits in the corner and is not plugged into a TV/monitor, and then my wife & I each have a laptop.
On the laptops we have MP setup as a client and we can both access the TVServer and watch live TV, recorded TV, schedule recordings etc.

The only problem you may have is if you are wanting to stream Freeview|HD to the laptops over wireless as the bandwidth may not be enough especially if more than one laptop tries at a time.
We only have Freeview via DVB-S and it works OK over wireless.

CYaBro
17-12-2008, 12:13 PM
We don't use TV Tuners,

Ah well then MediaPortal is probably not needed.
XBMC would be the way to go.
I would keep Vista on the rig but disable Media Center. You don't want to put another OS on there do you? Wouldn't you play games on a rig of those specs??

Speedy Gonzales
17-12-2008, 12:16 PM
Here's some free media center programs (NOT OS's) (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/using-your-linux-computer-as-a-media-center-part-1)

Some are Linux, (soon to be Mac) and Windows

SolMiester
17-12-2008, 12:38 PM
Hi there

I'm sick of Vista's Media Center. Here's my rig, and I'm going to turn it into a Full Blast Dedicated Media Center for the home. Everyone has their own laptop, and they all Macs (:banana) and does anyone know which OS would be best for the rig so I can network them all with the laptop? We have Wireless N around here.

Intel Core i7 920 2.66 GHz Processor Socket 1366
GIGABYTE EX58-DS4 CORE i7 X58 ICH10R 3 channel DDR3 PCI Express Motherboard
4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM Triple Channel
Seagate Barracuda 11 1TB SATAII 7200RPM 32MB cache Hard Drive
DUAL LAYER 20X DVD WRITER
2 Way Geforce GTX 260 896MB GDDR3 448bit PCI-E SLI Dual Graphic Card

Thanks.

WHAT!!....you want to turn the i7 into a media centre?....1 question, how do you get 4gb of tripple channel RAM?...

If I were you, keep Vista x64 so you have all your RAM, and put a VM on another small drive for the media centre....shouldnt interfere with gaming considering the spec of the system....


LOL, Linux on a i7 with SLI 260's......ha ha!!

SolMiester
17-12-2008, 12:47 PM
Anyway.....what is your excuse for running @ stock clocks on the i7?, ah....ah!!

Get yourself a HDT cooler and clock that bad boy......3.6-4ghz...Ymmmmmm!

mabix
17-12-2008, 01:17 PM
WHAT!!....you want to turn the i7 into a media centre?....1 question, how do you get 4gb of tripple channel RAM?...
LOL, Linux on a i7 with SLI 260's......ha ha!!

Woops, that should be a 6GB :P

And this is to replace our last Media Center that died, we've had it for a few weeks now. i don't game, and If I do, I'm only emulating PS2 or DC games, so I can just use my thinkpad for that.


Do the Macs have bootcamp to boot into XP or Vista?
.

Therein lies the rub, no one wants to leave Mac OS X, I'm the only one with a laptop that is Windows, and Ma gave it to me for Uni when she got her macbook (which she loves dearly), so I'm kinda looking for a program that's cross platform, and it looks like nothing can compete with XBMC

As for the overclocking, I think it's fast enough as it is :P

wratterus
17-12-2008, 01:20 PM
wired up speakers all round the house wirelessly somehow

Lol?

SolMiester
17-12-2008, 01:31 PM
Woops, that should be a 6GB :P

And this is to replace our last Media Center that died, we've had it for a few weeks now. i don't game, and If I do, I'm only emulating PS2 or DC games, so I can just use my thinkpad for that.



Therein lies the rub, no one wants to leave Mac OS X, I'm the only one with a laptop that is Windows, and Ma gave it to me for Uni when she got her macbook (which she loves dearly), so I'm kinda looking for a program that's cross platform, and it looks like nothing can compete with XBMC

As for the overclocking, I think it's fast enough as it is :P

Care to swap 1 of those 260's for a dead sexy 9600GT?

SolMiester
17-12-2008, 01:37 PM
Anyway, I certainly wouldnt waste that rig on some media centre pc, I have over 6 pc's in the garage you could use for that....LOL..

Get VMware Server...run the media centre virtually, that way you get to run everything else as you would a normal pc.....

mabix
17-12-2008, 01:49 PM
Anyway, I certainly wouldnt waste that rig on some media centre pc, I have over 6 pc's in the garage you could use for that....LOL..

Get VMware Server...run the media centre virtually, that way you get to run everything else as you would a normal pc.....

Lol. See, I really don't want people using it as a normal PC, because in a house of 6 with tons of other people regularly coming and going they are bound to touch and something will go wrong, it always does, and then everyone will be angry at me :angry (I just love this smiley)

It's probarbly not the best media center because the case is so god damn loud, so I'm going to shove it into a cupboard near the lounge :P

plod
17-12-2008, 02:39 PM
Therein lies the rub, no one wants to leave Mac OS X, I'm the only one with a laptop that is Windows, and Ma gave it to me for Uni when she got her macbook (which she loves dearly), so I'm kinda looking for a program that's cross platform, and it looks like nothing can compete with XBMC

As for the overclocking, I think it's fast enough as it is :P

Have you had a look at boxee? I think I have a couple of invites left.

SolMiester
17-12-2008, 02:42 PM
Lol. See, I really don't want people using it as a normal PC, because in a house of 6 with tons of other people regularly coming and going they are bound to touch and something will go wrong, it always does, and then everyone will be angry at me :angry (I just love this smiley)

It's probarbly not the best media center because the case is so god damn loud, so I'm going to shove it into a cupboard near the lounge :P

Why did you spec it so high, did you win the lottery?

A 4 yr old P4 would be just as good for what your intended use......<sniff>, such a waste..!

Chilling_Silence
17-12-2008, 02:51 PM
Run something like Linux with XBMC on it. There's even a bootable LiveCD you can test it out with:
http://xbmc.org/download/

Dunno about PS2 emulation sorry ..

mabix
17-12-2008, 03:50 PM
Have you had a look at boxee? I think I have a couple of invites left.

It looks good, do you think you could send me an invite?

mabix
17-12-2008, 04:04 PM
Why did you spec it so high, did you win the lottery?

A 4 yr old P4 would be just as good for what your intended use......<sniff>, such a waste..!

Old Media Center we had in the house cost $4,500 (one of the first HP ones) and it'slasted pretty well over the three years, but when both of the hard drives failed we decided we would just get a new one. Olds gave me the same amount and that rig cost $3,900. They let me keep the leftovers for setting it up.

Quite a rig we've got in the lounge: (Everyone, post yours!)


Philips 52" LCD (1080p)
Pioneer Reciever and Wharfdale Speaker System
MySky HDi
Xbox that uses XBMC (It's going, only got a 60GB HD)
Playstation 3 :clap
Panasonic DVD Recorder
The i7 rig
Logitech Harmony Remote

SolMiester
17-12-2008, 04:24 PM
37" panny plasma & DVD
100" Toshiba Projector
PS2
Sony HT
3ghz Quad w\about 5,000 tracks and 20 DVD (in office) & 20" LCD + 2 lappy and 1 other desktop.
All connected by Linksys WAG200
Logitech Momo Wheel

Blam
17-12-2008, 04:47 PM
Mabix you don't have the word "budget" in your dictionary do you!:p

mabix
17-12-2008, 05:15 PM
Mabix you don't have the word "budget" in your dictionary do you!:p

Lol.

It is there, but mother works at Silver Fern Farms, and they have a promotion every now and again where they get things from Noel Leeming at Bond and Bond at the Price that the shop bought it for from the stockers plus 10%.. so as you can imagine there are some major discounts there, I picked up a 4GB Memory Stick for the PSP, down from 130 to 60. 2GB SD was $18
Father wont let the projector come inside though... They like to "Party" in the shed so it's on the roof in there and they like music videos.. When his friends first came they thought it was some new flash TV

so yeah..

Blam
17-12-2008, 05:20 PM
haha still....i7 and DDR3 RAM?
Pioneer Reciever and Wharfdale Speaker System?
MySky HDi?
Xbox that uses XBMC (It's going, only got a 60GB HD)?
Playstation 3?

Do you work lol?

CYaBro
17-12-2008, 05:50 PM
Having the i7 rig in the lounge as a media PC wouldn't be very quiet would it?
Especially with that graphics card!

We are currently down from what we used to have in the lounge:
29" CRT TV
Xbox with XBMC - used to watch recorded TV from the MediaPortal TV Server in the other room.
I need to connect up my Logitech Z-5500 speakers again.

Used to have:
47" 1080p Toshiba
Sonos music system
HTPC
Image 414 loudspeakers
Image Sub10

All that gear (what has not been sold) is now in the showroom at our shop :(

mabix
17-12-2008, 05:53 PM
haha still....i7 and DDR3 RAM?
Pioneer Reciever and Wharfdale Speaker System?
MySky HDi?
Xbox that uses XBMC (It's going, only got a 60GB HD)?
Playstation 3?

Do you work lol?

Yep, but the discount is huge, it's a 60GB PS3 and I got it for 400 under that discount :clap

mabix
17-12-2008, 05:56 PM
Having the i7 rig in the lounge as a media PC wouldn't be very quiet would it?
Especially with that graphics card!

It's loud as hell, I'm going to put it in a cupboard :P Got the huge HDMI cable for 40 under the discount :P

GameJunkie
17-12-2008, 06:59 PM
so your the man to get cheap electronic goods off now :D

SolMiester
17-12-2008, 07:08 PM
It's loud as hell, I'm going to put it in a cupboard :P Got the huge HDMI cable for 40 under the discount :P

NOOOOooooooo!...please don't do that..mate , you have purchased an enthusiasts pc for gaming, probably in the top 1% of pc's in the world, but not a good media system.......Putting it in a cupboard will only overheat it causing failure....2 graphics cards is really inappropriate for a home media centre.

mabix
17-12-2008, 07:58 PM
NOOOOooooooo!...please don't do that..mate , you have purchased an enthusiasts pc for gaming, probably in the top 1% of pc's in the world, but not a good media system.......Putting it in a cupboard will only overheat it causing failure....2 graphics cards is really inappropriate for a home media centre.

Well it's running XBMC amazingly at the moment :P

It's fine in the cupboard, because the cupboard is huge and has the reciever and DVD/VCR. Made for electronics. Didn't feel too bad in there from 3pm till now :P.

Yeah, I know what I've got, and it does the job very very very well :P Best part is that we're still on Go Large so we never run out :D

kersonan
17-12-2008, 09:15 PM
Personally I admire your commitment to savage overkill :) +1 for media portal

HTPC rig below (after most recent rebuild)

42" Samsung plasma
Intel Dualcore
Asus mobo (forget which one)
2gb Ram
Antec Fusion V2 Black
500 watt psu (not really needed but was left over from an upgrade)
8600GS 512mb (DVI to HDMI to screen)
Creative X-FI
Logitech 5.1 speakers, subwoofer, rear speakers mounted behind couch
Logitech Harmony remote (love those macros)
Logitech Dinovo mini (for the occasional typing etc)
160gb Sata 2 HDD for the OS
Bluray Drive

the media sits on a machine upstairs, big ole Icute Super 18 full of drives which it sees as mapped LAN drives.

Chilling_Silence
17-12-2008, 10:18 PM
Actually, you'd be surprised how well XBMC runs :) Its not the fastest app in the world, but Ive had it decoding Full HD-res videos on a 2Ghz P4 with a 6600GT on XP :)

Blam
19-12-2008, 01:05 AM
Its bloody stable too!