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OS for HTPC

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#1
I'm looking at getting a HTPC up and running soon, and as far as OS goes, there seems to be Vista and Linux.

How viable is Linux for a HTPC, where blu ray playback would be required, as well as running a TV tuner card in PVR mode. Also I'd be looking to use it as a music server as well.
 
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#2
For a TV tuner, you have to use Gatos. I'm not sure about blu-ray.

Music server, depends on how you're serving it.
 
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#3
I wouldnt use anything other than Media Center. Windows 7 Media Center actually has support for ClearQAM which is a hugh plus
 
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#4
Hmm, seems I'm having to revive this thread.

Spoke to my lady about it, and she's keen on going linux. (she will be building the machine with me)

Looks like Ubuntu may be a good kickoff point, and as I'll have all the hardware bits within the next few weeks, I'm looking for some wise insight.

Anyone?
 

[Ion]

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#5
Hmm, seems I'm having to revive this thread.

Spoke to my lady about it, and she's keen on going linux. (she will be building the machine with me)

Looks like Ubuntu may be a good kickoff point, and as I'll have all the hardware bits within the next few weeks, I'm looking for some wise insight.

Anyone?
Ubuntu is a great choice IMO, I had a computer set up with Ubuntu (3.2ghz P4, 1.5gb RAM, 200GB HDD, Geforce 6800 Ultra) that I used as a sort-of media center. I didn't have a TV card, but I used it play videos and music, and it worked great. Very little set-up involved. I still prefer the media center in Vista/7, but if your wife is set on Linux you really can't get any better than Ubuntu
 
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#6
You wont have Good, if any, Blu-Ray support with Linux
If you do go Ubuntu I'd suggest WinAmp+VLC+Limewire,
and don't forget to enable the restricted repositories https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Repositories/Ubuntu and Universe repositories
Just follow the GUI directions or copy and paste
 

freaksavior

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#7
windows 7 is great for my dads htpc.
 
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#8
Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate will do nicely, they all have media center, they all support vista based drivers for Tuners etc, they all have built in h264/mpeg2 decoders, they all support blu-ray, you should check out TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum it has plugin for media center so if you put a blu-ray in the drive it will automaticly open inside media center

you can also have a litle bit fun with open media libary
http://code.google.com/p/open-media-library/
 

Easy Rhino

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#9
get mythbuntu, it is ubuntu with mythtv already installed and configured and ready to go.
 
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#10
XBMC for a full installable distro
my media system if you want something on top of your distro ( i think there is a *buntu package for it)

myth is great but normally over kill for most peoples needs.
 
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#11

W1zzard

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#12
does a htpc with linux support everything windows does? codecs? bluray? audio?
 

Easy Rhino

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#13
does a htpc with linux support everything windows does? codecs? bluray? audio?
i believe not out of the box. you have to add a few repos to the package source and download some codecs but it only takes a few minutes to do that.
 
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#14
a lot of it is easier to get going then in windows. entire sets of codecs are 2 clicks away instead of having to hunt down codec packs on random websites.

the worst part is getting use to it. its the same as switching to a mac, or switching to pc from some other os.
 
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#15
http://xbmc.org/
http://mymediasystem.org/

xbmc has a bootable cd you can check out with a install option from in it. its the way to go if your system is even half way new. mymediasystem is also great and more compatible.

look, all OS's can do the same thing any more, one is not better then any other for everything. and you can do anything in any of them.

also if youve messed with setting up mythtv or anything and thought it was waaay overkill for the average user, check out these. theres others in linux to if these dont fit your bill. but in general these are the 2 most popular other then the mythtv series.
 
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#16
+1 for XBMC! I used it back in the day on my xbox and now use it on my HTPC. Not sure of blu-ray support tho as all my media is on hard storage. Maybe rip all your blu-rays?
 
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#17
I just put win 7 on my HTPC and love it. The media centre works a treat with good sound support for my auzentech... it does take up a heap of space though
 

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#18
windows 7 works great on my HTPC
 
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#19
Thx for all feedback guys.

The blu ray is not going to happen immediately, so we will probably start off exploring what can be done with Linux. If we don't come right later on, hello Win 7.

The plan is to do HDMI off a 9600GT, but have to look at the audio issues.
 
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#20
i know ripping a blue ray can be done on linux, theres no reason why you shouldnt be able to play one. there has been blue ray asa data disc support on linux since before bluray drives were officially released.

as a side note, ATI has better linux support then nvidia does. and incase youve been under a rock, they have for a while now.
 

Boyfriend

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#21
I don't know any software (player) which can play Blue Ray under Linux. I will recommend SimplyMEPIS. Unfortunately, their site is currently down. The Live CD also support installation and is based on Debian+KDE. It is much stable and come pre-configure for most basic tasks. It also have multimedia codecs and players (two or three) installed for all major multimedia file types. You are good to go as soon as you insert Live CD. I have used it and found it working for my basic tasks. Other distributions might need to search codec manually after installation.

I will also recommend Windows 7 over Linux. Windows 7 includes everything you might need for HTPC. It's Media Center is great and works flawlessly. It is also faster and better than vista. Cyberlink PowerDVD 9 integrates into Media Center to enable support for Blue Ray. I am using it and love it.
 
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#22
as of april 2007 linux has had hd-dvd and bluray playback support. give me a bit and i will see if it takes anything special to set up.
 
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#23
as a side note, ATI has better linux support then nvidia does. and incase youve been under a rock, they have for a while now.
I have the 9600GT, and not the funds to go shopping at the mo.
 
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#24
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#25
I'd say Linux should be good for a basic HTPC / file server / media streamer, but if you want something with good hardware support I'd go with Windows 7. Last time I tried running my X-Fi in Ubuntu it could barely do stereo, much less 5.1. I'd have to stick with Windows at least for the audio support since Linux has a multitude of audio stacks to deal with that all change depending on what program you're using (in my experience anyways). I haven't tried multichannel audio / optical over my onboard in Linux before, but I can't imagine it being that much better. I wish you the best of luck with Linux though, if it does what you need it to then I'd say it's a win-win!