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Old February 20, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Default HTPC OS?

Just wondering what my options are and what people like. I started using ubuntu/mythbuntu but I'm a linux newb and I don't really have the time to invest to learn it and set it up. I'm not sure if I'd be giving up any features or benefits going to a M$ solution. I know the software isn't free but Looking at all the time I've spent just to do simple setup tasks with linux, I don't see it as a bad tradeoff.

Opinions?
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Are you recording TV or anything?
Bluray playback or no?
What are you using for an audio solution?

I myself just use Vista 64-bit. And for software use Media Center for library playback and BeyondTV (paid software) for recording.
You could always use XMBC for a Media front end (runs on Windows). Although it doesn't support multi-channel analog audio, which is a deal breaker for me.
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Old February 20, 2009, 12:11 PM
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I don't have any pressing need to record TV but would like that option. I've read that it can be done through the IEEE1394 port on my HD box (SA 4250HD) but I haven't looked into the specifics of it.

Primary functions will be music and Bluray. My mobo has HDMI onboard (Asus P5E-VM HDMI w/E3110 & 2x1GB PC6400)

I don't have a soundcard picked out yet but the two I'm considering are HTOmega Claro Plus or the Claro Halo XT. The audio solution isn't carved in stone yet. I have a HK AVR235 that in the end will probably power the CC and rear L&R, and the front mains for now. I will be making an amp to handle the two main front's for extra power for music. Not sure how I'm going to steer the signals around yet but will probably also have to make a preamp to make that possible.
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Old February 20, 2009, 12:26 PM
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I use SageTV on Vista 64: SageTV® Media Center - PVR, Music and Photos for Windows and Linux PCs and consumer electronics devices Has a placeshifting option thats pretty neat. There is a Linux version that I am not familiar with. The forums and support for Sage is excellent too. Throw Linux on your box and try the evaluation version of Sage to see if it meets your needs. Give the placeshifting a shot too. If you don't like it then Media Center (part of Vista Home/Ultimate) looks decent to me, but will cost you more than SageTV and not have as much functionality.
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:23 PM
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You guys and your paid software...

MediaPortal is free and open source. Runs on all flavours of Windows so you don't need to buy XP Media Center or Vista Home Premium. Not yet on Linux though.
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
You guys and your paid software...

MediaPortal is free and open source. Runs on all flavours of Windows so you don't need to buy XP Media Center or Vista Home Premium. Not yet on Linux though.
If he isn't recording TV then I think I'd rather use XMBC.

And Media Portal doesn't support my capture device. So I am pretty much stuck with paid software.
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Old February 20, 2009, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
You guys and your paid software...

MediaPortal is free and open source. Runs on all flavours of Windows so you don't need to buy XP Media Center or Vista Home Premium. Not yet on Linux though.
Looks good, and I like open source too. However my card is not officially supported either, and searching through a few forums shows some people getting my tuner partially working. So its a poor choice for me. I bookmarked anyways so I can check back at another date in case they add support.
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Old February 20, 2009, 06:30 PM
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Well I just use MediaPortal for playback, works great for me, though I haven't personally tried XBMC in ages. I have it running on my old Xbox though from way back.

However XBMC does look pretty good but if it doesn't use fddshow, AC3Filter and CoreAVC, then I'd rather not use it since those are my preferred codecs.
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Old February 20, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Heh looks like I got some reading to do. I had a quick look at some of it and it's enough to make your head spin. I'm not trying to do this for free, I don't mind spending the $$$ on hardware or even software (feels like someone just walked over my grave!), I' just want it to do what I want without wasting money. Both the XBMC and Sage look good but I have to look more into the finer details. With the Sage, does the software need the Sage box as well? Also I can't see how it hooks up to my STB to do the recording. It does have some nice features but again I'm amiss how it can tell my STB what channel to be on for whan it starts recording or even how it gets the signal to record. I did find a page on the Sage forum that talks about doing it through the firewire port in the 4250HD but even they say it's not guaranteed to work depending on cable provider encryption. It'd really bite to find out after setting all that up that it doesn't work.
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Old February 20, 2009, 10:00 PM
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I use the Hauppauge HVR-1600 TV Tuner card. You don't need the SageTV box that they sell to use the software, just a TV Tuner card. The supported cards are listed here: SageTV® [ System Requirements ] Many others work, so if yours is not listed download sage anyways and use the full version for 15 days to try it.

Are you trying to use an external digital cable box to be controlled by the software? (you mentioned a STB...I am guessing it is just a digital cable box, or the 4250HD) My HVR-1600 came with a remote control, and something called an IR blaster. The IR blaster is just a small IR transmitter on the end of a wire, that helps to emulate a remote control. The IR blaster plugs into the back of my Tuner card, and also acts as the remote control sensor. An IR blaster can control a digital cable box by emulating the remote control for the 4850HD. In my particular setup, I would have sageTV control my 4250HD via the IR Blaster. Here is a guide on how I need to setup my IR Blaster to control my 4250HD: http://hauppauge.lightpath.net/manua...er_eng_web.pdf This is not for sage but may illustrate better than my long-winded post!

Ie. So, lets say I wanted to record a show on channel 121 at 8pm. This channel is only available via the 4250HD box, and not on old-fashioned cable. I have Sage setup for the 4250HD, and I have the drivers and plugins installed for the IR Blaster and sage. I also have my TV directory listing setup (via Sage built-in wizard). At 8pm, Sage would send the signal via the IR Blaster and change the channel on the 4250HD to channel 121 at 8pm. As far as the 4250HD box is concerned, it could have been you using your regular IR remote to change the channel.

So sage records whatever channel is being fed to it by the 4250HD. I should let you know that I do not have my 4250HD controlled by sage, as I have only been using regular cable. However, I have done the research and all you need is the Tuner, IR Blaster and driver, and Sage.
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Last edited by chrisk; February 20, 2009 at 10:11 PM.
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