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Old 01-25-2009, 08:42 AM   #1
Jezston
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Setting up a Linux Media Center PC?


Hi, before I start I should state my experience with linux is VERY limited - putting XBMC on an old xbox and installing Ubuntu on a laptop. I've never done anything with command line commands and am not generally sure how to handle tar.gz files

Anyway, I have an old Shuttle PC that I want to turn into a media center, after becoming a little unhappy with the power consumption and limitations of my new PS3 as a media center.

Just wondering what you would recommend, and what guides there are out there for me to make it work?

What I'd like the machine to do, is be not only a hub for me to play music and movies through my TV and hifi, but also be a server of sorts for me to store all such media files for my other machines (PC, laptop, PS3 etc) to access, as well as a torrent client for downloading stuff.

I'd also like to keep power usage down to a bare minimum - the PC at the moment is an 2gHz Athlon XP with 1gb of RAM and Geforce MX4000 graphics. What would be the bare minimum for running 720p HD movies (my TV is only a 32" 720p HD TV so don't need to run 1080p movies)? And are there good, powerful settings within such distros to seriously minimize power consumption?

Also, I'd love to be able to control it all through some kind of remote conrol, so any tips there would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Jez
 
Old 01-25-2009, 09:06 AM   #2
tredegar
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Try this: http://www.mythbuntu.org/
welcome to LQ!
 
Old 01-25-2009, 10:27 AM   #3
Jezston
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Hi, thanks for that. Looks very interesting.

I hadn't thought of using my PC as a PVR, but that would be very cool indeed. Any tips on linux-compatable hardware for this? The Shuttle has one PCI slot along with USB2 and FW.
 
Old 01-25-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
tredegar
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Quote:
Any tips on linux-compatable hardware for this?
Google is your friend

You might also look at this: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
 
Old 01-25-2009, 12:09 PM   #5
Jezston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tredegar View Post
Google is your friend

You might also look at this: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Oh I've had a look around (Hauppage stuff seems to get favourable reviews) - just interested to get some opinions here too!

Also, VLC is just a media player is it not? I'm after a complete use through the TV with a remote style media center solution. Or am I missing something deeper about VLC?
 
Old 01-25-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
tredegar
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Quote:
VLC is just a media player is it not
It is much more than that - it'll stream media over your LAN, something you might want to do if you want a "media centre" to serve up media streams to your other PCs, even if they are not running linux.

Yes, Hauppage stuff mostly gets good reviews. Check the mythTV pages for up to date compatibility problems. If your old PC is not very powerful you'll probably want to get a chipset that does mpeg encoding in its hardware, rather than using your PC to do this.

I played with a Hauppage PVR-250 and MythTV about three years ago, and it was difficult to get working / unstable, and I lost interest, but things have progressed quite fast since then (but I'm not really interested in TV / media).
 
  


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