About 3 weeks ago I dropped DirecTV, and now I’m looking for a media center option. I’ve heard good things about XBMC on Raspberry Pi, but I’m new to the media center scene and really don’t know where to start. All input/suggestions appreciated.
I always recommend plex. Its always been the best for me. It will allow you to share your library with others as well as use their library. Automatic transcoding (on the server) and it will handle the routing to access your library from your devices while you’re not at home.
Plex is nice. I was a big fan of boxee until they sold out and the parent company killed it. Roku is too weak for me. Xmbc is very nice my only complaint is that nobody is selling a nice pre-packaged version with remote like Boxee did. I probably just depends on your setup and how many people in your family are going to be using it. It’s much easier to nerd out when it’s just you using it. Takes a bit more polish to have the “others” use it.
I just have an i3-3250 PC w/ blu ray drive that dual boots W7 and Ubuntu hooked up via HDMI with a wireless keyboard-mouse thingy. We also have a Chromecast but it was too weaksauce hence the proper media PC. ~6TB of storage connected on GigE for media storage.
I’ve got a similar setup to Dave. HTPC with i3 CPU, 1TB HDD, 2GB of RAM, and Win7. We have a HDHomeRun TV tuner hooked up to an outdoor HDTV antenna. It connects to the router over ethernet.
On the HTPC, we have a start page on Chrome with tiles for all of our popular streaming sites: Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Pandora, HBO Go, BBC iPlayer, ESPN3, etc.
Windows Media Center comes baked into Win7. WMC will find your TV tuner and auto detect all the available channels. It then uses the web to build a “TV Guide” for your over the air channels. You can pause and record live TV, and set recordings. It feels just like a cable/satellite DVR.
To control it, we find it’s just easiest to use a wireless mouse and keyboard. But we also have Unified Remote installed on our Android phones. It’s a nice VNC app that has a ton of built in remote controls for popluar stuff like Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, etc. on the web. It also has remotes for WMC and other media center software. The trackpad remote works great for browsing around with the cursor.
While you guys are bringing this up and I happen to be tinkering with this now , you guys have any preference or suggestions for what’s a really good tv tuner card to slap in a media server or USB ? , I’m seriously looking at trying to replace my satellite with a media server and the smart tv I already have my movie collection working with streaming to the TV, but really the last step is getting the normal TV shows recording. CBS crap site is a pile pooh , crashes the tv and doesn’t play any better on the PC, MS dropped internet TV, Ive not messed with many other media servers currently just have WMC and 12 tb nas that works with the Tv, sad thing neither support my movie iso collection and slowly converting them to mp4 , So getting regular shows just resort to the old days of episode grabbing from the web or get a tuner ? since newsgroups gone away grabbing episodes for every show prolly sucks now adays.