Help my decide what media centre to get for xmas!

20 replies
Found 25th Nov 2010
Hi,

I am looking to get something for Xmas to play my movies and music through.
At the moment i have a WDTV but i am going to stick this in my bedroom and i want something downstairs.
I like the WDTV but i dont like the interface and am really liking the look of Plex.
I also have a Xbox and see people talking about XBMC but i have never used this.
I have looked at a revo but as i have a Iphone, MacbookPro and the other half is getting a Ipad for Xmas i am also looking at a Mac Mini and wondered how this would run and integrate with everything. i.e will the movies play through the Ipad and can i control everything through my Macbook ? Obviously this is the more expensive option!

Any advice or what other people use to give me an idea would be great!!

Thanks

Mmachine78

20 Comments

Can't comment too much on Mac stuff as I don't know about it, but xbmx is amazing. I have it installed on a Revo in the lounge (after replacing a WDTV - now in the bedroom) and it works very well. I have a feeling that Plex is based on xbmc, but am willing to accept I could be completely wrong.

Where will you be storing all of your media?

Within the next year (when sky runs out) I'm planning on building a HTPC to include DVR functions, BR drive and xbmc embedded, then putting the Revo in the bedroom.

Am building a hackintosh at the weekend so will certainly look into plex - you can run xbmc on a mac. A second hand, older mac mini might be the way to go

Edited by: "sancho1983" 25th Nov 2010

Original Poster

At the moment it is all on portable hard drives. I haven't got loads and loads so will probably keep to that unless there is a better option ?

XBMC is great. For my media centre PC, I use a laptop running Win7 hooked up to a 13GB external harddrive. It's hooked up to my TV and my network so I can transfer files directly to it and control it via the web interface, as well as by remote control. It's a low-end Core2Duo chip, but it plays 720p and most 1080 content without an issue, and leccy consumption is ****-all, like 17w while playing a video, 12w while idle. It's nifty stuff.

I'm interested aswell,
I am running a mac book pro, burning all dvd's through VLC and running 2 apple Tv's off it. Have just bought a low end mac mini to run as master on Itunes etc, with external memory, to support large media, music, photo and films.

Another vote for XBMC, wouldn't consider anything else

dxx

XBMC is great. For my media centre PC, I use a laptop running Win7 hooked … XBMC is great. For my media centre PC, I use a laptop running Win7 hooked up to a 13GB external harddrive. It's hooked up to my TV and my network so I can transfer files directly to it and control it via the web interface, as well as by remote control. It's a low-end Core2Duo chip, but it plays 720p and most 1080 content without an issue, and leccy consumption is ****-all, like 17w while playing a video, 12w while idle. It's nifty stuff.

how much did your pc cost?? 17w is amazingly low.

mighty sausage

I'm interested aswell, I am running a mac book pro, burning all dvd's … I'm interested aswell, I am running a mac book pro, burning all dvd's through VLC and running 2 apple Tv's off it. Have just bought a low end mac mini to run as master on Itunes etc, with external memory, to support large media, music, photo and films.



Burning DVDs? Haven't done that for a couple of years

I know I feel so old school !!!

If they're not the new apple tv you can hack them to run xbmc

Yes I have the hack for both runs boxee aswell

Why are you burning dvds then, stream man!

I have a load of DVD's I need to get on my network

Original Poster

The thing that is pushing me to a mac mini is being able to stream to iPad and control it via my laptop.
I do have bootcamp so can use windows if needed.
Both look good to me so maybe a bit more investigating us needed!

deathtrap3000

how much did your pc cost?? 17w is amazingly low.



Isn't it?

It's an Acer 5630 or thereabouts, with a 1.6GHz Core2Duo processor, and I paid £130 for it nearly 2 years ago. I've not done much to it to drive down power usage, besides tweaking Win7 to perfection, disabling the built-in monitor, disabling the wireless NIC in device manager, and removing the battery. It might be using a little less than 17w right now since I've removed one stick of RAM (which is fine - I measure it to only be a 2% performance hit, and it's more than powerful enough for HD anyway), and I could push it lower still by removing the wireless NIC and optical drive, or by running Windows off a USB drive and removing the harddrive.

In a shamefully geeky way, I'm rather proud of how power-efficient it is. By contrast, an Aspire One netbook draws around 8w in idle and I didn't test it under load because the Atom CPU is too rubbish to do anything, and my ancient Pentium4 system draws 5w when it's switched off.
Edited by: "dxx" 25th Nov 2010

going to try xmbc when i get my atom and board here into a media centre.....

Need 1 place to put my music and video's etc... not in about 5 places like at the minute!!

maddogb

xbmc does it do TV yet?



Don't think it does, but I believe it can be ran within Win7 media centre, which is what I'm planning on doing with my htpc

What sort of specs are you running? I'm getting conflicting opinions, people saying you need an i5 and 4gb of ram, but my revo is a crappy atom processor and 1gb RAM and runs perfectly oO
Edited by: "sancho1983" 26th Nov 2010

mede8er 400 would get my vote once v4 firmware is finished

Banned

XBMC can do TV with a plugin of which the name escapes me right now.

sancho1983

Don't think it does, but I believe it can be ran within Win7 media … Don't think it does, but I believe it can be ran within Win7 media centre, which is what I'm planning on doing with my htpcWhat sort of specs are you running? I'm getting conflicting opinions, people saying you need an i5 and 4gb of ram, but my revo is a crappy atom processor and 1gb RAM and runs perfectly oO



main lounge, using a amd 4400x2 with 1gb , but using an ssd for boot, 320GB for timeshifting/recording, acts as tv server for secondary PCs and all storage is on a NAS

main reason i like MP is ability to record 2 channels on same mux using 1 receiver so can theorhetically record/watch 4 to 8 diff channels with my card.
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