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Full Version: HTPC with PVR
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Our needs are something that can:

- Play live TV / Record TV
- Play all video formats (XBMC)
- Media Server / DLNA (Mezzmo)
- Playback DVD's (XBMC)
- Rip DVD's
- Play DVD iso's (XBMC)
- Play Blu-Ray's - of any kind, including encrypted ones.
- Play Blu-Ray iso's
- Music Jukebox (XBMC)
- Mirror display image (2x 1920x1080 Displays, one on Projector, other on TV)
- Play Music (XBMC)

Total: $896.00


GPU: Integrated
CPU: $149.00 Intel Core i3 2100 3.1Ghz Dual Core + HD2000 Graphics at 850Mhz
MOB: $119.00 ASRock H67M Motherboard
RAM: $49.00 4GB RAM A-DATA
HDD: $99.00 2TB WD Green
ODD: $79.00 Samsung SH-B123A 12X Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive
TVT: $49.00 Leadtek WinFast DTV2000 H Plus
PSU: $49.00 Corsair CX-430 Power Supply
CSE: $198.00 Antec Fusion Remote Black
OS: $105.00 Windows 7 Home Premium (Or Linux Ubuntu?)


GPU: $139.00 HIS ATI Radeon HD5770 1GB
CPU: $99.00 AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition
MOB: $69.00 ASRock 880GM-LE Motherboard
RAM: $49.00 4GB RAM A-DATA
HDD: $99.00 2TB WD Green
ODD: $79.00 Samsung SH-B123A 12X Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive
TVT: $49.00 Leadtek WinFast DTV2000 H Plus
PSU: $49.00 Corsair CX-430 Power Supply
OS: $105.00 Windows 7 Home Premium


I'm not sure if the hardware listed above is up to the task of mirroring 2x identical 1080p outputs to two different displays, without stuttering of any kind.

Secondly it's used for DLNA (PS3) which again, is unknown if hardware can perform seamlessly transcoding 1080P videos on the fly.

Hardware aside, the last hurdle I need to overcome, for an all-in-one solution with just a remote control (none of exiting programs, switching between programs or any of that crap) is:

- Rip DVD's
- Play Blu-Ray's
- Play Blu-Ray iso's
- Play / Record Live TV

Which seems to be what XBMC can't do at the moment. I was thinking about XBMC + MythTV on Ubuntu. Would this sound right? But then, it loses it's functionality as a media / DLNA Server with mezzmo if I go with Linux instead of Windows.

The HTPC will be set up in a way where it boots straight into XBMC, not the windows desktop, nor Ubuntu.

Any advice will be appreciated a lot!
Being able to play encrypted BluRays legally reduces you to a few Windows based players (PowerDVD, WinDVD, etc).
Oh ok, I will have to rule out blu-ray playback then. gah Sad

I've looked at mediaportal, it has TV recording / playback as it should.. However the interface seems sparse (No cover art / Scrapers etc?)

What would be the best OS for media center, and which media center would be best?

- XBMC with MythTV on Ubuntu with add-ons (DVD Ripping, Blu ray Ripping Plugins)
- Mediaportal with Windows
- XBMC with MythTV on Windows
- XBMC Live CD (possible to integrate MythTV?)

My aim is to boot straight into media centre software, like a top box feel.

For appliance feel XBMCLive or the openelec variant are the way to go. Both allow you to play BR disks if the DRM is removed beforehand. Most people are ripping BRs to a NAS and playing them from there.

Currently you can play LiveTV with Myth (via Mythbox and Myth backend) or TVHeadend. There's a how to thread on live tv on tvheadend in the how to section and there's a mythbox thread in the python/addon section.
You can use mediaportal as a backend for your LiveTV and XBMC as the front end (EPG, Recording, etc).

I think a 4therecord windows backend is also available.

The only downside at the moment is lack of skin choice for the PVR builds of XBMC (Confluence, T! and a dirty Aeon mod) but by the time your build is ready we should also be able to use Refocus.

Oh, and pausing LiveTV has to be done through the OSD.
I recently setup xbmc on a windows 7 pc and have been doing pretty much all you mentioned with a remote with the exception of ripping iso's. I would be very interested if someone had that setup with just a remote. I won't claim that I figured this out myself. Here are some people that I learned from. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0iaSo4otFg
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1295315 and Horst's comment on this page http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...nt&page=11

To play bluRay you basically end up telling xbmc to launch an external player whenever it sees a blu ray iso or disk. Believe it or not, this is pretty seamless and works pretty well. For live tv, I basically mapped a button on the remote to launch Windows media center and close xbmc. Using the remote you can switch back and forth seamlessly through different programs, like the guy on the youtube video. It is somewhat challenging to setup, but totally worth it. Good luck!