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cptrohn
June 20th, 2009, 02:21 AM
I feel confident enought with Ubuntu now that I think I might have to give this a try.... What I would like to do is set up a box and have it connected to a 50" LCD and use something like MythTV or Ellisa (sp?) and use the 50In as a monitor as well as a TV.... so I can put everything I have Media-wise on that box and be able to just play video's, music etc right to the TV

Please tell me I'm not dreaming and it's possible and been done before right?!?!

CoolStoryBro
June 20th, 2009, 02:44 AM
Hello, I think it is possible with XBMC. I recently installed it over an old machine with windows xp on it and tbh I couldn't be happier with the result. I connected it to my 32" LCD tv by VGA and the quality is great. The media centre found all my movies on IMDB and added dvd covers as well as movie information such as the movie casts and even a trailer haha. The XBMC website says you can install it on Ubuntu :popcorn:

cptrohn
June 20th, 2009, 02:52 AM
Hello, I think it is possible with XBMC. I recently installed it over an old machine with windows xp on it and tbh I couldn't be happier with the result. I connected it to my 32" LCD tv by VGA and the quality is great. The media centre found all my movies on IMDB and added dvd covers as well as movie information such as the movie casts and even a trailer haha. The XBMC website says you can install it on Ubuntu :popcorn:

Cool.... I saw that there was an Ubuntu Media Center project at conical as well after I posted this and started googling some things.... I'll have to check out XBMC as well....

linuxguymarshall
June 20th, 2009, 03:30 AM
Not a dedicated media center because I am in the process of moving and don't currently have a spare computer. But I do have a media account run by Boxee that does what I want/need it to do. I highly recommend it.

jonian_g
June 20th, 2009, 03:40 AM
Cool.... I saw that there was an Ubuntu Media Center project at conical as well after I posted this and started googling some things.... I'll have to check out XBMC as well....

+1 for XBMC from me too. They even have a live usb image on their website based on ubuntu, so installing it is as easy as installing ubuntu.

.Maleficus.
June 20th, 2009, 03:43 AM
I also highly recommend XBMC. And just so you know, Elisa is now known as Moovida (http://www.moovida.com/).

Sublime Porte
June 20th, 2009, 03:59 AM
Personally I think Ubuntu is a bit of overkill for just playing media. If you're gonna use it as a PC as well, then sure, why not.

But if it's purely for playing media, then I'd suggest Geexbox. It's much more suited to just playing media. Has very fast boot, very low system requirements (can run with as little as 64mb RAM) and is only about 30mb (compared to 700mb, install media).

HappyFeet
June 20th, 2009, 04:08 AM
I'm using Mythbuntu 8.04 on one of my drives. It works great. Just make sure to get a compatible TV tuner card.

cptrohn
June 20th, 2009, 05:15 AM
Thanks for all the replies so far!

I am thinking that this is very likely to be my next project if things go right...

Lots of good ideas and appreciate the info!

Swarms
June 20th, 2009, 07:59 AM
I would buy a pc with the new nVidia Ion technology, like these ones: http://www.asrock.com/nettop/spec/ION%20330.asp
http://www.zonetronics.com/products/IONSTAR_330_SFF_PC_BLACK_DC_ATOM_330_ION_DX10_GFX_ 2GB_320GB_DVDRW_NO_O_S-36848-0.html

Then you are able to watch 1080p from a very small case, and they are certainly cheap too.

See the platforms potential here:
http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/12/nvidia-ion-platform-gets-demonstrated-at-ces/

My setup would be something like a couple of these spread in my house, all wirelessly connected to a small storage server with a couple of terabyte of data available.

And of course running Boxee.

Paqman
June 20th, 2009, 09:30 AM
I recently built one using Elisa and a mini-itx box. I used a JNC-62K board, as it comes with a nice Nvidia 8200 that will quite happily stream HD video to my TV at 1368x768. I put it in a Jou Jye NU-528i-B case, which is nice and small. No optical drive, as I stream everything off the network. I put 1GB of RAM and a 45W dual-core Athlon chip into it, and it runs really well.

I put Hardy on it for stability and have it boot up straight into Elisa, and I use a USB wireless keyboard with a trackpad. All up it cost me about 250-300 or so.

gn2
June 20th, 2009, 09:32 AM
My suggestion would be to get a PVR to handle the television recording and playback and an Acer Revo to do everything else.

cmay
June 20th, 2009, 09:55 AM
i had a ubuntu media center at some time.
it was made simple with just all my movies and songs from ripped cd and dvd and i used elisa (now moovida) which was started automatic on login. i had xine and rhytmhbox as extra movie and song players and i had teh perl dvd ripper program i cant remember what is called to rip my dvd when i bourght a new one.

i had a tv tuner card so i could control it from the remote control and i could shutdown the pc also. so having all this made i had a small simple movie and song entertainment center which lasted for a couple of month then i started using my sound recording studio to watch dvd and paly music on instead so i could free the computer for open solaris.

it can be much more advanced set up and as far as myth tv and those things i did not bother to try yet.
( i installed mythubuntu once but it was not what i was after )

cptrohn
June 20th, 2009, 05:39 PM
I was digging around a little but today and I think I can pull this off relatively inexpensively..... I've got an old Win98 mini-tower that I currently am running puppy4.2 on that doesn't get much use, so I think I could strip everything out of the tower.. (it uses an old celeron processor and everything is pretty much integrated into the motherboard;sound card, video card etc..) but checking out newegg, tigerdirect and fry's I think I can do this pretty inexpensively for the most part.....

Once again thanks for all the suggestions!

I just need to find a small motherboard/cpu combo to fit the tower... maybe an intel atom set-up (I have a limited budget from the girlfriend to do this LOL even though when it's done she will likely use it more than I do.) I think I can also hold off on the LCD TV (I still have my old Mitsubishi projection screen) and use a PC to TV converter until I can save enough for the LCD or DLP of my dreams.....

gn2
June 20th, 2009, 05:42 PM
There's no guarantee that the Atom board will be compatible with the old case or the PSU.

The simplest option is to buy a ready built Net-top.

cptrohn
June 21st, 2009, 12:01 AM
There's no guarantee that the Atom board will be compatible with the old case or the PSU.

The simplest option is to buy a ready built Net-top.

That might be what I end up doing, I was looking at some different options today and the look of them is really more of what I am after just for a media center.

dragos240
June 21st, 2009, 12:09 AM
Mythubuntu

cptrohn
June 21st, 2009, 04:33 AM
There's no guarantee that the Atom board will be compatible with the old case or the PSU.

The simplest option is to buy a ready built Net-top.

something like the Asus eee?

I have seen a lot of these on ebay for relatively cheap prices... (and they are not that much at newegg new...http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=Eee+Box


Thats AWFUL small.....but along the lines of the size I would want though!

And I guess I could load ubuntu with a usb stick, and then download whatever GUI I would want for the media center...


Great call on that, I think you saved me alot of time and headaches on that one.

Groucho Marxist
June 21st, 2009, 04:48 AM
I feel confident enought with Ubuntu now that I think I might have to give this a try.... What I would like to do is set up a box and have it connected to a 50" LCD and use something like MythTV or Ellisa (sp?) and use the 50In as a monitor as well as a TV.... so I can put everything I have Media-wise on that box and be able to just play video's, music etc right to the TV

Please tell me I'm not dreaming and it's possible and been done before right?!?!

I'm currently setting up my own Ubuntu Media Center via my 23" HDTV (doubling as an external monitor display for the laptop), a forthcoming high capacity external hard drive and forthcoming laptop with an HDMI connection. With a PS/2 to USB converter cable for my ergonomic keyboard and Logitech wireless trackball mouse, I'll be able to type comfortablly for long periods of time. More on this as it develops! :)

HappyFeet
June 21st, 2009, 07:50 AM
I have seen a lot of these on ebay for relatively cheap prices... (and they are not that much at newegg new...http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=Eee+Box


Do NOT get one of those. You will regret it. They are OK as a casual use computer, but are far from ideal as a media center.

Swarms
June 21st, 2009, 08:39 AM
something like the Asus eee?

I have seen a lot of these on ebay for relatively cheap prices... (and they are not that much at newegg new...http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=Eee+Box


Thats AWFUL small.....but along the lines of the size I would want though!

And I guess I could load ubuntu with a usb stick, and then download whatever GUI I would want for the media center...


Great call on that, I think you saved me alot of time and headaches on that one.

Look at the links I supplied, they are like Eee pc's but for televisions.

gn2
June 21st, 2009, 11:19 AM
Do NOT get one of those. You will regret it. They are OK as a casual use computer, but are far from ideal as a media center.

Which is why in my first post in the thread I suggested the Acer Revo, (Hornet in the US) which can easily handle streaming high resolution video, not that you'll need to if you have a PVR.

At UK prices a PVR and a Revo costs less than a custom built Media PC.

If you want to play BluRay and games, add a PS3.

cptrohn
June 21st, 2009, 03:25 PM
Look at the links I supplied, they are like Eee pc's but for televisions.

I did look at those, but they seem to be very limited here in North America, I couldn't even find a price for them... I will keep looking I guess... Thank you for the links though!

ugm6hr
June 21st, 2009, 05:03 PM
Yes.

The main advantage over a pre-built solution is that you can do whatever you want with it.

And it is potentially possible to just recycle old computer parts to build it, especially if you are using a monitor with VGA port.

I can also recommend XBMC.

Mattaus
June 22nd, 2009, 02:47 AM
I'm currently running XBMC with a MythTV front end built in, and a MythTV back end handling the television side.

I can do everything people have listed here, and with the mythTV front end inside XBMC I can watch, record, rewind, pause and fast forward live TV. This is running through a 32" HD LCD TV but is also hooked up to a massive projector as well.

Fun times :D Pretty much everything you need is over at the XBMC site and the Mythbuntu section of these forums.

Have fun!

plewisfdx
June 22nd, 2009, 03:27 AM
XBMC - love it on my original xbox, and just put it on my intrepid laptop.

Does it have hardware accelerated video decoding? The wiki page says it does for linux, but I've also read on their page that it doesn't, yet.

If not, get a good enough CPU to handle the load and xbmc is a GREAT frontend. Can't handle HD on my old 3ghz P4, fwiw.

Hatfield
July 2nd, 2009, 06:46 PM
I'm in the process of designing an Ubuntu-based HTPC right now.

Roomy Silverstone case, modular Corsair 650W PSU, Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R mobo, C2D dual-core Wolfdale 3.0 CPU, G.Skill 2x2GB 1066 RAM, Gigabyte GV-N250OC Nvidia GTS250 PCI-E X16 2.0 HDMI video card, Samsung DVD, 2 Hauppauge HVR-950Q ATSC/QAM tuners, Genpix Sywalker-1 Sat tuner. Gonna use my current 80GB and 500GB drives.

The "base" without tuners = about $600

Not sure which flavor OS. Maybe minimal install. Probably gonna use MythTV but maybe VDR for TV. Add VLC as media player, Deluge as bittorrent client, Banshee as music frontend.

Watch/record 2 OTA HD channels, watch/record satellite TV, watch TV online, download/watch bittorrents of TV/movies, watch DVDs (no blu-ray in Linux; at least not easily), listen to music, store/watch movies.

The GTS250 is capable of 120Hz so I'll also be investing in one of the new Sony Bravia 120Hz TVs too. My father-in-law has one and the HD looks almost 3D.:guitar:

Saghaulor
July 11th, 2009, 12:24 AM
Has anyone seen this?

http://linuxmce.com/

killabee44
July 11th, 2009, 03:14 AM
Has anyone seen this?

http://linuxmce.com/

very interesting! thanks for the link. I will check that out.

Johnsie
July 11th, 2009, 03:24 AM
I refuse to use Linux on my media centre. The main reason is that there aren't enough p2p TV viewing products like TVU or PPStream.

I Linux had a decent selection of p2p TV programs I would think about changing. I also think video seems to work sometimes better on windows than on Linux (possibly due to some better codecs?).

However it is good to see that some progress is being made to produce media centres.

DownTown22
July 11th, 2009, 03:29 AM
I too am currently building a Media Center PC with Ubuntu as an OS.

I use my main desktop to test software, etc and personally, I'm going with XBMC. I've tried a bunch of stand alone programs, and Moovida (aka Elisa) and it just doesn't function as nicely as XBMC.

Also, I've decided to use Ubuntu just so I could do other things with the computer if need be.

I'm using a smaller case (the Thermaltake LANBOX Lite) and loading it up with a DFI motherboard, AMD CPU, G-Skill RAM, OCZ Power Supply, 2x500GB Samsung HDD's, and an nVidia video card. Overkill? Maybe...but, might as well do it right!

I'll possibly post something later this fall once I get it all built and running.

And that's my two cents!

epsolon77
September 4th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Has anyone seen this?

http://linuxmce.com/

I know it's a late post, but I have used this and it work fairly well. The server I had placed it on turned out to have a faulty DVD drive, which made the fact that it worked at all quite interesting. I did not test the home automation or roaming remote possibilities. I never got the Auto rip of DVD's to work, but I am confidant I just didn't install an add on Codec. I did not spend but a day or two messing with the system before I had to re-purpose the hardware, so I got a lot done in a very short amount of time with the install. Give it a try I think you'll like it.

Redlance
September 5th, 2009, 09:57 AM
many great suggestions XBMC is good. However I ended up buying a western digital media center for $100 and a 500gig passport HD for the small form factor and ease of use for family however.(and i wanted the computer back for my server) it has lots of drawbacks.
1) doesn't support all video formats.
2) DVD file structure support is there just very messy and non-intuitive.
3) no way to upgrade or change anything.
4) no network support just USB
5) very tiny remote (might consider tacking a gps on it to find it easier)
6) menu system is very clunky about 5-7 clicks to get from start to movie
7) don't think it supports true HD (not sure)

the pluses are:
1) Low power/heat consumption
2) brainless remote.
3) its dirt cheap.

If I had to do it over I would go with a cheap box and use XBMC. that way its pretty future proof. and doesn't involve a whole lot of tinkering.

epsolon77
September 6th, 2009, 04:34 AM
I used LinuxMCE earlier, and it seemed to work very well. I recomend you give it a whirl. It does more than just media. Also supports home automation and phone stuff too.

Compucore
September 6th, 2009, 04:46 AM
I would agree with this as well if and when you are going to use Mythbuntu and use it as a media center. Take a look into the documentation as to what they suggest and already tested out that will work mythbuntu or in ubuntu in general. Garantee you'll have a smooth transition to it. So you can record your favorite tv show on your media center.

Compucore


I'm using Mythbuntu 8.04 on one of my drives. It works great. Just make sure to get a compatible TV tuner card.

Johnsie
September 7th, 2009, 11:52 AM
I use Windows XP on my media center... mainly because of peer to peer TV and Spotify. Spotify works with wine but the sound quality is better on Windows due to better sound drivers for the hardware I use.

I don't think Ubuntu would make a great media centre without using illegal codecs ;-) It's more of a desktop/office oriented platform and not really known for its multimedia capabilities.