View Full Version : MythTV VS. Apple TV VS. Vista Media Center

March 27th, 2007, 09:34 AM
Any honest info in each of these? How do they compare? I played around with the Apple TV box yesterday at the store and it seems simple enough.

The one readymade MythTV box I have seen is much better spec than the Apple TV, but more expensive too. And is anyone actually selling Vista Media Center boxes?

March 27th, 2007, 10:39 AM
I prefer Apple TV, but it's less customable than MythTV. I really need Samba support, as well as Xvix/DivX support.

For now, I use XBMC on my XBOX1 box. No TV recording, but the rest is great.

March 27th, 2007, 12:00 PM
watch and say WOW!!! :guitar:




i know the demo refer it as Linux MCE, but its actually myth TV preconfigured.

Jose Catre-Vandis
March 27th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Vs GeexBox !


March 27th, 2007, 01:40 PM
watch and say WOW!!! :guitar:




i know the demo refer it as Linux MCE, but its actually myth TV preconfigured.
It's more than just mythtv, I think. I wouldn't know exactly what components it has, but I remember that it is not just a normal mythtv setup.

March 27th, 2007, 01:51 PM
Apple TV - no TV recording whatsoever, doesn't work with things like Vongo, basically an interface to play your own media on TV. (No HD/BD support, at least in hardware, far as I know)

Vista - just an upgrade of XP MCE, by and large the same thing, full HD support, hardware varies (obviously). Full support for Vongo, MovieLink and the others.

Myth TV - basically a free version of TiVo. It has pretty much all the same features. Won't support Vongo and others (obviously). Not sure about HD support.

March 27th, 2007, 01:56 PM
oh, my bad :D , yeah its more than a mythTV , got to stop reading those stupid comments from digg :lolflag:


March 28th, 2007, 04:31 AM
Mythtv goes a beyond Tivo in many ways (especially when you consider the plugins such as mythphone, mythgame, mythweb, mythstreamtv, mythflix, mytharchive, mythdvd and its extensibility) and does HD just fine. The series 3 doesn't yet do multi-room viewing or tivotogo, all features mythtv has.

I think plenty of people make Vista Media Centers. Ready made (or close to it) Mythboxes can be had from tvease.net, monolithmc.com and mythic.tv

In my opinon Vista Media Center is fine, and your only PC option if you want to use a cable card. But myth hardware requirements are less, it is more extensible, and most importantly, free of DRM and can transcode to any format you need and take it anywhere.

I don't have any experience with appleTV

linuxMCE is a blend of MythTV and Pluto.

February 16th, 2008, 06:13 PM
Well, I have seen some sites around the internet showing how to install MythTV on the Apple TV. That only works for the front end, so you'd still need a server with some serious disk space and a TV Tuner, but that's not really a big deal. The biggest advantage for this is that the Apple TV has an HDMI output and the formfactor is nice and small. I know for me that if I had the money I'd buy 2 apple tv's, put one in the living room and the other in the bedroom. Then I'd buy one of the Haupauge HD tuners and put that in my server in the office. That way I have one location with a lot of storage in which to store all my media but I can access it via any TV in my house. Of course since I happen to have ripped all my music to iTunes on my laptop I can sync it with the Apple TV. Of course, this becomes a moot situation when I rip all the media to the central server, but still nice.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for me!


February 16th, 2008, 11:16 PM
At different points over the last two years, I have been a full-time MythTV, Freevo, Vista MC, and MediaPortal user. I'll give a brief example of the good and bad of each, to me at least.

MythTV is great for TV. And DVDs. But all of the other features are pretty lame. To me, my media center needs to be controlled by a remote (no problem there) and simple and pretty to look at. Pretty isn't just for looks but also for accessibility. The music plugin for MythTV plays fine, but it looks horrible and lacks interface features to make it easier to sort and find music with a remote.

Freevo is not so great for TV. Greater for other media. It is the antithesis of MythTV. The TV stuff works and functions well, but lacks the features and interface accessbility, the sheer power of a Myth box. However, they spent a lot more time focusing on local media and network media, so it is a lot easier and quicker to access media locally, networked, and over the internet with Freevo.

MediaPortal is a Windows 2000/XP/Vista program that runs on top of the OS, but is fully functional at the same time. It is GPL and uses a vast majority of other GPL products in its implementation. Running on Windows, however, it makes use of DirectX for rendering. Ignoring the freedom argument, DirectX is really good for a media center as it is a full package unlike a combination of OpenGL/X11/OSS/ALSA for most Linux media centers. There are plugins like crazy due to its open source nature and it really combines all the great elements of Myth and Freevo into a great full package... note, though, it is Windows only and that comes with other baggage such as having a compatible video card, tuner, and sound card for the DirectX aspects and needing a copy of Windows to run on the system to begin with.

Vista MCE is what I am currently using. It's great, though it lacks community support. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of plugins but it seems to me a very commercial environment filled with shareware, trials, and pay-to-access streams and downloads, usually DRMed. Putting ffdshow-tryouts (a Windows implementation of ffmpeg), you really get great support for every imaginable format and using the Yougle plugin, I am able to stream from Stage6, YouTube, Google Video, Icanhascheezburger, flickr, GameTrailers.com and it is really simple to make a simple XML or DDL file to add new content, all being processed by the ffmpeg backend. The interface is what is so great about Vista MC. The graphics API is an open standard so most plugins make great use of blending in. The distributed music, video, image, TV, DVD features are top notch. They look great and they are simple to use. Best use of the 10 foot interface out of any media center PC. Problem? Slow support from the community and Vista's heavy requirements. Not only does my trimmed down OS take about 700MB of RAM, but I had to upgrade to 2GB to get smooth performance in Windows Media Center just performing routine tasks. Also, you have to have a hardware tuner with a Vista licesne so they run about 2-3x as much as standard V4L or bttv tuner in Linux.

Elisa? Not ready for primetime. Remote support is limited, causing you to have to dig through your configs to set up basic buttons. TV is not yet implemented. The interface is great, but they are still working on some under the hood changes to the rendering, causing frequent lag problems in the interface that appear in one release, get fixed, and then pop up again. Wait until they finish implementing features and get the next two versions out with a much more modular backend and you will see great community support and stability.

If you are considering a media center PC, the best idea is to install (if you haven't) your favorite Linux distro and play with Freevo and MythTV and make a personal judgement. If you have Windows, use that to try out MediaPortal. If you have a Vista copy, you can always reinstall in Home Premium mode to try out Windows Media Center and judge your performance and extensibility on your own criteria. You get 30-days prior to activation, so it is a cheap and easy way to test that scenario.

As for Apple TV/Frontrow, I am mixed. Right now, it feels like Elisa to me. Great interface (which Elisa pretty much duplicated) and performance, but it requires special hardware or an Apple computer. Has little community support and lacks TV features entirely. I don't think Apple is aiming for a media center PC as much as they are shooting for new ways to implement and distribute constly iTunes products.

Long winded, I know. But hopefully, it spells out my experience a little better for you now. Let me know if you need any more assistance and have fun hacking away at those options that are availabe to you. Personal preference is king in media centers, so judge for yourself.