November 29, 2005

Building a Home Theater PC

Not surprisingly, I'm recommending the non-Windows version found at Extreme Tech. Excerpt:

Now that we've heaped that glowing praise on this modern computing wonder, we have to throw a rock or two at it. A number of distributions like Xandros, Linspire, and Lycoris have made very big strides toward making Linux easy to install and use by less technical users who just want to get their stuff done, and not twiddle with source code, .conf files, and kernel modules. Linux has also made some good strides toward being an interesting alternative to Windows Media Center Edition (MCE). But obstacles remain—lots of them.

So, before you embark on trying to build a Linux-based Home Theater PC (HTPC), you have to ask yourself a question: "How much time do I have to dedicate to bringing up a Linux-based HTPC?" If the answer is "not much," then a Linux-based HTPC is probably not something you should build. Assembling the hardware is pretty easy, and the physical assembly process takes a half-hour to 45 minutes. Installing the OS can be a very straightforward affair as well. But installing extra drivers as well as installing and configuring a PVR media application (and its required packages) are not trivial tasks, and the road ahead is laced with hidden potholes.

Oh, to be retired and rich.

Posted by Physics Geek at November 29, 2005 03:31 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Oh, to have mucho time, and ... hopefully as much money. HTPC? I'm not positive just what that is. I guess that's why I'm not a Physics Geek.

Don't get me wrong, not a damned thing wrong with physics, matter of fact I like it. Scored well in it in school.

Linux, and all those .conf files and .tar packages or RPM files. Man, those types of issues can make my eyes bleed, but I do agree with what you've said about Linux makin' strides to make it easier.

I think when they make it "really" easy, that they'll reap plenty of market share.

Posted by: RedNeck at November 29, 2005 09:27 PM

Actually, I'm testing about 10 different distros at home and will report on ease of use, applications, that sort of thing. Hopefully, it will provide enough interest so that some others will give Linux a try.

Posted by: physics geek at November 30, 2005 08:26 AM