OS Suggestions on an HTPC

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OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:12 pm

Ok.. not sure if this is an SBA question or should be in one of the OS sub-forums..

I'm looking to get a Zotac ZBox Nano to set up as an HTPC like device for my parents. I'm already going to be doing tech-support for them, so that's a moot point regardless.

They want to be able to use the device to stream pictures/slideshows/videos from their laptops to their TV, and "possibly" watch internet streams. (Basically they saw what I did with my HTPC setup and wanted a scaled down version). Basically it's going to be a media server, but they don't download much.

I'm trying to do this on the cheaper side, so I was considering looking at Linux as an option to keep the cost down, so I thought I'd ask the gerbils here if this was even feasible, and if so, how user friendly would it be? This box would need to be able to access shared folders on Windows laptops on the same network.

My other option (much easier) is to shell out another $100 bucks for a Win7 and set up WMC to do everything they want.

I'd love to go the linux route just for fun, but if I can't get it to work smoothly and be crash free, I'm pretty sure my parents won't be able to use it...

Thanks!
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Re: OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:51 pm

You said parents, which answers your questions. Windows it is!
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Airmantharp
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Re: OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:37 pm

So what you are saying is that there is no equivalent to WMC on Linux now?

I thought the Linux interfaces have become much better these days... My parents aren't afraid technologically, but I can't ask them to use a CLI..
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Re: OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:02 pm

Have you looked to see if the latest XBMC release meets enough of your needs? Besides offering a linux stand-alone option, it also has some third-party support for remote controls.
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Re: OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:35 am

I migrated back to W7 after trying XBMC way back after discovering that Vista was a useless, bloated, machine-slaying heap of lard.

I was pretty impressed with XBMC, even back then and it was only the desire to play games on the HTPC that made me switch back to Windows.

From what I've seen XBMC is extremely polished these days and probably the best "media centre" as long as media consumption is your only concern.
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Re: OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:12 am

Oem win 7. Stick to what they know.
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Re: OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:36 pm

Definitely Win 7, and I'm a UNIX/Linux admin by trade. If they ever want to stream Netflix, they will need Silverlight. Some intrepid souls have sugggested a VM running XP for Silverlight support (you probably have XP lying around, right? I do.), but I think you see the support nightmare coming. Save your sanity for a hundred bucks.

I'm building a HTPC for myself and it's Win 7, even if I decide to go with XBMC instead of, or in addition to Media Center. I don't even subscribe to Netflix. Yet.
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Re: OS Suggestions on an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:26 pm

Does XBMCFlicks work well enough for netflix streaming? Right now they have their TV and Blu-Ray player able to stream Netflix..

XBMC would work well enough, if I can make sure it will easily show their photos either from their laptops or various external hard drives..

I'm trying to save about $100 for them. I've been hearing that the latest versions of Linux can be setup one time, then left as is..
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