View Full Version : Anyone use Linux based Media Center

03-11-2010, 09:30 PM
I'm currently using Vista64 Home Premium for my HTPC.

It works pretty well, but I have this wierd need to constantly tinker with things when they're working perfectly fine... :p:

I was wondering if anyone is using an Ubuntu based MC, Moovida, MythTV or maybe something I'm not familiar with that might be better than Windows...

I have a decent amount of storage on the HTPC itself (2 drives, 1.5TB), so I don't think it would be a problem to partiton the C: drive and make it dual boot, just to try new things.

System Specs for HTPC:
Mobo: Asus M4A785TD-V EVO (would the VIA Audio chip be a problem?)
CPU: Phenom II X3 720 (not unlocked/stock)
Mem: Crucial 4x1Gb 1333 DDR3 budget memory
Video: Visiontek 4850 512k
Tuner: Haupagge 1600 dual tuner
HD's: WD Black 500gb and Samsung F2 (green) 1tb
DVD: LG Blu-Ray combo with Lightscribe

I installed Ubuntu 9.10 (dual boot) on my main rig just to get a feel for things, but I'm having serious problems with it recognizing my wireless card.
But I digress.... The HTPC is hardwired and not wireless.

Any comments or suggestions on Linux based Media Center software would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks... Dave

03-12-2010, 11:28 AM
As a heads up I wanted to post to let you know that Linux doesn't support Blu-Ray playback. I'm guessing that since your HTPC includes a blu-ray player, that's a feature you want. The only way to do it right now is to rip the blu-ray to your hard drive / decrypt it and play from that... a very time-consuming thing to do.

Past that, I haven't used Linux as a media center platform (due to the above noted problem) so I can't comment on the rest.

03-12-2010, 08:24 PM
Just curious, don't stand alone set top box BR players run on Linux? I mean, mine has a gig of ram in it, can access the internet, download movies etc.

03-13-2010, 04:51 AM
quite possible, but we're not talking about a vanilla distribution. there will be proprietary code written in meant for the decrypting/decoding of bluray and would theoretically be as good as or better than Windows' ability to playback bluray. The point being that it wouldn't be a hack job.

03-13-2010, 03:40 PM
find me a decent bluray codec built for linux and then we will listen. as it is, there aren't any, and probably wont be vor a long time.

03-13-2010, 10:23 PM
Thanks for the "Heads Up" folks!

I wasn't aware that Linux wouldn't do Blu-Ray...
Yeah, thats kind of important for me as far as an HT box goes!

I've still been playing with it (dual boot) to some extent.
MythBuntu seems to be a joke, I spent a few hours playing with it and no usefull results to speak of... :(

I'll try Moovida and see how that goes.

In the mean time, Hulu Desktop pretty much rocks!!
They have every episode of "Lexx"! I missed alot of them, and they cut Eva Habbermans shower scene, but I'm liking Hulu DT.. :D

03-14-2010, 12:41 AM
I used MythTV for a really long time, but eventually transitioned to windows 7. I had too many issues with Linux that required me to keep tweaking the system. Windows 7 + Anydvd + blu-ray drive works wonderfully. Also, you might want to look into Boxee if you want a good HTPC program.

03-18-2010, 05:53 AM
There is a workaround to get bluray support in Linux, although it's not ideal.

You can however get the main feature playing in any app (VLC, XBMC etc.) that plays streams.

Use a piece of software called MakeMKV, which is normally used for copying DVDs and Blurays into MKV format, but also has a feature which allows you to stream the decrypted video from the Bluray disk live into any app that can play the codec (X264, VC1 or MPEG2).

I use it with XBMC along with a little plugin someone on their forums wrote, and it's perfect. Full 1080p picture and original sound from the disk. I don't need to exit the program (XBMC) as the plugin takes care of setting up the stream, and all that. You should check it out. Oh, and it'll be hardware-accelerated too, provided your graphics hardware supports VDPAU (Linux version of DxVA).

I also think everyone should check out XBMC, as it's head and shoulders above everything else on the market in all ways except live TV support, which it doesn't currently have, although it is being actively worked on for release really soon, and is available in the SVN testing builds.

03-18-2010, 07:29 AM
I use ubuntu 9.10 and the newest boxee beta with great success. I do not however play any manner of physical discs on it, just mkv's and avi's stored on another machine.

03-18-2010, 01:38 PM
Ya BR on Linux is more of a Legal issue than Technological problem. Similar to not being able to transmit 1080p over analog component cables. It is electrically possible but Hollywood won't let you.