Favorite OS for HTPC

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by Greenlepricon, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Greenlepricon

    Greenlepricon Senior member

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    So I've got my parts lined up and ready to order for my htpc, and am now just curious about which operating systems everyone likes to use. I'll do my own experimenting if I don't just default to Windows 7, but I'm curious about what you guys think.
     
  2. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    if its an e350 or faster machine, then use win7
     
  3. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

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    Another vote for Win 7 x64
     
  4. Fox5

    Fox5 Diamond Member

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    Depends on needs and price sensitivity.

    Generally, there's no downside to Windows for this purpose, other than cost. But if you don't need live TV recording, then the Linux options are of equal quality to windows for practically all intents and purposes...except for poor flash player performance and a lack of Netflix/silverlight.
     
  5. Greenlepricon

    Greenlepricon Senior member

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    I have Ubuntu installed on my laptop, and really miss the ability to watch Netflix and play some games (at least without going through a really long process to get them working). To me that's the biggest advantage of having windows. If not for this, then I would love to use Ubuntu.
     
  6. fread2281

    fread2281 Member

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    You can do TV recording on Linux, and also flash gpu acceleration, so Netflix is the major issue.
     
  7. Fox5

    Fox5 Diamond Member

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    Can you do cable card recording on Linux?
    Also, you have to pay extra for TV guide data on Linux, which will quickly eat into the cost of a Windows license for media center...

    And flash still works way better on Windows, which is especially important on low end hardware like an E-350.
     
  8. techpun

    techpun Member

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    i say win7 with plex .. and some unified remote love, if you have a android tablet or phone.
     
  9. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt Lifer

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    I use Linux Mint with XBMC on my HTPC, and I have a downloader box running SickBeard/CouchPotato/SABnzbd on Ubuntu. I don't really watch live TV, but I do have a HDHomerun dual tuner on my network that I'm not really using. I understand that I can drive it with MythTV backend and there is a frontend add-on for XBMC for live TV, but I haven't been suitably motivated to get it working.

    In the past I had run MythTV frontend and backend which did DVR and commercial flagging, but since the digital transition the number of unencrypted channels dropped drastically.

    All I'd really be interested in for live TV would be sporting events, so I may eventually get around to getting the HDhomerun active again.
     
  10. flocko

    flocko Junior Member

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    Win 7 = "Tried and True" Hands down in my opinion .
     
  11. pkscout

    pkscout Junior Member

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    I use Windows 7 just for flexibility when having to deal with DRM. With Win7 I have the option to record encrypted cable broadcasts, view content purchased from iTunes or Amazon, and streams like Hulu and Netflix. If I was just recording off the air broadcasts and/or analog signals, I'd probably go with a Linux variant of some sort.
     
    #11 pkscout, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  12. thestrangebrew1

    thestrangebrew1 Platinum Member

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    just out of curiosity, I have a server (in my sign) running whs11. could I use this as my htpc? posted earlier about my first run in with cinavia & I'd like to avoid this again by just using my server as an htpc as well. I thought I read somewhere that a server shouldn't really be used for anything but serving.
     
  13. gevorg

    gevorg Diamond Member

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    any OS that can run XBMC
     
  14. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt Lifer

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    XBMCbuntu was kinda disappointing when I tried it. It did install and run right away with little to no configuration that I can recall, but I was quickly frustrated by the ultra-sparse Open Box desktop environment loaded with it. While I know I could've loaded a different one, I just decided to start with a fresh Mint installation and then install XBMC onto it. Much happier to have a feature-rich desktop environment like Mint readily available for browsing, file management and maintenance.
     
  15. spencers

    spencers Senior member

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    OpenELEC XBMC
     
  16. Activate: AMD

    Activate: AMD Junior Member

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    win 7 is what I use. Theres enough customization software that I don't see a need to use any of the linux/XBMC alternatives. Of course, I also use cable card on my HTPC, which dictates win7...
     
  17. stevech

    stevech Senior member

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    If you intend to look at cable channels other than local broadcast, you'll need to go with Windows 7 and windows media center. I think it's the only software which is permitted by the industry to decrypt.

    Or - I used to use a second cable box connected to a Hauppauge HD-PVR via HD component video. Then use Sage TV software. But Sage TV is a dead duck since Google acquired them and stirred them into the corporate soup, never to be seen again.

    We wonder if Microsoft will drop Windows Media center sometime soon.
     
  18. poofyhairguy

    poofyhairguy Lifer

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    On a Nvidia box I still recommend Linux. Its easier to force the system to just be an media appliance with Linux.

    But anything with an AMD or Intel GPU almost needs Windows for full potential.
     
  19. dirksquarejaw

    dirksquarejaw Member

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    Another vote for win 7 64 bit. No issues at all.
     
  20. Zorander

    Zorander Golden Member

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    I had always used Win7 as the OS for my HTPC and been happy with it. I checked this thread to see if there is actually a more "proper" or streamlined OS for HTPC purposes; apparently I made the right decision the first time.

    So another vote for Win7!
     
  21. ussfletcher

    ussfletcher Platinum Member

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    If I didn't need live video recording (and simplicity) I'd be using linux with xbmc. However live recording was always a requirement for me and until extremely recently windows media center was the best/easiest option for that.
     
  22. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Diamond Member

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    Same here... Planning on getting a Win7 disk, hopefully on sale on BF, for my HTPC build.
     
  23. radioouman

    radioouman Diamond Member

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    I use OS X.
     
  24. Mfusick

    Mfusick Senior member

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    Window 7 x64.

    It's how I roll.
     
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