What is the best HTPC software?

Feb 8, 2004
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#1
Ive always used XBMC because it just works and its got the android remote doodad, ive never tried WMC, or plex, or anything else. Are there any advantages to them? A lot of this stuff seems to use XBMC at the core anyways.
 

assassin24

HTPC Moderator
Mar 27, 2005
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#2
Ive always used XBMC because it just works and its got the android remote doodad, ive never tried WMC, or plex, or anything else. Are there any advantages to them? A lot of this stuff seems to use XBMC at the core anyways.
Only Plex uses XBMC at the core.

WMC and Mediabrowser is another solid option.

I use a combination of all the options as I am testing often.
 
Nov 17, 2011
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#3
WMC is the only viable option if you want to use a cablecard reader.
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
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#4
WMC is the way to go if you use a TV tuner
Plex is the way to go if your Apple allegiance oath requires you to be snooty towards XBMC.

I'm in the same boat in that I've been happy with my XBMC and have fallen out of the loop when it comes to media center alternatives.
May have to create a test VM and revisit some alternatives but I cannot think of any reason why I should bother.
 

jhansman

Platinum Member
Feb 5, 2004
2,640
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#5
Plex is the way to go if your Apple allegiance oath requires you to be snooty towards XBMC.
Plex works just as well on a Windows (or Linux) PC. If streaming to a Roku, it's your best choice, IMO.
 

cronos

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2001
9,380
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#6
Plex works just as well on a Windows (or Linux) PC. If streaming to a Roku, it's your best choice, IMO.
Plex didn't even have its own Windows 'client' (the way XBMC is a 'server' and also a 'client') until recently.

However Plex has been a great solution for me to host and stream media to my Roku, iPod Touch, Android phones and tablet. I don't think XBMC even does that.

I don't think XBMC and Plex as a choice of either-or as they are targeted to two completely different usages.
 
Aug 11, 2012
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#7
I don't think XBMC and Plex as a choice of either-or as they are targeted to two completely different usages.
I would tend to agree, for my HTPC I plan on using the Plex Media Server to stream to my devices, with XBMC as the client/frontend. PleXBMC looks to be a great plugin to allow XBMC to read the Plex library :)
 
Last edited:
Sep 20, 2003
18,998
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#8
i use xbmc, the aeon skin is just pure sex. blows people's minds when they see it for the first time.

combined with sickbeard & couchpotato & sabnzbd = pure htpc nirvana :D
 

billyb0b

Golden Member
Nov 8, 2009
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#9
wmc and media browser
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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#11
WMC is just so much simpler. My woman can barely grasp WMC so XBMC is a no-go for me. They're both installed on almost every machine in my house but XBMC rarely gets used.

WMC + mediabrowser is great. The MB community is growing and so is the number of plugins.
 
Nov 27, 2001
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#12
I had too hard of a time trying to get MKVs to work in WMC, so I just stuck with XBMC.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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#13
Nov 27, 2001
28,924
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#14
It's possible to get WMC to play MKV's but I have also had issues.
Yeah, I tried to do things like use Sharky's pack and such. I've even had a friend tell me that he got it working fine, but it just wouldn't work. :( If I could get MKVs to work in WMC, I would be torn between that and XBMC.

XBMC allows me to fully correct overscan (Intel's drivers won't get me the last 5%), but WMC is less buggy. Regardless of whether I'm on a monthly XBMC or the latest point release, I always have issues if I leave the software open. When I went to watch a movie on Saturday, the software was frozen in its screensaver (dimmed screen). Sometimes I turn on my TV, and it's only taking up a quarter of the screen. :eek:

That's why I have to have a keyboard available as my Gyration remote isn't enough to fix it when it bugs out.

For anything that doesn't play nice with WMC, just have MB open it in an external player.

http://community.mediabrowser.tv/pe...nfigure-an-external-player-for-media-playback
Hmm I could probably get Media Player Classic - Home Cinema to work well with that. I use that software on my desktop for all of my media playback, and ever since it added native Hi-10p playback, it's been great again.
 
Feb 8, 2004
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#15
I may give WMC with mediabrowser a shot, see what the buzz is about, looks like it has a remote on the android marketplace too.

I used to have an xbox 360 that connected to the network over wifi which streamed transcoded tversity stuff from the server in another room to the 360, i don't want to talk about it though as i may burst into tears remembering all the miscellaneous issues and syncing problems and audio cutting out halfway though ugh... When i learned i could just drag the server through and plug it into the freakin TV and use XBMC + its android remote it was heaven in comparison, its made me very reluctant to stray from this piece of software that saved me from tversity :D
 

Chapbass

Diamond Member
May 31, 2004
3,046
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#16
i use xbmc, the aeon skin is just pure sex. blows people's minds when they see it for the first time.

combined with sickbeard & couchpotato & sabnzbd = pure htpc nirvana :D
This x1000
 

Tegeril

Platinum Member
Apr 2, 2003
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#17
I've never had a problem getting MKVs to play in WMC. There was at one point a little registry change you needed to make and I think it's even easier now. It just works flawlessly.
 
Sep 20, 2003
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#18
why is it so hard in WMC? all you need to do to get it to play in WMP is install haali - is that not sufficient for WMC?
 
Feb 1, 2010
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#19
i use xbmc, the aeon skin is just pure sex. blows people's minds when they see it for the first time.

combined with sickbeard & couchpotato & sabnzbd = pure htpc nirvana :D
First rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club!
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
6,883
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#20
I've been using MediaPortal for the last 3 years. When I setup my HTPC I was at least under the impression that XBMC couldn't do TV tuning. I know I looked into it again and thought that was still true. I think now I may give XBMC a try, MediaPortal always leaves me wanting just a little more.
 
Feb 2, 2005
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#21
I haven't tried anything else, but WMC works so well that I'm not looking for anything better. I like media browser, but I have trouble with it crashing and then refusing to open until I restart the PC.

The one thing I don't like about WMC is how it loads netflix in the resolution I set for media center, but displays it on a screen that is the resolution of the desktop. That usually causes me to see the upper left corner of a blown up 1080P image on a 720P res screen (I set the desktop at 720P to make things easier to read). Everything else works splendidly.
 
Feb 2, 2005
17,253
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#22
why is it so hard in WMC? all you need to do to get it to play in WMP is install haali - is that not sufficient for WMC?
My set up is a little more complicated since the only surround sound audio format my receiver will support is dolby digital. I have to use ffdshow to decode and remix DTS and DolbyHD to Dolby Digital. That was a pain to figure out how to do the first time.
 

notposting

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2005
3,481
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#23
As far as I can tell, there is no "perfect" HTPC software.

Mine would be 7MC opensourced by MS, possibly with a couple gaping holes easily plugged with add-ins (DVD and BR playback, guide downloads) and gone over by the community to get a good plugin setup going...
 

tivo1

Senior member
Sep 12, 2002
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#24
XBMC for the frontend...
Raid6 file server for the backend running nfs and samba
MythTV to record TV shows (integrates with XBMC now)

and XBMC is integrating PVR in an upcoming release.
already in some subs....
 
Feb 23, 2005
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#25
I only use my HTPC for media Ive downloaded or ripped from other sources, so no TV tuner, Netflix, or anything else.

That said, I use WMC+Virtual Clone Drive + Mikinho Mount Image +Shark007 codecs and finally WMP Tag Plus (to see FLAC media) and this plays 99% of my media from WMC including ISO's, AVI's, FLAC, OGG, and MKV's, and streams every format to my receiver. For the odd BluRay that wont play I use Total Media Theater 5 (also integrates into WMC).
 

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