Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Linux Home Theater PC

Filed under: Fun,Fun Work,Linux,Movies,music — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

No, I haven’t done it. Yet.

But, when I do, I probably won’t end up using MythTV, like I thought I would. Rather, I think I’ll be using BoxxeeBox. Where MythTV is geared toward making a DVR, like Tivo, BoxxeeBox is more geared toward making home theater/multimedia machine, which is really what I want.

So, yeah, there are options.  Check this one out if you’re thinking about building a home theater machine.  It’s worth considering.

(And, yes, I’m trying to clean out old posts that have been lingering as drafts again.  New Year and all.)


  1. For my birthday, I bought myself a NetworkedMediaTank (Egreat M32B). It was a hard decision, whether to buy a ready-to-go settop or build a more flexible, dedicated HTPC. In the end, the NMT boots faster, is quieter, and uses less electricity. It hasn’t failed to play anything I’ve thrown at it so far. It runs a tiny version of linux and I’ve put an FTP-server on it as well so that my parents can download from me while they’re in NZ. (For some reason, they get transfer speeds more than twice as fast from the NMT than from Cerberus running on my XP desktop machine.) I usually use an SMB connection to transfer files between it and my desktop machine, which is still my primary machine for downloading torrents and/or ripping DVDs. The NMT is capable of downloading torrents on its own, but I prefer to keep that function on my desktop for my own control-freak purposes. The only things the NMT can’t do, that I wish it did, is access Hulu and capture broadcast tv/clear-QAM cable.

    For Christmas, I added a dual tuner card (ASUS EHD3-100) to my desktop for capturing TV shows. The NMT plays back the hi-def .ts files beautifully, even streaming them over my network (desktop is wireless, nmt is wired) without stuttering. I only stream them instead of copying them to the NMT’s internal 1TB drive because they’re quite large and much more temporary than my movie collection. I’m still working on getting the scheduling down (EPG is not functioning correctly) and I just added an automated commercial-editing software (VideoReDo) to the process. I am moving closer to cancelling my cable-tv service.

    Any solution, I believe, is “involved.” But I also believe that I’m spending a lot more of my time WATCHING tv/movies, than tweaking/debugging an HTPC. Email me offline if you want to know more. It’s been my favorite discussion subject for the past few months, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend. She just wants me to shut up and watch Nip/Tuck.

    Comment by tinyhands — 1/15/2010 @ 11:08 am

  2. Wow, cool! Thanks for the information. I may just cut to the chase and go with this instead. Maybe find a way to script things so that this is more integrated with other solutions or something. Either way, thanks for sharing this!

    Comment by the Network Geek — 1/17/2010 @ 11:23 pm

  3. At the core of my own, self built home cinema system is a PC with Linux, yes Linux! It takes a little longer to set up but it is so fast and much more reliable than windows. By the way, the version I’m using is Ubuntu.

    Comment by Taylor @ home cinema — 1/26/2010 @ 11:19 pm

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