XBMC or Windows 7 for HTPC?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Harsky, Aug 25, 2012.

Aug 25, 2012

XBMC or Windows 7 for HTPC? by Harsky at 4:59 PM (1,102 Views / 0 Likes) 5 replies

  1. Harsky
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    Member Harsky Madmin

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    Currently researching into building a micro PC with a Mini ITX motherboard. I can't decide which OS I should put on it. On the one hand, I'm sure having a XBMC will be like having an original Xbox which has been modded with XBMC installed on it and I can have movies with the metadata for it and possibly emulators but is there any advantage to having Windows 7 as the OS for an HTPC? Basically an OS that's versatile but also easy to use.
     
  2. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    If all you want to do is watch videos and listen to music and such, then get XBMCbuntu. If you want to browse the web and play emus and stuff like that, use Windows 7 and just install XBMC and have it startup with Windows. I believe you can add Windows shortcuts into XBMC so you can just launch everything from there.

    I've got XBMCbuntu on my HTPC and it works great for what I use it for, so go for whatever it is you think you'll use the PC for the most.
     
  3. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    XBMC support for DNLA is a bit sketchy I find, but then again I find DNLA a joke as far as standards go. On the flip side the general network support for proper protocols is fantastic in XBMC as you probably saw on the original xbox.

    For the record though XBMC is available for windows and works pretty well there (I certainly install it for clients that wish to flick a switch and have a media PC) not to mention it is available as a standalone package for various linuxes. Windows 7 advantages.... over just having a fully realised OS you can get silverlight (which several of the streaming services like and the equivalent in moonlight does little for this), games (even miniITX with a basic Intel chip can get something done for games) and some mad people like windows media center (it does play well with the 360 mind) but other than that if you can get a browser working with flash you are probably ahead of the curve.
    Oh I guess remote support is better in windows but you will probably be buying one so the minor bit of due diligence to get a linux compatible one is probably not going to be that troublesome.

    You start heading into the recording TV (mythTV) stuff and Windows media centre returns as a potential contender as I have not found a way to merge mythTV and XBMC and keep it at the truly braindead level.

    I should note I have not really put plex and MediaPortal through anything in some time now but the ones I keep on the back burner look like they could do some damage if you want as well.
     
  4. Harsky
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    Member Harsky Madmin

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    Has there ever been any HTPC remote that can double as a gaming pad or would I be better off just getting an Xbox controller for some emulator action?
     
  5. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    There is a difference between "function as" and "beat or run alongside a 360 pad". Frankly there is nothing that I have seen that I would place at, above or even slightly below a console controller that doubles up as a remote.

    Also I forgot to mention XBMC has long had network control and most fancy mobile phones and similar such devices will have the network remote control programs. Some also attempted things for the DS and PSP but I am pretty sure the former never got far and anything I say about the latter will be the results of my hitting up a search engine just now.
     
  6. qlum

    Member qlum Posting when needed

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    For an htpc I would recommend using your favorite linux distro and installing xbmc standalone on top of that as it often comes packed with a lot more stuff you often actually need and its easier to change things that the very much stripped down xbmcbuntu I have not really seen a performance difference between the two options and the storage usage is still very low, I would say that installing it ontop of another distro is better than using xbmcbuntu.
    I would recommend it over windows because of the startup time and resource usage, a htpc running on linux will generally do perfectly fine with just 1gb of ram while one running on windows would clearly be better off with 2gb, as for the startup time windows just starts up a lot slower. In addition to that a legal copy of windows is far to expensive to waste on a htpc unless you want it a bit beefier and do some gaming on it. If you are going to use windows, mediaportal is also a great mediacenter as you can tweak and change it a lot more and the scrapers for it are a lot better than the xbmc scrapers mainly because they are dedicated addons and not part of mediaportal itself. as for plex I never really tried it.
     

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