Mac Solution to Windows MCE?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by hotwire132002, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #1
    One of my summer projects is to install a centralized A/V system in our house. I'd like to put a computer dedicated as a media server in the home theater. This computer would be dedicated solely to serving up multimedia -- I plan to load it with all our DVDs and music. It would also be used as a DVR, recording and timeshifting TV shows. This computer would also drive the projector in our home theater (also a summer project).

    My current plan is to build a (gasp! :eek:) Windows MCE 2005 box with two TV tuners, tons of storage, etc. etc. to run the server, and put "Media Center Extender" boxes at each TV in the house. These Media Center Extenders are a really neat concept -- they're set top boxes that connect to the media center computer and allow you to play back recorded TV shows, other movies, music, and photos, as well as utilize the Media Center's TV tuner(s) to time-shift live TV. They also allow access to the program guide, so you can set up to record a show from any TV in the house.

    Anyway -- I'm wondering if there's a similar solution that could run on a Mac? I was considering the eyeHome, but that lacks the time-shifting capability. I was thinking I could live without that, but then I read something about having to restart the eyeHome's server program on the host computer any time you want to add video clips!?! Plus, I really would like to be able to program in shows I want to record without having to physically access the server.

    I've also considered using Mac Minis and Front Row at each TV, but (needless to say) that's going to be really expensive.

    In any case... I'm certainly open to suggestions! If there's a way to do this without going to the dark side, I figure somebody here can point it out! :D
     
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #2
    I think eyeHome is the best you can do on the Mac side of this.
     
  3. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #3
    Since these computers won't really be on the internet and open to the slew of "bad things" for them to catch, I would just go ahead and use PCs for the job...they're cheaper and it sounds like you know how MCE works and you know it'll do what you need.
     
  4. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #4
    I don't think these Windows Media Center computers are that cheap. They weren't last time I looked, but things may have changed.
     
  5. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #5
    They aren't bad if you build your own. I just priced out a pretty decked out "video server" box (designed to serve up to four Extenders at once) for under $700 (of course, over $100 of that is the XP license :rolleyes: )

    In any case, it sounds like MCE is the route to go for now.
     
  6. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #7
    Thanks for the suggestion! I'm looking into that one.... I'd much rather run on Linux than Windows, and mythTV looks to be a very nice and flexible platform. :)
     
  7. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #8
    I'd say $100 for the OS isn't bad at all. We're talking about hardware components using technology that has existed for years, the software is what makes it work. It's the software that's the added value in the system.
     
  8. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #9
    That's a good point.
     
  9. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #10
    the front end can run on mac. still working on the backend i believe - though I haven't checked in many months.

    it puts all other media centers to shame though.
     
  10. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    The Library.
    #11
    when you say the front end works, what do you mean? is it actually functional at all? thanks:)
     

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