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Media Center PC Software


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You guys are in the know. I just setup my PC to be hooked up to my HDTV (looks AMAZING btw). I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with setting something like this software wise.

Right now I just have an XP box hook up to the TV networked with wifi (108mbps). I was wondering if there was some sort of software or app that works like a client/server setup to stream files to the media center... if that makes sense.

Example. Say I have the "server" side hooked up to the TV. I right click a file on my client (laptop) and click something like, play on media center. and it'll stream it, or transfer it over to the other PC to play. That would be a nerds dream come true! But I have no idea if any kind of software like that is out there.

If the above if a pipe dream, does anyone know of something similar or what a "typical" media center uses for software?

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There's definitely plenty of stuff out there that will do what you're trying to do, I think. What I think you're looking for, or at least a good place to start search-wise, is a Home Theater PC, or just HTPC.

With the whole client/server thing, usually one computer is the server, and has the files actually saved on it. If it has a TV tuner card, it actually does the recording of the TV shows. The client end is what reads the files from the server, and displays them on your tv or computer monitor. The client/server can be running on the same machine (a single computer can do both parts), or be split up. For your example, usually the client will 'pull' the media off of the server, rather than using your laptop to 'push' it, if that makes sense.

What you'll probably be able to do, is have the PC be the server, and use your xbox as the client, or Front-end.

I've had pretty good luck with GBPVR. It's easy to figure out how to simply playback files you already have. Media Portal is also very highly regarded. Both of those are free, and for Windows, and I *think* they both have an xbox frontend; not sure, because I don't have an xbox. If you're familiar with Linux, MythTV is going to be the way to go. The only bad thing I've ever heard about it is that it runs on Linux; and that's only bad if you don't use Linux.

Good luck!

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