Unix (Linux and *BSD) » Distributions

ID #1032

How to Set Up a Linux Media Centre?

Setting up a Linux Media centre can be the perfect way to store your digital media and turn your house into a more technologically advanced place. Before you can even begin thinking about installing your own media centre you have to decide upon which software program can offer you the best solution. There are three major options that seem to be quite popular these days, XBMC, SageTV and LinuxMCE. Here is a quick run down on what each offers and which may be best suited to your needs before we move into the actual installation.

The XBOX media centre is a system that has been improving drastically with each passing year. When it came to open-sourced media centres, this program was simply outclassed in a number of ways. For starters it was only designed to be run with and on an original XBOX. Recently, there have been a number of advances in relations to this software and it can now be run on an XBOX, Windows, Mac and Linux. While the software seems to improve every month, it still doesnt show the promise that some other software you can get your hands on does. Wait another year or so and see how much they can improve it even more.

Now, moving away from the free media centre systems, a viable option is SageTV. While it isnt free, it is incredibly cheap and is perfect if you are looking for an easy to install, easy to use DVR. There really are no glitches or install issues to discuss here. It works effortlessly and easily but lacks a number of potent features. For the price of $80 though, you really cannot expect too much.

The LinuxMCE has been and continues to be the cream of the crop when it comes to a Linux Media Centre. Not only is the software completely free, but it looks great and performs even better. There are no serious glitches or problems that have been evident and the only installation process is quite simple. Here are some tips and instructions to get you through the install process and well on your way to setting up your Linux media centre.

First things first, we are going to assume you have completed the install of the program. Download it, click through the process and you are done. Do not rush through the install process though, as you want to make sure you properly set up the audio settings and screen resolution. Going back and changing these settings or just choosing the default ones can prove to be quite a hassle.

Once you have the install set up and ready to go, all you have to do is follow along with the AV wizard. Keep in mind, you need the Kubuntu desktop to run everything the first time, but your LinuxMCE settings will have no effect on the settings you previously chose for Kubuntu. The wizard will boot automatically and you just click through for your settings. You are going to be given a few choices for your Audio/Video settings; UI1, UI2 and UI2 along with some alpha blending. Your best bet is the UI2 with alpha blending but you have to make sure you possess a video card that supports extensions that are composite. Without these composite extensions, it will not run the way you wish. If you have a simple video card, then you want to go with UI1 as it will work with all platforms.

One bump in the road you may hit while running the AV wizard is that your TV may over-scan. If this happens you simply want to hit the key to minimize the screen until you can see all corners. While your media is always full screen, you want to make this part perfect so you can see your entire interface without anything being cropped off.

Tags: XBMC, SageTV, LinuxMCE, Linux Media Center

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Last update: 2009-04-09 05:50
Author: OSresources
Revision: 1.1

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