a completely different subject.

by rmtwrkr

Last week I joined the ‘HDTV’ revolution. I got a Samsung 32″ LCD HDTV. Cool. the next task was to hook it up to my Powerbook for some FrontRow action. It was then that I realised that actually FrontRow is pretty crap at acting the media centre. So time to look for another solution. Eventually after trying many different HTPC programs it was clear that Equinux Software’s ‘MediaCentral’ fitted the bill the best. This is a ?30 program that takes all what FrontRow does, and adds much more to experience, such as a built-in DVB-T tuner that will work with not only the relatively expensive Eye-TV usb sticks, but also the generic Freecom PC usb stick (half the price of Eye-TV). Plus MediaCentral also has IPTV, with many streaming TV channels (most of them work ok), Games (any flash-based game can be added to the program), Flickr Photo streams from your mates, Skype integration, Music, DVD, blah blah…and so on. The performance is actually quite impressive on my Powerbook, as MediaCentral does not actually load up itunes, iphoto etc in the background to view or play content, thus making iphoto library navigation much more ‘teh snappy’. Also MediaCentral is much more extensible than FrontRow, with the installation of a preference pane, you can configure a lot of the look, feel, and also what ‘modules’ you want to use. Combined with my E61 for some Salling Clicker action, and the whole thing is a pleasure to use. Now if only I had a dedicated machine for MediaCentral..hmm….how much are MacMini’s??

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