At some point in the next couple months, I’d like to buy a new media-center system to go with my new 50” living room TV. Right now, I have a slightly older MythTV install in the basement, and I’ve been watching video via a pair of Xbox 360s. They both have a few issues, though, and I’d like to find something better. I’ve considered customizing a newer MythTV build, and I’ve played with Boxee on a Mac, but before I invest a bunch of time and money into this, I figured I should look for advice. Here’s what I’m looking for:
I need the ability to:
- Talk to a SMB or NFS file server.
- Play video in .avi, MP4, VOB, MKV, or OGM files with common codecs.
- Play back content up to 1080p without stuttering.
- Change audio tracks and subtitles for files that have multiple tracks.
- Control the whole thing via a remote control.
- Play video via HDMI, or DVI plus optical audio out.
It’d be nice if it could:
- Play YouTube and Netflix videos.
- Play DVDs or maybe Blu-ray disks.
- Be controlled via HDMI-CEC.
I don’t care about:
- Recording or playing OTA or cable HDTV signals.
- Ripping disks
- RSS feeds, weather, etc.
I don’t really care about Linux vs Mac vs Windows in this case. I’d be okay with some sort of appliance, but I’ve never found one that actually works right. I have a Popcorn Hour A-100, and it’s about an order of magnitude slower than what I’m looking for, plus it tends to crash or lose audio sync on a lot of the more obscure files that I’ve thrown at it.