tiistai 29. tammikuuta 2008

The Masterplan™

Now that all my hardware seems to be working correctly, it is time to move to installing needed software. But before that I guess I should let you in on my plan for the final HTPC.

I am going to use the My Media System (MMS in short) as a Media Center software. I had the stable version installed on my previous installation. I liked it very much, it seems to be stable, feature rich and simple at the same time. Also the new version 1.1.0, which is currently in release candidate -state, seems to have many nice new features. I think I am at least going to try the new bleeding edge version first and if it is still too unstable, change back to the version.
While MMS takes care of the things like picture viewing, music and video playing and providing nice user interface for these, I am going to use VDR for the DVB side. I've been using VDR to watch DVB-television for some time now (over a year at least) and I am very happy with it.
Other option would have been MythTv which bundles all of this together and provides even more functionality. But MythTv has been more viable on the analog TV side, not so good in DVB. So basically VDR with X frontend does the watching and recording of television and MMS does the rest.

Here is a little demonstration of how both VDR and MMS work together. Keep in mind that the video is old and for example exiting the VDR frontend (the AVP movie) is more seamless nowadays.

Beyond of being "just" a Media Center for my living room, I am also going to utilize it as a file server. My home network includes two workstations and one laptop and because of the WLAN is available, I also have some visitors when friends come over with their WLAN enabled devices, like laptops or mobiles.

I will be using Samba for file sharing between the OpenSuse workstations, laptop and mostly Windows-based visitors. Samba-server is pretty easy to setup and making connections by clients is also very easy. Mirrored hard drives (RAID1) on my HTPC slash file server will take care of the content I don't want to lose due to hard drive crash. I will also probably make a little script that makes backups from HTPC/File server to the net.

OK, so maybe in my next entry I will be actually getting to the software installation phase, which I already promised few entries back.

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