The elusive media centre...

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I've been looking into building a media centre for ages now, and have got as far as buying a hifi-sized cased and started playing with various bits of software. So far I've looked into:

  • MythTV - pretty decent, but a little flaky and has a million and one dependencies. I also had problems loading OzTivo data into it's EPG.
  • Media Portal - again, pretty good, but seemed to run really slowly, even on my Athlon 64 3200. That could well be a configuration thing though.

But then on Friday just past, we took delivery of an Intel Mac Mini for our office (on the grounds of browser testing), and I was sold! We have:

  • The tiniest box ever, with really low power consumption, something my Athlon-based box couldn't compete with
  • Builtin remote, wireless and DVI and digital audio output, and a reasonable all-in price tag

With Front Row, it's great for recorded media. But what about the TV recording part? A little research turned up the Elgato EyeTV for DTT tuner, which now integrates into Front Row. Now that sounds good! The final piece of the puzzle was the ever problematic Australian EPG. For this I'm going to try out IceTV using the IceTV widget.

I'm going to hang onto the STB for a little while longer, but it looks like the Mac Mini is a winner for my living room media center!