Originally Posted by Buzz K
LOL, I feel the exact same way (and you sound way more advanced than I am). I was frustrated at first but I realized I would not be returning it so I would give it my best shot. I have had the Zino for 5 days, of which I spent about 15 hours tweaking & 15 minutes enjoying. I think I had my expectations too high.
My main goal was to dump Comcast and save $125/month. It may just be a little longer before I make the move to cancel. But I think in the end it will be ok with the basics (play DVDs, QAM cable TV, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon VOD). I will know in a few days. I bought PlayOn, downloaded XMBC and I am signing up for the cheapest unlimited Netflix. I will try it all over the weekend and see what happens. I was also trying to figure out the ISO thing (I finally decided I may need to convert them all to another file format - big time investment). Oh, the other biggie, I need to make it easy enough to use where my wife doesn't need to push more the a couple of buttons to watch TV or a movie.
It sounds like everyone has a different idea of what they want an HTPC to do. Maybe it's too much. I dream of a world where I order and HTPC, plug it in and it does everything. Thankfully the Zino is priced low enough (with deals) that I think I can get my money's worth out of it no matter what I end up doing with it.
Don't over complicate it. Get to know your HTPC before you wander off into uncharted territory.
I see this all too often. You start reading about things you can do with it once you install this application or this codec, etc. etc. etc. Then people get completely lost, things don't work to their expectation and they blame the HTPC experience saying it is not simple enough.
NONE of that is required to just enjoy an HTPC. Stop trying to do everything you see everyone talking about. Take time to just use default media center functionality first.
All that other stuff can come later once you are more familiar with these different applications.
The HTPC can be a VERY SIMPLE platform to enjoy and it has great functionality out of the box.
Window's media center is perfectly capable of streaming your music, photos, working as a DVR, streaming content from the web when you use it as is.
On my bedroom HTPC, I only have Win 7/media center loaded, Hulu's DT application and Arcsoft's TMT (for blu ray playback). I did update the flash 10.1 beta and the ccc 9.11 drivers as part of the initial set up but that is it. No codec packs, no misc. s/w applications, it is a very simple and minimalist load.
All the movies, music, etc. all sit on my main HTPC. It too is a very simple load and not much more than what is on the Bedroom HTPC. The other stuff I have on that box is AnyDVD for ripping movies to the HDD, 2 x TV Tuners for recording OTA TV, and My Movies for organizing the movie collection.
Between the 2 boxes, I can stream movies, music, photos, TV and everything on the main HTPC to any other PC or HTPC in the house.
There was not a ton of tweaking required, no lengthy set up, very little maintenance, etc.
I believe in the KISS principle, it makes life very easy.
I have no issues with anyone that wants to tweak their boxes to run alternative OS's or GUIs, no issues with adding codecs, etc. but NONE of it is required to enjoy a HTPC experience.
Geez, my wife and kids use our daily, I have to keep it simple and reliable. Down HTPC time makes for a very unhappy household.
When you are first learning to snow ski, you don't go to the top of the mountain and try to tackle the double black diamond runs, that is just asking for trouble.