I just built my first HTPC (my 2nd PC build):
ASRock FM2A85X Extreme4-M
Kingston Hyper-X Blu Red 8GB RAM
COOLER MASTER GeminII M4 CPU cooler
Cooler Master GX450 80+ bronze PSU
Samsung 840 120GB SSD
Seagate 500GB HDD
Logitech K400 keyboard
Asus DVD burner/drive
I have many questions and have a stockpile of bookmarked forums, articles, and threads to read. I have read a decent amount already, but am a bit confused with all the options and jargon. I chose to post in this forum because I like the broad range of topics and advice available. While I read my HTPC online literature, I thought I would ask three questions to get things rolling and reduce the amount of reading I need to do:
1. Which OS should I install as a base for my HTPC? Mint, Ubuntu, Windows 7, or other? I am also a Linux newbie but have played some with Mint and Ubuntu (pre-Unity interface).
2. Which HTPC software to use? I am leaning toward XBMC with WMC as a close second if I choose Windows 7. I also am intrigued by Plex, MythTV, Couch Potato, Sick Beard, and seen mention of Geexbox.
3. What else should I be considering at this stage to get my home theater adventure off on the right foot?
I am a total newbie to the digital home theater world. I currently have cable, Roku, and a Netflix capable Bluray player. I have no digital movies, a modest DVD collection,10 or so Bluray discs, and currently use iTunes for my 7GB of music. I do have a modest home photo/video collection. I also have an Asus Transformer tablet, Android smartphone, Nook Color, a laptop, and a desktop both running Windows 7 and connected wirelessly to via home group.
My goal with this is to be able to cut cable and reduce the number of boxes/remotes in the living room. I have only 1 TV, but may add a bedroom TV this year and would put the Roku on that. I want to stream Hulu, Youtube, Netflix (not a must, but I currently have it), and Amazon Prime Instant (also not a must, but I am a Prime member). Eventually (within the next couple of years) I will set up a home server for not only streaming ripped discs but also file sharing in the household, remote access, and backups. Right now I am stuck with cable because I have to have the NFL but am considering OTA TV. This may be limited in my area because I am 40 and 70 miles from the nearest towers in very hilly terrain. Thanks