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best user interface for HTPC?

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
In your opinion, what is the best HTPC interface out there and why? What are your top 3 choices?
post #2 of 75
for HTPC, it would be.
GBPVR (looks pretty good in alpha for Popcorn Hour), MythTV, MCE (xp - 2005)

I would say that vista MCE is very nice, but the vista as an OS sucks soo bad that I would'nt even bother attempting to get it working with all the devices one needs for a great HTPC.

my 2cents anyhow.

ZorroB
post #3 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorroB View Post

for HTPC, it would be.
GBPVR (looks pretty good in alpha for Popcorn Hour), MythTV, MCE (xp - 2005)

I would say that vista MCE is very nice, but the vista as an OS sucks soo bad that I would'nt even bother attempting to get it working with all the devices one needs for a great HTPC.

my 2cents anyhow.

ZorroB

You're kidding right? Vista is by far the easiest to work with and easiest interface to work with. There are thousands of outstanding add-ons and tweaks
post #4 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorroB View Post

for HTPC, it would be.
GBPVR (looks pretty good in alpha for Popcorn Hour), MythTV, MCE (xp - 2005)

I would say that vista MCE is very nice, but the vista as an OS sucks soo bad that I would'nt even bother attempting to get it working with all the devices one needs for a great HTPC.

my 2cents anyhow.

ZorroB

In my experience, Vista has been far easier to setup for HTPC than XP, and it doesn't screw with the audio like XP did.
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by oapy123 View Post

In your opinion, what is the best HTPC interface out there and why? What are your top 3 choices?

GBPVR
MediaPortal
Vista Media Center

For basic HTPC use, they are probably all equal in capability.
post #6 of 75
Vista Media Centre
post #7 of 75
what about MeediOS ??
post #8 of 75
Yes, Meedio, but not for Joe Public to set up (usage by wife and family is perfectly fine)!
post #9 of 75
Another vote for VMC from a pathetic loser who couldn't figure out how to harness the power of GBPVR or Meedios... With Vista Home Premium and very little effort, I now have PVR, TV Schedule, Movies database, music, videos/pics, etc.
post #10 of 75
xlobby. It's the only thing I've found that gives me the flexibility to create the interface I want. Maybe mediaportal could, but I already had xlobby setup the way I wanted, so I gave up on it.

Everything else is about the same for me.

This is all in regards to movie playback only. I don't do pvr stuff on my htpc. If I wanted my htpc to do everything, then I'd say mediaportal or meedios would be my top choice.
post #11 of 75
Girder.

No one program gives me the user interface that makes me happy (read: not having to waist time flipping through screens to do stuff). Further I'll not deal with a subpar interface for one app because that front end is weak in that area.

With Girder, I can call up the program that does each thing the way I want it done. Often with a single button press.

-Suntan
post #12 of 75
VMC, but Suntan is right you need some sort of controlling software. Or you better be able to code plugins for everything.
post #13 of 75
SageTV + SageMC (if you want to record unrestricted HD premium TV channels HBO, sho, PPV, On Demand) with either R5000s or the new Hauppauge product... Especially, if you have more than one TV (extender support).

Otherwise, Vista Media Center is pretty good for just basic TV.

PowerDVD for Blu-ray.
post #14 of 75
IMO, the best interface is the one that you can design to do exactly what you want. I use CQC.
post #15 of 75
I agree with the VMC vote unless you are interested in HDDVD and Blu-ray playback. VMC is not compatible with either high def format and the programs that are HD capable, PowerDVD and Arcsoft Total Media Theater, in my opinion, do not integrate well with VMC.
post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuck View Post

I agree with the VMC vote unless you are interested in HDDVD and Blu-ray playback. VMC is not compatible with either high def format and the programs that are HD capable, PowerDVD and Arcsoft Total Media Theater, in my opinion, do not integrate well with VMC.

I have a "BluRay" button next to "PlayDVD" In VMC. I hit it, and the movie begins playing - you can't even see the screen change to PowerDVD. When the movie is finished, you simply hit the green button and VMC is focused again over PowerDVD. Works well for me...
post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet View Post

SageTV + SageMC (if you want to record unrestricted HD premium TV channels HBO, sho, PPV, On Demand) with either R5000s or the new Hauppauge product... Especially, if you have more than one TV (extender support).

I'll second SageTV+SageMC. My wife really likes the interface, and I like how tweakable it is.
post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalier240 View Post

IMO, the best interface is the one that you can design to do exactly what you want. I use CQC.

Is this product something that can work on a regular HTPC+remote?
post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorman42 View Post

Is this product something that can work on a regular HTPC+remote?

Do a search for CQC and you will come up with tons of information. I'm almost certain that it is overkill for what you are trying to do as it is an automation program that can control everything (HVAC, lighting, irrigation, walking the dog, cooking dinner, changing socks, etc...).

However, if you want to go complete overkill like I did, it is great since you basically start with a blank interface and can design your own interfaces, button places, button commands, etc... And yes, it can accept IR remote inputs and use those inputs to execute a command (or commands).
post #20 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalier240 View Post

the best interface is the one that you can design to do exactly what you want.

so true...


while I think CQC is the best, ML/DVDlobby is also right up there at the top... I would say that either brings a HTPC to a whole new level, but that wouldn't really be accurate, what it does do is turn all your equipment into a true Home Theater... but I guess that doesn't really make sense either...

well anyway, even if I cant fully explain why, CQC is still the Best...

anyway, here is an example, when I select a movie on my Samsung Q1 that is by my main seating area, the HTPC turns on, the TV (if it is up) hides itself away (ie gets out of the way of the projector screen), my Lex MC-12 turns on and sets the volume to -15db (I like that as a starting point),then it selects the proper audio source, then my extron Matrix switch selects the projector as the output and the HTPC as the source, then the projector turns on, (a bunch of small inconsequential things also happen, but I forget what they are), anyway, as soon as CQC sense that Theatertek has started to play the movie, it dims the lights...(also if CQC sense that I have paused/stopped the movie, it will turn the lights back on...)...
all this happens with one button press... let's see VMC do that...
well, you could do most (all?) that with girder or eventghost, but it would be a lot of work, to do it with CQC it is just a bit of pointing and clicking...

well, this is what my interface on the Q1 looks like, but keep in mind I have 0 artistic ability and no idea how to make a good gui... so this should only be taken as an example of the worst that you could do... so no laughing...
post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

well, this is what my interface on the Q1 looks like, but keep in mind I have 0 artistic ability and no idea how to make a good gui... so this should only be taken as an example of the worst that you could do... so no laughing...

If that were my interface, I'd be somewhat lost too.
post #22 of 75
Im in for XBMC win32

www.xbmc.org

Coming right along.

Such a beatiful experience for HTPC ....

Its not even in beta stage and it working wonderfully.
post #23 of 75
The best is Vista Media Center, + the Video Browser (VB) plugin. As of right now VB is still what I would call beta software, it has some rough edges but you can definately see the potential. In 2/3 months this will be the application of choice for media center users.



Oh yeah its free and will eventually be open source too!
post #24 of 75
Since last week or so, I've been playing with VMC, Meedio and MediaPortal for my first HTPC build and so far I think that MP is the best option for newbies. Its easier to configure and does pretty much everything but on the other hand Meedio is difficult to configure but offer a lot more plugins, themes and options than MP.
post #25 of 75
I been using Media Center for over 5 years now. First with MCE 2005, and now with Vista. In terms of all around, easy to use, out of the box use, I personally think nothing can touch it.

Now if you like the tinker, modify, configure, and change the look and feel however you want, than yes MCE is NOT for you. But if you want out of the box just get it working and leave it alone vista MCE is by far the best out there for that.

- Josh
post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

I been using Media Center for over 5 years now. First with MCE 2005, and now with Vista. In terms of all around, easy to use, out of the box use, I personally think nothing can touch it.

Now if you like the tinker, modify, configure, and change the look and feel however you want, than yes MCE is NOT for you. But if you want out of the box just get it working and leave it alone vista MCE is by far the best out there for that.

- Josh

agree

MCE (XP or vista) looks better than the other options. You have to customize to get something decent going and I still havent seen anything that looks as good as MCE.
Problem is MCE is Microsoft bastard child and pays no attention to it.Till Fiji and that is months away.

I gave sage, media portal, medio, and beyondtv a try and didnt like it. Just because of looks. But once the HDPVR comes out I may have to jump ship till MCE support comes out
post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by vapore0n View Post

agree

MCE (XP or vista) looks better than the other options.

Hmmmm..... I would have to disagree because compared to some of themes in MP and Meedio MCE or VMC looks 10 year old.
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by vapore0n View Post

agree

MCE (XP or vista) looks better than the other options. You have to customize to get something decent going and I still havent seen anything that looks as good as MCE.
Problem is MCE is Microsoft bastard child and pays no attention to it.Till Fiji and that is months away.

I gave sage, media portal, medio, and beyondtv a try and didnt like it. Just because of looks. But once the HDPVR comes out I may have to jump ship till MCE support comes out

How does no one pay attention to it? and how is it a bastard child? Personally I think MCE is the ONLY good thing in years to come out of Redmond.

Between MCE, xbox 360, and the V2 extenders nothing else is even that good.

- Josh
post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

How does no one pay attention to it? and how is it a bastard child? Personally I think MCE is the ONLY good thing in years to come out of Redmond.

Between MCE, xbox 360, and the V2 extenders nothing else is even that good.

- Josh

I agree, MCE is great, but there is so much that it should have been for Vista.

no qam support, all of the removed features from MCE to VMC , etc.

Id give the media extenders to the xbox developers, as they needed a gimmick for the 360.
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajamils View Post

Hmmmm..... I would have to disagree because compared to some of themes in MP and Meedio MCE or VMC looks 10 year old.


Can you point me out to those? Out of curiosity.
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