I have been wanting to do an HTPC setup for a bit. I work in the Windows world and use a 13.3" macbook at home (along with endless PC's).
My 'tinkering' days are sort of over with (in the grand sense), corporate IT has spoiled me over the years so I like stable systems, good warranties and support, OEM integration. I am not going to chase down parts on NewEgg or whatever and build myself a 'gaming rig' or whatever - that's why I bought an Xbox
There were some cyber monday deals and I stacked a few coupons and sort of went for broke:
X4 P940. 1.7, 2mb
blu ray (don't own a player currently)
2 year warranty
Dell remote (ironically I got a drawer of older Med. Cent Dell remotes sitting here, but I understood the IR wasn't in the 410 w/o ordering the remote)
The wireless keyboard with trackball. Read mixed reviews there - I figure if I like the keyboard and get use to the mouse, then fine. if not I will grab one of the other wireless mice I have - the type/cost of wireless kb/mouse combos is pretty overwhelming with tons of good/bad reviews for each. I just said 'screw it' and went with the OEM option.
It has the rest of the standard, eth, wifi, etc.
Not sure if price is discussed on here (seems so) but I got it for a notch over $800 total with free shipping. lead time is 10 days.
I did up a MacMini and then accounted for a bigger drive, etc and frankly, it was more and could in theory 'do' less since it lacked the BR drive and a lot of this stuff seems Windows centric (aware of the BR hacks and Bootcamp, etc).
Add a tuner (or duel? not sure how that works - need two cable boxes?)
do all the online stuff, hulu, netflix, etc (like 360 for netflix, but it's easier to search on the PC side - ESPN on 360 is AWESOME if you like sports)
I have about 350 DVD's, on DVD media - so I would need to rip to drives.... so I want to integrate that in (what's the best way? XMBC? I like Plex on the Mac side, from a demo I saw - its a spin off from XMBC if I understand correctly).
In addition I will probably do some video editing, some casual browsing, *maybe* a game or two (nothing fancy).
In the background I would leave it on for downloads, streaming and video chat, etc.
So my plan is a stable HTPC but with the option of full on computer functions (why I bagged on Apple TV - until they jailbreak it maybe).
1. any suggestion for DVD management? XMBC seems like a good choice. some media on the Zino, the rest off of NAS shares or off other boxes via SMB, etc.
2. DVR functions? I understand it needs to be USB, but can I record one channel and watch another? I want to use my cable box still to actually do the control or does that move to Windows Media center? What about HDCP content like HBO shows, etc. Any suggestions on that side of things?
* I love my Mac and use it all the time at home - but all these years in the PC world has my brain leaning that way. I think that if I was going strictly Plex-only and not shooting for anything else I might have done a base MacMini but the more I thought about it I liked the idea of an always on PC that I can start up mundane tasks and let them run over night, etc. I can more easily get into my work network on Windows as well, so I could take a call, pause my DVD, roll to RDP, fix something and become someone's hero without having to get off the couch..