"Just a question of which OS you are thinking about using and which programs?"
We are headed toward supporting all O/S's and a whole host of front ends, which can all be installed together for the ultimate "taste testing" type of system where you can multi boot linuxMCE, xp, mce2005, and Vista and flip around though all the popular frontends also with the greatest of ease. Plus with the option to install only what O/S you want specifically or only the front end and apps you want. Applications will also be included like Firefox and possibly Thunderbird, all the needed codecs for any common internet video and audio files, plugins needed for browsing and using the web, flash etc, to make all the O/S's as similar in function and complete and working "out of the box" as possible. In addition VMC and MCE will include a whole host of preconfigured and working plugins like mymovies, netflix and blockbuster, commercial skip, etc just like Binary64 already has Meedios stuffed with it's load of add ons. FFdshow, Haali media splitter, Anydvd-hd, MPC, Zoomplayer, Powerdvd, Eventghost, 7zip, perhaps down the line BeyondTV, Sage, you name it. Whatever we can "get away with" legally and "reproduce reliably". Some things may need to be added by the user manually if legal restrictions get in the way (anydvd-hd, dvdshrink, dvdfabdecrypter for example) but even still some programs setup and making it all work together can be automated even if we can't automate their download. There is tricky legal ground to tiptoe around with certain things as you can imagine but we're going to be 100% legal about it while still making it all 100% open.
You'll need the standardized hardware platform for some of the full automation to get everything all at once and have it all just work without much if any fiddling on the users part, but at the same time we are also headed towards making it as hardware open as possible (requiring some user setup) so you can get the same features on any machine.
When it's all complete you should be able to flip through OS's, frontends, multiboot, and do everything you can imagine with zero effort just from your remote control.
This will put everything right there for you to test and follow progress of them all, to easily compare them, or just use what you ultimately like the best at any moment after you have tried them all. We'll have them all directly competing against eachother on the same systems without having to be "geek boy super genius" to get everything to work together and not stomp on and interfere with each other.
The standardized hardware platforms are being selected based on hardware that's available and the same worldwide. (well, probably not in other languages, just english, for now)
It will support variations of tuner cards and video standards also, so you aren't limited to just NTSC or just PAL, we're not just aiming for a US market we want every market we can manage. We are located on both coasts of the US and in the UK.
(speaking of which, we are well set up to become distributors of hardware or turnkey systems ourselves if we wanted to do that at some point) Just not under the same business name or licenses as the the non-profit.
It may be something to consider given our locations and how well that could work. It could be another way to help the non-profit continue and grow, and a way to allow us to be full time on this rather than part time.
As long as none of that is hidden and it's all disclosed up front I don't think it would cause a problem legally or a conflict of interest for the non-profit. However we'd need to find out for sure and we haven't discussed this possibility yet. We won't be exclusionary if we do go down that path though the Non-Profit will support all 3rd party system resellers that support us back.
Basically the whole hog, the entire world handed to you on a silver platter.
And the system is totally open for the user to add any software they want on top of what we have included. Nothing is locked down or limited but it will be heavily backed up and redundant, and easily recoverable.
Binary64 and Greeniguana when you see this software list please go over it
and make your own additions or subtractions in your own posts to follow and clarify what software you both already plan to cover for sure in the first release and what may need to be left for the future. Once we get a good solid list of hardware and software I'll assemble that info into the first post of the thread and create more of a faq there as has been suggested before.
Anyone that has better alternatives to the software posted or additions of your own you'd like to see included please chime in. Remember to try to stay with mostly open source so most things can just be on our disk and ready to work out of the box but do also include any retail stuff that you'd also like to see covered.
Openoffice, some kind of picture viewer and editor, winpar/winrar, tmpegencode, dvrmstoolbox, video editing stuff, winamp, foobar, kernel streaming and ASIO plugins, powertoys, microsoft freebies, admin and network monitoring tools, antivirus and anti spyware stuff?
Windows updates and security fixes
This is a LOT of software when you start really thinking about it...