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Good media center front ends

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I've tried quite a few media center programs in my day, including:

-MCE 05
-MediaPortal
-Meedio
-MythTV
-Geexbox

My requirements are:
-Runs on Windows
-able to playback any codec/extension without problems (i.e. "integrated" codecs)
-decent looking GUI
-Able to browse folder directories
-Do NOT want TV recording capabilities

Basically, I want a front end without all the crap -- I don't need to record TV, I just want to use it to browse my files. Lately, I've just been using Windows Explorer to do this, but I know there's a better way. The problem is every software package out there seems to want to include the function of recording TV, which I DONT want.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob00 View Post

So I've tried quite a few media center programs in my day, including:

-MCE 05
-MediaPortal
-Meedio
-MythTV
-Geexbox

My requirements are:
-Runs on Windows
-able to playback any codec/extension without problems (i.e. "integrated" codecs)
-decent looking GUI
-Able to browse folder directories
-Do NOT want TV recording capabilities

Basically, I want a front end without all the crap -- I don't need to record TV, I just want to use it to browse my files. Lately, I've just been using Windows Explorer to do this, but I know there's a better way. The problem is every software package out there seems to want to include the function of recording TV, which I DONT want.

Any suggestions?

Since 90% of the HTPC market wants TV Playback, no vendor is going to put out a product without it.

I personally like Vista Media Center.

If you don't want TV, then don't use the TV functionality.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob00 View Post

So I've tried quite a few media center programs in my day, including:

-MCE 05
-MediaPortal
-Meedio
-MythTV
-Geexbox

My requirements are:
-Runs on Windows
-able to playback any codec/extension without problems (i.e. "integrated" codecs)
-decent looking GUI
-Able to browse folder directories
-Do NOT want TV recording capabilities

Basically, I want a front end without all the crap -- I don't need to record TV, I just want to use it to browse my files. Lately, I've just been using Windows Explorer to do this, but I know there's a better way. The problem is every software package out there seems to want to include the function of recording TV, which I DONT want.

Any suggestions?

Meedio - during the install tell it you don't want TV - then you're all set

Meedio + meedioVintage Theme + MovieNight to browse ripped Movies


Meedio + meedioVintage Theme + TVNight to browse ripped TV
post #4 of 6
Are you using this for movies or audio? Since you want to browse folder directories, TheaterTek is the only program I can think of that does that, but it is not really a front end. It is excellent for movies, but not that great for audio since it is difficult to create playlists, sort music, etc.

I have TheaterTek, but I use J. River Media Center as my front end. It doesn't allow you to browse folders, but you can integrate it with Windows Explorer so that you just right click on your file and you have the options to "Play," "Add to Playing Now," "Replace and Play," or "Import." A better solution, though, is to import your files into JRMC's library. You can then set it to auto-import folders into the library. That way if you add new files to a certain folder, they will automatically show up in JRMC.
LL
LL
post #5 of 6
I used a program called sesamtv that seems to fit your requrements...tv didnt work for me but you dont want that...
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob00 View Post

So I've tried quite a few media center programs in my day, including:

-MCE 05
-MediaPortal
-Meedio
-MythTV
-Geexbox

My requirements are:
-Runs on Windows
-able to playback any codec/extension without problems (i.e. "integrated" codecs)
-decent looking GUI
-Able to browse folder directories
-Do NOT want TV recording capabilities

Basically, I want a front end without all the crap -- I don't need to record TV, I just want to use it to browse my files. Lately, I've just been using Windows Explorer to do this, but I know there's a better way. The problem is every software package out there seems to want to include the function of recording TV, which I DONT want.

Any suggestions?

I've tried all the frontend's you listed and settled on media portal. Not only does it play any type of media you throw at it but it also supports EVR in both vista and XP. It also has the nicest looking skins (frontend gui) I've seen IMO. It also has a great plugin called MYTVseries which uses an online database for all your stored TV shows. Here is a link to the XFACE skin for it which looks stunning on my HDTV. It uses reflections along with simulating CD and DVD covers and most of my friends just say "wow" when they first see it.



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