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I'm building an htpc and i'd like to use something other than mce 2005 due to all the drm restrictions, basically I want to be able to rip to any format and record tv to any format.

I don't see meedio spoken about much but it seems decent has anydone a writeup on the pros and cons of all the different HTPC software offerings?
 

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There isn't a comparison out as far as I know. There are way to many features, combinations, hardware restrictions to create an accurate one IMHO....


Meedio has a good following and they just released the TV portion of their software suite. There are a number of good plugins available most of which are free. Meedio is fairly customizable allowing to do almost anything you want just depends on how much tinkering you want to do. Though through the basic config tool and fair number of themes available you can do most everything....


Many use XLobby which is a bit harder to setup I believe but is very flexable the and the developer is very active in the community. It is also one of the few front ends that support multi-zone audio as a feature...


I comes down to what you want to do with your HTPC and all depends...
 

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Originally Posted by dandirk
There isn't a comparison out as far as I know. There are way to many features, combinations, hardware restrictions to create an accurate one IMHO....


Meedio has a good following and they just released the TV portion of their software suite. There are a number of good plugins available most of which are free. Meedio is fairly customizable allowing to do almost anything you want just depends on how much tinkering you want to do. Though through the basic config tool and fair number of themes available you can do most everything....


Many use XLobby which is a bit harder to setup I believe but is very flexable the and the developer is very active in the community. It is also one of the few front ends that support multi-zone audio as a feature...


I comes down to what you want to do with your HTPC and all depends...
Yes Meedio seems to very extensible one of the main reasons I like it, people seem to be using mce 2005 more though, I didn't know that meedio didn't have a TV component so I guess that would Explain one reason for that, is there anything else that meedio lacks/lacked that one would expect in a htpc front end?
 

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There is also MediaPortal (mediaportal.sourceforge.net) which is free. People always question the stability and polish of this piece of software, but it is getting better with each release. Like any piece of software (for instance, MCE will reset my resolution every time I start it in full screen mode), it has it's quirks, but you can't beat the price :)
 

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Originally Posted by salavs
There is also MediaPortal (mediaportal.sourceforge.net) which is free. People always question the stability and polish of this piece of software, but it is getting better with each release. Like any piece of software (for instance, MCE will reset my resolution every time I start it in full screen mode), it has it's quirks, but you can't beat the price :)
Price really isn't something I'm that worried about I'll pay a hefty amount for software that does EXACTLY what I want since I intend my HTPC to replace my DVD Player, CD Changer and TV Tuner.
 

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By mentioning the price I didn't mean to say that MediaPortal (MP) is any worse than Meedio and that you would be compromising anything. I still think it's worth your consideration. It does offer FFDShow post-processing (meedio does this too), as well as a ton of formats supported for video files on disk. I don't know what Meedio supports but I have personal experience with AVI and Ogg containers. I think it also supports the Matroska containers. It has nice bookmarking for video files too.


There is a lot of effort put into their DVR functionality, as it seems many of the users are into that aspect of it. It also has support for HDTV capture of free to air channels. In fact I have been looking into using it for HDTV as I recently replaced my TimeWarner HD-DVR with a crappy DISH network SD DVR. Since I haven't really done much with the DVR functions, I don't know how flexible it is on output formats, but my guess would be it is flexible, as it is a fairly community driven project with a lot of participation from users.
 

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Since you mention CD Changer... there is a software suite called DVDLobby that has support for changers, sony specifically. Don't know all the details I just know they have more built in support than others. DVDLobby suite is pretty expensive you have to buy each module (DVD, Music etc) seperately for about $50-70 each. I do not know how much TV support they offer...


Meedio/Xlobby may be able to control cd changers but would probably require a fair amount of customization.


To find a front end for your needs you really have to create a list of what you need it to do and what you would like it to do. Then look at all the offerings and see which you like best, easiest to configure etc...


Many people that use MCE, mainly only use it for DVD, Music and TV basic functions. Its great for the basics but if you want more advanced features and customization you have to go with another solution...
 

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he mentioned replacing a CD changer, not controlling one, which isn't a big deal. Any of the frontends around can do just about every music format. It's neat to know that DVD lobby can control them though, even though it's probably the first thing that an HTPC replaces.
 

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good catch I stand corrected...


Many people use at the MainLobby suite use 400 DVD changers instead of a 8+ 250gb drive servers...


After reading of the capabilities of MainLobby I would say its a good canidate for someone that have a 20K+ HT and wants to fully intergrate their home lighting security, XM music etc...


Anything less there are a number of apps that will fit the bill...
 
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