Originally Posted by Max-Powers /forum/post/16822955
I just built a HTPC using Win7 RC 64 bit. What are some essential software that I need to get?
I have a the BD/HDdvd/DVD combo player from LG, but when I try to play the blue ray using WMC, it does not work. What steps do I need to take to get this working?
I am backing up my dvd collection, what are your favorite programs to do this? I am using dvdshrink and the trial of AnyDVD. What are good programs for blue rays? How do I get the dvd pictures and movie info to show up in WMC?
How do I get WMC to see .iso and any other video format as a movie?
This really opens up a can of worms. The s/w you need depends on your level of comfort with tweaking, what your end goal is (i.e. just get it to work for selected usages or have a fiddling like mentality), and how much time you have.
An HTPC can be a HUGE time sink requiring unending tweaking and optimizing. It can be a very POWERFUL box that can do a lot of very cool stuff, but all that cool stuff can require and enormous amount of time on your part.
However, an HTPC can also be a very simple to use, stable machine that requires very little tweaking if you want.
You will find both types of people here. I am personally in both camps...at home, I rarely tweak my boxes. My HTPC is my main entertainment box (no Sat. No cable, nothing but HTPC and OTA goodness) that is used by everyone in my family. Therefore, once set up and running, I rarely make any changes or updates. I need that box to just work.
However, my day job requires me to constantly test out and play with h/w and s/w for the HTPC. So on my work boxes, I am always trying out new stuff to see what works, how well it works, and what it breaks in the process.
On my home HTPCs, I don't worry about stuff like .mkv files, FFDshow filters, or anything like that because the added complexity of getting all the different filters and codecs running to play some of these files can create some challenges. Therefore, on my home HTPC, I have 7MC, My Movies and/or Media Browser (both are good for different reasons), Arcsoft TMT 3 (for blu ray playback), anyDVD for backing up my DVD movies to HDDs, Hulu DT (for Hulu content), flash 10 and silverlight (for different online content sites) and a few other minor apps.
On my work HTPCs, the list is way too long to start. I have mulitple plug ins, filters, codec packs, various s/w apps, benchmarking tools etc.
I would suggest you start with a minimalisitic approach. Get just a few different apps on there and let it stew for a while. Get familiar with it, keep the system stable to make sure you like it and then only intro stuff in as needed. Too many changes at one time makes it hard to troubleshoot when you have problems.