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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi every one new here and to htpc's. was looking for a senior frendly htpc front end that can play videos from a harddrive because this is for my dad and he gets mad at dvd's when they get a small scratch, the hardware end of things i can build as thats one of my hobbies just cant seem to find a VERY simple front end.


thanks.
 

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Mediabrowser (free), Windows 7 (not free), and Shark007 codecs (free).


Make a shortcut on the desktop to mediabrowser which will launch with 2 clicks. Give them a Win7 remote control.


Should be pretty easy to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the reply, but im woried he might get confused with even that (he does not even know how to check the caller id on the house phones and cant seem to get the idea of hold 1 on the cell phone till it says voicemail lol),

when i say simple i meen along the lines of one or two clicks with a remote and he's done.



thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnc515 /forum/post/19546166


thanks for the reply, but im woried he might get confused with even that (he does not even know how to check the caller id on the house phones and cant seem to get the idea of hold 1 on the cell phone till it says voicemail lol),

when i say simple i meen along the lines of one or two clicks with a remote and he's done.



thanks.

Gotcha.


This can be done with a Windows 7 remote control.


The Green Button opens windows media center.



From there he hits one button down to select mediabrowser.


From there he moves left or right to select what movie/show he wants to watch. The movies are all titled and have their movie posters. He selects which one he wants and it starts playing.



So we are talking about literally 3 clicks. More if you have to move left or right to pick a movie once in mediabrowser.


I don't think you will get any easier.
 

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Determine if he can navigate Media Center and if just DVDs, use it's Library.
 

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Have a look at a Pop Corn Hour or similar box. You can load rips and movies etc on an external HDD and bring it over to his place. Zero PC skills required.


BB
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnc515 /forum/post/19546166


thanks for the reply, but im woried he might get confused with even that (he does not even know how to check the caller id on the house phones and cant seem to get the idea of hold 1 on the cell phone till it says voicemail lol),

when i say simple i meen along the lines of one or two clicks with a remote and he's done.



thanks.

Just my opinion but people who are so technophobic shouldn't be anywhere near an HTPC, at least in my experience. Remember it's not because he can't learn, it's because he doesn't want to learn, it is his choice whether he realizes it or not, probably just to keep his life simpler or whatever, or maybe he's just getting old and fuzzy.


Unless you're ready to be his full-time tech support then I'd try to think of something else as a gift.


Hopefully i'm wrong and he gets into the swing of things.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjetski71 /forum/post/19546591


Just my opinion but people who are so technophobic shouldn't be anywhere near an HTPC, at least in my experience. Remember it's not because he can't learn, it's because he doesn't want to learn, it is his choice whether he realizes it or not, probably just to keep his life simpler or whatever.


Unless you're ready to be his full-time tech support
then I'd try to think of something else as a gift.


Hopefully i'm wrong and he gets into the swing of things.

Great points. Especially the underlined part.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin /forum/post/19546599


Great points. Especially the underlined part.

I'm getting off topic here but the tech support part drives me crazy. I have random coworkers, whose names i barely know and without asking me beforehand, randomly dropping their spyware infested pc's in my office just because another coworker tells them "hey Steve is good with computers herr herr". The few times i found these PC's sitting on my desk i promptly leave them outside my door to their chagrin. And when they inquire about it i either tell them they were lied to, or quote an astronomical price for fixing it with no guarantees, so far i've had no takers, every single last one of them expect me to do it for free "when i have spare time"



Heck my wife has coworkers approaching her to this day just because she blabbed about my hobby a few times 6 or 7 years ago, yes they expect work done for free also.


It's a never ending problem i have with my neighbors, coworkers, relatives and friends, and both me and my wife keep our mouths shut about my hobby. I had more patience when i was younger, but not anymore



Sorry, i'm done talking to myself
 

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Actually, on the latest version of Media Browser (2.2.9), I believe there's an option to launch it on start-up so that should make for a few less clicks. I haven't tried it yet, though. I do have Windows Media Center open on start-up. Media Browser also has an option "Auto Enter Single Folder Items". Perhaps that might work to automatically skip to the movie library.


Problem, though, is it's still a computer. For the most part, it should work pretty well but as with all things, there could be an occasional hiccup. Heck, even our cable box needs restarting at times. I wouldn't recommend an HTPC to anyone who doesn't live with someone who could at least do basic troubleshooting. Usually, most problems can be solved by a simple restart.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/19546721


Actually, on the latest version of Media Browser (2.2.9), I believe there's an option to launch it on start-up so that should make for a few less clicks. I haven't tried it yet, though. I do have Windows Media Center open on start-up. Media Browser also has an option "Auto Enter Single Folder Items". Perhaps that might work to automatically skip to the movie library.


Problem, though, is it's still a computer. For the most part, it should work pretty well but as with all things, there could be an occasional hiccup. Heck, even our cable box needs restarting at times. I wouldn't recommend an HTPC to anyone who doesn't live with someone who could at least do basic troubleshooting. Usually, most problems can be solved by a simple restart.

So we are talking about 1 click to start watching a movie.


If you want to go with a HTPC I don't see how it would get any easier.


Agree with all the points about the tinker factor involved in most HTPCs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for all the help, as far as being his teck suport i already am lol. i would almost always be around when he is using it, the reason for building this is becouse we have this show thats that used to be on tv called the red green show and i just ordered all the episodes but there on dvd and well as we all know dvd's can get sratched so what i want to do is put all the episodes on a hard drive and ill keep the dvd's in a safe place as master copies (incase the harddrive fails) so i need sumthing that is as close to a dvd player as posible (he doesent have any problems with those wants he gets to know it) as long as its reliable he's willing to learn it (one of those people that if ONE thing goes wrong he rants and raves about copying it all to do i dare say it VHS) so the simpler the better.


thanks.
 

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Seriously, you want to build a PC because the DVD's might get scratched. The Red Green Show!!!! This must be a joke.


In case you are not putting us on, I offer this low tech solution. Make a backup copy of the DVDs and put the pristine originals in a safe place. Let your dad play the copies on his beloved DVD player. It won't matter if he scratches them because you have the originals. No PC, no tech support, no training of your technically challenged father.


BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbird999 /forum/post/19547015


Seriously, you want to build a PC because the DVD's might get scratched. The Red Green Show!!!! This must be a joke.


In case you are not putting us on, I offer this low tech solution. Make a backup copy of the DVDs and put the pristine originals in a safe place. Let your dad play the copies on his beloved DVD player. It won't matter if he scratches them because you have the originals. No PC, no tech support, no training of your technically challenged father.


BB

someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, all im trying to do is build a nice gift for him. maybe you dont like the show but us ******** that live in the woods do. and so you dont get the idea im not trying to piss u off i just thought that was a rather nasty reply.
 

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You got an honest response and not a nasty response. With Win7MC and slysoft and a MC remote you and I, (a Georgia ******* 60 year old), could easily copy DVDs to a hard drive and play them. However, this is too complex for many people. You best talk to your father, explain what he would need to learn and see if he is interested in devoting the time and energy to get this running. Otherwise, find something else to do for your father.
 

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I was trying to be humorous, not pissy (obviously I failed). I am a 64 yr Canadian ******* and I love Red Green. The point I was trying to make is that you don't need to build an HTPC and teach your dad how to run it. Just backup the discs and let him scratch up the backups. Repeat as necessary.


BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
sorry BB i supose i was being a little pissy on my part, just the way you said it it sounded like you were insolting the show, so now i will say what i have been trying to avoid the reason for not wanting dvd's is we play the show out in our garage on friday nights and the dvd's get scratched and on top of that all the dust out there ruins the laser and other misc. stuf (funny the 1980's tv still works like a champ) so my idea was to put it all on a local pc that was in a well filterd case (i have a pc in my cnc mill that still runs perfact to this day thanks to a well built case) or remotely in our house safe from the dust (sorry but i cant put the dvd player there to).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign /forum/post/19547764


With Win7MC and slysoft and a MC remote you and I, (a Georgia ******* 60 year old), could easily copy DVDs to a hard drive and play them. However, this is too complex for many people. You best talk to your father, explain what he would need to learn and see if he is interested in devoting the time and energy to get this running. Otherwise, find something else to do for your father.

From what I understand, the OP's the one who'll be doing all the set-up (including ripping, I would think). All his dad needs to learn is how to select the videos and play them. I've actually trained my parents to be able to do just that. I'm using Windows Media Center + Media Browser on the HTPC's and they know how to go to the Live TV, Guide, Netflix and Media Browser.


@shawnc515

If your dad knows how to operate a DVD player, I don't think he'll find it hard to navigate Media Browser. One suggestion, rip the TV shows as individual episodes and make sure your file structure follows one of the following:
http://community.mediabrowser.tv/per...ia-collections
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjetski71 /forum/post/19546591


just my opinion but people who are so technophobic shouldn't be anywhere near an htpc, at least in my experience. Remember it's not because he can't learn, it's because he doesn't want to learn, it is his choice whether he realizes it or not, probably just to keep his life simpler or whatever, or maybe he's just getting old and fuzzy.


Unless you're ready to be his full-time tech support then i'd try to think of something else as a gift.


Hopefully i'm wrong and he gets into the swing of things.

+1
 
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