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Media Center software

Topics: 
TV

I've been playing with Media Center software lately. Currently, I'm using a DBV-T setup box in combination with a HDD/DVD recorder, which behaves basically like a media center, as it also supports images and music. However, one big drawback is that it doesn't have any networking or USB support, which is kinda awkward if you want to transfer data from PC. Also, the Matroska format (not really a codec, but some sort of container with audio, video and subtitles) is gaining lots of popularity lately. You can't play such files on a regular closed box DVD player, because mostly you just can't upgrade its codecs.
Who can point me out how I can extract and convert a mkv video to DIVX ? I know the solution consists of mkvextract and mencoder, but all I could produce till now was some multicolored mosaic.

That's why computer based media centers are much more attractive. Running XBMC on a modded XBOX adds many points to your geek factor, but you can't upgrade the thing with extra PCI cards, eg like a DBV-T video card.

Using a second hand PC as media center is more convenient. You can choose to install Ubuntu/MediUbuntu with MythTV if you want to stick with Linux (and if your DBV-T card is supported by it). On the Windows side, I was impressed with MediaPortal, which seems a modded MythTV. If you want eye candy, there's still no match against Windows Media Center : very clean & slick interface.
Does anyone know if there are remote control USB solutions, and where I can get them in Belgium ?

Comments

Most remote controls are included with TV-cards. Many come with DVB-T and are priced in the range 75-100 Euro.