After having waited for ages, I finally bought the bits to make a proper media centre PC. I went for an Antec Fusion case, an AMD 4450e CPU, 4GB DDR800 RAM, a 750GB WD Green Power hard drive, a Scythe Mini-Ninja cooler and the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard.

The hardware assembly was actually the easy part (aside from a slight omission in the manual regarding the front panel connectors). I’d decided to go with Mythbuntu (based on the recently released Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron) and the initial install actually went pretty smoothly – some people had experienced issues with the AHCI mode for the SATA ports, but once I was on BIOS revision F4 everything seemed to be ok.

My main gripe is that Mythbuntu (currently) doesn’t make it easy enough to do what I actually want – I love tinkering with Linux as much as the next geek, but I want my media centre to just work, – I’m sure the display issues would probably be sorted if I bought an Nvidia card, and that the myriad other small niggles are solvable, but that’s not the point.

At this time I’m backing up my media, and am about to install a trial of Windows Vista – but if I do go with that, I’m going to run a Ubuntu server in a virtual machine.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 at 9:19 pm and is filed under IT, Personal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Media Centre experiments”

  1. John Says:

    Don’t do it Steve!
    Don’t go over to the dark side for your MC, stick with your AMD based setup and a non MS base O/S, report back on a regular basis!
    When you have worked it out give me the instructions.
    GL

    John

  2. Steve Says:

    As much as I want to support the Mythbuntu/MythTV projects, it looks like I’ll be sticking with Vista – it’s all working perfectly. Using the MyMovies plugin with AnyDVD from Slysoft means that whatever DVD I put in the machine gets copied automatically to the hard drive, and all the relevant meta-data is downloaded. Mythbuntu offers a similar feature, but there doesn’t appear to be an easy way to get around the myriad different copy-protection routines the studios use these days.
    I haven’t abandoned Ubuntu though – I’m currently installing a VMWare-based virtual machine for it (using Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS). The VM will do what Linux does best – server-type things.
    I’ve left space on the hard drive for installing Mythbuntu again later, so I’ve not burnt all my bridges yet!