General Question

bpeoples's avatar

Which home theater PC should I order?

Asked by bpeoples (2546points) October 29th, 2007

Hey, so my boss has asked me to include a home theater PC along with some other workstation ordering we’re doing. I had a MythTV box for a while, but he’s looking to just have something like a windows mediacenter PC. I think he’s looking for a set top box/jukebox/basic internet from the couch, but not DVR—he’ll do tivo for that.

I have no idea what to spec out… the criteria will likely be:
1. Something off the shelf from dell
2. Additional software is okay
3. Runs some sort of microsoft software.

I know people have done this with mac mini’s, is that a better/friendlier solution? Frontrow works well as a 10’ interface, all his stuff is already in itunes. IR keyboard/mouse for surfing?

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3 Answers

klaas4's avatar

You could suggest an AppleTV. It syncs wired/wirelessly with iTunes. Has a kind of FrontRow interface.
See: www.apple.com/appletv

BTW, I tought the wireless keyboards and mice from Apple work with bluetooth?

bpeoples's avatar

@klass—thanks! They are bluetooth, I just hadn’t looked into them prior to asking the question.

I had suggested appletv, but he wants a full blown computer.

klaas4's avatar

I think that if you go for a Windows Media Center-pc, you’ll get trouble with iTunes, because of the DRM and the file formats. You could obviously install iTunes on the Media Center-pc too, but then the oh so handy remote is useless, because it can’t control iTunes.

In that aspect, iThink that a Mac Mini is a “better/friendlier solution”, because it easier to setup in the sense that it’s iTunes to iTunes, and not iTunes to Media Center, which could be quite annoying.

If you still want a Media Center PC, look at CNET. They have great reviews: http://rurl.org/bdt.

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