HTPC Frontend roundup

Here you find my complete list with links to all the HTPC-frontends I know of.

Tivo has recently made headlines as people have discovered a horrible functionallity that lets content providers delete shows on your box. My god, what a stupid move!

Kind of like:
You can buy this VHS tape, but you’ll hand over the keys to your apartment so that the content producers can come and take it when they decide that you shouldn’t be able to watch your recording anymore.

Open solutions like MythTV and MediaPortal suddenly became even more interesting. Still, even Microsoft haven’t implemented something like the Tivo “we’ll delete whatever we want”-functionallity. So, you’ll be better of with Windows MCE than with a Tivo.

This roundup boils down to:
For flexibility, total freedom and control: MythTV and MediaPortal
For usability: Microsoft Media Center Edition 2005 (MCE)

Original post:

I have been messing around with home theatre PCs (HTPCs) for a couple of years. This is my software roadmap:

1. Early experiments with an ATI All-in-wonder RADEON and the ATI Media Center
2. ShowShifter
3. MyHTPC + SnapStream PVS
4. Meedio + Beyond TV (+ tested Beyond Media)
5. Microsoft Media Center Edition 2005 (MCE)

Software that I have not testet seriously: SageTV, MythTV, MediaPortal


ShowShifter worked fine and offered a complete suite with PVR, DVD, a photo module, a very good music module and a movie archive. However, they did not provide an EPG and did not support hardware encoding cards. Unfortunately, Home Media Networks (the maker of ShowShifter) are slow on updating ShowShifter, so they lost me as a customer while I was waiting for hardware encoding support and EPG. ShowShifter now includes this, but as far as I can see, they’re still slow on updates…
If you are running ShowShifter, feel free to use my HTPC Backgrounds here. It could make the GUI look better…

Continue reading “HTPC Frontend roundup”

HTPC Frontend roundup

Remote control your music collection in MCE

I have played around with another PDA Remote solution as well here.

I have been using NetRemote for a long time. NetRemote is a little application that runs as a server on the box with your music. You can then connect from a client running on another PC or a PDA. From the client you can control what is playing on the box running the server.

This works very well towards J. River Media Center and Meedio that I have been using before. Of course, I could install J River on my new MCE box, but it would be much more interesting to directly control the same media library that I have in MCE.

There are some dedicated remote solutions for MCE out there. I had to test them…
Continue reading “Remote control your music collection in MCE”

Remote control your music collection in MCE

Windows Media Center Edition with 3 tuners

I just got Windows Media Center edition up and running with 3 tuners. I am using one old standard edition Hauppauge PVR-250 and one new Hauppauge PVR-500MCE. The PVR-500 has two tuners, so together with the 250 I have three.

It took some experimenting to get this up and running, so I’ll post some of my experiences here.
Continue reading “Windows Media Center Edition with 3 tuners”

Windows Media Center Edition with 3 tuners

The pathway to Doom?

These pictures are not modified in any way.

One very strange door in Pezenas
While visiting the city of Pezenas in the southern France I discovered this strange door.

So, what is this?

1. Someone trying to make their door look more impressive than it actually is
2. An architect eating magic mushrooms
3. Made on basis of blueprints from a very buggy 3D software
4. My digital camera eating magic mushrooms
5. This is actually the pathway to Doom 12 (to be released in 2012)

I have no idea. Of course it makes me wonder what’s inside. Comments please…

I can see that a quite busy site in Hungary called has linked to this article. Cool! The problem is that I can not understand anything of all the comments about my pictures over at Please throw a comment here in english if any of you actually find some information on why this door was built like this…

Following a tip from one of the comments below I have contacted the tourist board of Pezenas. They have promised to send me information through the good old postal mail. I will make a new article here on my blog when the information arrives.

Check back, or even better:
Sign up for mail notifications or subscribe to my RSS-feed, and you will know when we have the full story on this strange door. As a bonus you might learn something about the media industry, food, other travels and all the other stuff I post here at

The pathway to Doom?