I'm trying to configure my PC for use with the TV, so I need an HTPC front-end (I run XP pro). I know there are lots and in the last week I've tried most of them (Meedio, myHTPC, Mediaportal, GotMedia, GBPVR, Mediasource, a few more I forget).
This thing is I already have my prefered applications for multimedia, e.g. PowerDVD for DVD, Media Player Classic for avi's, Musicmatch jukebox for mp3.
None of the HTPC shells I tried would allow me to customise the player used for audio, video etc. I would have thought it'd be easy to launch an external player but they all have internal players. Meedio came the closes if I use it as a filebrowser, but nothing was fully configurable.
I have not tried Windows Media centre, since I need to buy and install it, but I will if it has the capabilities I need.
Can anyone please help me by giving me some advice?
Does MCE or anything else allow you to set the player or decoder you use for each file format?
Thanks in advance for any help.
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I don't know that I would want MCE for my setup. From what I've seen it's not all that configurable for use with different players. It seems very proprietary. And it's designed to be built into a computer by the computer manufacturer, not really for a aftermarket install. You can use it for that, but you may have to install MCE certified components.
In my HTPC, I use Mostly VLC, Zoom Player for video, Music Match for MP3s. It' not easily configurable as a HTPC, and it doesn't use a remote control except for the HDTV card, and I rarely use that remote. I use a monitor and keyboard to operate everything, as it is also used as a regular computer, besides the HTPC role. I don't want or need a HTPC front-end.
Do you want to use a remote control to run the HTPC?
EDIT: I changed the above a little after re-reading it. I understand that most people want a HTPC that is easy to use and don't really want to interface with the computer so much directly, but would rather use a remote control for ease of use. I would rather use a keyboard and mouse control, but that's my opinion.
That would be pretty important as I want it connected up to the TV and I want my family to use it (they're not into keybords etc).
I know you can install any player you want in MCE, what I don't know is if the MCE interface can use the player of your choice (or if another front-end out there does that).