television | rules the nation
January 20, 2012 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Setting up a media PC for my television. Already have all the hardware set up, just wondering what kind of software people are using to have a "reasonable television-like experience" with mouse only or wireless xbox360 controller (currently looking in to getting one of these)

Currently thinking: windows 7, 360 controller, joytokey, and xbmc. Open to other suggestions, familiar with linux, probably not wanting to use windows media player but if you have an absolutely glowing experience to tell me I'll try it out. Might need help finding the "real" version of joytokey if anybody uses it... there seem to be a lot of "fake" forks / paysites trying to cash in on it.

Right now I'm just enjoying watching fullscreen 42" milkdrop visualizations *drool*
posted by tehloki to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a smartphone? I control my HTPC all through Android apps.
The official XBMC remote app is really good, and you can use gmote for general mouse/keyboard control.
posted by jozxyqk at 3:48 PM on January 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh shit, I hadn't even considered using a phone. I have an iPhone, I'll look into xbmc remote. Thanks!
posted by tehloki at 4:17 PM on January 20, 2012

I LOVE XBMC for watching movies and listening to music, but its Netflix "integration" leaves something to be desired and AFAIK (and I could certainly be wrong) it doesn't let you watch plain old television -- some people have apparently done it, but not me.

I HAD a "glowing" experience with Windows Media Center with Vista, but for some reason in Windows 7 my Netflix doesn't play smoothly on either computer I've tried. YMMV. Ideally, I'd use that and all would be well, as it was in Vista.

I like the idea (in the link above) of using XBMC as a front end for MythTV. Maybe I'll try that one of these day, but can't recommend it at this point having never done it.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:26 PM on January 20, 2012

If you have a sound system hooked up to it as well, and your computer has an IR receiver, I think a Harmony Remote is a much better way to go. I have the predecessor to this one, I guess, and use it with Plex on my Mac Mini, but the principle is the same.
posted by supercres at 4:28 PM on January 20, 2012

I use Hipporemote on my iPhone, and get most of my content via torrents. So, to keep things relatively simple, I use Hipporemote to control the PC and open folders and watch videos using VLC. The full verson of Hipporemote also has lots of macros for popular programs, so you can pause video, adjust volume, etc, right from a touch pad on the phone's screen, rather than via controlling the computer. Hope that makes sense!

I've tried xmbc a couple times, but my PC might be too old, or I'm too impatient. I just don't seem to be willing to wait for it. It's soooo simple to open a folder and open a video file with VLC. I also use this machine as my torrent machine, so all files are downloaded here as well.

On the rare occasion that I use netflix (it's just not as great in Canada, from what I he ar) I use Chrome, and browse to in via the internet, rather than via a module on our gaming system.
posted by Richat at 5:32 PM on January 20, 2012

I use a harmony remote because it's nicer than the standard mce remote and it can manage the television and the DVD player.

On the times I've needed a keyboard I've used tightvnc to log in from another laptop but that was starting to get a little silly so I got a Logitech K400 which is wireless and comes with a track pad. It's cheap, small and light.

The setup is girlfriend approved as it just works.
posted by mr_silver at 2:20 AM on January 21, 2012

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