Windows 2000 or Linux for "multimedia" setup

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Joined: Dec 30 2003 - 00:38
Posts: 85
Windows 2000 or Linux for "multimedia" setup

I got a free computer at work that I'm thinking about setting up in the family room as a multimedia computer. This is really is going to serve as a test to see how we might use a computer like that so that later when I actually spend some real money on it (probably a Mac Mini) I know what I want. But, don't know whether I should have it run Linux (I have two older laptops at home running Ubuntu and XUbuntu) or Windows 2000 (I have an unused legal copy of 2000, I could buy XP too I suppose).

So here is the hardware:

  • Gateway Pentium IV, 1.5GHz
  • ~768-1024MB memory
  • ATI Radeon Rage Theatre 64MB (this is an OEM card, it has the R6 chip which is the original Radeon chip)
  • 320GB Seagate HD
  • CD/RW (might add a DVD too)
  • Will add cheap 802.11g card to it was well

The video card has only composite in/out and S-video out (besides audio and VGA).

What I'd like to be able to do with it:

  • Listen to internet radio station (we can't get NPR where we live).
  • Record from TV (yeah I know the quality will be crummy given the composite plug)
  • Play DVDs on TV (this is not going to be very good I know, I just want to see how convenient it would be when I have the real thing).
  • Play video files on TV.
  • Rip our CDs to it and listen to them from an iTunes-like program (or iTunes in Windows 2000).

I have everything (except for the wireless and the DVD, which don't have to be there right away). So which operating system should I go with? Is BeOS even a contender (I actually think I have a legal copy of it somewhere in a box, haven't looked at it in many years).

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks

IC

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Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 17:34
Posts: 1892
I'd been looking for a home m

I'd been looking for a home media centre setup for a few years, and ended up with an xbox running xbmc.
It plays nice with my network, and will stream mp3, video and photo slide shows off my server to the TV and stereo in our living room. And plays emulators Acute .

I'd looked at MythTV and similar, and was really close to adopting Geexbox, but for my needs XBMC did everything I wanted in a low-power, low-noise SFF.
I don't have any need for a PVR, which seems to be the main focus of MythTV, so that, or its derivatives may closer to your needs. It's handy having a complete distro designed for this purpose, rather than shoehorning the software onto an existing desktop. KnopMyth is a CD-based distro, which would let you test it out on your hardware before spending time installing to HD.

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