“So what,” some may say. After all, there are other operating systems out there known for their media centre platforms. However, Linux offers compelling advantages.
Firstly, Linux is free, and the software listed here is also free. By contrast, you need to purchase a specific version of that other OS to obtain its media centre. It doesn’t come with the base version; if you bought your computer at a department store most likely you were sold the lowest valued edition and must purchase an upgrade.
Secondly, Linux offers a rich variety of choices. If you don’t like a particular software package you’ll find others which may be more to your liking. You can easily switch between any of a range of capable TV viewing and recording systems which are all supported and being updated.
Thirdly, Linux has lower hardware requirements. You can definitely run Linux on your current bleeding-edge computer system and it will run fantastically but you can also give new life to your old outdated hardware and find it still performs admirably with the latest Linux release. That other OS will most certainly not be as friendly to yesteryear’s computers. Here is something you can do with the Pentium III computer you’ve left sitting in your garage with just a few hardware improvements!
One item of hardware you ought not to scrimp on, however, is the video card particularly if you want to plug into a high-definition large screen television. The more memory your video card has the better the image you can output. This has nothing to do with the operating system or software; you simply cannot obtain the highest quality of picture out of a 10 year old video card that was designed for displays of that era.
You also require a TV tuner device. Both analog and digital tuners are available. I recommend digital for best quality although this will depend on the services available in your region and if you also wish to capture analog-only radio stations. You can find devices which plug inside an expansion socket in your computer, or USB devices. There is a large range of options. For best results check out the Linux TV Wiki which offers advice and recommendations as well as a large database of actual devices known to be supported under Linux. You are best off choosing one from this list as you know with certainty it will work.
Now to make it all work!
RECRUITMENT & RETENTION REPORT 2013HIRE OR FIRE? BUY OR BUILD
2013 is well underway and Australian companies need to know whether they should invest in IT skills training or pay a premium for the people they need.
If you want to know which choices are being made in your sector, what skills are hard to find, which sectors intend to hire or fire and where the IT spend is going, this free report is must have.
David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.