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I'm planning my HTPC / MAME box combo PC for the lounge. I know what hardware I need, I'm looking for software and setup advice, and if you have done this before I'd appreciate your input!

I want this *nix based, a customized Debian or Ubuntu, other distros would do as well. I'm open to ideas. There will be no processing bottlenecks so I'm happy to sacrifice a 'light' setup for maintainability and easy of use.

HTPC: Video and music player - XBMC / Moovida / ?

MAME: NES, Sega emulators, WINE layer and native games - emulation side is sorted

I'd like to control the whole box with an IR remote, the keyboard I only want to pull out for system maintenance, if rarely. LIRC would be my choice, I have never used it or setup a IR remote before though. Can I use it to emulate keyboard input, so I can navigate and do a select few commands?

This box won't be online so streaming is not on my list of requirements. I'd also like to manage files/media on any USB storage devices connected to the box.

Any insight how I can control this box with just the IR remote? Switching between the HTPC and MAME interfaces with it, and managing media?

Thanks again to any replies.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've had good experience with MythTV (under Mythbuntu).

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MythTV is a PVR, since my box won't be online a PVR would be useless to me. Thanks though. – invert Sep 21 '10 at 13:15
It does more than just act as a PVR. It has a framework to launch emulators. I built a MAME arcade machine and am running MythTV to pick the games. – JonathanMueller Sep 21 '10 at 18:43
How did I only see this comment now? Thanks :) – invert Oct 27 '10 at 13:27

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