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I have installed cat6 throughout the house which I use for telephony and network. In my cellar I have a NAS Server, gigabit switch and I want to install a Media Centre to stream my video's, music, photo's and live TV (coax from the aerial to the cellar) over the cat6. Yeah I know I can get stuff on the internet but shared experience of watching TV as a family as it happens is a big plus for live TV.

I'm aiming for 1080p. I want different users to be able to watch different channels. Max users = 4.

I've played a little with Windows Media Centre, works fine with live TV. Likewise I have XBMC up and running with live TV. The issue I have is what do I put near the TV. I'd like a consistent user interface (grandma and the the other technophobes in the house are continually pestering me on how to use different TVs, change channel, inputs etc.) so a key part of this for me is to make the user experience the same and simple i.e. no keyboards / PCs hanging around the TV.

I've just bought a Linksys DMA 2200 to test the Windows Media Centre, but obviously off eBay as they're a dying breed. And with Windows Media Centre removed from Microsoft plans such devices will get rarer. And as for 1080p, think I can forget it with that set up. I have tested XBOX 360, also works but ditto on Microsoft plans for WMC.

I was thinking of a WD Live TV to test the XMBC setup. Now to the question.

Any advice on Media Centre / Extender setups that will do the job as above and have some degree of futureproofing (building my own with my Raspberry PI is a last resort). I'd like to understand the standards involved in the futureproofing if anyone knows (DNLA, RVU etc.).

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You could just use a copy of Windows 8 Pro with the Windows Media Centre add-on. If I had a choice I would use XBMC to be honest. It seems to have the biggest community and the best chances to work on a Raspberry PI. – Ramhound Aug 24 '12 at 11:07
Windows Media Center has always been an add-on. Windows 7 Home Premium didn't come with it. With Windows 8 its just a seperate add-on. – Ramhound Dec 4 '12 at 16:51

i have a raspberry pi that works great as a media center. Streams from my network no prob. Uses cec so i can browse with my TV remote via hdmi, but i have a much more advanced remote using the Yatse Android remote.more options but it is users choice . I don't use it, but it does have a myth TV front end call mythbox which could do what you want. can be mooted on the back of the TV. And cec will turn it on automatically when the TV goes to the right input. Raspmc xbmc works pretty well. And now you can buy an individual license for mpeg2 playback. Plus it's 1080p. Good luck.

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Spare/cheap/broken LCD laptops can be used. I've seen around the Internet you can replace the Explorer shell with another (Windows Media Center in this case) to make the computer boot directly into WMC. Just have to mount the laptop to the back of the TV or hide it somehow.

If it's a laptop w/the broken screen you can turn off the feature that makes Windows hibernate upon lid shut and just use the TV as the display for it. Add in a USB IR receiver and remote and you're all set.

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