HTPC Update

I have had my HTPC running since early September 2012 with very few changes needed along the way. Of course, there have been some minor changes like switching from WMC to Plex. Windows Media Center has some limitations that Plex solved for me. But, Plex too had some issues after some time using it. Plex vs. XBMC is my only real debate in HTPC software; Plex has a lot of easy to use options but lacks customization whereas XBMC has unlimited options but requries pretty heavy customization.

At the time, I didn’t feel like messing around with XBMC so I just ran Plex. All was fine until one day an update came along which removed ISO file support. Not a big deal unless you rip DVDs to ISOs to preserve burning capability – which I happened to do (currently at about 200 ISOs). This update left me with a stripped library and no way to play the files. Plex was promptly removed and XBMC became my only option.

XBMC has gotten easier to set up with the later releases; it is just a matter of installing, setting a library location, and watching. This method doesn’t allow for all of the other plug-ins such as DVR, live TV, internet video sources, and internet radio but it does get movies playing.

There are many repositories available which automate or at least streamline the process of installling add-ons. I strongly suggest getting one of these installed and allowing easy installation of additional add-ons.

One great advantage of Plex over XBMC is remotely streaming content. Plex supports it and XBMC does not, at least not easily. I stumbled across Emit which allows for content to be streamed to any type of remote device (android or iOS) or over the web. Not a clean solution within XBMC but it does get content moving.

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