I've been using Windows Media Centers for a few years now and have been enjoying MCE 2005 and Vista Ultimate. Well, my main Vista Ultimate Media Center died a few days ago and I've been thinking of rebuilding and have been intrigued by some of LinuxMCE. Right now my house has 3 Vista machines in various rooms. Anyways, I was thinking of trying out LinuxMCE but I have some requirements which I need met and if so I'll give it a try. Oh yeah, I'm an all Microsoft guy and have tried Ubuntu a few times but I'm a developer in the Microsoft area, a user of all their products so I won't know much in terms of Linux specific terminology yet
1) Streaming to phone - I have a Windows Mobile 6.1 PDA as does my wife. With WebGuide on the Vista machine, I can control the machine, setup recordings remotely, and stream pictures, video, and audio to my phone. For those times I have to go out but want to watch some of the Browns games on TV, I need to have the ability to stream the video to my phone. Is this possible with LinuxMCE straight out of the box and if so is it easy to setup? Right now I have a Sprint Mogul but will be picking up an HTC Touch Pro in a month or so.
2) Stream Media - I see that you can stream DVDs to other LinuxMCE machines in the household. My question is has anyone tried Blu-Ray? I would like to purchase just one Blu-Ray drive and be able to stream that throughout the house. It sucks that I can't enjoy HD content of movies since my PS3 is downstairs and I have a widescreen HDTV upstairs as well and I don't want to move the PS3 upstairs just to watch a movie.. or in my bedroom.. My house is networked with a 1GB switch. So, is there a capability to stream Blu-Ray movies currently?
3) Upgrading path - When a new version is out, if you upgrade does it do anything to all the shows you have set to record? Is it a seemless upgrade path where all your settings are retained?
4) Video card - I have both a GeForce 8800GTX and a Radeon HD4870 that I can use in the machine. Does LinuxMCE take advantage of the hardware decoding capabilities of the cards?
5) Remote Control via Windows Mobile 6.1 - Along the lines of my streaming question, will I be able to use my Windows Mobile 6.1 phone to remotely control the setup? Right now I use the phone to login to a web page on my Vista Ultimate WebGuide setup and the page is setup for mobile browsing and I can view the guide and also setup recordings..
If someone can help me out I'd really appreciate it. If the experience goes well, I'll write an article on this comparing it to MCE as I've written a few articles on various HTPC hardware and software for online sites. Thanks and I look forward to having what you guys have to say.