Media Center… Sort of

This week I decided to take up the task of setting up my old laptop as a “media center” for my 42 inch rear projection television.

The program “Boxee” is what sparked my curiosity and made me start pursuing this.

Boxee is a media center application based on the source code of Xbox Media Center (or, XBMC).  It has one simple and clean interface to various media outlets – including Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Flickr, ComedyCentral, CNN, etc.  PLUS it will scan and index any media you have stored locally.  Bottom line, it makes a pretty sweet application especially when you have an open laptop to plug into your television.

At first, I fought Ubuntu linux trying to make the s-video output work.  Literally fought it.  And I lost.  This was most unfortunate because Boxee on linux is supposedly quite a bit more stable than Boxee currently is on Windows.

Finally though, I had to just give up and  install Windows XP.  I finally got an invite to Boxee (if anyone else would like one, let me know) and I downloaded the Windows version immediately.  My sheer enjoyment quickly turned to utter disgust because the lesser stable Windows build will not even start on my laptop.  It just core dumps immedately leaving a indecipherable message in my event logs.   CRAP.

Anyway… All was not lost.  I have a closed laptop hooked to my television that allows me to stream Netflix, Hulu, and is running XBMC.  I must say – it works pretty dam nicely.  I took it one step further by enabling Wake on LAN for the laptop; so I can shut it down when it’s not in use – but the laptop sits closed nicely and fits well between my HD receiver and my modded Xbox.

I can’t believe I didn’t think about doing this sooner… this old laptop has been sitting around for like 6 months completely un-used…

PS – WordPress 2.7 is just awesome.  All should install it immediately.