Last night I finally swapped out my Windows+MediaPortal HTPC for a Linux Mint+Boxee one. The benefits, of course, being the on-line content that Boxee brings to the table as well as the ability to use the $20 Vista-only remotes I bought ~3 years ago. I played back some 1080p videos in testing, and... wow. Not a peep from the newer machine (dual core, 2GB, 512MB video). This was a stark contrast to my other HTPC that sounded more like a jet engine than a computer when attempting to play HD content. For those playing at home, this is the remote that I am now using, in addition to Boxee's iPhone app. Funny thing about that remote is, it is intentionally disabled in XP, but works fine in Vista. In addition, Linux (Ubuntu & Mint, in my testing) see the USB receiver just fine. All it took was a little command:

sudo apt-get-install lirc lirc-modules-source lirc-x

Just select the Windows Media Center Transceivers/Remotes (all) option (Microsoft Remote (Phillips) on older distros) and let it finish out its business. But for now, it's running smooth as silk, and the online content was also pretty entertaining. I haven't quite gotten up the nerve to buy the package for the month, but I'm thinking... maybe if I tell the wife I'll buy her the NHL package so she can follow her Ducks next year...

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