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Author Topic: Question for those of you who use windows-based HTPC PCs with your tv  (Read 3793 times)

mouser

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I have a question or two for those who use or have researched the use of HTPC (Home theater PCs), connected to their computer for watching tv and other media.

I'm interested in creating a fancy wall-mounted touch screen computer monitor/all-in-one, mostly as a kind of art display.

I don't intend to watch tv or play too much music on it; my main intention is for it to have a set of configurable "apps" that i can easily switch between, and that i can code new "apps" for.

And i want a nice user interface with giant buttons suitable for touch screen, that would be suitable for a guest to use without any advance instruction.

So basically what i'm considering is:
  • Create my own minimal user-interface system where i can add new "apps" like plugins, where an app is really just a full screen application that the main supervisor program knows how to start and stop when i click on the next "app".
  • Find an existing HTPC media hub software with some nice eye candy, and figure out if i can add my own custom apps to it in a way that makes it idiot-proof for guests to walk up and select a new "app" to run.

So what I want to know is if anyone has any HTPC software they can recommend that would be suitable for configuring custom apps and providing a very minimalistic user interface to choose them?

To give a really simple example, I'm thinking about something like this:
  • I want to be able to configure 5 websites, 2 screensavers, and a couple of my own full screen visual animation programs; all of these plugin "apps" run full screen.
  • The interface I have in mind would simply allow you to cycle through each different full screen "app" with a swipe, or click somewhere to be shown a grid of large buttons one for each "app" and click to run.

Does what I'm looking for make sense?  Ie a very super simple "launcher" designed to let me custom configure and add a set of "apps" to put on a touch screen monitor to be set up so that guests can use it with no instruction and it would be idiot proof.

I just am debating whether i should code my own or start with an existing HTPC software.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 10:19:27 PM by mouser »

cranioscopical

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Would Ath's WinButtons make a good front end?

Deozaan

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Run Android on an HTPC!


Ath

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Run Android on an HTPC!
Hm, WinButtons doesn't run on Android, and there will be no need for an 'AndButtons', they're called Widgets in Android speak :)
The last 'Android on x86' seems to be pretty up to date, but I'm not up to speed on that project.



The gesture/swiping part on Windows could easily be handled by StrokeIt

Deozaan

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Duct tape an iPad to your wall!


cranioscopical

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Duct tape an iPad to your wall!

Face down…

Deozaan

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« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 02:25:43 AM by Deozaan, Reason: Offer is now expired. »

phillfri

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I'd check put the newer LCD TVs with built in wireless and internet (Vizio is pretty decent). I haven't reviewed them myself yet, but seems to me a wireless N LCD TV is what I would want with a wall mount unit. Certainly worth checking out before making any decisions on your configuration.

JavaJones

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I'd look into Boxee, XBMC, or maybe even Google TV which is based on Android.

- Oshyan

davcom

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I am just starting to dabble with Tversity.  http://tversity.com/

Not sure that it meets exactly what you're after but it is manually configurable for a wide range of different "set top boxes" for streaming media.
Not aware (yet) if it has the interface building capability that you're after.