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.