myHTPC, Xlobby or ShowShifter???


Prominent Member
Dec 29, 2000
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Upstate New York. USA
I've been running Showshifter for about 6 months now. I like the easy to use GUI and more importantly - it's wife friendly. It does however have a number of annoying points. Can't record a program and watch another ( a standard limitation i suppose) - can't record & listen to cd/jukebox - can't record & watch a DVD. There are ways round these limitations, but it involves leaving the GIU - not wife friendly!

I've had a look at myHTPC & Xlobby, but they're just front-ends. How easy are they to interface with the TV viewer, recorder, DVD & CD player. Which modules do you use with these front-ends? Do they have the same limitations as ShowShifter? Are they any better & why???

I'd go for myHTPC as everything that can be integrated is on the site. but. myHTPC (meedio) isnt too far of and currently works really well.
Originally posted by wyerd
Looks double dutch to me!

Does myHTPC suffer from the same limitations as ShowShifter?

Sorry I meant myHTPC 2 which will be called meedio
that's the $64,000 question. The first release of myHTPC is around now and would provide a good grounding in how the new version might put things together, have a look at it, it's free so nothing to lose. Fairly steep learning curve when I tried it last year but may well be a lot easier now as it's a few generations down the line. Excellent support on the forums as well.

Cheers Owain.

I had a look at it this afternoon - nice GUI. I like the way that you can choose what runs at the back end - a feature that many professional HTPC builders are using. I'm looking at the Nebula card at it appears to integrate well into it, although their roadmap suggests that they'll be launching their own setup later this year.

The only thing that's putting me off it is that it's more orientated towards the US market.

The only thing that's putting me off it is that it's more orientated towards the US market.

I shouldn't worry too much about that, as you say the digiTV software of nebula is pretty well integrated (just bought one of these myself - fantastic) and you can easily download xmltv data for the UK. Other than that I don't find software to be that fixed in terms of country - mp3 players, dvd players, etc. shouldn't really matter.

myHTPC is fairly easy to setup if you just want a gui with a few big buttons on it that launches a few apps . Integration of the media plugins is a little more complex ( I've never had the need to do it though)

I've just got an main menu with nice big buttons for : theatertek , Dscaler, digiTV, winamp, serenescreen ( fishtank screensaver) , nostalgia (random slideshow generator) and a sub menu that allows me to exit from myhtpc back to windows or eject the drive. ( you can make a shutdown button but I prefer to exit myhtpc first)

Probably took about 10 mins to set-up. I spent longer making the background image.
I find xlobby a complete pain to navigate, so my preference is for myhtpc which also has more flexibility.
I've decided to look at myHTPC. What do you all recommend to run at the back end for the following :-

TV/Time shifting (I'll be getting a Nebula card later) - Is the Got TV plugin any good?

Video playback of recorded TV

DVD player - Theatertek appears to be the choice. Is the SimpleVideo player too simple??

CD/MP3 player - Something that is simple to navigate on screen - Winamp looks too complicated (for the wife!!)

I'd be interested in your experiences on how you integrated it into your setup.

Built-in player or Winamp for music
Built-in player or Zoomplayer for DVD & Video
Got TV for TV
you can set myHTPC to use winamp for music and PowerDVD for dvd
I've been fiddling with myHTPC for a couple of days, but it's a real pain to set up.

For DVD playback I've decided to use Zoom Player. Nice interface, OSD, a million different settings for anything that you can think of.

Now I'm trying to set up Live TV using Got TV. It's useless. I'm feeding the svideo out from my Sky STB to an ATI 9200 VIVO card. I select S-video for my output on the default preferences, but I still have to select it every time. The picture quality is crap - horizontal lines during fast motion & a washed out picture.

I dunno - maybe ShowShifter isn't that bad after all!
Do you mean you are using s-video out from the HTPC?
My current setup uses the following;

BeyondTV - For PVR/TV function (as it can run in different modes, for example in the background or full screen etc)

myHTPC - For Music and Video files
Originally posted by wyerd
I select S-video for my output on the default preferences, but I still have to select it every time.

Should of read input.

I'm using S-Video on the TV and yes I know that the PQ isn't as good as RGB, but that's all I can use for the time being. Anyway, I don't get the horizontal lines during fast motion & a washed out picture when using the Showshifter interface.
Hi guys,

I’ve just signed up to this forum so I can reply to the thread!

At the start of 2004 I too decided to join the digital revolution and build a htpc. After taking advice from a friend I initially decided to go with myHTPC.

After spending several days trying to get a satisfactory config, I came to the conclusion myHTPC will not simply support my Hauppauge DEC 2000t digi tv box - although after several day of trying I did finally manage to get my DAB Wavefinder working very well with myHTPC.

I then came across Showshifter. This seems to do everything I want and do it very simply. The only HUGE downside I have is the cpu time it takes up. My htpc setup is running on an ITX MII 1000 (1GHz) / 256DDR + 80GB HD. When I use the digital TV software supplied by Hauppauge, the tv will play back fine and record equally fine. When I play back TV through Showshifter, playback and recording is jumpy due to the processor maxing out at 100%! To get round this Im looking at using an old REALmagic mpeg card I have lying about – Im hoping this can smooth the problem out.

Also a point about xmltv – During the several day spent setting myHTPC front-end up, I started to understand how to setup xmltv. It would appear like many other services in the UK, our xmltv service is a little behind when compared with the likes of the US or fellow European countries. A warning to anyone who wishes to use xmltv in the UK – IT IS SLOOOW! (atm)

I thought I would share my experiences with you as it would appear I’m not the only person still looking for that perfect htpc front-end / program. The 64k question is… is the perfect multi purpose htpc platform out there? I believe not yet :(


I'm just about to build a HTPC, which will probably be a Shuttle. i will have the same dilema in having a CRT Tv rather than a LCD.

I've thought about using the svhs output of the radeon but heard quality wouldn't be fantastic since the signal has been deinterlaced upscaled and then back by the TV.

The LCD owners are well catered for with RGB to VGA convertors for connecting set top boxes etc direct to LCD vga inputs, which made me think you could do the reverse, and get a VGA to RGB covertor.

Found this which will convert the vga to YPbPr which i think is as good as RGB. Or this one, which outputs to RGB direct, but not sure its available in uk. The first one they even sell in PCWorld, about £35 ish
Have you tried something from Keene ?

They have several devices to go from VGA to Video, but I'm not sure if they do RGB (I'm wanting to go SVideo anyway).

I too have started playing with myHTPC and are quite impressed although I've not had to play with the video side of things yet.

What I have done though is used MyGames to point it at MAME32 so I can now play Pacman and stuff! :smoke:

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