As ExtremeTech is quick to point out, proprietary HTPCs are easy on initial setup but incredibly difficult to customize and most people will find that after a while they would like at least some customization on their HTPC.  There is a way to build a box that is completely flexible, it just takes some setting up before you can use it.  Do not give up hope as they will take you through the setup of a flavour of Linux specifically customized to be the OS behind an HTPC, Mythbuntu 10.04, as well as the program you will use, MythTV.  Drop by for a look and you might find yourself wandering into the wide world of the Linux box.

“Unfortunately, many media center setups are inflexible. The Apple TV is probably the worst example; it’s tough to do much with that box unless you’re a slave to the iTunes Store. (Or unless you hack it.) But even Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 can be unnecessarily limiting when it comes to your media.

That’s where Linux comes in. Granted, a lot of the fun is thanks to the hobbyist nature of the OS, at least on the consumer end. There’s also a distinct feeling of getting something for nothing—and in many cases, better performance than the paid options from Microsoft or Apple.”

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