I will show you the basics for make an easy media center. After that I will give you some options that you can do after you setup the basic media center.
Things you will need for the basic media center:
-The opensource software "XBMC"
-HDMI Cable or VGA Cable (take HDMI)
-Remote and receiver for computers
-TV with VGA OR HDMI connection
Step 1: Step 1: Old Laptop/PC
- I think that 2 GB's of RAM is enough
- A dual-core CPU OR pentium will be sufficient.
At first I will reinstall my OS. I took windows 7 (has no reason why I took WIN 7)
I did this step because my laptop was very slow. You can skip this step if you want.
Step 2: Step 2: Installation of XBMC
XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub that can be installed on Linux, OSX, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.
You can download it here: http://xbmc.org/download/
What I also did was putting an execute of XBMC in the boot process. So when my laptop starts up XBMC will start up fullscreen so it looks like a real media center.
For WINDOWS 7:
-Click the Start button , click All Programs, right-click the Startup folder, and then click Open.
-Open the location that contains the item to which you want to create a shortcut.
-Right-click the item, and then click Create Shortcut. The new shortcut appears in the same location as the original item.
-Drag the shortcut into the Startup folder.
In step 3 I will show you how can set your subtitles, add a cool skin and add data to XBMC.