So, you diagrammed your system, spent hours assembling the hardware for your HTPC, and spent an entire day putting the system together.
Now, how do you make most out of it?
Before you can start enjoying all the media files with your HTPC, you need to configure the BIOS, install the operating system and configure it properly.
Selecting and installing the right operating system for your needs can be a challenging task as there are many Linux distributions and Windows versions to choose from.
In my opinion, there are two main operating systems that most users should consider using with their HTPC at the moment: OpenELEC or Windows 10.
Let me explain.
OpenELEC is a small embedded operating system build around Kodi media center.
It is designed to be as lightweight as possible, so it is ideal for any small form factor system such as my fanless or budget systems.
You can install the OS and Kodi in less than 15 minutes.
You should choose Windows 10 if you want to run back-end software such as Plex, Emby or PlayOn or you want to play games.
You can also make your Windows 10 operating system behave like an appliance similar to OpenELEC by making Windows 10 almost completely invisible while booting and using Kodi media center.
My recommendation is to use Windows with your main HTPC that also handles the back-end operations.
Then, you can install OpenELEC for your front-end devices you may use around your house.
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