I prefer watching DVDs on a DVD player attached to a TV, rather than watching on my PC. DVD players are so much simpler to operate – just power it on, insert the disc and watch it. No need to wait for it to boot up, no need to start a media player and most importantly, I can shut it off instantly by flipping the mains off – no need to wait (again) while it systematically shuts itself down. Besides, watching a movie on the PC is so distracting – I’m often tempted to go online to read new mails or messages or feeds.
There is one solution to this problem – GeeXBox. GeeXBox is a small media center Linux live CD distribution that can run on any PC and play almost any media like DVDs and online streams without any codecs, without any OS (Windows, Linux, Mac etc) and without even a hard disk! GeeXBox is perfect to transform your old hard disk less PC lying on the corner into the ultimate media center PC. GeeXBox can play all kinds of files – VCDs, DVDs, DivX, XviD, AVI, Ogg, MP3, MP4, anything. Simply boot your PC from the GeeXbox bootable media and it will automatically ejects it after copying itself to the memory. The optical drive is now free to load your DVD discs for playing.
But that’s not how a DVD player operates, does it? You still have to keep the GeeXBox CD handy to power up the PC, and wait … how do you open the optical drive when your PC is turned off? No, that wouldn’t work.
In order to make your PC behave completely like a DVD player you have to install GeeXBox into your hard disk. To install GeeXBox, boot from the CD and at the boot prompt type "install" and hit enter. This will launch the installer and from there it’s like installing any Linux distro. If you have done that before you will have no problem in installing GeeXBox, otherwise you can follow the installation guide. GeeXBox requires just an 8MB partition to install.
Now every time you power on your PC, you will get a boot menu with the option of loading GeeXBox or the other operating system(s). When you need to watch a movie and only a movie, load GeeXBox, insert the movie DVD and play it. When you need to turn off, stop the movie and hit Exit in GeeXBox’s menu and your PC will turn off instantly – just like a DVD player.