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Old 30th September 2006, 16:14   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
*Bump*

Looking for a similar solution for my bedroom. What I basically want to do is make surfing and watching TV much more enjoyable.

My existing setup is a Sony LCD with DVD and 5 speaker home theatre setup. So basically, I only need a competent CPU to hook up to the existing hardware. Is the Media Center software what I am looking for?

The features I have in mind are:

- Wireless Internet
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- Connecting the CPU to the home theatre to play MP3s
- The time shift feature that Adya33 mentioned so that I can pause and resume while watching regular TV
- Program the center to record certain tv shows (like old VCRs had)
- A remote to control all these functions
I have a suggestion - try this:

http://www.argosy.com.tw/product-detial.php?prod_id=80

I bought one of these recently - 320gb Hard Disk which can hold tonnes of music, movies or pictures. Connect it to your existing home theatre setup and you're on! You can even rip music and movies to the hard disk and save yourselves the trouble of scratched disks.
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Old 30th September 2006, 17:11   #17
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Thanks Steer! But I am looking at a complete and integrated solution (internet etc.).

@Adya & TSK : Now you guys have confused me even more. I cant decide between an assembled and stock unit. I guess the price difference will be the decisive factor.

Last edited by GTO : 30th September 2006 at 17:14.
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Old 30th September 2006, 19:37   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
*Bump*

Looking for a similar solution for my bedroom. What I basically want to do is make surfing and watching TV much more enjoyable.

My existing setup is a Sony LCD with DVD and 5 speaker home theatre setup. So basically, I only need a competent CPU to hook up to the existing hardware. Is the Media Center software what I am looking for?

The features I have in mind are:

- Wireless Internet
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- Connecting the CPU to the home theatre to play MP3s
- The time shift feature that Adya33 mentioned so that I can pause and resume while watching regular TV
- Program the center to record certain tv shows (like old VCRs had)
- A remote to control all these functions

I hear that the Windows Media Center OS is now available off the shelf. So should I buy one of the ready Media Centers, or custom build one?
GTO, here's my take on what a Media Center PC should comprise of. The assumption being made is parts can be sourced from the U.S. or SE Asian countries, and money is of no object.

OS: Win XP Media Center Edition 2005

Case: Take your pick from the following page. Expensive, but really worth it IMO. Get a case that supports the ATX form factor.
http://www.pcalchemy.com/index.php/c...2a389d433b9914

Keyboard/Mouse: You'd want a Bluetooth solution for adequate range at the least, or something that offers RF wireless.
Take your pick from this page, the best option is to get the Gyration.
http://www.pcalchemy.com/index.php/c...oards-and-mice

TV Tuner Cards: Ensure that you get MCE2005 certified cards that are hardware and not software based (buy 2 for record one program while you watch another functionality). Ensure you're buying cards that support PAL if buying abroad.

Remote: TV Tuner cards come with one, but get the Microsoft MCE Remote
http://www.pcalchemy.com/product_inf...emote-controls

Wireless: Get any reputable PCI card

Buy a motherboard with integrated graphics, but one that offers the Nvidia 6200 or better, with 128 megs of RAM and a decent CPU. Look for motherboards that have a good sound solution integrated. I'd recommend an ATX form factor with at least 4 PCI slots (gets bigger but offers room for expansion).

Explore the PC Alchemy site for more exotic HTPC hardware, you can then source the stuff you want from elsewhere, as needed.

Good Luck!

Last edited by airfoil : 30th September 2006 at 19:40.
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Old 3rd October 2006, 18:45   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
I have a suggestion - try this:

http://www.argosy.com.tw/product-detial.php?prod_id=80

I bought one of these recently - 320gb Hard Disk which can hold tonnes of music, movies or pictures. Connect it to your existing home theatre setup and you're on! You can even rip music and movies to the hard disk and save yourselves the trouble of scratched disks.
wow!!!!How much did u pay for this and where did u buy this from?
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Old 3rd October 2006, 18:52   #20
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There is a nice site for Mediacenter PCs. www.htpcnews.com. There are so many options just like tuning cars.
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Old 3rd October 2006, 20:20   #21
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adya..
The media center edition is NOT XP home + multimedia stuff
Its XP Home - VPN capability etc., + multimedia stuff.
Main reason why I did not go for this edition on my laptop.
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Old 3rd October 2006, 20:43   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
adya..
The media center edition is NOT XP home + multimedia stuff
Its XP Home - VPN capability etc., + multimedia stuff.
Main reason why I did not go for this edition on my laptop.
Ok thank you for clearing up that for me.

In case of GTO he wants it for his home needs. And this is where MCE fits in well.
And this is part of FAQ from MCE

Quote:
Can I connect a new PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 to a work network or domain?
While you can access network resources on a work network or a domain, you cannot join a Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PC to the domain. PCs running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 are designed specifically for home use. Windows XP Professional features, specifically Domain Join and Cached Credentials (Credentials Manager for logons) are not included. As a result, you will be prompted for your logon user name and password to access network resources after you reboot or log back on to the PC. In addition, file shares or network resources that are set to require a domain-joined PC for access will not be available. Remote Desktop and Encrypting File System support are still included.


GTO is looking for wireless connection

Quote:
Do Media Center Extender devices support wireless home networks?
Media Center PCs and Media Center Extender devices can both be connected to wireless home networks,
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Old 6th October 2006, 02:13   #23
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You might want to check out the sony vaio digital living centre. i think it fits ur needs perfectly. the only thing is tht its pretty expensive.

  • Intel® Pentium® D Processor 920 (2.80GHz, 2x2MB L2 Cache)1
  • Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Update Rollup 2
  • 200-disc Media Changer with DVD+R Double Layer/CD-RW/DVD±RW Drive4
  • 1GB RAM and 320GB hard drive2
  • nVIDIA® GeForce™ 6600GT 128MB DDR SDRAM dedicated memory
  • Windows Vista™ capable
check out www.sonystyle.com for more
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Old 9th October 2006, 14:51   #24
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@adya:

If u want the MCP feel w/o spending a lot on the actual MCP get a "pinnacle media centre edition" which has a similar software as the MCP and you can control most media applications via the bundled remote. It retails for somwhere around 2600/-
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Old 16th October 2006, 15:43   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33
MCE is basically WinXP Home with added multimedia goodies. There is absolutly no reason for it not to be less safe.


You can always add extra hard drive.

Also I think you are still missing the big advantage of MCE is that you can control entire media from just a single remote.

Quote:
Take example, you are watching TV while getting ready to go to bed. There is nothing good on TV so you decide to listen to music. In custom built machine which you are recommending you will have to go to PC to access music folder and play songs. In MCE you just use remote.
This picture shows what can you control in MCE from remote http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/iipcache/43850.jpg
i think that is exactly why GTO wanted a wireless keyboard & mouse. anyways, i presume, if he is watching the screen from his bed, then it must be 26" or bigger, probably 42". . Windows MCE is not as good as the XP Professional in terms of internet & networking tabs. Hence the better choice would be to run XP Pro & have a wireless setup. IMHO.
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