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Windows Media Center good buy?

jensked

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
4,053
I saw the Windows Media Center Edition + a remote control and receiver is only 160 euro...

http://www.loveno.be/product/8307

And I read it's actually WinXP Pro. So is it a good buy then? Since WinXP Pro costs a lot more. Then it would be a cheap way to upgrade from home to pro and have those extra functionalities + a remote.

And can you still use it like a 'normal' Windows? Or are there drawbacks?
 
You can use the normal windows... Thats all I know about it ;-)
 
Windows Media Center looks cool IMO and I was going to get it but apparently your comp needs to meet a lot of top end requirements. It even needs a TV tuner.

I would definatly want it though. I deal mainly with media on my comp (obviously topgear etc..).

So keep in mind the requirements your comp must meet man..
 
I've got Windows MCE on one of my computers, just because it came bundled. Yes, you can use it just like 'normal windows,' it just has some extra features. IMO, if you're going to hook up the computer to a TV and use a TV tuner card in the PC, go for it. If you're just going to use it as a normal PC, don't bother.

SL65AMG~V12~604BHP!!!!!!! said:
It even needs a TV tuner.
I'm pretty sure it's not necessary to have one, but as I said above, if you're not going to use one, I wouldn't bother with MCE.

jensked said:
And I read it's actually WinXP Pro
Hmm... I don't know about that. Maybe it's based on it, but the version I've got is missing a lot of the features that XP Pro has. It might just be because it's an OEM version.

Hmm... this post is a bit disorganized so far, sorry. I'll try and explain how MCE works on my computer:

Mainly, it's just like normal Windows XP. However, there is an additional program called Media Center. When you open it, it's a full screen application that looks very nice and has options such as watch TV, watch DVD, play music, look at pictures, etc. If I had my computer connected to a TV, and had a TV tuner card, I would have this program set to run on startup, and it'd be great. However, if you've just got it connected to a monitor, then I think it's way easier (and faster) to just use normal Windows XP and some sort of media player to watch videos and such.

Also, in MCE I was expecting some sort of feature that would allow me to really organize my music, photos, etc. However, there isn't really any. I don't think you can even re-tag music files from within the Media Center program... so all my music just ended up as a bit of a mess.

So... yes, I would agree that the Media Center program looks nice, and if you're going to get a TV tuner card and connect it to a TV, great idea, go ahead. :thumbsup: If you're just looking to get XP Pro, and think it'll make managing all your media easier, don't bother. :thumbsdown:

Cheers!
 
jensked said:
Ok thanks. I'll buy it when I decide to buy a TV tuner. It seems like it really is made for 'approved' Media PC's anyway.

Maybe when I decide to construct a new pc. But my Athlon XP with 9800Pro keeps working :) I have no intentions to get rid of it.

pfft, its regular windows xp with some ehome additions (MS code for Media Center software). There are no differences in the core software at all. You also don't have to have a TV tuner, at all, in order to be able to use the media center features. I have had a media center setup for over a year now, and used it for music, downloaded video and DVDs in my home theater setup. The equipment I use for it was my old gaming PC, no special or high spec equipment needed. Mine is an Athlon XP 2600+, with 1GB of RAM, Radeon 9600 and a 40GB system drive (along with 4 250GB media storage drives)

As for whether its a good deal, that price seems about average, as it cost me $130USD for the software (cause it wasn't academic licensed, I actually had to pay for it :-() and $40USD for the Remote control, but even without TV tuner support, it was well worth the price. I looked into mythtv and freevo, and both weren't quite ready to be reliable media center replacements.
 
I "got" MCE, and all this needs high spec, na it dosent really. Im on P4 2.53gHz, 512mb RAm, 30gb HD, 128mb Graphics. Dont need a TV tuner, all that iv really niticed is that it is quicker at startup. and thats it. I dont use the Media Center, because it dosent feel right. I like being able to see everything. I coudl hook you up with a copy, PM me ;)
 
I just got a Media Center laptop, and it kicks ass if you have a TV tuner. It's better than any other software for watching TV that I've seen. I haven't gotten to adding my media there yet, it doesn't look too customisable.
 
Didn't want to start a new topic, so I'll bump this one:

I got Media Center 2005 and it seems pretty cool. I have two monitors going now, so it's nice to watch stuff while I work.

One problem I noticed that if you have the Media Center fullscreen on one monitor, it locks the mouse there, so you can't go over to the other screen :? Microsoft said they're "aware" of it.............so until a fix of some sort, no full screenage there.

The only work around I've found is to use WMP 10 instead: Full screen is not a problem with dual monitors. You would think that the Media Center player thingy would be ahead of the game :|
 
I was going to buy Media Center 2005 and a remote for it.

(mainly because I couldn't successfully pirate it)

But I decided against it as Windows Vista has all the Media Center stuff fully built in so I would rather save the money and put it towards a legit version of that when it comes out.
 
Google GB-PVR... it's free, does everything XP MCE does and it's actually customizable.
 
TechZ said:
Win XP Pro + some addons = Windows MCE (and it cant join a domain)

When ever I installed MCE, it asked me about joining a domain in the setup questions. Don't know if it works or not as I don't use that feature. I just have a standard wireless network.
 
jeffy777 said:
TechZ said:
Win XP Pro + some addons = Windows MCE (and it cant join a domain)

When ever I installed MCE, it asked me about joining a domain in the setup questions. Don't know if it works or not as I don't use that feature. I just have a standard wireless network.

To quote Microsoft.com:

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.


BUT, from Wiki:

There are also hacks that allow the joining of the domain at anytime.

Give MediaPortal a go :thumbsup:
 
TechZ said:
jeffy777 said:
TechZ said:
Win XP Pro + some addons = Windows MCE (and it cant join a domain)

When ever I installed MCE, it asked me about joining a domain in the setup questions. Don't know if it works or not as I don't use that feature. I just have a standard wireless network.

To quote Microsoft.com:

Then I wonder why the heck it asked me if I wanted to join one?

Shawn_230 said:
Google GB-PVR... it's free, does everything XP MCE does and it's actually customizable.

Hey, that looks really good!
http://www.gbpvr.com/
 
It is... give it a try. There's also a million plugins that you download as well. It's a little tricky to set up... but shouldn't be a problem for someone who has enough computer knowledge to want to have a PVR on their PC.

I tried everything, including Media Center XP, but ended up with this. I don't remember why I didn't like MCE... I think I found it uncustomizable and stuff.

I think the best PC PVR solution is mythTV, but for that you pretty much need a dedicated box.
 
question about all these PVR stuff.

Can i just use these program to watch tv with wintv-pci edition? I have this card from years ago and i rather not pay another $100 for a tv card.

Just want to watch, not record.

GB-pvr is in question.
 
I know both GB-PVR and XP MCE need a hardware-based decoder on the TV tuner to work... and MCE won't even work with all hardware decoders anyway.

Check on the GB-PVR website to see if your tuner is supported, but if it's old, chances are that it won't be. You can pick up comptabile ones for cheap though... I got an ATI Theatre 550 Pro-based tuner for less than $100.
 
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