I second Sander's opinion. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (MCE 05) has come across has horribly inept in almost every review of it I've read. In general, I have yet to see a PC-on-TV solution that equals an actual TV in image quality. In my mind, if you want to have full access to media from a PC in a home theater, you're better off just building your own HTPC and dropping it into the cabinet with receiver and other items. Build a MythTV DVR and send overpriced and overblown Tivo packing.
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Oh it's just another os. What really bothered me was I couldnt even use my all in wonder card on it. I mean, ok forget the integrated windows tv viewer, it wouldnt even let me install the drivers to use the ati application. I wrote both MS and ATi and was told Id have to buy a 'special' tv tuner for that particular os.
What a ridiculous product. Any XP machine with a tv tuner is xp with tv.
I agree also, i just installed MCE 2005 from the MSDN at work on a test machine and well... i'm not really impressed. I won't be replacing the PC i have at home running BeyondTV from http://www.snapstream.com with it that's for sure.
I set an HP media center up in our store, and it's crap. The picture is rubbish, even when running an RGB cable to the TV. The problem is, most people will only have an RCA input, and the picture from that is just unacceptable. With a dedicated media PC, you would expect it to be optimised for a television, but no. We had to run it through a $10,000 TV to get a decent picture, and then we couldn't configure the PC overlay setings after that.
Another problem is that the wireless mouse and keyboard supplied by HP have a range of half a meter line of sight, so you have to be sitting AT THE TV to get them to work.
When we had everything running through RCA, there was a half second delay between picture and sound, so it was unwatchable. HP rang me up, because i was the only person in Australia or New Zealand to set one up install, and they couldn't get it any better. If we can't get it working well, we're going to stop selling it. No-one has brought one yet. As a desktop PC, it's great, because it has some nice gear. However, as a media PC, forget about it
I have WINDOWS XP PRO MEDIA CENTER 2005, it is not the creame of the crop. problems such as Live TV freezing and recording starting on it's on. When contacting the oem they have no clue what to do, when contacting microsoft they want me to pay for help. A crock of mess and pass the buck.media center Needs Help Badly. I wouldn't recommend this operating system.
I would agree with Waterdrop about the OS. XP Professional is the best Windows version yet. While security does tend to be more of an issue, it offers the compatibility that Linux does not. You have to give a little to get a little. For that matter, you can lock Windows down so tight that you would have to be a real expert to get in anyway. At this point in time, there's nothing that I need to do with Linux that I can't do with XP. It's all in the eye of the user, though. More often than not, it has more to do with the user's own experience with each. I personally find that not having a GUI and being able to use the mouse is a pain in the ass. Sure, you can say that you can do that with Linux, but if you're trying to make it more like Windows to be comfortable, then why not just use Windows? My OS has been stable for at least the last 4 years. I've only seen a blue screen during a bad hardware configuration, and restarts are only necessary to install or uninstall software.
To each their own.
As far as the whole media center hype, that's just a waste of many. Everything in the column points to it being a waste. It sounds as if it can't do anything that my current setup can't do. I can record live TV. I can watch DVD's with on my HDTV. I can create my own video compilations with my video camera. I can burn everything to DVD.
If you can do this by buying an ATI card and a DVD burner, why would you spend than that???
I think it would be nice to build a MCE 2005 system in a small form factor case, you can buy the OEM MCE2005 OS and OEM MCE Remote on Newegg for almost as cheap as XP Pro. Im not sure how good it would work with satelitte though, cause i got DirecTV.
I DISAGREE well I guess none of you have the patents to work with media center. If you did you would know that there are drivers out there now that will make MCE 2005 work with just about any TV card including the All in Wonders. I an a computer tech & have built several of them. My personsl unit has a ATI AIW 9600 XT & a ATI TV Wonder Elete & a ATI HDTV Wonder and they all work with MCE. getting the right combination of drivers is a little trickey but it can be done. The only thing I dont like about the HDTV Wonder in MCE is that it only shows one channel per station in MCE but in the ATI MMC I have anywhere from 1 to 5 different signals per channel yet to figure out why this is yet. I have used cards from other company's also with pretty good resluts. The ones with the worst pic is the Hauppauge tuner cards they look like a cheap MPEG picture. I have tried several of them over the years & figured as long as they have been making them they would get better but I tried the latest ones & they still suck what up with them. Now I am going to check out & find out whitch Dual Tuner cards look the best on MCE the only tow I have seen is a NVIDIA & a HAPPAUGE if anyone has tried any dual tuner cards let me know how they worked THANKS John Creech ComputerVision ( email@example.com )