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Old 02-07-2008, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default Media PC

I am looking to build a Media PC to play music, DVD's, Watch and Record TV etc soon. What is the best software to run this off?..Is it MS Media centre or is there something better around? I have a spare copy of XP home edition i could use if there is any other decent 3rd party software available rather than buy a copy of XP Media edition or Vista ultimate.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Media PC

There are some 3rd party ones out there, but I can't recall them. There are a few linux MCEs as well, but as far as windows goes, I believe Vista home premium has MCE.. don't quote me on that though.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Media PC

Media Portal is an awesome FREE Alternative media center.

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

And it's very customizable.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Media PC

Don't know about any other software, but I'd go with Vista Ultimate or a MCE of XP.

THAT said, Vista and MC are having lots of problems, especially if you plan on integrating extenders and what-not. I'm waiting until I get my hands on Vista SP1 to see if anything in that department is improved.

Also, Windows Media Player 11 is able to handle media between computers and other devices as well..

Reading your post again, I get the feel that this WILL be your only media piece in the room and you're not really looking to stream/share anything, right? In that case, there should be a bunch of programs but I'd use Media Center just because I'm familiar with it and its easy to use.

Cheers,


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Old 02-07-2008, 12:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Media PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by neodude112320 View Post
Media Portal is an awesome FREE Alternative media center.

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

And it's very customizable.
AH! media portal is the one I was thinking of. Good stuff!
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Media PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostGT View Post

Reading your post again, I get the feel that this WILL be your only media piece in the room and you're not really looking to stream/share anything, right?
It will be the only media piece yes..I intend to plug it into the router so i can move latest photos and music and whatever from the other 2 pcs and store them on the media pc. But it won't be streaming anything over the network no.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Media PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowndsey View Post
It will be the only media piece yes..I intend to plug it into the router so i can move latest photos and music and whatever from the other 2 pcs and store them on the media pc. But it won't be streaming anything over the network no.

Do you have access to a PC that is fully connected with Media Center? Maybe you can give it a try and see how it performs.

Alternatively, you can use the program that was provided a few posts up. I think MC will suffice and give you a pleasing experience, though. It's your call.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Media PC

I have Vista on my main computer which has media center. I like the media center program ..I was just seeing what there was available without having to go shell out for another copy of Vista as i would like to keep Vista for my main computer. Media portal looks pretty cool but the only thing which i didn't think of before now is that i like the idea of having the Media Centre remote control and everything on Media Portal would have to be controlled with the mouse.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Media PC

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Originally Posted by Lowndsey View Post
I have Vista on my main computer which has media center. I like the media center program ..I was just seeing what there was available without having to go shell out for another copy of Vista as i would like to keep Vista for my main computer. Media portal looks pretty cool but the only thing which i didn't think of before now is that i like the idea of having the Media Centre remote control and everything on Media Portal would have to be controlled with the mouse.
Yeah, I used to use Media Center on my Sony all the time, it was really great to be able to record/watch programs on the computer at night without having to bother anyone downstairs.

If you get Vista Home Premium, you'll get Media Center. I think that works, considering that the prices for both XP and Vista will be only a tad different.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Media PC

I was just reading the forums at Media Portal and it seems the MS Media Centre remote works with Media Portal. Sounds like a nice program ...gonna download it and give it a look
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