Originally Posted by 4thgradedropout
when building a media center pc what spec need to be more stressed...like should i spend more money on more hd capacity rather than processor speed or graphics cards?...how much ram ect.....can you use a media center pc as a cable tv to with a tv tuner?.....im new to this and thought it would be cool to build a cheap one for my room
On regards to specs, it does not need a powerful PC to be a good media centre.
I would concentrate on having a large size hard drive, a decent dual layer DVD rom, and then a middle range graphics card.
I would also still go for at least a gig of memory and a reasonable processor, as if you wish to convert movies etc, it can take a while on something a bit slower.
I use a Hauppage PVR 150, which enables me to view SKY (Satelite TV) through my computer, there is a dual tuner version, I think the 500 so you can watch one channel and record another, but you have to remember that you would still need two decoders to watch another satellite channel.
Basically, any of the windows xp family is suitable for any media center. The only difference between XP MCE (media center edition) and its siblings is its media player. XP MCE is just XP home with a purty edition of windows media player. As for hardware, graphics (NVIDIA is best), sound (Creative Labs are best), and HD space are utmost important. Memory and processor and second most important. However, I suggest 512 MB or more is sufficient and processor speed: 2.0 Ghz or more is good. To get TV, you have to have a good quality tv tuner. With it, you can record live tv (like TiVo). In addition, your sound system needs to be of good quality like Bose, Altec Lansing, etc
No, XP MCE is not XP home, it is XP Pro, with the additional media components. If you wait till Vista then those components come intergrated already but then you have the system demands that Vista places so you will need to have a relatively decent computer.
If you are running your audio through the media centre, then yes you would need a relatively good soundcard, for 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, it really depends on what you want to use it for, for example as your central media system or just an option in your bedroom etc.