Windows Media Centre Edition 2005 + Extender


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Slivester

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#1
Hello guys

I am looking towards the possibility of getting a XP MCE 2005 PC and as well, a wireless Media Centre Extender to connect & serve movie/music files to my stereo system.

I am doing some research concurrently, but I will also want to hear some experiences from fellow CSer here, on the quality of the video/sound using a wireless Media Centre Extender, and also, the efficiency of XP MCE 2005.

:)
 

Royce

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#2
Can't comment on the extender as I'm not using one. I connect my media center PC direct to my home theatre system. Picture and sound quality are excellent. Initially I was disappointed with the TV picture as it was pretty flat compared to direct Starhub viewing. Then I found a great utility that allows you to modify brightness, contrast, saturation etc. for your TV capture card. By default, MCE 2005 doesn't have this facility.

One thing to look out for (and not sure how it would work with an extender), but make sure your MCPC mobo supports wake on usb, or you wont be able to switch on your media center with the microsoft remote. Sadly mine doesn't seem to have it, even though it's one of the top end Asus boards.

On the audio side, I've ripped all my CDs using Windows Media Lossless format. This gives you a byte for byte copy of the original CD. Compression is of course no where near mp3, but audio quality is the best you can get. I have huge disk space on the PC so space is not a concern.
 

Slivester

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#3
Ah, can't agree more with the TV capture portion; I have been crashing on a very very entry-level normal TV capture card, and now I am intending to invest one with a decent receiver and also, HDTV-ready, in any case MDA wants to introduce DVB any earlier. I am definitely going to connect my Starhub settop box directly to the television, and also one to the MCE PC.

By the way, did you custom-built your MCE PC?
 

Royce

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#4
You can connect the same starhub digitial box to both your TV and your capture card as there are 2 outputs on the back of the box. But having 2 starhub boxes does give you more flexibility.

I didn't build my MCE PC, but did customise it's configuration (from the original spec provided).
 

Slivester

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#5
I do have 2 settop boxes, one in my room and the other in the living room, so the computer will have a direct connection, and as well the living room stereo system. I am only more concerned with the movie/music sharing aspect; I really want an extender that connects to my current wireless network and allows me to control the content I am viewing via the extender. Thats too great to even dream about! :)

I am not so sure MCE PC can be custom-built, have not seen any store selling MCE at all. You got yours through which vendor, by the way?
 

Slivester

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Quoted from Microsoft.com: "Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is only available pre-installed on computers sold by PC manufacturers. You can purchase a PC with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 pre-installed at retail consumer electronic stores, direct from PC manufacturers, or through online consumer electronics Web sites."

You mean MCE 2005 can be bought like common XP Pro/Home installation discs? Frankly, I rather upgrade my spare system then buy a whole new system. :)
 

Royce

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#11
What is a Catalyst? Strange that Chamoxa said that to you about MCE 2005. Should try and contact htpc gear then as they list MCE 2005 for sale. You could also try buying an OEM version of it, either in Singapore or order from the US - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16832102311 (might save you a few $$$ as well).

Just checked and it looks like video pro also selling media center (not sure if it's 2005 edition but suspect it would be).
Look here (under software) - http://resources.vr-zone.com/sls/vp3.php
(it's cheaper than buying from the US).
 

Slivester

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Royce said:
What is a Catalyst? Strange that Chamoxa said that to you about MCE 2005. Should try and contact htpc gear then as they list MCE 2005 for sale. You could also try buying an OEM version of it, either in Singapore or order from the US - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16832102311 (might save you a few $$$ as well).

Just checked and it looks like video pro also selling media center (not sure if it's 2005 edition but suspect it would be).
Look here (under software) - http://resources.vr-zone.com/sls/vp3.php
(it's cheaper than buying from the US).
Yeah, the list have the MCE; when I was in SLS yesterday, I tried to seize all of those flyers, and amazingly, none carries MCE 2005. The Catalyst is the pre-built set from Chamoxa, at around S$2500, and yeah, I should probably try calling htpc gear.

Thank you so much. :)

Oh by the way, I checked some of the old Costronic flyers and find that they carry it as well, I probably missed the Costronic flyers yesterday.
 

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