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pico
16-06-2005, 10:01 AM
Hey I came across the concept of a media pc the other day.

I was wondering does anyone know what are the things I should be looking for?

Also are there any free utilities that add the same functionality to xp without having to get the media center edition? Maybe a LInux alternative?

Also I would like to build it myself (unless there is a cheaper/better option) but I have heard that it can be difficult to get everything to work.

Any advice is appreciated.

Metla
16-06-2005, 10:41 AM
A TV card.

Hardware.
Software.
Sorted.

plod
16-06-2005, 11:06 AM
every time I have played around with them in shops I have managed to crash them.

Graham L
16-06-2005, 01:05 PM
You can't buy the Media Centre version of Windows. You can buy a Media Centre computer with it installed. I'd leave it for a year or three, but I'm not an "early adopter on the bleeding edge". I wait until things are obsolete. The bugs are mostly out by then, and the price is right.

If you want to build your own one, try "media center linux" to Google. The Sourceforge project might be worth watching..

Chilling_Silence
16-06-2005, 01:09 PM
You could always use Dyne::bolic and an Xbox

Chilling_Silence
16-06-2005, 01:12 PM
GeeXboX is the other distro Im thinking of.... that, and theres one that was on the Atomic PC Mag a year back that does everything under the sun.

plod
16-06-2005, 02:46 PM
You can't buy the Media Centre version of Windows. You can buy a Media Centre computer with it installed. I'd leave it for a year or three, but I'm not an "early adopter on the bleeding edge". I wait until things are obsolete. The bugs are mostly out by then, and the price is right.

If you want to build your own one, try "media center linux" to Google. The Sourceforge project might be worth watching..
You can buy it, OEM version, it was a loop hole MS hasn't fixed yet, You would have to find a supplier though

pctek
16-06-2005, 03:27 PM
A TV card.

Hardware.
Software.
Sorted.
Sensible commnets from Metla again. media PC I thought was a term those sad "brand" PC people came up with to make people think their PCs are special.

plod
16-06-2005, 04:11 PM
It's not just the major brands doing it, anyhow I wouldn't trust anything running windows controlling my tv entertainment?

pico
20-06-2005, 11:09 AM
Thanks for all your input. Yeah I didn't really want to buy the Windows Media Centre edition anyway. I will have to see what is available on the Linux front. I was a bit skeptical about the idea as I did have a TV tuner card in my machine but I took it out because I didn't think the software was very user friendly and whenever I tried to record it seemed to use stupid amounts of memory and I couldn't find where to adjust any encoding settings. I might have to try a better quality card. Thanks again

Also PCTek, I agree.

Tukapa
20-06-2005, 11:16 AM
Hi

If you are running Windows then have a look at Media Portal for your software.

http://mediaportal.sourceforge.net/

And it's free!!

Hope this helps.

Tukapa

pctek
20-06-2005, 11:05 PM
whenever I tried to record it seemed to use stupid amounts of memory and I couldn't find where to adjust any encoding settings. I might have to try a better quality card. Thanks again

Also PCTek, I agree.
I ahve a friend who could go on about encoding (and all the related bits) for the next month without pausing for breath. The synopsis of what he rants, I mean says is that software encoding sucks and specific hardware encoders are the best. Of course they cost a small fortune too.

Metla
20-06-2005, 11:44 PM
Thats a hard case, all the rersearch I have done over the years points to software encoding giving a better result, due to the ability to multi-pass the file. The main drive to hardware encoders has been to give real time editing and rendering, with the advance in computer power many bypass the hardware renders and use the software route, On a purpose built rig its faster and higher quality.

The canopus forums are good for finding such info, especially the forums covering their purpose built real time editing cards with optionial hardware encoder.

Most of the big cheeses on the forums are professionals who use the hardware and software to make their living........