convert a standard PC to a media centre PC?

RM UK

Active Member
I have a standard desktop computer running windows xp.

is it easy to make it a media centre computer?

i would still like to be able do normal compuetr things (word process, internet browse, sync ipod etc...)

is it just a case of changing softwares? or is there hardware things too?

basically i have an XP computer, vga monitor, xbox 360 and TV.

thanks-any help is much appreciated.:smashin:.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Windows Media Centre is just a front end operating system. It's based on XP, tho slightly visually different. It has all the same "PC interface" (so you can surf the net, word process, etc) and also has the front end for Media Centre.

To install it you would need the Media Centre OS on CD and resintall over the current XP - so back up all the data you don't wanna lose!

Alternatively, you can install Media Portal (FROM HERE), which is a freeware programm much like Media Centre. Download it and give it a try, as it's an easy way to try out what Media Centre would be like before going the whole hog and resintalling a new OS.

As for making the PC a "Media PC", that entirely depends on what you want from it. I have a basic office desktop under my TV (spec isn't good enough to run Media Centre, or Media Portal, so it just has XP) and all I want from it is to play music (Windows Media Player) and video (AVI/DIVX/XVID/DVD etc) and have it pass multichannel audio to my AVR and speakers. So all I did was add a graffix card with an S-Video output (for my CRT TV) to get the picture onto the TV, and a PCI soundcard with optical output, a few codecs and connected to my AVR. Now I can play multichannel (DD and DTS) films on my PC through my AV amp and all is well :)
 

RM UK

Active Member
cheers mate, i will have a look at media portal.

well would it be possible to hook up a media centre pc to my tv and use the tvs digital tuner, or do i need to get a tuner card (pc currently does not have one).

would i then be able connect my xbox 360 to the media centre pc, and control everything through the media centre remote?
if not...how can i do this?

thanks again mate!
 

Astrotoy7

Standard Member
nope you cannot use the tvs digital tuner. The pc needs to receive the tv signal, process it for display as well as record it if necessary. PCs are not geared to do this as standard, this you need a tuner or capture card.

You display to tv via whatever option your graphics card gives you for TV out. This is dependent on what your TVs inputs are. Sometimes a TV(usually an LCD) has a standard vga monitor input, which makes it easy, otherwise, you usually use svideo, composite, component etc >> whatever your graphics card supports.

As the tuner is located in the pc, if you want to watch whatever that tuner is receiving or recording, you fo course need to have your pc on. You do have the option of having a line going into both your tv and teh media center pc. That way, if you simply want to watch live tv, your pc can stay off, as you are using the tvs tuner.

If you just have xp, your best option is, as mentioned, media portal. Its a great proggie. I personally dont like it as much as VMCE, but purely from an aethetic POV ;) Its definitely more fully featured than MCE. Still, even from a looks aspect, there are some decent skins you can get for MP nowdays.

good luck.

astro
 

RM UK

Active Member
nope you cannot use the tvs digital tuner. The pc needs to receive the tv signal, process it for display as well as record it if necessary. PCs are not geared to do this as standard, this you need a tuner or capture card.

You display to via an option your graphics card gives you for TV out. This is dependent on what your TVs inputs are. Sometimes a TV(usually an LCD) has a standard vga monitor input, which makes it easy, otherwise, you usually use svideo, composite, component etc >> whatever your graphics card supports.

As the tuner is located in the pc, if you want to watch whatever that tuner is receiving or recording, you fo course need to have your pc on. You do have the option of having a line going into both your tv and teh media center pc. That way, if you simply want to watch live tv, your pc can stay off, as you are using the tvs tuner.

If you just have xp, your best option is, as mentioned, media portal. Its a great proggie. I personally dont like it as much as VMCE, but purely from an aethetic POV ;) Its definitely more fully featured than MCE. Still, even from a looks aspect, there are some decent skins you can get for MP nowdays.

good luck.

astro

thanks mate,appreciated.
 

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