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Evesham Ebox and Windows MCE 2005

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by TomOfArabia, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. TomOfArabia

    TomOfArabia
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    Im thinking of buying an Ebox as a media server for the house... does anyone know if it is multi region or not? if not then can MCE be made multi region?

    Also... if i bought one with analogue tv tuners for now, would it be possible to change them for digital tuners at a later date?

    Any help much appreciated!
     
  2. Jonnyboy

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    Yes it would. But before you buy it, get the last 2 or 3 issues of PC Pro magazine which has reviewed all available Media Centers recently. The Ebox has suffered mainly due to it's noise.

    The main competitors are the Elonex Artisan (there is a thread of the gods on this forum) and DMS II (which also has a healthy thread).
     
  3. Pup

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    The e-box is not multi-region.

    I've had an Evesham e-box for the last 2 months and I can hightly recommend the Elonex Artisan. I don't have one, yet, but it won't be long...
     
  4. stuartmc

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  5. jonsayers

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    This works very well. Just need to make sure you add the MCE main file to it's list of programes i.e "ehshell.exe"


     
  6. oml

    oml
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    I have had an EBox for 3 Months now and had nothing but trouble with it. After reading all the Mags and reviews I decided the EBox was for me. What a big mistake, been on the blower many times with one thing and another, finally the hard disc went down and having to wait 4 days for it to be replaced and a week later the DVD went down on me, it had to go back to Evesham and finally got it back a week later. Now it wont copy to CD(MAXCELL CD-R 48x). :thumbsdow

    Anybody else had a problem???? :lease:
     
  7. oml

    oml
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    Evesham ebox

    What you need to know
    We like: Sleek chassis design; slot-loading DVD drive

    We don't like: Fan noise; hassle with video output; a power button that occasionally jams

    Accessories: You'll need a selection of AV leads to hook up the ebox to your home hi-fi

    CNET.co.uk judgement: Despite our problems getting video to output from the ebox, as long as you don't move the system, it'll require little maintenance. In the world of Windows Media Centers the ebox is no slouch. But the world of Windows Media Centers is a pretty depressing place to be, so this is no great compliment

    Full Review
    Reviewed June 7, 2005

    Reviewed by Chris Stevens

    Sensibly designed in the style of traditional hi-fi separates, the Evesham ebox desperately wants to be accepted as a domestic appliance. More so than any other Media Center we've tested, the ebox looks the part. Its minimalist silver fascia and slot-loading DVD drive give it living-room credentials that many of its competitors lack.

    We soon discovered that although our review model was a feisty-looking creature, the frustrations we'd experienced with other Media Centers were matched here. There seems to be a fundamental problem with all Media Center PCs -- simply, they are PCs.

    Despite what some experts think, the Windows PC is not ready for the living room. Its susceptibility to viruses, niggling configuration problems and the ridiculous overhead of a whole Windows OS just to perform PVR (personal video recorder) functions are a nightmarish combination. If you think you and your family can deal with these problems in their entertainment centre, read on -- otherwise don't waste your time. If you don't enjoy fiddling with PCs, we would advise buying a dedicated non-Windows PVR.

    Design
    The ebox is a basic, rectangular-shaped object almost exactly like a stand-alone CD or DVD player. The chassis is extremely solid. It's almost as hardcore as the Moore Medio, so you feel you could drop it out of a plane and expect to pull it intact from the bomb hole. The wire-brushed fascia on the front is broken up only by a couple of USB ports and the slot-loading DVD drive.

    We've been lauding slot-loaders for a long time and it's great to see Evesham using one on its PVR. In a living-room environment, tray-loading drives are especially vulnerable to the fingers of deviant toddlers. There's no chance of little Timmy snapping the tray off your ebox -- it hasn't got one.

    The top of the chassis is unremarkable but for the enormous fan vent that dominates the top right-hand corner. This is almost as noisy as it looks (more on that later) and you'll need to make sure it's not obstructed by other equipment stacked on top. A rear-mounted fan might have been a wiser choice.

    The back of the ebox includes the outputs you'd expect from a standard PC. There are jacks for connecting the ebox to a surround-sound system, aerial-ins for your household aerial and S-video, VGA and DVI outputs. The back panel is sturdy and looked like it would survive regular plugging and unplugging of cables.

    Features
    Like all Windows Media Center PCs, the ebox is essentially a desktop computer, turned on its side, in a different-shaped case, running Windows XP Media Center Edition. With each encounter with these machines, we've become less enamoured with the concept, but the ebox is at least attractive.

    You can use the ebox as a PVR, scheduling programmes to record via an on-screen timetable. The Media Edition software itself is well designed and intuitive enough for a first-timer to figure out in a few minutes. Traditional video recorders were always the brunt of jokes, but the new generation of PVRs are excellent. One click will record the programme you're hovering over in the timetable; two clicks will record every episode of that programme forever.

    The ebox will decode a digital television feed and record live video almost instantaneously. The 160GB hard disk can store hundreds of hours of television. Disappointingly, there's a lowly ATI Radeon X300 SE graphics card in the ebox, so extreme gamers won't get their kicks here. The base install of 512MB of RAM also betrays the ebox's lowly ambitions in the gaming department. There'll be no Half Life 2 for you.

    The ebox's 3GHz Pentium 4 processor is more than enough to cope with PVR and entry-level gaming tasks. Given that it's ostensibly a living-room oriented system, it would be good to see a more gutsy graphics engine in the ebox, but that would hike the price into the stratosphere.

    Performance
    It almost seems unfair to level specific criticism at this Windows Media Center, because they are all crippled by the same flaws. But that's not going to stop us telling it like it is.

    It took hours to set up the ebox so it was able to display an S-video picture on a home television, and we were forced to hunt down an old VGA monitor to configure it out of the box. This may well be a joyful experience for those who enjoy tinkering with PCs, but the average home user will need a pack of Zoloft to get through it.

    Once we'd set up the ebox to record video in our living room, it soon became apparent that the fan noise was unbearable. When you first turn the ebox on, it makes a whirring noise like a legion of Apache gunships bearing down on their target. This soon quietens down to a noise roughly akin to a ceiling fan. When you're watching Gladiator at full volume on a surround-sound system, you're not going to notice this. But if you've left the ebox recording programmes overnight, there is no chance you could keep it in your bedroom and not be driven to an embolism.

    Why someone thought it would be a good idea to use a complete Windows operating system to control what is essentially a glorified Sky Plus box puzzles us beyond human conception. The noise, heat and sheer wastefulness of most Media Centers makes them hard to recommend as a serious replacement for your video recorder. The ebox is little better than most Media Centers. If you like to mess about with PCs, you'll probably be able to get this working in your living room. If you expect to plug it in like a VCR and leave it to fend for itself, you'd better practise screaming.

    Edited by Mary Lojkine
    Additional editing by Nick Hide

    User Opinion

    User rating
    2.0
    TERRIBLE Average user rating from 1 users
    User rating
    2.0 Big, noisy, slow and can't multi-task
    By Ian Shaw on May 14 2006
    Pros: The remote
    Cons: Time to boot up, its size, noise, things which simply don't work (Text?) and the way it crashes. Regularly.
    Full user opinion: Steer clear at all costs. Simply doesn't work. Burning a DVD means nothing else works...? Horrendous.


    And So Say All Of Us.....
    :arty:
     
  8. trifin

    trifin
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    down with Evesham!!

    i heard they take your order then later cancel it. don't deal with them!
     
  9. oml

    oml
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    Also, never ring them it's a "cost-a-packet" call :smoke:

    E-mail for free instead :thumbsup:
     
  10. TUT

    TUT
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    Since then , Evesham released newer versions which is the Ebox 3 also the Ebox 3 Plus, which they had good reviews since they were released back in July 2006
     

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