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MCE 2005 , how flexible i.e. can Theatertek/Showshifter still be used?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by zAndy1, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Hi,
    How much control does MCE2005 give you over what apps you can install/use? It seems on the face of it to be fairly restricted but is it possible to use Theatertek as the dvd player and e.g. Showshifter as the PVR software? Or is there no need to as the MCE2005 components do the job well enough (I doubt that applies as much to the dvd playback but it might to the PVR duties?)

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  2. stuartmc

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    MCE 2005 does all that you require both DVD and PVR. In fact the PVR in MCE2005 is on a par with Sky+ if you use it in dual tuner mode. The DVD Player doesn't have the flexibility of Theatretek or any of the other dedicated players. However you can still use them from the windows interface. So you may still want to have Theatretek but I am not sure you would want ShowShifter as well. It is still Windows XP Pro (with domain joining limitations) so you should be able to run anything you can on a standard PC.
     
  3. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Thanks for that.. I'd just want to ensure I can playback .ts files for example. My other concern is connecting a HTPC to my TV (Toshiba 36ZP48). I know I can use the graphics card s-video output but that's not very good quality, is there a way of getting a good quality picture on a projector and a TV , not necessarily at the same time. The good thing about my dvd player is I can use it's HDMI output for the projector and it's component output for my TV, both of which yield excellent results. I get the feeling with a PC you can get good results on one display i.e. DVI to the projector but the TV connection is where the problems start.. I see some of the prebuilt media centre pcs have scart outputs, how do they do this?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  4. Kahless725

    Kahless725
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  5. Kahless725

    Kahless725
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    PS I am not sure if this is compatible with MCE2005, I use XP Pro personally as I like to choose what I want to use for everything eg DVD playback etc.
     
  6. uczmeg

    uczmeg
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    I believe MCE is a superset of XP Pro. It will do everything XP Pro can and has the extra media stuff on top of it.

    So you will be able to use everything you can on a normal XP machine, it just won't necessarily be through the media centre interface.

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  7. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Thanks for the replies chaps, some useful info there.. Now to decide if I want to go down this route again or not (i.e. HTPC). I've kind of gotten used to the ease of use of a normal dvd player!

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  8. Kahless725

    Kahless725
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    I have only been happy with my HTPC for the past week and built it 4 weeks ago. It has taken allot of messing about reading about stuff and having a dodgy connection to my sky box didnt help so if you had asked me to have a full refund just over a week ago and go for a stand alone dvd etc I would of taken it, now there is no way. When HTPC's are set up they are amazing. I way lying in bed last night and double clicked to close the tv and then opened up a film I had ripped to the HDD and the quality of it all is fantastic. Just be prepared to suffer a little allong the way, and to wish you had never started for a while.

    Hope it goes smooth if you do decide to go for it.


    Robert.

    PS. Thanks for the Review of the Z3 way back in October, I read it and bought one and havent looked back since :)
     
  9. Kahless725

    Kahless725
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    PPS Just read your equipment list, you have a DVDR and Sky + i dont see the point in you getting a HCPC? Your money would be better spent on other stuff surely?

    External Scaler?
    Holiday?
    Newer PC to play games on?
     
  10. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    The main reason I'd want a HTPC again is a) Quality of the picture b) Music/Video Jukebox c) Good scaling. I've already got a Lumagen HDP (although that's sold), holiday in Florida next year is booked and my PC has a 6800GT in and plays Doom3/HL2 smooth as silk... lol

    Cheers,
    Andy
     
  11. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Ok, I'm thinking along the lines of building something using these components:-

    Intel P4 3.0Ghz
    Asus m-atx mboard (any will do I suppose)
    1GB PC3200 Ram (2 x 512MB sticks)
    Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS (as want dvd-audio and isn't this the only card capable of that?)
    Nvidia 6600GT (probably galaxy as I believe it's the quietest)
    Claritas case 390M + PSU
    Seagate HD 200GB
    Windows MCE 2005

    I'm not sure which capture card to go for, is the Sweetspot card MCE 2005 compatible if so will probably go for that.

    Does that lot look like it will do a good job? I see some of these 6600GT cards have dual DVI outputs, is it possible to have different resolutions out of the 2 outputs or do they have to be the same? I'm still slightly concerned I'm not going to get a satisfactory connection to my tv for use as a music jukebox mainly although perhaps using my PDA to control it might help in that respect.

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  12. uczmeg

    uczmeg
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    My 6600GT has dual DVI and I can get different resolutions on each one. Not sure what mode I had to use as the options aren't showing as I only have one monitor connected right now.

    Mine is the XFX card and it is quite noisy (less than a 9800pro I had for a while). I've just ordered the Zalman VF700 from quietpc as this is supposed to work with it.

    I too worried about TV output for the same reasons. Using S-video out the desktop looked horrible. However when using a front end like TVedia (Joveplayer) things look just great as they are designed large. Using DVD software (powerDVD or TT) also looked great on the CRT, so as long as you are using some kind of interface I wouldn't worry too much about TV output.
     
  13. Kahless725

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    I went for the Athlon 64 3000 based on 90nm technology, at full load it runs cooler and draws less current than a P4. It also has a mode where it slows down from its normal 1800Mhz operation to around 900MHz, it speeds up as needed which when only watching TV is only 900Mhz, the fan that you get with the processor is temperature controlled. Also the voltage drops from 1.4 to 1.0 V as needed which leads to a quieter cooler machine than a P4. Weird but a year ago the P4 had the edge, now with the daft new core on the P4 (Prescot) they are real power hungry, and the newly designed Athlon 64's have gone the other way.

    Just my two pence worth.

    Robert.


    PS. The Athlon 64 support all the P4 including SSE2 but excluding the new SSE3.
     
  14. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Robert, fair points you make there.. I see the 90nm Athlon 64 CPUs are socket 939, are there any m-atx socket 939 motherboards available? The 390M case will only take a matx motherboard.

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  15. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Do the 130nm Athlon 64 socket 754 processors run cooler than a P4 Prescott? Seems pretty easy to get an matx socket 754 board.

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  16. Synchro

    Synchro
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    Great thread guys. All important stuff.
     
  17. jackylad

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    the sweetspot card is not compatible with MCE 2005.

    I'm using a WinTV PVR350 connected via an RGB to s-video convertor from my Sky Digibox which was about the best I could get in regard to picture quality.
     
  18. mpkayeuk

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    Hi jackylad. What is the quality of this solution like? I am desperately trying to specifiy a decent Sky based PVR, based either on MCE or MythTV. My only problem is how to get decent quality into the PVR out of the digibox. Is RGB scart -> svideo OK? What does it compare to for example. Is it better than VHS for e.g? If so, how much better?

    Also, do you do channel switching, for recordings, via IR? Is this method reliable, and are there any hard-wired methods of controlling a Sky digibox?

    Thanks for your help.

    M
     

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