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mce in other rooms

dapex

Established Member
Hi all, I have Sky+ and I love it, I have always fancied a media pc though to give me better dvd playback and play music etc etc. MY main PC holds all my music as its my Itunes pc which I do use a lot. I also currently use several Sky magic eye things around the house which is great. is there any way to do the same sort of thing on a media PC?

I cant see the point for me in being able to record films etc onto the pc if I thne have to sit in the front room to watch them...

Cheers
 

jon_c0

Established Member
Similar situation to me...my HTPC will house my MP3 collection, and I want to view and select tracks on a TV in the kitchen as well as on the HTPC connected to my TV in the lounge. Now...I already have one of these in place over coax from lounge->kitchen to sort out the remote control side of things - similar to the Sky magic eye principle, but generic and not tied to a Sky box. For the video/audio side of things I was going to use the existing coax (via a modulator of some sort from the TV-out of the HTPC) or maybe a video sender from the TV-out. However, in order to maintain a decent picture quality in the kitchen, I think I'm going to do have a hard-wired s-video and audio cable from the HTPC (via the TV-out and analogue audio outputs) to the kitchen TV and do it that way.

From a bit of investigation (although this is currently theory, rather than something I've actually tried...yet) if you want to output full-screen to two displays at the same time (with, effectively, different resolutions) then the easiest way forward looks to be having two graphics cards in the HTPC for each display. See this thread here. Although quite a few graphics cards support dual output, the combinations don't seem to be such that you can get get full-screen output of the same content on two different displays at different resolutions. I could be wrong in this conclusion, and I'm still a bit away from my own HTPC build to try this, but that's the conclusion I came too after some digging about.
 

balders

Established Member
Have you thought about an XBox / XBox 360 or similar extender device that can stream the audio/video from you MCE box? All you'd need to run to the 360 would be a CAT5 network cable, or you could connect wirelessly.

There are loads of threads in the MCE and XBox forums about how to do this, and the 360 really is very good at this. The basic £180-£200 box would be all you need, and might save a lot of hassle.

Balders.
 

pdls17

Standard Member
This is the same as what I want to do.
I plan to get a new PC with a freeview/ double tv card in it, and mce that comes with vista.
I already have a home wired network, so I would buy an xbox, and put this under the tv.
I hope to be able to play music/ dvd/ and see photo's on my telly.

Does anyone know if this works.
Will I be able to - for example- use wmp on the xbox, or view video clips from my camera (viewed on a computer in quicktime), on the tv?
Does this setup use the software from the main PC?
What about all the resolution issues with viewing this on an older telly?
Some years ago when I tried software to enable using the tv as a monitor, it got pretty complicated with having to change the pc resolution back and forth for monitor/ tv use.
 

balders

Established Member
pdls,

MCE 2005 (XP based) certainly does work, and very well. Hopefully Vista will be even better.

The 360 should do pretty much what you want it to. It connects to MCE using a remote terminal connection, and displays pretty much the same MCE interface as you see on your PC on your TV. This provides functionality for viewing photos, listening to music, watching TV, scheduling programs, watching DVD and video, etc. Almost everything that you can do in the MCE interface on the main PC, you can do through the 360.

However, you are limited to only being able to use the MCE software through the 360, so you can't run Word, or Internet Explorer, or even WMP from the 360 (although you can use various plug-in applications that can provide additional functionality).

Without any additional software, the 360 probably won't be able to play your video clips, as it's very restrictive about the formats. The good news though is that there is a program, "transcode360" (google it), which can allow a 360 to stream most video formats from the MCE box.

The resolution problem isn't really an issue when running through the 360. You just set the TV Display properties, and all output from it (games, MCE interface, TV) uses that resolution, so there's no fiddling around at all. I use it on a 36" CRT, and it looks fine from the sofa.

Balders.
 

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