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Reliability of HCPCs - experiences?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by kjp6uk3, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. kjp6uk3

    kjp6uk3
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    Hi

    I finally want to ditch my trusty (and I mean trusty) video recorder and get a hard disk/Freeview/DVD option. I have had extremely reliable use from all my video recorders (mostly Panasonic) over many years.

    At the moment I'm not sure whether:

    1) To get separate AV components from the 'big names' eg Freeview/Hard disk and DVD recorder hardware from manufacturers such as Panasonic, Sony etc.

    2) To go for an all-in-one HCPC, using Windows XP Media Center, which would also allow me to browse and play my large MP3 collection. I am not really interested in web browsing/games etc. through my TV - just watching/recording Freeview TV and listening to music.


    Having been a PC Windows user for many years, my main concern about the second 'HCPC/Windows XP Media Center' option is of reliability. I would be very interested to hear of anyone's 'long term' experience of using an HCPC - does it record TV reliably?, crash?, freeze? etc etc...

    Thanks in advance.

    Kevin
     
  2. Werner

    Werner
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    Yeah...they are great , in fact, 100% reliabl........

    <NO CARRIER>

    :D


    Ok, jokes aside...
    You will spend a month and a year tweaking every little setting to your hearts content, finding the magic mix of drivers, codecs, remote controls and front end software that will make virgins quiver with delight....

    And at the end of it all, it will be the best learning experience you can ever have (pc based).

    Every sytem may at some stage appear to need an exorcist, but I would vouch as being one htpc user with a 99.9% reliable machine for over a year.

    If you keep fiddling though, expect to be tearing your hair out occasionally.....

    And building one yourself is pretty easy, getting it working is pretty easy...getting it working to your hearts content is the fun bit that takes time, but the rewards make up for it. But, if your time is valuable, you could just any low spec mce2005 machine to use as mp3/freeview timeshifting system.
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I can only speak for my own HCPC....a UVEM from Phil Hale,and it's been superb with not one crash over the time I've had it,and no software problems.

    Overall,I've been very pleased with it,and the picture/sound quality are perfect for the spec and use.
     
  4. kjp6uk3

    kjp6uk3
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    Thanks - appreciated. Am thinking of going for a ready build system (have tweaked PCs quite enough in the past :) ) - something like the Elonex Artisan although the PHil Hale (new to me) looks good - just waiting to hear of other's experiences of the Elonex first.

    I have had an ATi TV card in my office PC for a while now but have never been happy with the picture or reception (I run an aerial extension upstairs to it) - from what I read here the TV quality in an HCPC is much better? Presumably if I take the main TV aerial straight in to the HCPC, then I can wirelessly network the TV pics to my office PC and watch from there as well?


    Cheers

    Kevin
     
  5. MikeC

    MikeC
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    As mentioned previously - depends on your hardware.....

    I had a Nebula tv card in an Asus A7N8X VM motherboard plus AMD XP2000.

    Something didn't like the something else - exactly what I will never know

    The Nebula software constantly crashed... :rolleyes:

    In the end I switched to a P4 motherboard & it has transformed it :)
     
  6. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    I have heard nothing but bad things about the A7N8X, and the one I had was DOA, so maybe that was your problem?

    Back on-topic, I feel that HTPC's can be very very reliable as long as you research and buy the best components, set it up well and DON'T MESS WITH IT WHEN IT IS WORKING!!! :D

    Cheers

    Rob

    P.S Blatant plug: Check out my HTPC for sale in the Classifieds.
     

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