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Two MCE PCs... one as an extender?


Active Member

I have a good spec Media Center PC in my sitting room at the moment and I'm thinking of buying my son a reasonable spec Media Center PC which will go in his bedroom.

I have 3 questions:
(1) Will the second PC be easily configured to act as an extender rather than a main MCE PC itself?
(2) Will the bandwidth of an 802.11b wireless network be good enough to enable my son to watch decent quality TV sent from the main box? (If not I'd probably upgrade to 802.11g... but would that be good enough?)
(3) The spec for the secnd PC is P4 3GHz, 512MB Ram, 80GB HDD. The PC won't be recording it's own programs just acting as an extender - is this a good enough spec?

Apologies for sounding like a complete newbie... but I am one when it comes to extending my MCE network!



Distinguished Member
An MCE system cannot be used as an Extender. You can access content like music videos & recorded TV but you cannot e.g. access Live TV. Why not buy your lad an Xbox 360? That works beautifully as an Extender & I am sure that he would be very pleased with it.

You will probably have problems with 802.11b suggest an upgrade to 802.11g


Active Member
So... Microsoft extoll the wonders of MCE for letting you do anything in any room of the house.... is the XBox360 (or XBox) really the ONLY way of using MCE to allow him to watch Live TV in another room? If so, Microsoft have just got me really PO'd (which is unusual... I'm not a MS basher!)

I can buy him the above spec for £300. It'll allow him to use it to do his homework (research on the internet, type it up in Word, etc) AND he can play games on it, and I would have thought that with MCE installed he'd be able to use it as an extender.

Would an alternative be to buy him a cheap second hand XBox (not 360), get it 'chipped' and use the Media Center extender thing for the XBox?



Is it mainly the live TV streaming that you wanted?

An option is to stream the TV card reception. There's several ways you could do this, including buying a Nebula Freeview card. However the software for that won't work under MCE.

However it's a route to consider?

Otherwise the Xbox route seems the best option.

Deleted member 39241

You could just add a cheap(ish) tv card to the second PC.. just need to run an aerial extenison to it. That's live tv sorted. The only thing missing then is chase playing recorded tv (watching it on the extender machine, whilst it is still recording on the main PC) - I cannot find a workaround for this, which is very annoying! Other ecorded tv can be shared by just mapping the appropriate folder.


Active Member
Thanks everyone for your input.

I am completely flabbergasted that MCE doesn't allow 2 PCs to share the Live TV experience - it seems like a large hole in the functionality of MCE. I'd understand it if there were extender boxes for sale in the UK but when the only other official UK option is to fill the house with XBox360s it just doesn't seem sensible.

Still, now that I know I can't share the Live TV experience with another PC I can look at even cheaper systems for the basic homework needs of my son.


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