Vista Media Center or Media Center 2005

  • Thread starter Deleted member 92943
  • Start date
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Deleted member 92943

Guest
Alright Guys

I have been thinking of getting some sort of PVR to record TV.

Than i though as i use my 360 all the time ( I LOVE it so much:D ) That i could use a PC to stream TV to the 360.

I have a PC at the moment but it's on the way out and is going to be replaced by a Ma for my main computing needs, but for Media i thought of sorting out a PC ON THE CHEAP with Media Center

Which version is better to use Vista or 2005 version? Can i get a quiet media PC set-up for around £500 at all.

cheers
 

smashie

Novice Member
well for the price you can stretch to you could easilly get a competent and quiet htpc set up, personally i would favour media centre 2005 over vista as it has better software and hardware support as of right now, dunno haow you feel about building your own rig from a bare bones kit but it certainly is a pretty cheap way to get the rig that you need rather than paying through the nose for stuff you might never use..
 
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Deleted member 92943

Guest
Basically. I want my xbox360 to be my main hub for all my media, whether TV, Games, Music, photos ect and i though that backing a reasonale spec PC onto the back on the 360 can do a good jb of this. I will be getting a Macbook for my Computer stuff like email, web browsing, phot editing ect

The PC i have now could actually be gutted to do this i guess as it's not a bad spec.

amd 3500 64 Atlon processor
Asus A8V wireless edition motherboard
1GB DDR Ram
DVD-ROM
DVD-RW
Geforce 6800gt Graphics card 256mb
120GB and 160GB HDD

The problem i have at the minute is that it is noisy as hell. Much louder than an xbox 360.

Is it a good enough spec for a medi center 2005 PC.

Could i gut the thing. Pu it in a better case (smaller aswell) Maybe get some new much bigger hard drives, change fans and use the stuff i have already.

Can a media center PC with TV give a PQ that matches freeview boxes?

What other advice can you guys with a set-up give me
 

julianmclean

Active Member
The PC i have now could actually be gutted to do this i guess as it's not a bad spec.

amd 3500 64 Atlon processor
Asus A8V wireless edition motherboard
1GB DDR Ram
DVD-ROM
DVD-RW
Geforce 6800gt Graphics card 256mb
120GB and 160GB HDD

Interestingly that spec is virtually identical to my PC at home, which is running Vista ultimate. It runs Vista MCE fine (full Aero), plus also drives two xbox 360s as extenders. It is coping admirably well at the moment - driving extenders seems to be no problem and running MCE on its own is ok. It struggles a bit when asking it to do many things at once, but to be honest I think my A8V motherboard is fried as I've had issues with the PC from day one. Actually putting Vista on it has made it more stable. Disk access is the only issue at the moment, but that may be because I reverted to IDE as I removed the SATA RAID array when trying to diagnose crashes a while back. I'm going to rebuild on SATA RAID disks soon and see how it copes.

If I were you, I would try running Vista or MCE 2005 on it first and see how you get on - you may be surpised at what it can cope with.
 
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Deleted member 92943

Guest
That's good to know Vista may be capable but part of me would be happy with 2005 edition as it has all the driver support on freeview video cards ect and may not require me to add more RAM ect


Plus the look of 2005 edition blends nicely with the xbox dashboard:D

What kind of hard drives, video cards ect should i be looking at? It seems that the graphics card, processor ect that i have is sufficent for ME2005 so ill reuse them

Need to find a smaller Desktop case aswell as my coolermaster one is huge when you see how much space the motherboard inside the case
 
M

MikeFish

Guest
If you are using the Xbox as the front end in your living room then I don't think it really matters what spec the pc is as long as all the parts are MCE compatible. The Xbox will be doing most of the hard work and essentially as far as I'm aware your PC will be just acting as a server holding all the information.
The only time PC ability will come into it is the quality of TV card and if you plan on watching DVDs etc from your hard drive then you will need to transcode the video on the fly (this will require some processing power from your PC).
While we're on the topic, are you aware that the Xbox wil not play your DVDs stored on your PC unless they are of the correct file type i.e not DVD VOBs. You can do it by using a program which transcode the video into a format the Xbox likes as it plays although this is not ideal as you lose the search facility and chapter information.
 
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MikeFish

Guest
If you are talking about maybe making the PC quiet then can I assume you will have the PC in your living room? If so the n you are much better off forgetting about using the Xbox as an extender and just plugging the PC straight into your TV/Hifi etc.
This will overcome the video problem I mentioned in the post above.

Also, as regards which operating system to use, if you have a limited budget I'd go for MCE as this will be a lot cheaper (I think) than the media centre version of Vista (which is the most expensive version, the Ultimate).
Even if you go for OEM versions you are still looking at £70 for MCE and £125 for Vista.
 
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Deleted member 92943

Guest
Thanks for your replies. I won't be streaming movies to the xbox. TV Content, Music and Pictures only.

I would probably go for MCE 2005 simply becuase it has better driver support on hardware components

I'm going to do i bit more investigating becuase if i can get a Mac like i intend to, boot camp it with Media Center 2005 and have it detect the Mac freeview dongles (eyeTV) and record TV using that then i'll stick with the Mac as it's silent
 

PeteT

Active Member
You can get Vista Home Premium from ebuyer for £65 delivered with the google checkout. This has the MCE interface in it.

Vista Home Premium and XP MCE2005 are the same price.

I am waiting for my Vista copy being delivered today.

HTH
 
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Deleted member 92943

Guest
I'm not too bothered which OS it is as long as the computer it'self is QUIET and can cope with the media center.

I am fortunate to have an almost silent xbox360 (when on the dash) and becuase it can have EVERTHING in one Place e,g Games, Movies, Friends, Media and soon MSN the 360 is just the best media hub for me

How should i go about going the hardware side? Are my PC components good enugh to gut out and re-use?

Hard drives are small and noisy so would need replacing. The processor fan which is a horrid Asus 747 fan definately needs changing as it really does sound like a 747
 

PeteT

Active Member
Hi Lee
I have no ideal what the AMD chips are like. All i can do is tell you about my experience.

I have just built myself a new machine.
My old machine was ok but just didn't cut it as a Media centre. It was a P4 2.8, 1 gb Ram. Towards the end and after quite a bit of money being spent on it i managed to get a quiet machine. But then the motherboard decided to die. Fortunately i had been planning a new build but all i needed was an excuse to buy it.

My new machine is SOO quiet i can believe it.
Core2Duo E4400 2 x 2ghz
ASUS P5B
2 x 1Gb 800mhz Corsair Memory
MSI 8600GT fanless
Nesteq Semi Fanless 520W PSU
Antec Solo Case
AcoustiFan 92mm Intake fan
AcoustiFan 120mm exhaust fan (not the antec trispeed)
I still have the stock Intel cooler, i am going to change it to get the temperature of the CPU down.

From my experience with replacing parts in my old machine, it was the PSU that generated most/all the noise. I can recommend the nesteq.

I would get the best you can from the start because if you don't then you will only end up replacing the parts and it will cost you more.

This machine is fast and quiet, ideal for a MCE machine. I have installed vista and it works great i am not going back to MCE2005. BTW S3 standby works perfectly which was one of my problems with my old machine.
 

yeancheant

Standard Member
I actually have a

P4-Northwood 2.8
P4S8X-X (533 bus speed)
1gig memory
IDE hard disk

I actually struggled to play HD files (h.264, at 720p with coreavc codec). I noticed that your old system is almost the same as mine. Is it true that the processor is just not cut out for HD files ?

It seems to be the software for I can play hd without aero in vista, or media player classic in win xp. media center just takes too much resources
 

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