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Which Media Center PC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by JonMace, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. JonMace

    JonMace
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    OK I'm pretty much sold on the idea of getting one of these, but which one i have read the threads for both the DMS 2 abd the artisan, are there any others? I do not what it to look like a PC however.

    I will be hooking it up to 2 NTL STBs and linking it to a 28" Sony WS TV and a Panny AE700 PJ.

    I would be greatful for and input.
     
  2. scrowe

    scrowe
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    I found the Mesh offering the best overall, albeit just the base unit, I removed the monitor and speakers and upped the Ram and Processor.

    Based on a the XPce shuttle case it looks Ok underneath the TV on a stand, and the specification for the price was streaks ahead of competitors.

    http://www.meshcomputers.com/updated/media_range1.htm

    Later : Actually looking at your original post you have analogue sources. Mesh only do MCE's with the inbuilt Freeview Tuner.

    The Evesham e-box may be a better solution for you, with twin analogue tuner.

    http://www.evesham.com/mce2005/systems.asp?r=173
     
  3. Pup

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    The Elonex Artisan also comes with a dual digital tuner option and appears to be a better build according to the reviews (PC Pro).

    I have had an e-box for the last two months and it still won't behave like it's supposed to.
     
  4. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    Yes. yes there are quite a few others.....
     
  5. JJ10

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    My experience is not to touch Elonex - see recent postings in the the Artisan thread. They seem very much that they couldn't organise a trip to the toilet. Mine was delivered after 4+ weeks (very late as they don't seem to keep the components in stock to build them and don't have reliable suppliers) and was delivered without even a power cable - as apparently they don't have any left in stock!!!!!!.
    There is no shipping list so that you can check if anything is missing.
    The quick start guide is installed on the PC (a bit chicked and egg) - because after months of advertising this product they are still waiting to get a manual printed - so its impossible to know how to start it up.
    The make out to be some big system builder - but act like a bloke building PC's in his bedroom!
     
  6. dazek

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    hi

    i'm also in a similar boat to jon. am looking for a media centre. is it easy to set these things up to record off sky. also in "scrowes" post he refers to analogue sources and twin analgue tuners etc - can someone please explain in laymens terms!! (before i buy the wrong thing) - currently I have panasonic 32" CRT, Sony 940 amp, regular toshiba DVD and sky box

    many thanks

    darius
     
  7. lisag

    lisag
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    Yes MCE works well with sky, to record one channel whilst watching another you will need to feed your media center pc two independent sky signals from two separate set top boxes. This is the twin tuners, and they are analog as they are capturing from your sky sources.
     
  8. kolabere

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    Its very simple:

    DIGITAL = Freeview

    ANALOGUE = Analogue terrestrial (normal old fashion 5 channels); Sky; Cable; VHS etc

    The snag is MCE cannot manage both!
     
  9. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Digital Home Mag had a review of HTPC's last month...

    HiGrade DMS II @ £987 came top of the pile!!!

    I think its:
    www.higrade.com or co.uk?


    Easily the best looking too!
     
  10. JonMace

    JonMace
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    It the one I went for in the end and Very happy with it :D
     
  11. JJ10

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    After slagging of Elonex (the sentiments still stand re: service) I have now settled down to using the kit - and this is the crying shame about the service as its good kit (so far).

    A lot of the credit does go to Microsoft with its MCE software - but it does everything I ask - and quickly. Recording is reliable,fast and quiet, I especially like the way the PC wakes itself up to record (so its not on all the time). The music stuff just works, the kids love the slide shows - and they love the fact that within 2 days they had more episodes of Balamory and TeleTubbies to watch than they could shake a stick at (from CBeebies).

    So far, we have recorded 2 things at the same time, watched programs that were still recording, watched one recording and recorded another at the same time, paused live TV and all without a hitch.

    The machine is a good fit and quiet, although the displays is a bit bright (am sure I could adjust this if I could be bothered), the power on and off is quick and reliable, the wireless network is seamless (although it didn't initially work and I had to re-seat the card - it must have come loose in transit).

    I would definately recomend a move to a MCE box if you like tech stuff. 2xDigital tuners works great - and it will change (has changed) the way we watch telly - we seldom watch live stuff now after owning it only 1 week. There are lots of stuff I still need to explor - but so far I am a convert. The Elonex kit is good - but you may well have to put up with some pretty bad service and I fear for the day it breaks and I have to call them.



    Note : Elonex did send me the power cable in the end - and quite quickly.
     

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