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  • martydee - Sunday, February 06, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know if a PVR card with a hardware DVD DECODER (such as the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR 350) is compatible with Windows MCE? And would a hardware decoder give any real benefits to the system over the software equivilent (i.e. nVidia DVD decoder)? Reply
  • louisb - Thursday, January 13, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • mulminute - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    My biggest use is sending music and photos to entertainment center,. Should I use MC 2004 or wait for 2005 Reply
  • mulminute - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    My biggest use is sending music and photos to entertainment center,. Should I use MC 2004 or wait for 2005 Reply
  • CZroe - Sunday, October 17, 2004 - link

    "Windows MCE will never be any use for people serious about video until it allows you to select what codecs you want to use for encoding from all the DirectShow codecs installed on your system. Having to use the proprietary MS stuff with all their DRM garbage is unsuitable."

    You're clearly one seriously misinformed individual. MCE isn't an interface to multiple video formats and types and simply wonld not function correctly if it were.

    Understand this: An MCE PC has one or more TV tuners and video capture cards in it and they will function exactly like any other PC with that hardware. If you want to record in the format of your choice with an XP MCE PC, no one is stopping you. Fire up your application of choice, select your codec and complain to the software maker that they don't have their own integrated EPG and automatic scheduling capabilities. Honestly, how would you expect EVERY format to support embedded CC and on the fly sequence removal? How could you expect hardware encoding support for any directshow enabled codec? You can't just throw a pre-encoded MPEG2 stream from the hardware into any encoder and expect real time results.
    Reply
  • glennpratt - Thursday, October 14, 2004 - link

    Definately go to www.thegreenbutton.com/community I'm in the US so I don't know much about getting EPG and what not in Australia, but there are a bunch of people from around the world there. The first page load is excruciatingly slow on the site, but once you on its OK. Reply
  • tantryl - Thursday, October 14, 2004 - link

    Quick question that again I haven't seen addressed that much. On the Best/Better etc. quailty settings, what is the average MB/hour ratio?

    How many hours could you store on your average 200GB (191 real GB)?
    Reply
  • tantryl - Thursday, October 14, 2004 - link

    Thanks glenn.

    I'm in Australia so TiVo or the like is not currently an option (although I've heard rumours it'll be here within another year). The main problem with it is the program guide.

    Australia is officially supported by MCE2005, and I'm very interested in just what that means. So far it looks like no Australia specific music or movie internet services are supported, but I can't find anything to say definately either way. I'm so desperate I'm even considering ringing up Microsoft and going through the quagmire that is customer relations there. But the good thing is, I'm fairly certain (although again, not seen it in writing yet) that the program guide system will work. We only have 5 free-to-air channels and a couple of pay-tv subscription services (that are really the same service packaged differently) so it shouldn't be too hard for them to keep up to date.

    Looking at the performance I'm not seeing a hugley compelling reason to go any higher than a Sempron 3100+ although that might be something that would change once I actually get my hands on it and experience it.

    Hmmmm. All interesting stuff.
    Reply
  • glennpratt - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    jamawass - There is an IR blaster connected to the remote USB reciever. There are two ports on it, but the old remote only came with one blaster, the new one which is actually cheaper then the old one comes with two.

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?desc...

    If you have one you'll understand (or a linux based competitor). The flexibility is awesome (just think about it, it's a whole computer. Not only do you have all the flexibilty advanteges of MCE, you have a full blown OS underneath) compared to a Tivo. It's also MUCH MUCH faster then a Tivo.

    As for stability, it all depends on the computer you build it on. You can't tell it's a PC if all you have is the remote. Mine has run for nearly a year, nonstop. You can even put it in S3 (Suspend to ram) and it will still wake up and record when it has to, just like Tivo.

    Really, HTPC serves a very different market then Tivo. It has a million more uses then Tivo + DVD Recorder.

    For me I have an old high end CRT data projector in my living room, and the cheapest thing I could connect to it when I first got it was a computer. Haven't looked back, even as transcoders have gotten much better and cheaper.
    Reply
  • jamawass - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    How does mce control digital cable boxes for scheduled recordings? Does the remote have a built in IR blaster? Reply
  • jamawass - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    First post, longtime anandtech reader. MCE 2k5 looks good from all the reviews I've read but at around $170 (with essential remote)is just too expensive as the reviewer pointed out. With the type of hardware you need to run it, you're looking at $1000 at least. With networked DVD recorders with tivo capabilities ( which are much more stable) getting better in the $400 range why would I put mce in my living room? Reply
  • glennpratt - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    Best solution for mom is to have TV and Computer connected and running at the same time. And yes, if mum can use windows and operate a TiVo, she can use MCE. Just make sure you get nice and stable components. Reply
  • GodsMadClown - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    You know what? I look at this and see a market for dual-core. Reply
  • tantryl - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    I'm trying to figure out whether this is something that you could, well, give to mum for example. Or mom as you crazy americans call them.

    Presume a nice setup, 3+GHz or equivalent, Hauppage TV Tuner, 80GB system drive and 200GB storage/video drive, 512MB or 1024MB RAM (not info given by Anand as to what difference this might make?), all MCE approved components, with the necessary remote all set up in a quiet case...

    Would Ma be able to use it? Would she be able to handle swapping between the monitor and a regular TV? Would she be better off having a physical switch that changes the signal from into the PC to into the TV?

    So Anand - you think this is something mum could use?
    Reply
  • glennpratt - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    9 & 10 - I have not seen one copy protected file yet and I use both analog antenna and digital cable for over a year. It is up to the station to set the flag to lock the file, which IMO is fair. Also, you can convert the file after the fact to WMV using DVR2WMV. I like the low CPU usage that hardware MPEG2 brings, and if i decide I like the program I can convert it and archive it. Reply
  • Reflex - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    #10: Part of the 2005 release is that its available to system builders or sites like Newegg for do it yourselfers. I do agree about codecs, but its not a *huge* deal to me. Reply
  • segagenesis - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    #9 - I would prefer BeyondTV solely for the fact I can do whatever I want with recorded shows. And I dont have to buy a new computer just to get the *software*. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    Windows MCE will never be any use for people serious about video until it allows you to select what codecs you want to use for encoding from all the DirectShow codecs installed on your system. Having to use the proprietary MS stuff with all their DRM garbage is unsuitable. Reply
  • rbV5 - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    Nice Review Anand. I'll be building one of these shortly using dual eHome Wonder cards and HDTV Wonder (hopefully MS will release the patch soon.) I ordered MCE + the remote from Newegg earlier today, so i should be on it by the end of the week. Reply
  • kurisu - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    I still think the interface is pretty attractive. I see this doing well in the market.. Reply
  • glennpratt - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    ^ I thought the same thing... How could they have possibly thought that was a good idea? Reply
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    Ok, you know the world has gone downhill when even MS is throwing in one of those dancers... Reply
  • glennpratt - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    Yes it works with set top boxes, using an IR Blaster. Though my remote box only has ports for two IR Blasters... I guess having 3 set top boxes attached to the same computer would be overkill. I wonder if it supports 3 different sources like digital cable + DirecTV + OTA HD. That would be sweet. I may have to try that out if I ever get my grubby hands on 2005. Reply
  • haci - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    It looks like BeyondTV can handle 6 tuners just fine:

    http://www.snapstream.com/community/articles/medus...

    It would be interesting to see how the CPU requirements under BeyonTV and Windows MCE compare while using hardware encoders.

    I would have expected the requirements to be similar, since most of the work is done by the encoder card anyway, but the MCE review seems to imply high CPU utilization under MCE.

    Would it be possible to do some sort of comparison?
    Reply
  • louisb - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    Will this work with a digital cable set-top box? Or is there a tuner card thats works with digital cable? Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - link

    On page 13: "The movies on demand features are provided by three companies: , and . "

    Man, thats the same company three times! They are dominating! heh.

    The multituner support is a big step forward, and i cant believe how polished everything seems to be. My current rig doesnt have the unf (or the right tuners) to get into the MCE game just yet, but it certainly looks very appealing now.
    Reply

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