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ProCooling Polls The new voting system that is shown on the front page.

View Poll Results: Do you have a HTPC?
Yep - MCE Based 14 17.72%
Yep - Some other HTPC software 19 24.05%
Cable/Sat Companies PVR Box 4 5.06%
TiVo 3 3.80%
Nope... I got nothing. 39 49.37%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 02-05-2006, 12:54 PM   #1
Joe
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Default Do you have a HTPC?

Just to get an idea how many folks who read here are also running HTPC's, or standalone PVR's
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Unread 02-05-2006, 01:44 PM   #2
Nugit
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

I'm running a MCE 2005 powered box, waiting to be moved into a lovely watercooled 3r ht-1100 htpc case. If I can fit it all in that is.
More of an audio pc though, with a Burr Brown pga2311 based preamp, and if I can handle the soldering; a pcm2702 based usb soundcard. With a couple of dedicated psu's ofcourse, I've found that it's no good trying to filter the pc's psu. It just sounds so harsh.
It's all stereo atm, but with the pga2311 design it wouldn't be a problem to add more channels. Stereo is imho still the best for audio, so it'll probably stay 2-channel for a while though.


I must say that microsoft has done a good job with MCE, works flawlessly as a normal computer and with a touch of a button; nicely as a media center.
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Unread 02-05-2006, 01:52 PM   #3
Long Haired Git
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Compaq Evo D500.
P4 1.7 Ghz, 256 MB RAM
Swapped HDD for a 2nd hand 80GB item.
Standard Def Digital TV card
SB Live 5.1 card with F&R analogue outs.
Bluetooth KB and mouse
250GB 3.5" HDD in external USB case.
802.11b USB wireless ethernet
4.1 speaker system.
ATI half-height AGP card with S-video out.

Entire thing cost me less than AUD$500 (from OCAU forums and ebay) when the Topfield PVR cost AUD$1200. I have a large Grundig TV so no HDTV for me, and no plasma for some years so I just use a S-video interconnect.

I just use XP coz the version of MCP I tried was dodgy on this HW.

Probably just a triffle underpowered for the digital TV, and the lack of USB2 is a pain. Next time I'd hunt for the D510, but for now, happy.
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Unread 02-05-2006, 03:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

I got nothing....

Would eventually like to change that.(money, time, hassle)
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Unread 02-05-2006, 03:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Our first HTPC review (of a SilverStone LC17 case) is done just waiting for it to be proofed by pH or Brian. In it you will get to see my HTPC, which is down right ghetto compared to some

And I would concur with what was said above - MCE is awesome. Its as good of a software implemenation by MS as Server 2003 (which I think is nearly perfect). The catch is is that you need to make sure you run hardware that it wants to use. Which isnt THAT hard, its requirements are lower than most current games, so its pretty easy to make it work
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Unread 02-05-2006, 04:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Open-source based box in the plans.
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Unread 02-05-2006, 06:46 PM   #7
RebelSage
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Re: Do you have a HTPC?

My first HTPC
Thermaltake Tenor Case - Silver
Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz oc 3.4Ghz
1GB PC3200 Ram
120GB Maxtor - OS/Music
300GB Maxtor Movies/Recorded TV etc...
Sony DL DVD Burner
Hauppauge 250MCE PVR card
Audigy 2 ZS pro card
ATI x800pro Graphics Card...if I decide to game a little...
Windows XP Media Center..tons of codecs and Plugins
Logitech 5.1 Speakers

Eventually I want to get the logitech 680 remote to replace MS Remote and Build another for the bedroom using a nforce4 chipset with an Athlon64 3800+...a media server to store all my converted vhs movies and downloaded shows.
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Unread 02-09-2006, 09:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

I have a modded Xbox. It doesn't record, but my cable sucks and setup takes about 10 minutes with how well softmods work these days, so I'm happy with it.

I used to do the media center PC thing, but I ended up just liking this better, so now my media pc sits in a closet providing disk space to the xbox.
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Unread 02-18-2006, 04:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

I have MCE running on an NF1/2500+mobile Barton/1gb ram system. Video is 9700 np and tuner card is an NVTV. Works fine. I actually use the Logitech 5300 speakers as my sound system for the living room too; MUCH cheaper than a real receiver/5.1 system and sounds as good (w/ soundstorm) as those HT in a box setups that were 2x more.
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Unread 02-21-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Do you people with an HTPC keep a computer monitor attached as well as a TV? How do you deal with the cruddy resolution that a real TV has if you don't?
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Unread 02-21-2006, 12:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

No monitor on mine. MCE looks ok on it; don't use it for websurfing tbh
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Unread 02-21-2006, 12:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

no monitor on mine either, the TV shows MCE fine
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Unread 02-21-2006, 01:35 PM   #13
RebelSage
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

No monitor on mine......TV resolution is great...what the do you mean cruddy resolution? You do understand the MCE interface?
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Unread 02-21-2006, 03:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

My TV is a Grundig CRT, so best resolution is 800x600 via S-video.
I change to "large fonts" to make web surfing easier, but honestly use it rarely for that. The HTPC is more like a VCR than a STB. I use it to record and to watch recorded shows or my DVDs, but if just watching TV I use the TV itself as the picture is a little nicer.
Naturally if I had a big HDTV Plasma or LCD TV with a DVB connector it would be different.
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Unread 02-21-2006, 04:14 PM   #15
RebelSage
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

I have not used my Dish remote or anything else other than my PS2 or xbox..since setting up my HTPC. It's functionality just does everything I need..then if I want to game...I can just shut the interface off and run my game...I love that..I have to say wierdly Microsoft did a very good job with MCE.
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Unread 02-21-2006, 04:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

My ONLY beefs with MCE are

1) It won't accept mixed digital/analog signals so I need 2 cable boxes for dual tuner action
2) Doesn't do Picture in a Picture if you have dual tuners.

That's a pretty small list considering that it's so easy to use and effective
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Unread 02-21-2006, 07:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

And you could go to one of the other products to get that if you wanted. I know Myth does PiP, and with a Hauppauge 500 MCE you could do analog and digital signals from one box. (analog cable via COAX and digital cable via the Svideo)
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Unread 02-21-2006, 07:22 PM   #18
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelSage
No monitor on mine......TV resolution is great...what the do you mean cruddy resolution? You do understand the MCE interface?
I mean resolution for doing anything BUT the HTPC functions. If I have to modify system settings, hand edit any INF files, etc... it's a pain.
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Unread 02-22-2006, 12:17 AM   #19
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

you don't have to hand edit any inf files on Windows MCE

I dont even have a kb connected to that computer. If you're using a Linux box with need for hax0ring like that I'd install VNC and do it remotely. Turn your notebook into your remote control
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Unread 02-22-2006, 09:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

pHaestus, Your system and mine are quite similar, only that my current system has an Hauppauge 350 and a SB Audigy 2zs (I use a mixer board for my audio components inputs).

I'm running XP-Pro with 3rd party software. My system is a schizophrenic one, wearing many hats at different times! I have a 21" CRT monitor that I use now (on a trial basis loan from local 'puter shop for replacement of my 19"). I can "roll back) in my small room, and using my remote control and such, do just about everything MCE does (though I am seriously considering dual booting).

Newest build will incorporate more media center hardware... along with a tower that only contains fans for the water rad, and mobo cooling. Should make system much more "media friendly" quiet at those times I would like such... yet be able to "crank 'er up" when the need arises.
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Unread 02-22-2006, 11:44 AM   #21
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pHaestus
you don't have to hand edit any inf files on Windows MCE

I dont even have a kb connected to that computer. If you're using a Linux box with need for hax0ring like that I'd install VNC and do it remotely. Turn your notebook into your remote control
Well, no I don't. But I did have to set up display properties, and the text is nigh unreadable for the properties dialog. But, I don't have to do that often, thankfully, and when I want to download stuff for the MCE computer, I browse on another computer and use LAN to xfer it over.

All in all, I'm happy with MCE 2005. Now, if I could just make that system quiet...
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Unread 02-22-2006, 11:48 AM   #22
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Has anyone used a media center extender to put a noisy server in a closet so that a fanless system could just display to the TV? Dlink makes one, I think.
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Unread 02-22-2006, 02:02 PM   #23
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brians256
Has anyone used a media center extender to put a noisy server in a closet so that a fanless system could just display to the TV? Dlink makes one, I think.
I've set them up for clients and all in al it seem pretty smooth running I have used the linksys extender.
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Unread 04-04-2006, 04:52 AM   #24
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

I have one and am not afraid to use it....
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Unread 04-04-2006, 04:03 PM   #25
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Default Re: Do you have a HTPC?

I ran into problems with my MCE box in the last day. I pushed it a lil farther clock wise than the memory could handle it seems... so I had it lock up over the weekend. When I got back in town, I re-set it and then anything it recorded showed up as "restricted content" and I couldnt watch HBO or any channel that put a form of Macrovision on it.

I did some reading and I had to go and download a DRM reset progy from napster, and reboot. Once I did that new stuff played fine and non encrypted old stuff played fine. But any recorded HBO programs were busted.
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