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my new toy (HTPC)

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  • my new toy (HTPC)

    i know these have been around for quite a while now and that a number of people around here have one, but i just got around to finally putting an HTPC together. so far, i'm very thrilled with it. i already have a HD/DVR/digital cable box, but i wanted the MCE interface for all my music. all of the other features merely serve as a bonus. i even installed the mceWeather plugin, which gives me up to date weather reports, forecasts, and satellite info at the touch of a button. i'm still working on getting all my mp3's tagged properly, but it's going well so far. Tag&Rename is definitely the way to go if you want everything to show up correctly in MCE.

    anyway, here are the specs and some pics....

    - 2.8GHz 1MB L2/800MHz FSB Intel Pentium 4 CPU
    - Kingston 512MB DDR400 RAM
    - MSI PM8M-V Motherboard
    - Seagate 200GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
    - PNY GeForce 6200 128MB Video Card
    - Hauppauge Win-TV PVR-150 MCE FM/TV Tuner Card
    - AOpen Cobra AW870LP 7.1 Sound Card
    - NEC 16x DVD±R DVD Burner
    - ASPIRE X-QPACK case w/ 420W PSU
    - Windows XP Media Center Edition
    - Microsoft Windows Media Center Remote Control

    the PC:
    putting it together was pretty easy. the case is a wonderful piece of work. it's really compact, but still leaves lots of room for air circulation and wires. the pull-out motherboard tray was a lifesaver. the transparent sides and top add a nice touch, as well.

    (click thumbnails to enlarge)

    MCE interface:
    for the most part, MCE is very user-friendly. everything can be done with a remote control, but i keep a mouse and keyboard around just in case. in these screenshots, you can see the main menu, album list, tv guide, tv screencap, weather forecast, satellite data, and FM radio.

    (click thumbnails to enlarge)

    Mazda 6 Carputer {NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE FOR FREE!!!}

  • #2
    my buddy has one in his home, his whole house is networked. its pretty hot. where in NPN are you? im in hampton. we should meet up some time and show off our puters


    • #3
      i have my computers networked as far as sharing files and stuff. i still have yet to try networking MCE to other pc's though. that would be pretty cool though.

      i live right by the patrick henry mall. whereabouts in hampton are you?
      Mazda 6 Carputer {NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE FOR FREE!!!}


      • #4
        Wow! and I was just looking for info on the Cobra AW870LP.

        I live off Richneck Rd!


        • #5
          The best thing for a MCE is the Linksys Media Extender. Its hard to find now. I bought one from CompUSA (through Amazon too). They are awsome, they extend all of the features to any TV in the house via wireless so your computer can sit at your desk with a cable box next to it and you can stream live tv or anything else off the MCE to your TV. Its best if you can wire your MCE box in to the router and use wireless for the extender.

          The only thing the extender can't do is watch a DVD that is in the MCE. Whats better is there is a small kit to turn a standard XBOX into an extender and the XBOX 360 comes with a built in MCE Extender.

          The down side? Keep your eyes open for Windows Vista, the MCE features of it are supposed to blow away 2005 MCE. I am a member of the Microsoft Partner Program and also have a MSDN subscription so I get preview and demo licenses and I have to say Vista is looking to be a good extension to the current media centers. Don't get me wrong, I love my media center but better features are always a plus


          • #6
            I have MCE 2005 HTPC as well. Very cool when your friends come over and want to watch a movie. I also have my COX Cable DVR box connected to it through firewire and can record shows from any channel including the OnDemand stuff.

            The one thing I have been looking for but haven't spent too much time trying to find is a modem that supports the Caller ID function built into MCE. I had purchased a card that I thought would work but either I have no idea what I'm doing or it just doesn't work with MCE. Any hints?
            7" Lilli TS, Soyo K7VME, Semperon 2200, 160GB Maxtor, 512mb PC3200, Deluo GPS, Panasonic Slim DVD/CD RW, Linksys WMP545G , Opus 150w, XMDirect, XP Pro, FP, IG [XXXXXXXXX-] 90%


            • #7
              HTPC's rule. I love mine, completely changes how you watch TV. I havent seen 1 commerical in over a year!
              '02 GTI
              [Routis '04] [Opus 90W] [160GB Maxtor HD]
              [Lilliput 7" TS] [VIA M10000] [XMPCR]
              [512MB RAM] [Custom housing]
              [Deluo GPS Mouse] [E-MU 0404 Soundcard]
              Progress Meter: [==============|] 99.9%


              • #8
                The specs say if your modem supports calledid it should work.

                There is an add-on for the callerid to allow you to send broadcast to other computers on the network:

                Have you been able to get it to detect someone calling to show the number? From there you need Outlook 2000 or Outlook 2003 for it to match the contacts I beleive.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by judoGTI
                  HTPC's rule. I love mine, completely changes how you watch TV. I havent seen 1 commerical in over a year!

                  I haven't watched LIVE TV in over three years , the way DVRs change your life!