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Thread: Just found... WinXP Media Center Edition

  1. #21
    FLAC Pudge's Avatar
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    XaCoSo, nice avatar... LOL. Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger...crazy flash...

  2. #22
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    yeah, nice
    locks you more into the proprietary / DRM-laden WMA/WMV file format
    crashes twice as often as standards windows XP
    doesn't work with those "supposedly protected" CDs that try to hack your system (such as the spiderman DVD, that tries to muck with the system's boot sector)
    costs a bundle,
    not normally available in stores, except with one of those new pcs with integrated kitchen sink
    also, requires at least a P4 2.8GHz to run at reasonable speeds
    and more importantly, here in France, people buying said PCs are forced to register for the Tv license tax...

    Thanks, but no thanks, I will keep my linux based system, that does the same thing in a mini-epia, at about 1/4 of the cost, plus none of the headaches.
    I don't need no stinkin' startup-shutdown controller... That's what journalized filesystems are for...
    NavSys, the ultimate navigation app
    http://www.navsys.org/

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxpert
    yeah, nice
    locks you more into the proprietary / DRM-laden WMA/WMV file format
    Actually it plays MP3s just fine and plays non-drm'd WMAs just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by sxpert
    crashes twice as often as standards windows XP
    Considering my XP crashes once a month with heavy use (at the most) I'm not too worried about using it in my car to just play music.

    Quote Originally Posted by sxpert
    doesn't work with those "supposedly protected" CDs that try to hack your system (such as the spiderman DVD, that tries to muck with the system's boot sector)
    You might have a point here - I haven't ever tried those CDs. (Personally I'm more upset at the CD manufacturers for doing this than Media Center's inability to play them.

    Quote Originally Posted by sxpert
    costs a bundle,
    not normally available in stores, except with one of those new pcs with
    integrated kitchen sink
    Definitely a valid point. I would say it's not bad for someone that isn't interested in building their own media pc, but that still wants the features. (i.e. A non-linux guru who still fancies themself as a techie) And I would also like to see it sold separately from the hardware. Granted, I don't think these points really apply either myself or the Defiler since both of us were able to get it legally for "free" and were advocating it on those merits.

    Quote Originally Posted by sxpert
    also, requires at least a P4 2.8GHz to run at reasonable speeds
    Many people report running it well on a 1Ghz machine. I'm running it on my stock EPIA M9000 just fine (no fancy video card, arguably slow processor). Granted I'm just using it for music, associated visualizations, and launching of other programs. I have heard that it uses a LOT of processor to run the special 1080P Windows Media video format, but with 1080P resolution, I can understand needing some horsepower.

    and more importantly, here in France, people buying said PCs are forced to register for the Tv license tax...
    Well I would say the lame thing about that is a tax structure that makes you pay a TV tax! (But I can see what you're saying - it makes it more expensive)


    Thanks, but no thanks, I will keep my linux based system, that does the same thing in a mini-epia, at about 1/4 of the cost, plus none of the headaches.
    Out of curiosity, what software package are you running on Linux for all this? (MythPC perhaps?)

    Cheers,

    Taytay

  4. #24
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    I tried it out this weekend. It is essentially Windows XP with an additional Media Center application. The Media Center application is designed for HTPC system with specific hardware requirements to do PVR/TIVO, radio, etc functions. The PVR/TIVO is probably the reason behind high spec and specific hardware requirements.

    The media center GUI looks excellent. It has fluid movements and a nice look n feel with suddle visual and sound queues. It works well with a keyboard and mouse, but I suspect it works even better with the specific MCE remote.

    I did not try it with my touchscreen yet, but there are a few areas of the MCE gui that lack touchscreen friendliness:

    1. The scrolling menu to choose from dvd, music, tv, etc. The scroll list buttons are too small to easily press via touchscreen. I bet the remote has a down and up/button mapped for this purpose.

    2. The hidden/popup controls for music playback. First you have to tap close to the edge of the screen for the controls to pop up, and then you have to deal with the tiny buttons. Again, I bet the remote has these functions mapped.

    If you have some alterate input in your car, you can probaly take care of both of these issues by mapping the essential commands.

    I like how the media / mp3 player is setup. You can easily load playlists or songs by album, artist, or just random play. Its what every good car pc front end should strive for.

    It was slower than my other xp boxes, but I contribute this to the old test HD I installed it on. I've had no more than 8 hrs of uptime, I have no reason to believe its any less stable than XP Pro or any other OS for that reason.

    Personally, I don't think its worth installing a new primary OS just to get MCE into my car. It has some nice features, but not enough to make it worth the switch. But, if I ever do a fresh install, I see no harm in installing XP Media Center Edition.

    It has pointed me a new direction though. HTPC software seems closely related to car pc software. I've started looking at alternatives such as myHTPC and mythTV. myHTPC even suggests it can be easily adapted to TS applications such as kiosk info centers.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxpert
    yeah, nice
    locks you more into the proprietary / DRM-laden WMA/WMV file format
    crashes twice as often as standards windows XP
    doesn't work with those "supposedly protected" CDs that try to hack your system (such as the spiderman DVD, that tries to muck with the system's boot sector)
    costs a bundle,
    not normally available in stores, except with one of those new pcs with integrated kitchen sink
    also, requires at least a P4 2.8GHz to run at reasonable speeds
    and more importantly, here in France, people buying said PCs are forced to register for the Tv license tax...

    Thanks, but no thanks, I will keep my linux based system, that does the same thing in a mini-epia, at about 1/4 of the cost, plus none of the headaches.
    The only thing that keeps me from using Linux is Mappoint. I know Linux does have some mapping software, but I don't think there's anything with as much detail / coverage. I'd love to be proved wrong.

  6. #26
    Variable Bitrate inniss777's Avatar
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    I was just in circuit city today playing around with windows media center and it's awsome. For the folks that already have it does it require certain brand of hardware for the tv, tivo, dvd etc... controls. I read some where that the reason why it is not availible off the shelf is because the pc has to have certain type of hardware for it to fully work. Where can I find it?
    Opus case. MB 899 core duo 2.0ghz
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  7. #27
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inniss777
    I was just in circuit city today playing around with windows media center and it's awsome. For the folks that already have it does it require certain brand of hardware for the tv, tivo, dvd etc... controls. I read some where that the reason why it is not availible off the shelf is because the pc has to have certain type of hardware for it to fully work. Where can I find it?
    I have it here, and would be happy to share, but it DOES require VERY specific hardware. As a matter of fact, last I checked, it was designed to work with hardware that can usually only be obtained by manufacturers such as HP and Dell. HOWEVER, I will dig around the MSDN members site to see if I can find those specs for you...

    Bear in mind as well, that in almost every review of WinXP:MC, it was touted as "The First TV that Crashes"!!! It is not all that stable, thanks to a ton of hacks to the GUI and underlying core code. It might work fine for base installation only though!

    Edit:

    THIS JUST IN: WinXP-MCE will work IF you have the following hardware:

    From the MSDN Subscriber site- Windows XP Media Center Edition is intended to be installed by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on PCs with specific hardware: TV Tuner / Hardware MPEG2 Encoder: eMuzed Maui PCI PVR or Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250. Video Card: nVidia GeForce 4 MX440 64MB.

    Looks like the hardware isn't as scarce as I thought! I will have to CD images upped to a site for your DLing pleasure by this time tomorrow. Wait. Did I say "I" would have them? I meant "some generous dude on the intraweb thingy".
    The ALEXIS Project
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taytay
    Out of curiosity, what software package are you running on Linux for all this? (MythPC perhaps?)
    No. I have my own package that I'm working on.

    as for the ogg-car package, I'm the developper of navsys ( http://sxpert.esitcom.org/projects/navsys/ )
    it is currently in a state of flux, as I'm re-designing the UI
    I don't need no stinkin' startup-shutdown controller... That's what journalized filesystems are for...
    NavSys, the ultimate navigation app
    http://www.navsys.org/

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcard
    The only thing that keeps me from using Linux is Mappoint. I know Linux does have some mapping software, but I don't think there's anything with as much detail / coverage. I'd love to be proved wrong.
    well. you can probably run mappoint with wine (haven't tried, but it should work out of the box)
    check www.winehq.com for more information
    I don't need no stinkin' startup-shutdown controller... That's what journalized filesystems are for...
    NavSys, the ultimate navigation app
    http://www.navsys.org/

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by inniss777
    I was just in circuit city today playing around with windows media center and it's awsome. For the folks that already have it does it require certain brand of hardware for the tv, tivo, dvd etc... controls. I read some where that the reason why it is not availible off the shelf is because the pc has to have certain type of hardware for it to fully work. Where can I find it?
    This is partially true. There is one thing that is proprietary, the decoder card. BUT this is not needed if you do not plan on watching/capturing TV and listening to the radio. There are two choices for the card and most people chose the Hauppauge WinTV PVR 350. It has all the needed features with the radio part built in and can be purchased at newegg or eBay. The only other thing needed is an MPEG codec which you can download LEGALLY for free from the nVidia web site. All the other stuff can be yours to chose even the remote, as long as you use Girder or some other type of remote program. Girder even has a config file for the MCE controls.

    And just to clarify...

    I don't know were all this BS is comming from about it being unstable?!?!? I've been running mine for well over a month and have NEVER had a crash of any sort, and no lock-ups of any kind. I use other external apps as well including Copilot, MAME32, and Internet explorer through my Sprint PCS cel phone.

    Sxpert, you have no friggin' idea as to what you are talking about. You obviously have never used an MCE box, and if you have it wasn't set up correctly. You sound worse than a Mac biggot. Oh yeah Linux is a great OS. I won't argue there, but you have to remember, Linux does not have the application support Windows does. It's a fact that you seem to have a problem dealing with. For people like me that don't have a lot of time to F around with side projects, Windows is a great OS. Also, see the specs for my computer??? I'm nowhere near your "2.8G" requiremnet "to run at reasonable speeds". Yes, myHTPC and a few of the other front ends are a little quicker and can be customized more and are FREE. If you want to use those, GREAT! Use them. If you want to use Linux to run your computer in your car go right ahead but quit talking out of your *** and get your facts straight before you try to bash something. It only makes your credibility worse.

    Sorry for the rant, got no sleep last night due to a sick child.
    Aura MR62 (F and R)
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