PDA

View Full Version : Windows XP Media Center 2004!



sith_killer_99
02-07-2004, 07:51 PM
Has anyone heard of this exciting new OS from Microsoft? I posted some info on SSG.com (SightandSoundGuide.com) but was really wanting some kind of feed back about it.

The OS is not available at retail. In fact Microsoft says that the hardware system requirements are such that the average Joe really can't run the system on their computer.

This OS promises to be the ultimate media experience! This is nothing less than the complete integration of all your home, and possibly your portable, entertainment. It is an advanced home networking system that should allow you to do just about anything, from playing your music files on your HDTV (or just a regular TV ;) ) to watching and recording DVD's.

But to be honest it is soooooo much more. It turns your PC into a DVR that allows you to pause live TV, easily schedule recodings in regular or HDTV quality. How about editing out those annoying commercials and burning your favorite episodes to DVD?

Maybe you want to listen to your favorite music, while each of your kids listen to something else in their room all from the same PC!

Sound crazy? Crazy like a fox! Bill Gates has finally done it! This system IMHO is the pinnacle of what XP was about all along! The digital media EXPERIENCE in all its' forms!

Now if they can just manage to work out all the bugs and security holes. LOL Not to worry, while there are still a few tweaks that need to be made XP MCE has already gone through it's first major revision, which means most of the bugs have been worked out.

Has anyone else checked into one of these mean machines? Does anyone on the boards have one?!?!

Turbowars
02-07-2004, 10:53 PM
Has anyone heard of this exciting new OS from Microsoft? I posted some info on SSG.com (SightandSoundGuide.com) but was really wanting some kind of feed back about it.

The OS is not available at retail. In fact Microsoft says that the hardware system requirements are such that the average Joe really can't run the system on their computer.

This OS promises to be the ultimate media experience! This is nothing less than the complete integration of all your home, and possibly your portable, entertainment. It is an advanced home networking system that should allow you to do just about anything, from playing your music files on your HDTV (or just a regular TV ;) ) to watching and recording DVD's.

But to be honest it is soooooo much more. It turns your PC into a DVR that allows you to pause live TV, easily schedule recodings in regular or HDTV quality. How about editing out those annoying commercials and burning your favorite episodes to DVD?

Maybe you want to listen to your favorite music, while each of your kids listen to something else in their room all from the same PC!

Sound crazy? Crazy like a fox! Bill Gates has finally done it! This system IMHO is the pinnacle of what XP was about all along! The digital media EXPERIENCE in all its' forms!

Now if they can just manage to work out all the bugs and security holes. LOL Not to worry, while there are still a few tweaks that need to be made XP MCE has already gone through it's first major revision, which means most of the bugs have been worked out.

Has anyone else checked into one of these mean machines? Does anyone on the boards have one?!?!Sure do and I'm loving it!;) see fine print.

Exhaust Port
02-08-2004, 09:03 AM
This type of system has been talked about for years now but never gotten out of the R&D environment. The biggest hurdle is that beyond the actual computer and its software you have to have all you home appliances compatible with the system. That right there is the sticking point. What percentage of the general populous has the means to upgrade all the electronics in their house?

The key is to make this type of computer system routinely available. If every future version of Windows was capable of monitoring house electronics then users would be more likely to purchase electronics/appliances compatible with such a system. If this type of computer systems requires unique hardware and support then I doubt it will take off.

Personally I'd love to see such a thing takeoff and become readily available. Like any technology, I'd wait until it's on it's 3rd, 4th, 5th..... version before I'd jump onboard. As Chuck Yeager said, "Never fly the A-model."

sith_killer_99
02-08-2004, 10:06 AM
Personally I'd love to see such a thing takeoff and become readily available. Like any technology, I'd wait until it's on it's 3rd, 4th, 5th..... version before I'd jump onboard. As Chuck Yeager said, "Never fly the A-model."

I would agree, with 1 or 2 exceptions. I bought Windows XP as soon as it hit stores (without Service Pack 1), and I never looked back! Even without SP1 XP is a better OS than ME! LOL

I made the mistake of buying a computer with:

Socket 423 Pentium 4
PC800 Rambus (RDRAM)

Both of which are great technology, but are now difficult to upgrade, due to their relative obscurity. I have only been able to find Rambus RAM in 1 or 2 stores (only 1 recently) and a socket 423 P4...forget about it (can you say Ebay :mad: )!

As for the fate of Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center 2004?!?! Well, it really all depends of Microsoft. They could easily bundle their OS with video/TV tuner cards capable of supporting the OS and list the system requirements such as:

1.0GHz P4
384MB RAM
10GB available Hard drive space
DVD ROM

Bundle that with a TV tuner card (or the great ATI All-in-Wonder) and you have yourself a winner! The card would have all the hook ups you need to support a TV (or HDTV) and computer monitor then just hook up the speakers and there you have the core system! Then you can upgrade as you want! A DVD burner here an extra hard drive there, before you know it your entire entertainment system is networked together.

Well, I gotta go, I have to pick up a new 9200 (128MB DDR) ATI All-in-Wonder video card and a new 80GB Maxtor Ultra ATA/133 hard drive to add to my computer.

Exhaust Port
02-08-2004, 12:13 PM
I looked at the presentation Microsoft has on their website for this and I have a few problems:

Movies/DVD: Since this is computer based you are forced to watch or play any movies through your computer/DVD player and not incorportate VHS or Laserdisc players. That also limits you to using the sound card for audio. Any audiophile would much rather have a dedicated DVD player of higher quality as well as a independant sound system that would be able to handle complex sound encoding as well as drive larger speaker setups.

Music/CD's: Similar to the DVD issue. For those of us with 100's of CD's, we're unable to incorportate a jukebox-style CD player and have to either use the build in CD player or digitize our entire music catalog. You also limited to the computer soundcard and not the quality that a independant Receiver/CD player combo can give you. Plus, a computer isn't going to be driving a multi-speaker, high wattage system either.

What I would rather see:

Rather than combining all the different audio/video components into the computer and then controlling that all-in-one wonder box, I would like to see a computer that can control all the different components that I have through an all-in-one interface. I would much prefer to have a DVD and CD 500 disc changers where I can store my collection but then use a computer interface to access those collections. This way I can still interact with those albums or movies and still have the visually pleasing interface of album covers and song titles displayed on a screen somewhere BUT I would use my own audio/video equipment to play the media.

Using a computer as just an organizer rather than a all-in-one media box eliminates the problems we have with the ever changing computer technology. I've used the same Receiver for 10+ years but I've had 4 computers in that time. Preferably this Windows Media system would spawn audio/video equipment that would be similar the plug-and-play computer hardware we see now. In the future we would buy a Sony THX certified receiver that is Windows Media compatible. Then you would just run a cable from your computer to your Windows Media compatible stereo system/home theater.

Ideally, turning on your home theater would start the controlling Windows Media computer and you would control the whole thing though a universal remote and an interface that would display on your TV. It's a nice attempt by Microsoft but they should leave the hardware to the professionals and just provide the "universal remote" unit.

Limiting their Windows Media system to being a universal controller would allow you to plug any sort of electronics into it. You own a XBox? PS2? GameCube? You should be able to plug those in no matter the manufacturer or age?

I would also like to see something that is hidden. All their little displays show someone using a remote on their computer which is sitting right next to the TV. That just looks stupid. Just make it a black box that sits on the corner of the bookshelf.