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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With netflix , yahoo widgets, amazon on demend etc..... being integrated in more bluray players and tv's as seen in the ces2009 I am beginning to think the end of media center is nye ('here'). With all its problems and lack of occur for non oem pc's the only reason why i can fathom a reason to fork out $1000+ for a new pc is if i want to archive my blurays.... Now if there is ever a way to stream these to your tv without vmc am gone.
 

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If what you are saying is that Microsoft have failed in their attempt to get Windows PCs into the mainstream living room then I agree. They tried and Windows fell short.


However, those who have used HTPCs have always been those who want to be at the cutting edge - the front-line of new applications and services - and that will continue. There is nothing to suggest that the new services now being integrated into STBs/standalones/TVs are the final word in web delivered applications. In fact, if anything, the speed of innovation in this area is still in its early days. Only a flexible platform like the PC (or possibly Linux) can adapt.
 

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The savior of the media center isn't movies; it's music. Yes, I realize that every single player out there can play MP3s. The problem is organization. I have ~10,000 MP3s. I don't care how smart the media player is, without a keyboard, 10,000 MP3s might as well be 100, you'll never be able to navigate them effectively. The same thing will happen 2-3 years from now with digital media; people will have 1000s of archived movies. Once again, finding what you want to watch without a keyboard will become more and more painful (for those of us on the bleeding edge anyway).


There's already a good way to stream BD (well, HD media) without a HTPC, take a look at Vudu.
 

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my media pc will be in my lounge room for a long time, I am always keen to be on the cutting edge, also there is just nothing else out there that has so much possibility and capability as a well put together Media PC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My main point is VMC pc had so much potential to be an all in one box tv, bluray player, music etc... But to me microsoft seems bent on f***ing it up. They have been able to coral all these pc manufactures into serving their software on pc's but havent brought that same clout to lets say cablecard tuners, no native bluray support, no integrated netflix support except for 3rd party application which from presentation to how it works is iffy at best ( I know its free) etc.... I have been an avide user of vmc for the last two years but technology is beginning to leave MSOFT an a mega software corp. just cant seem to keep up with the times.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojotandoh /forum/post/15493941


With netflix , yahoo widgets, amazon on demend etc..... being integrated in more bluray players and tv's as seen in the ces2009 I am beginning to think the end of media center is nye ('here'). With all its problems and lack of occur for non oem pc's the only reason why i can fathom a reason to fork out $1000+ for a new pc is if i want to archive my blurays.... Now if there is ever a way to stream these to your tv without vmc am gone.

But none of those will stream ripped DVD's or Blu-ray over a network. The sole thing I use my HTPC for is to play play back these files, along with mkv's of TV shows. When/if you get an integrated player that can that, and have a nice looking and customizable GUI, then I will be the first to drop the PC, though I don't see that coming along for a long time (maybe Popcorn Hour will someday add a Blu-Ray drive)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojotandoh /forum/post/15493941


the only reason why i can fathom a reason to fork out $1000+ for a new pc is if i want to archive my blurays...

That's all mine has been doing for years, except with DVDs only (without vmc/mce). The only reason I have an HTPC is because there isn't a stand-alone device that does that while giving me the UI I want. The only reason I ever had a PC in my living room is because that was the only way to do certain things and it was always just meant to be temporary until the stand-alone device market caught up. I'll be happy to turn off my htpc for good, if a stand-alone device comes out that can do exactly what I want.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojotandoh /forum/post/15494512


My main point is VMC pc had so much potential to be an all in one box tv, bluray player, music etc... But to me microsoft seems bent on f***ing it up. They have been able to coral all these pc manufactures into serving their software on pc's but havent brought that same clout to lets say cablecard tuners, no native bluray support, no integrated netflix support except for 3rd party application which from presentation to how it works is iffy at best ( I know its free) etc.... I have been an avide user of vmc for the last two years but technology is beginning to leave MSOFT an a mega software corp. just cant seem to keep up with the times.

Imagine if Sony, in the Fall of 1974 (when they were a Japanese electronics company, not a global media company), had gone to Hollywood with this new device that would have allowed people to record their tv shows and watch them whenever they want and keep them as long as they wanted. The recording companies at the time were already up in arms over the audio cassette, if the movie and television industries had been allowed a say so on the video cassette I don't think we would have ever seen the Betamax, or the subsequent VCR.


Microsoft does not have the nads today that Sony had back then. They've been dicked around by the cable companies, dropped by the telcos (IPTV on xbox), and now slapped in the face by the satellite companies (maybe dish? I doubt it), and are left with a one trick pony that can only do OTA. They could have tried to push HD downloads like the xbox has and AppleTV has and now iTune has, but apparently they are not. They could add HD-PVR support and try to slap back, but they won't.


The various providers out there (cable/sat/telco) are never going to give up their control over you. Microsoft was a threat to added revenue streams, but rather then take them on directly, they played the game just enough and just long enough to leave Microsoft standing at the alter, all alone and to embarrassed to talk about it.


Maybe Steve Jobs had the right idea all along with the AppleTV: i.e., he may have known there was no point in trying to make a deal with the carriers (cab/sat/tel), but he could end run them and make a deal with the studios.


That said, I have decided to vote with my feet and cut the cable. I would encourage others to do the same. Especial now that the internet offer so many alternatives .
 

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The hope of non-techy people building a dedicated pc as a media center may never come.


For people like myself, however, who invested a little money on cables/accessories to hook up an existing computer to a television, in order to watch HD content, as well as browsing the web and playing emulators & pc games on a television, the HTPC isn't going anywhere.


For the cost of the absolute cheapest (Best Buy's brand) blu-ray player, i've converted my existing gaming pc into a HTPC, which is able to be connected to all 3 of my monitors, as well as my television at the same time (in 1080P) and run video, audio, and usb cables from my dining room to my television so the computer remained where it's always been, and even purchased a microsoft IR keyboard/MCE remote, so i have full operation of my computer from my couch, and an xbox360 wireless controller adaptor, so i can play 4-player games on my pc with my 360 controllers from the other room on the couch.


Anyone who would trade that much functionality for a bluray player, regardless of it's network-connectivity, would be crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think my larger point is being missed, granted microsoft doesnt control the universe , but my point is if you look at the promise and possibilities within Media center and what it is going to end up as I think am not wrong in being disappointed . Example bluray integration in Windows 7. It is something that is not out of microsofts control but for some reason they still aint going to make it a standard feature in windows. That just drives me nuts. Arcsoft integration is ok , it just hasnt got the vmc polish that drew me to media center in the 1st play.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman421 /forum/post/15495669


The hope of non-techy people building a dedicated pc as a media center may never come.


For people like myself, however, who invested a little money on cables/accessories to hook up an existing computer to a television, in order to watch HD content, as well as browsing the web and playing emulators & pc games on a television, the HTPC isn't going anywhere.


For the cost of the absolute cheapest (Best Buy's brand) blu-ray player, i've converted my existing gaming pc into a HTPC, which is able to be connected to all 3 of my monitors, as well as my television at the same time (in 1080P) and run video, audio, and usb cables from my dining room to my television so the computer remained where it's always been, and even purchased a microsoft IR keyboard/MCE remote, so i have full operation of my computer from my couch, and an xbox360 wireless controller adaptor, so i can play 4-player games on my pc with my 360 controllers from the other room on the couch.


Anyone who would trade that much functionality for a bluray player, regardless of it's network-connectivity, would be crazy.

I'm interested in finding out more information about how you converted your gaming PC into an HTPC while still retaining the ability to use it as a gaming PC. I thought about doing that with my current PC, but I was concerned about the impact of playing a game on my computer monitor while it's recording an HD OTA show and while my wife is watching live TV or a recorded show on the TV all at the same time. I've got a pretty decent system, so I think it's up to the challenge. I'm just curious as to how you went about the logistics of it.


If this question is to off-topic to this thread, then just shoot me a PM. However, I think it is relevant, because it will detail ways in which the days of media center are not dying.


Edit: For more information I have a Q6600 (quad-core processor) overclocked to 3.25 GHz with 4GB RAM and a 2900Pro video card with two DVI outs. I could connect one DVI out to my computer monitor and the other to my TV. I plan to use an HDHomerun to record two HD OTA shows while at the same time watch a third recorded show on the TV and also play a game on the computer monitor. It would be great if I could have some sort of front-end interface in the livingroom that could be completely controlled from my Harmony remote.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalrith /forum/post/15496923


I'm interested in finding out more information about how you converted your gaming PC into an HTPC while still retaining the ability to use it as a gaming PC. I thought about doing that with my current PC, but I was concerned about the impact of playing a game on my computer monitor while it's recording an HD OTA show and while my wife is watching live TV or a recorded show on the TV all at the same time. I've got a pretty decent system, so I think it's up to the challenge. I'm just curious as to how you went about the logistics of it.


If this question is to off-topic to this thread, then just shoot me a PM. However, I think it is relevant, because it will detail ways in which the days of media center are not dying.


Edit: For more information I have a Q6600 (quad-core processor) overclocked to 3.25 GHz with 4GB RAM and a 2900Pro video card with two DVI outs. I could connect one DVI out to my computer monitor and the other to my TV. I plan to use an HDHomerun to record two HD OTA shows while at the same time watch a third recorded show on the TV and also play a game on the computer monitor. It would be great if I could have some sort of front-end interface in the livingroom that could be completely controlled from my Harmony remote.

Doesn't sound like you got anything to worry about. I had SageTV set up on my desk top with HD-PVRs and a HVR-1600 and I never noticed it missing a beat. And my desktop is an ole 939 Athlon x2 3800 with 2gb ram.


However, trying to do a dual monitor may be a problem w/ a 2900. It doesn't sound like your going to be doing .m2ts streams, so maybe, but control and control lag could be an issue.


Edit. If it is, you could set up an extender if you're running VistaMC or Sage, or you could get Sage client software if you go with Sage and set it up on any ole machine since you'll only be doing OTA.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankinla /forum/post/15499452


Doesn't sound like you got anything to worry about. I had SageTV set up on my desk top with HD-PVRs and a HVR-1600 and I never noticed it missing a beat. And my desktop is an ole 939 Athlon x2 3800 with 2gb ram.


However, trying to do a dual monitor may be a problem w/ a 2900. It doesn't sound like your going to be doing .m2ts streams, so maybe, but control and control lag could be an issue.


Edit. If it is, you could set up an extender if you're running VistaMC or Sage, or you could get Sage client software if you go with Sage and set it up on any ole machine since you'll only be doing OTA.

I'm running Windows XP Home. I'd like to keep costs to a minimum, so I'll be using a free software like GB-PVR, Cliff Watson EPG, or MediaPortal. I've thought about several different routes:
  1. Using my current PC connected to both my monitor and the TV
  2. Using my current PC with my PS3 as a media extender
  3. Using an old machine (after some upgrades) connected to my TV
  4. Using an old machine with the PS3 as a media extender
  5. Building a brand new computer

With any of these choices, I'll need a large hard drive (probably 1TB) and a dual-tuner card (probably the HD Homerun or the Hauppauge 2250). Given the above options, I think I'll wind up going with a new machine. I have a case, power supply, and spare copy of Windows XP Home. I can buy a 780G motherboard and a 4850e CPU for $105 plus shipping. I think I'll get the most for my money going that route. I'll have some future upgrade paths (if necessary). I'll have a low-power machine that can be left on 24/7 without fear of high electricity bills (my current machine pulls ~130W at idle and ~280W at load). It'll allow me to not worry about doing multiple things on the same PC at the same time. And I'll have more online content available than I would with a media extender.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide /forum/post/15494677


that's all mine has been doing for years, except with dvds only (without vmc/mce). The only reason i have an htpc is because there isn't a stand-alone device that does that while giving me the ui i want. The only reason i ever had a pc in my living room is because that was the only way to do certain things and it was always just meant to be temporary until the stand-alone device market caught up. I'll be happy to turn off my htpc for good, if a stand-alone device comes out that can do exactly what i want.

1+
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalrith /forum/post/15501732


I'm running Windows XP Home. I'd like to keep costs to a minimum, so I'll be using a free software like GB-PVR, Cliff Watson EPG, or MediaPortal. I've thought about several different routes:
  1. Using my current PC connected to both my monitor and the TV
  2. Using my current PC with my PS3 as a media extender
  3. Using an old machine (after some upgrades) connected to my TV
  4. Using an old machine with the PS3 as a media extender
  5. Building a brand new computer

With any of these choices, I'll need a large hard drive (probably 1TB) and a dual-tuner card (probably the HD Homerun or the Hauppauge 2250). Given the above options, I think I'll wind up going with a new machine. I have a case, power supply, and spare copy of Windows XP Home. I can buy a 780G motherboard and a 4850e CPU for $105 plus shipping. I think I'll get the most for my money going that route. I'll have some future upgrade paths (if necessary). I'll have a low-power machine that can be left on 24/7 without fear of high electricity bills (my current machine pulls ~130W at idle and ~280W at load). It'll allow me to not worry about doing multiple things on the same PC at the same time. And I'll have more online content available than I would with a media extender.

sounds good. not a big fan of extenders myself, except the xbox360, but they are a low cost option if you have the right software.


Keeping cost down, there is always MythTV, but only if you're looking for a full time hobby, or really, really broke. You have an older machine, and you're doing mpeg2hd not avc hd, your best bet may be to just re-purpose it. My second home theater pc was an old Athlon 2500+ NF2 with 1 mB ram, an ati aiw9600 and an ati HD TV wonder. I didn't have the hd tv wonder for long, the old MMC software sucked and that was before MCE2005. But, even that weak (by todays standards) machine could do HD. So maybe just a a better video card in the old machine.


Course, nothing beats a new build, and the 780g is probably the way I would go... do it quick and you could do a Win7 beta build
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojotandoh /forum/post/15493941


With all its problems and lack of occur for non oem pc's the only reason why i can fathom a reason to fork out $1000+ for a new pc

No reason to fork out $1000+.
 

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I love my HTPC..... I can do anything I want to do with it...


I can play any of my DVDs, BluRay's, HDDVD's MP3's, or Recorded HDTV with a simple point and click... Really,,,,It is amazing!!!! I never have to stand up and change a disc or switch inputs. I can sit here on my fat As$ and play anything, ANYTHING with the touch of a button!!! I have over 600 DVD, 400 cds, 40+ BDrips, and 100gb of saved HDTV and room to spare. I have About 2.2 TB in total storage space, What stand alone player comes close to 2TB storage?????


I use my HTPC as a Blu-ray / HDDVD player, DVR, DVD Player, MP3 Player, Websurfer (from Couch), and a enjoyable way to spend my time.... (maybe I am weird but I love tinkering with the HTPC and making it better, It is my Hobby and I love it)



BTW this is my 1st post on AVS.

Long Time Lurker, 1st Time Poster.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMR /forum/post/15502617


No reason to fork out $1000+.

FYI : I am about 250$ from the 1K mark and have an AWESOME SETUP with a clean GUI.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankinla /forum/post/15495363


Imagine if Sony, in the Fall of 1974 (when they were a Japanese electronics company, not a global media company), had gone to Hollywood with this new device that would have allowed people to record their tv shows and watch them whenever they want and keep them as long as they wanted. The recording companies at the time were already up in arms over the audio cassette, if the movie and television industries had been allowed a say so on the video cassette I don't think we would have ever seen the Betamax, or the subsequent VCR.

There's a big, big difference between then and now, technology. Back then, with the design of TV transmission it was impossible for the entertainment industry to prevent someone from recording TV signals. Their only recourse at the time was the courts, where they lost their battle.


Things are very different now. Today digital TV (not OTA) is encrypted, and because of this, anyone who wants to build a device to view/record said TV must sign a license agreement in order to be given access to the decryption technology/keys.


Put another way, the technology in use today, digital modulation, encryption, allow the content industry to prevent people from building devices that use TV.


OTA today is just like it was back in the beta days, lacking encryption, there's no way to prevent recording. The industry has tried it's best to end that (the BS flag), but they've been similarly stymied in the courts again.
 
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