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The computer I just got came with a Windows Media Center package in error.

I really never was interested in this because everything I read said to go with a Hauppage PVR card. This box has an ATI all-in-wonder, I am guessing.

Should I bother setting up the Media Center? Is the ATi card going to put too much strain on the CPU? Will I have trouble with synching? Sputtering starts and stops? Lock-ups?

All these are things I have read about and have kept me away from MCE.


Has anyone had a positive experience with MCE? I have not found any posts ANYWHERE that say so.
 

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Jilter not to bash your Dell, but why did you get a Dell? What motherboard, processor, and memory did it come with? What all are you trying to do with it?


The reason I ask these questions is because most people into HTPCs usually build the PC from sctrach that way they know which parts is best for the results they are looking to achieve. Besides, build your own PC give you the advantage of knowing xactly how much you can upgrade the system.


One of the bad things I've read about MCE is that it is limited in the manner of formats that can be played with it. For instance, playing ripped DVDs from the hard drive. Also the plugins are limited.


If you find that MCE is not what you prefer, try Meedio or one of the other frontends.
 

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I've had a Dell XPS Gen3 w/MCE and the ehomewonder tuner card for 4 days. Best PC I've ever built or owned so far-and one heck of a lot quieter than anything I've been able to engineer recently. Dell is building quiet systems these days.


The ehomewonder works extremely well with MCE'05-or has for me so far. Get the Nvidia Decoder package for $20 and you'll be amazed at the picture quality even from bad SD sources .


Just my $.02
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by giza
Jilter not to bash your Dell, but why did you get a Dell? What motherboard, processor, and memory did it come with? What all are you trying to do with it?


The reason I ask these questions is because most people into HTPCs usually build the PC from sctrach that way they know which parts is best for the results they are looking to achieve.
I agree he should have provided more information given the questions he asked, but I wouldn't be too critical of buying a Dell. My admittedly very limited experience with them indicates they are very quiet, which is critical for an HTPC.
 

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I too just got an XPS dell - 3.4ghz system. Why did I get one? 40% off sale--I've built lots of rigs myself but no way I could do it at that price, and it comes with warranty and it's ready to go.


The only thing I'm disappointed is that it isn't rack mount - all my other equipment will be in a new rack. I think I'm going to put it behind the rack and just run a USB DVD drive in the rack to put in disks when needed.


Now I just need to decide what software to put on it. I ordered mine with MC05.
 

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I agree, in my experience, Dell does make great PCs for HTPC use. I wish I had known a little more about everything required for my HTPC setup before purchasing my Dell, because then I would have gone with a different model that had a lot more of the basics integrated. I figure my Dimension 4500 has about a year left in it, maybe less, but I know I'll be going with another Dell (XPS this time).


With the current short supply of upper-end ATI cards, purchasing a Dell at least guarantees getting one. Now, if they could just offer rack-mountable XPS'.
 
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