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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently I have two PC's in my network, one older XP box I use in the office and a Shuttle XPC 32G2 in the family room.

Purchased the Shuttle as part of a package deal from the installer of my home media system (that's another story/thread). See full specs below.

Have tried to use the Shuttle as HTPC in the past but never really been satisfied with it. The video card is really loud and have never been able to get the tuner card to work properly with XP Media Center, and the software that came with the Pinncalce card sucks.


Thinking about moving the older office PC to a closet and converting to a server, putting the Shuttle in the office, and getting new hardware for the family room. Goal is to use WinMC as DVR and lower my TWC bill. Have seen some posts about the Aspire Revo product and thought this might be a good cost effective solution.

Would like suggestions and opinions.

Also, would the Pinnacle card work with Win 7?

How good is the new MC in Win 7 - would I need third party software like Sage TV, and if so what would it give me Win 7 MC won't?

Would all three PC's play nice together since the two older ones are XP?


My knowledge and experience is very limited, so any help is appreciated - want to keep the costs low and improve the Home Theater experience.


Thanks.


Shuttle Specs:

Win XP Media Center Edition

Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 @ 233GHz

RAM - 2.00 GB 1.87GHz

Video Card - ATI Sapphire HD 2600XT

Tuner card - Pinncale PCTV HD Card
 

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I can't answer all your questions, but I can give you a few tips.


You wouldn't necessarily have to replace the shuttle completely. An E6550 with 2GB of RAM is sufficient for everything you're looking to do. You should ditch the 2600XT though. It's three years old and three generations out of date, and if the GPU fan is making too much noise, it should definitely go. Either an ATI 5450 or Nvidia G210 will run rings around that 2600, and they'll do it without a fan at all. You'll also get HDMI with a newer card, which may or may not be a bonus for you.


Windows 7 MC is a huge upgrade from XP MCE. You still have to wrestle with it a bit to get things like MKV support, but it looks good and runs well. You can use it as-is, or with one of the many addons like Media Browser . Personally, I find XBMC to be faster and more attractive than any of the WMC frontends, but to each his own.


If you go with WMC, you won't need SageTV or anything similar. Everything, including TV recording is built in. I have no idea whether or not that Pinnacle card will work in Windows 7, however.
 

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Pinnacle currently has Vista 64-bit drivers still in beta, but they *should* work identically under 7MC as they would in VMC, though I can't say for sure how well that would be.


As for the rest, I would reccomend dual purposing your office computer for the Server and just upgrading the shuttle slightly. I will however suggest you hang on just a little while and look for a passive 5570 if you're going to be doing cable/OTA capture as it is more capable at de-interlacing, I would personally upgrade to 4GB of ram as well, but not a necessity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/18137848


Pinnacle currently has Vista 64-bit drivers still in beta, but they *should* work identically under 7MC as they would in VMC, though I can't say for sure how well that would be.


As for the rest, I would reccomend dual purposing your office computer for the Server and just upgrading the shuttle slightly. I will however suggest you hang on just a little while and look for a passive 5570 if you're going to be doing cable/OTA capture as it is more capable at de-interlacing, I would personally upgrade to 4GB of ram as well, but not a necessity.

What about upgrading to the 32-bit version, or is that not worth the effort?

Also, please explain your reference to passive 5570 - are you referring to a future video card?


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcl57 /forum/post/18138737


What about upgrading to the 32-bit version, or is that not worth the effort?

Also, please explain your reference to passive 5570 - are you referring to a future video card?


Thanks.

I suppose I was too specific, all of their vista drivers and software are still in open beta, 32 and 64-bit, sorry for the confusion.


The video card I was referring to is not at retail yet, but is in production at several tier 1 video manufacturers, considering we've allready seen in retail a passively cooled(i.e. no fan, so completely silent) ATi Radeon HD5750, it should only be a very minimal ammount of time till we get HD5670 and HD5570 passively cooled cards out. The HD5450 is a very good card, and given the street price of the HD5570 currently, it would likely be a better choice for you, and for most HTPC users, however the HD5570 does offer better image quality enhancements due to it's extra processing power.
 
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