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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just ordered all the parts to put my HTPC together. I know need a Operating System.

Windows XP Media Center 2005 just came out but I missed getting it at newegg.com, now it is only available if you buy a new system.

I am looking for a seemless operating system.

I will not be using my HTPC as a PVR (just got a replay tv) but I might want to down the line ( I have to many boxes next to the TV, Xbox, HTPC, RepayTV, Cable Box, )

I have heard of some other Operating systems but I am not sure on what to get.

I would apreciate your openions, thank you in advance
 

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Most HTPC users in this forum use Windows XP Pro. As far as a front-end you have a lot of options to choose from: XLobby, Meedio, etc. I am using Meedio as my front-end and love it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by raaaaaa
Windows XP Media Center 2005 just came out but I missed getting it at newegg.com, now it is only available if you buy a new system.
All it says is that it must be purchased with hardware, so buy a casefan or something.


Whether or not you end up using MCE that's the only OS I'd buy right now, it's essentially XP Pro, but with MCE and for less than XP Pro standalone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by stanger89
All it says is that it must be purchased with hardware, so buy a casefan or something.


Whether or not you end up using MCE that's the only OS I'd buy right now, it's essentially XP Pro, but with MCE and for less than XP Pro standalone.
I said the same thing but it is out of stock and no expected date for it to arrive
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by giza
Most HTPC users in this forum use Windows XP Pro. As far as a front-end you have a lot of options to choose from: XLobby, Meedio, etc. I am using Meedio as my front-end and love it.
Why "PRO" and not "HOME"

I know the difference between the two but how does it affect a HTPC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by raaaaaa
Why "PRO" and not "HOME"

I know the difference between the two but how does it affect a HTPC
Because "Simple File Sharing" pisses me off! That's why, they call it simple but it just makes things harder IMO.


As for MCE, it's basically just an app that runs on top of XP Pro, you should be able to run anything you want on there just as if it were normal XP.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stanger89
Because "Simple File Sharing" pisses me off! That's why, they call it simple but it just makes things harder IMO.


As for MCE, it's basically just an app that runs on top of XP Pro, you should be able to run anything you want on there just as if it were normal XP.
(he! he!) gotta' agree with Stanger89 on that one. Home is designed for a single PC connected to the internet at home. That doesn't make it bad, it's just that MS likes to be VERY decisive about just what a "Home" user needs or wants. As an OEM purchase HOME is not much cheaper than Pro and IMHO Pro is the better purchase.

Quote:
I have heard of some other Operating systems but I am not sure on what to get. I would apreciate your openions, thank you in advance.
If you have only "heard" about other OSs then stick with WinXP. The primary "other" OS you've heard of (unless you have a Mac) is Linux (and maybe QNX). The reason you have heard of other(s) is that there are several different releases of Linux (e.g. Mandrake, RedHat, Debian, Gentoo, SuSE) but they are all based on the Linux core. If you have no experience with Linux or the UNIXesque way of doing things then trying to build an HTPC from scratch with a Linux distro will be an exasperating and frustrating endeavor. Getting things to "just work" on Windows is MUCH easier (more expensive and less rewarding but easier). If you wish to explore on Linux an HTPC is the WRONG place to start. (the flames will now begin :) )


My 2 pennies
 

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I agree with the comments about XP Home edition. I am a network admin and trying to get home edition to work with other computers is almost non- existant. I prefer XP Pro because it is easier to network - meaning file sharing - than Home edition.
 

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Giza- I don't agree with you at all. Unless you are running a server and have a domain set up at home there is no real difference in networking between XP Home and XP Pro. Saying "getting XP home to work with other computers is almost non-existant" just makes no sense to me since I've been doing it for years now. XP Home is really quite simple to network and maintains all the networking functionality of Pro except for being able to join a domain, maintain cached credentials, and provide remote desktop.


Even if you do want to access shared resources on a domain it's trivial provided you use a username and password that is a valid authenticated account on that domain...and if you assign a workgroup on the XP Home box that is the same name as the domain you won't even have to bother with the security logon to access a domain share if you map the drive...the server will happily maintain the credential cache for you. If I'm missing something here, please let me know.


BTW, I am running a 2k server with domain at home and have mixed Pro, Home, Linux, and Mac clients connected.
 

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Pro let you fiddle more with the guts of the OS. A little thing for some, but important to people like me who insist on tweaking every last setting. Not that much difference in terms of day-to-day functionality, though.


Me, I'd say use 2k, but that's because it annoys me to have to turn off all the extra garbage in XP and I don't want to have to call MS for permission to use the OS if I swap a motherboard down the road.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JTG13
Unless you are running a server and have a domain set up at home there is no real difference in networking between XP Home and XP Pro.
Actually there's a huge difference, XP Home forces "Simple File Sharing" on you, which, IMO, complicates matters. Shares are all or nothing, no user based shares, no default shares. "Simple File Sharing" might be fine if you don't mind leaving all your shares unprotected (or unchangeable/unreadable) but it annoys the crap out of me.
 

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MCE is built on Home, not PRO. MCE will let share files quite easily but will not allow you to join it to a domain. Really not that big of an issue to most users unless you are planning on setting up AD or something. Media Center is pretty user friendly as long as you have the hardware it is compatible with. Works pretty well right out of the box.
 

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I'm considering upgrading from XP Home to XP Pro because I want the Remote Desktop feature so I can connect to my HTPC from work and be downloading things,etc. I currently use UltraVNC with a secure tunnel plugin, but Remote Desktop has 128bit encryption, sound support, and it has access to all the windows APIs so its loads faster(this is based on using Remote Assistance on XP Home, which has almost all features of Remote Desktop except its not a seamless solution).


Anyways, I haven't done any research regarding MCE2005 since MyHTPC works fine for my purposes.


Will MCE2005 allow me to do the following:



A.) Run MyHTPC if I don't like the MCE interface and

B.) Run IIS so I can get remote desktop


If its cheaper, and will do those things I will get it over XP Pro. Any thoughts?
 

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stranger89-said,


"Actually it's been stated a few times already (by MS people) that MCE is built on XP Pro, but with the ability to join a domain removed."


stranger89,


Can you tell me where you saw the post from an MS rep? The MS site CLEARLY states thats it's based on Home. Here is the excerpt and a link.


"Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is the first consumer OS built on top of the Windows XP Home and Service Pack 2 (SP2) foundation with Advanced Security Technologies including Windows Firewall, Pop-up Blocker for Internet Explorer, and the new Windows Security Center, all while offering all of the features available today in Windows XP Home Edition. "


http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/m.../features.mspx


If this info is incorrect, Id really like to know.


Thanks,


Siphon
 

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Thanks much, RicardoD.


Ive read through that thread quite a bit before and just now went through it again. It's true Chris does say MCE 2005 is a offshoot of Pro.



Originally posted by ChrisL01


MCE is a superset of XP Pro. It includes everything XP Professional does *except* MCE 2005 no longer supports connecting to Domains.


Chris Lanier

Microsoft MVP - Digital Media



Hmmm..So if this info is correct why does it say the complete opposite on MS's site? Interesting.
 

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OK, I think this needs further study for a definite answer. Not that I dont trust Chris's source info but it does state the exact opposite on MS's site.


Here is why I question the answer.

Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisL01
But me being stupid, most of ya'll will be building a PC and installing MCE 2005 on it yourself, you gain the ability to join a domain if you so choose. And ya, I don't work for Microsoft.


_________________

Chris Lanier

Microsoft MVP - Digital Media



Anyone clear this up?!?!?!?


Thanks,

Siphon
 

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Siphon, I went through the same process and found out the following...


1) MCE 2005 is based on XP Pro (even though it says Home on the web site)

2) You can join a domain during install (assuming you can network to domain controller during install)

3) Media Center Extenders (MCX) depend on fast user switching to interact with MCE 2005. Joining a domain turns off Fast User Switching - so take your pick, join a domain -or- use an MCX device. This is the reason why there is no mechanism for the user to join a domain after the fact - I assume people would complain that their MCX stopped working and Microsoft is trying to prevent that support headache. Pre-built MCE PC's from HP, etc. can't join a domain because this option is only available during OS install.
 
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