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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I'm a real noobee regarding MCE.


What I can't seem to understand is why so I need MCE to begin with if I'm already running XP PRO?


Talk of HD support in MCE just doesn't make any sense??? You simply have to get the right tuner card/video card and that should take care of it right?


If I can build a Linux box to get the job done, won't XP work just fine?


or is it the "kewl" user interface MCE offers??? (whatever that is)


I'm assuming I would be able to operate my XP desktop from my TV with a remote keyboard/trackball. (maybe that is facilitated by the remotes that come with tuner cards???)


Totally confused.
 

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MCE is XP Pro with the "kewl" interface

it is a 10 foot interface that provides viewing of livetv, recordings, a guide, and has the abilities to record series of shows, also their is a DVD app, music, FM radio, and a picture viewer
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
but aren't those "TIVO like" functionalities available thru various software packages that support the various TV cards?


What is that 10' interface? a wireless remote? or wired?
 

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Media Center is an easy to use total A/V solution for your living room. You can control DVD, TV, music, video, pics, & radio all with one remote control from the couch. As well as providing a fully functinal computer. I personally own two dual tuner Media Centers and I could not be happier with them.


My favorite part about MCE has to be the DVR it is easy to use, has free remote record and it is integrated into my home network so I can watch recorded tv on any computer in my house. I previously owned a Toshiba Tivo/DVD unit and it was replaced by the media centers. I would suggest a media center to anyone that is setting up a home theater.
 

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Me don't understand your post.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6volt
First, I'm a real noobee regarding MCE.


What I can't seem to understand is why so I need MCE to begin with if I'm already running XP PRO?
MCE 2005 is basicly XP Pro but some added features and changed were done, the big one os the acutal MCE app itself. There are other changes between XP Pro and MCE, for example if you are going to be hooking up your HTPC to your display device via DVI you will expereince the infamas "Black Crush" issues that happen with XP Pro, also in XP Pro the correct color space is not used so it send Desktop color space and not a TV based color space to your display device. MCE fixes the color space and black crush issues which was a huge issue for me when I first started getting into the HTPC game.

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Talk of HD support in MCE just doesn't make any sense??? You simply have to get the right tuner card/video card and that should take care of it right?
currently MCE has the best User interface for supporting OTA HDTV. All of the current HD tuner cards have support from other software but nothing as seemless and user freindly as MCE. Its not just hardware dependent but the UI really does matter to alot of ppl.

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If I can build a Linux box to get the job done, won't XP work just fine?
Yes MythTV is great i've used it and still do in some cases (im a geek so I have alot of diff toys to tinker with) But I feel its a personal prefference with what software you use, to meet I went the MCE route becuase I wanted something user freindly, as well as had a high WAF. With the advent of the Mymovies plug in, and integrating it with Theatertek it really was a no brainer after that.

Quote:
or is it the "kewl" user interface MCE offers??? (whatever that is)
Actually the UI is what is cool and nice about MCE, you will find that many users of Sage and other front end GUI's will do is use skins that make them look as much like MCE as possibly because the UI is really that pleasing to the eyes.

Quote:
I'm assuming I would be able to operate my XP desktop from my TV with a remote keyboard/trackball. (maybe that is facilitated by the remotes that come with tuner cards???)
you really can do anything with MCE that you can with a normal XP pro install, but actually more, that more being the MCE app itself. you can still use IE, outlook, play games ect... but controling it from the couch you would need a cordelss mouse and keyboard.


The remote side of things you will need to get a MCE approved IR reciver/Blaster such as the one found here: http://www.pcalchemy.com/product_inf...emote-controls


the real key is the IR reciver/blaster without it you can't use a remote in MCE. What I did was got that package then programed my Logitech Harmony remote so that I could get full function out of my total AV setup.


so I hope this helps clear some things up, and feel free to post more ?'s as the ?'s you ask I am sure will help others.


- Josh
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6volt
but aren't those "TIVO like" functionalities available thru various software packages that support the various TV cards?


What is that 10' interface? a wireless remote? or wired?
There are several apps that do the time shifting "tivo" fucntions, its the user interface on thsoe apps that leave the need to be desired.


the "10 foot interfeace" you keep reading about is the term that is used for Applications like MCE, Sage TV, beyond TV, ect.... the ease of being able to read the menus and use the application on a big screen TV, or projector from 10 feet away.


- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the illumination folks!


It definitely sounds like MCE is the most developed interface.


My "problem" is that at some point, I will abandon future MS OS's because of integrated, insideous DRM and the like. Their paling up with Macrovision makes my blood run cold.


Wanting to lock down HD so that only HDMI stuff will work really screws people who spent big bucks for stuff that will be shut down to HD content.


I'm completely against all that stuff and plan not to let it stand in my way.


Another issue is stuff like Broadcast Flag. It is not law for now and I don't want to buy stuff that already has it embedded just in case it becomes law next year. I truly suspect that current MS OS's already have landmines like that. I'm pretty sure JVC DVHS stuff is brimming with protection just waiting to be activated - in particular, BF. (SkyNet, where are you.)


My home PC is still 98SE and am biting the bullet to upgrade to XP Pro due to technical issues (my office PC's are XP Pro.) For instance, I simply won't use WMP version 7 or later.


In keeping with that and "gaming" mentality, ATI cards are strictly off the table these days. And Linux really appeals to my politics. (Obviously, Firefox all the way too.)


I'm one of those silly people who would like to stream DVD from my PC to my HTPC via LAN connector.


Guess that makes me sort of a Luddite???


(I hope these views don't offend people on this forum.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6volt
For instance, I simply won't use WMP version 7 or later.
Why? It can't do anything to your media files. If you upgrade to MCE you'll have to use Media Center 10! Oh no!

Quote:
Guess that makes me sort of a Luddite???
Are you using technology at all? I assume so as you typed your post out. So no you aren't a luddite.


Your attitude regarding copyright protection is totally illogical. Its not like MS can magically make all of your media unplayable by snapping there fingers and activating some SUPAR SEKRIT peice of software hidden within Windows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well, what about the WMP EULA that said they may decide to shut down all media files that are not supposed to be there? They said that in plain English.


And I have seen, repeatedly on this board, that the JVC 40k and newer DVHS do have BF enabled. Unfortunately, the 40k is so much nicer than the 30k, there really isn't an alternative.


I mean these bits are only what I know about.


I still don't know how MS is going to use Macrovision, but Macrovision is the grand daddy of copy protection. This simply can't be good for consumers, right?


The bottom line: HD content is going to be so locked down, it is going to interfere with just using it - sort of like the digital version of macrovision protected VHS tapes not working proerly in VHS machines.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6volt
well, what about the WMP EULA that said they may decide to shut down all media files that are not supposed to be there? They said that in plain English.


And I have seen, repeatedly on this board, that the JVC 40k and newer DVHS do have BF enabled. Unfortunately, the 40k is so much nicer than the 30k, there really isn't an alternative.


I mean these bits are only what I know about.


I still don't know how MS is going to use Macrovision, but Macrovision is the grand daddy of copy protection. This simply can't be good for consumers, right?


The bottom line: HD content is going to be so locked down, it is going to interfere with just using it - sort of like the digital version of macrovision protected VHS tapes not working proerly in VHS machines.
Could you please point me to that specific section in the EULA, please?

Windows Media Player 10 Privacy Statement
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
 http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000478.php


or do a search on terms" wmp eula disable


Basically they intermix DRM with Security so that to provide "security"


They say they will warn users of the possibility of files and software becoming inoperable as a result of a particular update, but what constitutes a warning in MS's venacular is most likely unknown to us.


For instance, Office 2000 corrupts your OS if you are using XP SP2 regarding context menu structure.


MS denies this and I have witnessed it on 2 different PC's including a Toshiba Laptop I bot that basically wasn't compatible with Office 2000. Not to mention the Offic 2003 Trial that is already installed that cannot be removed without extensive Registry editing.
 

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Here's one of the "warnings"


I would assume that none of your files are protected with WMRM, correct? eg you either purchase them online from Napster, MSN Music, etc.


Unless you have WMA files with DRM nothing can affect playback or hinder your MP3's or other data inaccessible. This is unfortunately another instance of someone misinterpreting the clear text. :( “Ability to copy and/or play Secure Content†means just that. If WMRM is compromised to an extreme point (yet to happen), Microsoft could issue a mandatory download when you play protected files. The KB article above is basically just that, but it doesn’t download it with asking you. “…and use other software on your computer†means they can disable Winamp’s (or likes) ability to play protected files in the same manor.


I have installed and run Office 2000 SP3 on several Windows XP Service Pack 2 machines with no issues, so I'm not sure what to tell you on that one.
 

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Here is my point of view on the windows DRM.


Remember when there where no DVD players for linux? How did we get linux DVD players?


People cracked windows ones.


Well the media that MS is going to lock down will be the newer HD content, but guess what? It WILL be cracked. If microsoft is notorious for one thing it's making software other people can break.


So with MCE2010 and all it's DRM there will the the HD versions ANY-DVD, DVDdecoder and all the other apps that take care of the DRM we already deal with.


And until the DRM gets broken on windows, linux will never be able to have it because the content itself will start all locked up and will not play back on a machine that doesnt't "think" it has DRM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Chris:


Office 2000 on an XP SP2 destroyes the Context menu default "image" which is emboldened. The result of this is that Picture and Fax Viewer is no longer the default for the image filetype. I forget the details but I seem to recall that GIF and JPG default to MS Photo Edit while BMP and others remain P&FV.


Somehow the perceived filetype image is circumvented as far as the context menu is concerned. There is no way to restore image as the boldened default.


I have had this happen on a new Toshiba laptop and also a PC. With SP1, everything seems to work OK.


Yes, you can manually set Open for JPG and GIF to P&FV but that is a patch for blown code.


There were serious issues with selecting Excel thru the context menu, but that was related to the preinstalled 2003 trial.


Note that Trial could not be removed from the system due to massive registry issues. The only way to get rid of the Trial effects was a clean OS install.


I was working with a Toshiba ENGINEER to solve this problem and it never was really solved.


Imagine, a new Toshiba laptop that would not run Office 2000.


Rats.


I guess maybe the best thing is to find someone who has built a system that is exactly what I would like and see if they had any problems with it.




____________________________________________



Forgot to mention, but I also intend to use my PC as a media server with all my DVDs and videos on the hard drive. I have no intention of getting up off the couch to fiddle with DVD's every time I want to watch something I own.
 

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About you and your theories how Windows XP SP2 and Office 2000 and Office 2003 dont play nice together, well you can take that up with the thousand plus PCs I admin at work. Amazing how it works there. Not only that, but what does that have to do with anything at all? Apparantly you don't "trust" MS and you only want to play by the rules. You can't rip your dvds then because you are circumventing Decss which is illegal.


I'd reccomend you don't build a HTPC and just give up now. The next thing you'll want is a HTPC that is totally quiet but has enough space to store all your ripped DVDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Antishock


You definitely have got it all down with the Office problem I'm having. You could really help me out if you could tell me how to get the perceived type of "image" to be the context menu default.


As far as ripping DVDs at home. No one cares. DVD content is lorez and obsolete already.

At least one editor of a PC magazine have openly stated in his editorial column that he circumvented Decss to stream DVD content over a LAN to his TV. When HDTV and Blu-Ray take hold, DVD stuff will be right next to VHS and Beta.


My plan was always to build a Myth/Linux box, but I was just curious about the MCE system.


FYI, a friend of mine bot the recent uber Sound Blaster setup and it has a remote and 10' interface and sounds like it does just about everything MCE does.


The more I look into this, my configuration will probably be a DVD jukebox(s) for movies/series and a HTPC with very large HD capacity, 0.5 to 1.0 TB. Won't have much use for OTA tuner cards and most likely the interface will be the SVHS (maybe IEEE in the future) from a Motorola 6xxx STB.


But big snafu is capturing the Dolby Digital. That issues hasn't really been addressed yet adequately. Philips was going to release a DVD recorder that would have done this (I posted this info previously here, somewhere...) but it appears that those models are being abandoned.


A large HD capacity is important in my book for managing outtakes and snippits that I have collected a lot of. Stuff like late night interviews and music and the last 5 seconds of every Aqua Teen HF episode. The overhead of playing a DVD for 10 seconds of content is not worth it, even if in a jukebox. It's not even practical because a directory structure is needed to organize this small videos.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6volt
As far as ripping DVDs at home. No one cares. DVD content is lorez and obsolete already.
Well you seemed to care about the WMP10 EULA so it follows that you will care about the DMCA>

Quote:
My plan was always to build a Myth/Linux box, but I was just curious about the MCE system.
Myth has as many if not more quirks than MCE fyi.

Quote:
FYI, a friend of mine bot the recent uber Sound Blaster setup and it has a remote and 10' interface and sounds like it does just about everything MCE does.
Go for it then. I'd like to see another alternative. I don't trust creative at all due to there poor track record with drivers as well as overpriced soundcards that don't perform.

Quote:
The more I look into this, my configuration will probably be a DVD jukebox(s) for movies/series and a HTPC with very large HD capacity, 0.5 to 1.0 TB.
I've done this with my MCE and while I've had issues, most of them have worked out. I do however have another box that is exclusively a file server in my basement so that heat and noise aren't a problem in my living room. I've made my HTPCs as silient as possible.

Quote:
Won't have much use for OTA tuner cards and most likely the interface will be the SVHS (maybe IEEE in the future) from a Motorola 6xxx STB.
IEEE1394 is not a viable option for this type of recordings. There are compatibility issues galore and its basically being pushed much farther then it was meant to. (speaking of IEEE, guess who I work for? ;))

Quote:
But big snafu is capturing the Dolby Digital. That issues hasn't really been addressed yet adequately. Philips was going to release a DVD recorder that would have done this (I posted this info previously here, somewhere...) but it appears that those models are being abandoned.
Dontcha hate it when that happens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I do have to say that my JVC 40k DVHS records HD + Dolby Digital flawlessly from my Motorola IEEE port. Same for nonHD DD. And you don't even have to drill holes in SVHS tapes, they have a front panel button to force a SVHS tape to be treated as a DVHS.


The 40k is so much better than the 30k... and the 40k isn't the latest model either.
 
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