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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I'm new to Media Center, so take it easy on me. I've been using ReplayTV's for the past several years, and would like to add a Media Center unit to my home. I thought I read several months back that the big knock on Media Center PC's was that it didn't support HDTV yet - is this still the case?


If I purchased something like one of the HP Media Center units, would I be able to upgrade it to HD in the future when I get one of those 50 inch flat screens? :p
 

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Hi Damager,


Currently, you can purchase Media Center PCs that do support Over-the-Air ATSC HDTV. They will enable you to watch and record free to air HDTV with an antenna, but not currently from a HTDV cable or satellite source. It is also possible to watch unecrypted HDTV cable channels from programns outside of Media Center. There are a number of vendors that offer different configurations of Media Centers.


Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply. So for watching cable or satellite HD, you cant use the current crop of MC PC's?


Will the capability come out in the near future, or should I wait to jump into the MC waters until this is something they can do?
 

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Cable is likely to arrive before satellite AIUI.


The reason is that QAM tuners with CableCard support should appear and eventually be supported within MCE - allowing the PC to receive digital MPEG2 broadcasts in MPEG2 via cable, as well as OTA. The CableCard will decrypt the cable broadcasts, and deliver clean MPEG2 HD to MCE.


If MCE had support for Firewire input then it is possible that satellite could be integrated, but otherwise you'd have to take the analogue component or DVI/HDMI component feeds from a satellite receiver and encode them back into HD MPEG2 in realtime using a hardware encoder (as the MCE analogue OTA SD cards do at SD). This isn't quite in the realms of consumere technology yet - and with DVI/HDMI there is also the issue of HDCP and rights management to agree.


AIUI the Emerald update to MCE 2005, which is expected later this year (maybe even next month), may add Cable support to MCE (not sure if this will include CableCard - I think it was suggested it would) - as well as fixing a number of bugs (one of which causes nightmares for European DVB-T viewers)
 

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Hello fellow Replay user. Replaced my Showstopper unit with a custom built MCE using an EXCELLENT ATI 550 tuner ( for Satellite in) and a Fusion 2 HD tuner for OTA recording. Overall this is a great setup, only a few minor bugs since I recenty reinstalled MCE using a pair of Raptor drives. It is also possible for up to 4 tuners (2 analog, 2 HDTV) I HAD 2 fusions running, but since the reinstall, I can not get the system stable with the second one (fusion 3). The MS guide is very similar to the Replay, intergrating the Sat. and the HDTV OTA.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1digital
Hi Damager,


Currently, you can purchase Media Center PCs that do support Over-the-Air ATSC HDTV. They will enable you to watch and record free to air HDTV with an antenna, but not currently from a HTDV cable or satellite source. It is also possible to watch unecrypted HDTV cable channels from programns outside of Media Center. There are a number of vendors that offer different configurations of Media Centers.


Hope that helps.
Which PC HDTV tuner cards are these HD MCE PCs currently using? Only ATI's card?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1digital
Hi Damager,


Currently, you can purchase Media Center PCs that do support Over-the-Air ATSC HDTV. They will enable you to watch and record free to air HDTV with an antenna, but not currently from a HTDV cable or satellite source. It is also possible to watch unecrypted HDTV cable channels from programns outside of Media Center. There are a number of vendors that offer different configurations of Media Centers.


Hope that helps.
Hi John,


As you know Microsoft sells high definition DVDs in their Windows Media High Definition Video (WMV HD) format. In addition, some web sites sell downloads of these titles as well. Would it be possible to manage archiving and viewing of these two means of distributing their of high definition content within the Media Center application?


Thanks.


Larry
 

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Sorry, missed your latest posts...


BenDover - we use the Fusion 5 HDTV tuners in our Media Centers which we think provide the best OTA reception. Other vendors use either the Avermedia 180 or ATI HDTV wonder.


LarryChin - yes, you can playback WMVHD either from DVD or via download. WMVs on your Media Center appear within My Videos and include thumbnails.
 
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