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Hardware Thread, Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware? in Technical; Hi all Just wondering if any of you good folk have made your own Media Center PC at all. As ...
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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    Hi all

    Just wondering if any of you good folk have made your own Media Center PC at all.

    As I cant be bothered to rewrite the whole thing again, here's a quote from the topic i started over at MSFN:

    I know this has been touched upon before, but can anyone suggest what they would recommend when building a new PVR MCE 05 PC? Can you submit a list of items you would use, etc. please

    I'm thinking of making this for use as a replacement to having to use [VHS] tape recorders to record programs etc. - you know the drill I'm sure lol - with both a analogue and a digital recording / watching capability.

    Ideally, I would like it to be able to record sky digital - I have a normal Sky Box if this could help here - and a RF analogue signal too. To be specific, UK broadcasts hehe

    Also, the only output I'd have on this machine would be a normal 21" TV [Toshiba 21S23B2 - Sorry it isnt the best link in the world lol] and I'm wondering can you achive a "nice" picture on this?

    I have a Hercules ATI A.I.W. Radeon 9800 SE [the one that you can software mod into a 9800 Pro hehe] if this will help with the system build

    Pentium 4 or a Athon 64 [939] based system would be fine. I would say Pentium M but the cost of a 2G Pentium M is a little pricey I think.

    Ideally, this needs to be a SFF type machine, etc.. as it's a lounge / main room type machine [and there's already enough computers in it hehe] so any help in this area could be well useful.

    Many regards to those that can help out here - i'm just stuck regarding the digital / analogue tuners & proper output to the TV really.
    http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=60462

    Any suggestions would be welcome, and as I'm pretty sure certain folk will start saying to use the linux one instead [lol I might try that too] so suggestions for a system that either OS will work on would be preferable

    A tall order maybe, but not looking to spend more than £500 really [less is best lol]

    Cheers guys

    Nath

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    I use MCE 2005.

    My TV cards are Black Gold DVB-T cards (x2) and they're are just in a bog standard Compaq mini-tower (2.4GHz P4, 512MB RAM, 120GB HDD). It works really well and being able to watch one channel while recording another is great!

    I decided to go with a standard box 'cos I got it particularly cheap. I have just upgraded my graphics to a Geforce 6600 'cos my FX5200 was rubbish for games. I don't have my machine linked to the TV at the moment but my Gigabyte graphics card (check my blog to see the huuuuuge heatsink) does have S-VIDEO and composite connections.

    On the whole it works well and it hasn't crashed as much as I thought it might.

    Check out http://shop.mediacomputers.co.uk/acatalog/Specials.html for your core components (i.e. the TV cards, remote - plus keyboard if the mood takes you - and the OS).

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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    Most linux based solutions in the PVR front centre around using MythTV.

    http://www.mythtv.org

    There is a dedicated site to the hardware combos people use with it.

    http://pvrhw.goldfish.org/tiki-view_articles.php

    If your interested, my Linux based PVR runs on a Hauppage PVR 350 Capture Card and a Matrox G400 Graphics card.

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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    http://www.nebula-electronics.com/

    Stuff Media centre.

    PVR / Network multicasting / Web server for scheduling recordings.

    Best of all, it's completely open - you can play back the recorded files on any PC.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    Like the look of that Alex. "Web server for sheduling" *drools*

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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    Thanx for the replies so far - but just to point out.... dont get analog freeview here

    How would i still feed the sky box with digital, while attaching the digital feed to the media center?

    can it go into the media center then out to the sky box?

    I live in a block of flats using a shared dish, and was told i cant have sky multiroom, as it wud split the signal [or use more signal channels - not sure on the term] and I'd have thought doing this is the same thing right?

    or no? lol

    N.

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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    You can't split the signal so to speak (or you can technically but not effectively). You would need a separate feed from the dish which involves a "multi-tunable" (for the want of a more accurate description) LNB. I'm guessing your dish already has this if it is being shared - but being that it is shared, all the signals are probably taken up - what an awkward situation

    Sorry that my post was no help whatsoever!

    Andy.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    ahhh so theres no point me doing this then?

    *cries to himself*

    "can it go into the media center then out to the sky box?" - not a option then?

    N.

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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    If your on Sky, just get Sky+.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    i guess

    just dont like being 'pwned' by sky

    Or the additional subscription cost either

    once the 12 months is up tho, i might go free-to-air digital and do the MCE idea then [tho how do i plug in the card you get from sky to view free-to-air digital ?]

    Shame i dont understand enough about this.

    I just wanted to record the soaps for my g/f so she dont have to go to the bedroom and watch them when she gets back from work lol [combo vhs/tv you see]

    Cheers
    N.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    You can get satellite receiver cards - I think that Hauppage makes one and there's a CLI module that takes up a second PCI slot (this is where the card goes) - or you can simply buy an analogue tuner. The feed from your Sky box then goes into the tuner and there is a pass-thru from the IR receiver too.

    The other 'advatange' of analogue tuners is that they are MUCH cheaper - check that page I posted above.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    indeed - i have the Pace....er...*goes to check but not enough slack on cables to move the unit to see*

    The System Details in the menu system say:

    Model Number: 1.0.43
    Version Number: 9F0A03

    ....lol decided to unplug it and have a look lol

    Its a DS430N so the sticker on the bottom of it says

    http://www.pacemicro.com/corporate/p...asp?PID=DS430N

    Is there anything I can do there Ric with what you were saying?

    Ta

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a MCE 05 system & hardware?

    @tarquell: You can see the digital satellite offerings from Hauppage at http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/prods_digital-s.html but you will need to check compatability with MCE, etc.

    Also check out XPMCE and The Green Button for more info.

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