A close-up look at my Media Center setup

Charlie Owen notes that Windows Media Center is now five years old.

Here’s a little history.

In honor of the occasion, I put together the pictures and descriptions of my new Media Center setup, which is working spectacularly well.

Read all about it over at ZDNet :

Vista Media Center takes over my living room

And check out the pictures, too:

Image gallery: Using Windows Vista as a home theater hub

8 thoughts on “A close-up look at my Media Center setup

  1. Very nice Ed! I recently started on revamping my own media center lately and it’s been working great, but I haven’t had the time to tweak as necessary. I went with an HP slimline with Vista Home Premium. Was about $498 retail without a tuner, but had 1gb ram, and digital audio and s-video out. Due to the slimline form factor I am going to have to tweak the ATI tuner card I have to properly fit. (Going to be a Dremel project.) I was unimpressed with the display using the s-video though. Unfortunately, the only other spare slot is a PCI express, and was hoping to add a second tuner card, though now I think I will upgrade the graphics to use a dvi to hdmi output in that slot instead. I am looking forward to you WHS article. Keep up the good work.

  2. I haven’t read through all the articles, but I want to ask before I forget:

    I am thinking of building a media center PC from components. Seeing as I can still purchase Windows XP Media Center 2005 as an OEM package, is there any benefit to buying that as opposed to Vista Home Premium?

    I’m not particularly concerned with the slightly lower cost of WMC 2005. My other two PCs run Windows XP and I don’t see myself upgrading them any time soon.

  3. Danny, the only reason to get MCE 2005 at this point is if you have a piece of crucial hardware or software that isn’t supported by Vista or if you want to use v1 Media Center Extenders (Linksys and HP).

  4. Nice setup. I , too am starting to really enjoy the Vista MCE experience. Quick question, though. I also have a Unersal Learning Remote (not Harmony, it’s a MX-850 by Home Theater Master) but I am unsure on how you have it interface with your PC. You did not mention an IR Reciever in your parts list. I assume you have one? Can you explain setup?

  5. Mike, you’re right, I left out the Media Center remote and its IR interface. I have several here, and they generally run $25-30.

  6. What kind of HD experience are you having OTA? You mentioned a small HD antenna with your Avermedia card. Is the antenna inside or out and what brand etc?? I am tempted to drop a small fortune on a dual CableCard setup but the wife would not care for an Xbox 360 in my house. The infrastructure just isn’t there yet. I need those v2 extenders to come out desparately.

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