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Using Windows XP Media Center Edition...

by gi0zgb / April 9, 2006 9:11 AM PDT

How difficult is it to use as a DVR? And also, is it necessary to have a TV tuner for the PC, or could it just work by connecting through an S-Video cable?

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Impossible to say
by joesmithers06 / April 9, 2006 10:03 AM PDT

You ask a highly subjective question. What I consider difficult might be simple to you and vise versa.

As far as I know, you need an actual TV tuner card in order to use the TV functions. Unless you have an All-In-Wonder or VIVO video card which has a TV tuner chip integrated in with the rest.

Might not be what you're looking for, but I'm in the process of creating an Xbox Media Center device. I just picked up a used Xbox for about $150 and a DuoX2 modchip for about $25. A little soldering, and I'll have myself around a $200 box that can do just about everything Windows Media Center can and more.

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using Media Center XP
by glennlee / April 9, 2006 5:35 PM PDT

Properly configured, Media Center XP can function just like a TIVO without the monthly fee charges. You must have a video card with a TV turner that is integral and recognized by Media Center. Media Center walks you through a simple process of initializing the system with your particular cable setup, and downloads a TV guide with all the channel listings for about 2 weeks and automatically keeps this current. Files are saved in dvr-ms format which is an form of mpeg2 file. Your system must have an mpeg2 decoder to view and edit the file. I have a HP system equipped with Media Center XP and a ATI all in one wonder card 9200, and Showbiz2 video editing software. It has worked flawlessly since I got it. If you purchase a system configured by an OEM manufacturer, you are less likely to run into problems with communications between your system, and your video card TV tuner. You will need a fast large hard drive (200g), a fast cpu, and lots of RAM (at least 512m). Saving movies off the cable and editing out the commercials and writing a dvd that plays on a standard player is a kick, but time consuming task.

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