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My CPU - A Multi-Media Powerhouse

Television, Stereo, Movies, & a PC all in one...


Sports Workout

7:22 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm working on an idea to use one central machine that will act as like this:

My TV - Run cable through it, record pre-determined programs onto my hard-drive for future viewing, ability to resize or minimize the viewing window, remote control that will turn on/off, change channels, record, etc. without using a regular television.

DVD movie theater. As normal with most PC's these days the ability to play (and record) DVDs. Remote control with volume would be nice.

My PC - still, this is just my PC that can do all these functions. I would like to operate for web browsing, working, etc. Perhaps even watch a DVD and browse at the same time.

What do i need to do this? From what i gather windows media edition is the way to do this? or can i do it from home? What sort of video card do i need to receive the TV cable? Would anyone recommend dual monitors? What size monitor(s) would you recommend?

Just trying to set this up right the first time, i appreciate any insight...maybe it can give other people some ideas too


4:21 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There is a piece of software called SnapStream that's kind of like "Tivo for PC" which if you have a video capture card will handle your TV-watching and recording stuff. The rest of it can all be done with the out of the box software that comes with your capture card.


4:42 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Windows Media is something I'd steer clear of. It never took off in a big way, there are still several restrictions on hardware. There are other issues.

I'd run movies/TV through a regular TV set and use a monitor for PC work. Dual output graphics cards are common but you'd want one with "TV Out". Alternatively, use a product like the Hauppauge WinTV PVR (Personal Video Recorder) 350 or 500. (The 500 is better with Windows Media though). If using the 350 I'd use the external one - less aggro.

Where you place the PC/monitor is restricted by the length of the monitor cable. You can buy extensions but can't move it very far away. If you have the PC next to the TV in your living room you may want to consider how much of noise it makes.


4:50 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Windows Media Center is what you want. It is a wonderful addition to windows xp (its a superset of XP). There are a lot of TV tuners that work with it. google: thegreenbutton and you'll find a forum that will help you out.

Sports Workout

4:13 pm on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

wow...2 completely opposite answers!

let me ask you guys this...is Windows Media Center OS the way to go for this? Or can I accomplish what I'm looking for with XP Home/Pro?

What does WinMedia have that Home does not?


4:24 pm on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There are a lot of satisfied users so yes, do research the forums.

My reasons for not using it are

1. "There are a lot of TV cards that work with it" is not enough. Everything has to work with it. If WM doesn't have the volume ...then manufacturers of other hardware won't test/certify their products with WM. That becomes an issue for upgrades/repairs.

2. WM is fussier than standard Windows. That's why MS first released it only with a select few partners. These were big boys who could guarantee millions of PCs with exactly the same (pre-certified) hardware. MS didn't have the balls to let Joe Public build his own WM PC. There's a good reason.

3. Products that don't get a big enough market share are dropped. WM could be one of them. From the marketing POV it could become Windows ME MkII.


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