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All posts tagged "windows media center"


Monday, January 10, 2011

Windows Media Center Without Windows Thanks To Reycom

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/06/...coming-for-499/

"We love us some Windows 7 Media Center, but we recognize that using a HTPC for a DVR isn't for everyone. For some there is no replacement for a dedicated set-top box, which is why we were so excited to hear that Windows Media Center was coming to embedded devices."

Boxee and Roku and AppleTV oh my! Microsoft has been in the media center market since the XP days and the Windows Media Center included in Windows 7 is pretty impressive. I like the idea, however, the $499 price tag is pretty tough to swallow. When Boxee boxes can be had for under $200 and other devices like AppleTV and third party media players are in the $100 range, the $499 price tag is very discouraging. While this one appears that it might be able to record, without CableCARD support, it means that it will be a mess of cables and IR relays to get it to do so. I would rather have a much more polished solution.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Windows 7 Media Center vs Tivo Premier

Posted by Jon Childs in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/05/...7-media-center/

"Our perspective of success is based on the user interface experience, so while we previously reviewed both the TiVo Premiere and Windows 7 Media Center, we wanted to also tackle the task of directly comparing the two. Of course there are some obvious differences that might sway someone in one way or another, like TiVo's simpler out of the box setup or Media Center's 3rd party plug-in architecture, there are many other points of distinction to discover if you click on through and read about the less obvious user interface differences as well as a few other baked-in non-DVR features."

Engadget has an in-depth look at the latest Tivo Premier UI and Microsoft's Windows 7 Media Center. Both are deemed to be good products. The Tivo allows a better out-of-the-box experience (especially for non-techies), and Media Center is in general much more powerful and tweakable at the expense of simplicity. I have always been tempted to try to set up a Media Center PC, but the complexity and cost have been a little prohibitive. Also, for all its faults my Comcast DVR is included in my cable package and good enough for 98% of the stuff that I would like to do. The Media Center extender idea is nice, but at this point you really need to buy an Xbox360 to get this feature. I certainly don't see my wife buying into putting a video game system in the bedroom to get rid of a DVR which she can use without any problems. As a gadget junkie, I am willing to be talked into a Media Center if someone can give me a compelling reason!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Making Windows Media Center A Better Ripper

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2010/02...s-media-center/

"I have a feeling Auto Rip n Compress is going to be everyone’s next “must-have” add-in for Windows Media Center. The add-in allows you to easily rip DVD or Blu-ray movies from your couch using only your remote."

By now, most people should have already converted their video library, but for those of you that have not, or are just starting building your digital library, you might want to consider Auto Rip n Compress. The program does not give you anything new that other programs such as Handbrake, already do, but it does make things really simple, and easy to do from within Windows Media Center itself. In truth, it actually uses Handbrake to do transcoding. The only part which I feel slightly apprehensive about is in order to pull metadata, like the movie description and cover art, you need to register an account with GD3. There are various free online sources for movie data that do not require registration, so why expose yourself when you do not have to? Still, it is great to have another option to archive your DVDs and BluRays.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

TiVo? What TiVo? Media Centers Presented for your Consideration

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

http://lifehacker.com/5462275/which...center-compared

"We focused on three widely available, and generally popular, media centers for our comparison and review. We're certainly aware there are many alternatives out there, as free software or stand-alone hardware boxes, but these are the three media centers that receive ongoing development, and can be installed on the widest number of TV-connected computers."

The whole media center market is becoming very crowded. My main complaint about them though, is that in Canada, our online options are still quite limited, unless you want to go the route of finding stuff that fell out of the back of a bit bucket. As such, I am stuck with media center choices that can record TV signals. The media centers that record are much smaller in selection, and the hardware options provided by my cable or satellite provider is less than stellar. I am actually partial to Windows Media Center, largely because it is easy to set up, use and manage. It was designed with the idiot in mind, and I like not having to pour over details anymore. However, I can see that once I can shrug off the cable/satellite tether, options like XBMC become considerably more attractive. What is everyone using these days and why did you pick it?


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Zune Software's Speed of Updating Music = Awesome

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 02:42 PM

It's a small, but beautiful thing, when software impresses me - and today the Zune software impressed the heck out of me. I always knew it was quite fast at finding new music in a monitored folder, but I didn't realize how fast it was until today. I purchased and downloaded six tracks from the new Mstrkrft album for my wife (she digs electronic music) and after tweaking the metadata and fixing the file names using the always-awesome MediaMonkey, I moved the files up to my Windows Home Server and swung over to my media editing computer. The Zune software was already running on it, and I was amazed to see it pick up the new tracks on the network-shared drive - we're talking less than three seconds before it found the music. That's a beautiful thing. Compare that with Windows Media Center, which seems to not even find my new music half the time unless I kick off a manual update scan in Windows Media Player, and you can see why I use the Zune software on all my computers for listening to music. Good job Zune team! Even if you don't have a Zune, I honestly reccomend giving the Zune software a try - it's a great piece of software.


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