Windows Media Center questions + WMC vs. XP

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Okay, here we go....

    Been thinking about switching my secondary (fun)
    computer from Windows XP to Windows Media Center.

    The main reason I am switching is because for
    some ungodly reason an old TV card that works
    with my MAIN PC doesn't want to work on the
    secondary (fun) computer., my Mom loves to store pictures on the
    computer and I thought WMC would be perfect for
    that task.

    ....not to mention the fact that I am just curious
    as to what this operating system is all about.

    So.....a couple questions for those in thew know....

    1. How does WMC compare to XP? Will it offer the
    same bells and whistles?

    2. Does WMC have built-in software to play any TV
    card that is installed?

    3. Does WMC have any issues with Norton software?

    4. Does WMC have multi-login-in features so other
    people can log into their own accounts?

    5. Does WMC contain a copy of Outlook Express?

    Overall, would you guys recommend an upgrade from
    XP to Media Center?

    Thanks in advance for all your help.
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    Yes, of course, it will display regular, which means not so hot on a TV screen.
  3. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

    Mar 6, 2001
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    No. Oh, the Media Center will of course need to access the net each day to download current tv listings, so when Nortons pops up its warning telling you that something is trying to access the net, be sure to tell it that YES, it has your permission to do that always. It needs to download the free tv listings each day in order to function as a tivo.

    There's one thing to be very aware of when you are setting up your tv stations and allowing it to get its very first batch of tv listings from the net:

    The moment you tell your Media Center to connect to the tv guide will forever be the time of the day at which it will check for the tv guide.

    I know this because the first time I finished setting up my media center is was 1 am. I went into the Media Center tv controls and told it to go ahead and get its listing for the first time. Which it did. And for the next year it would always wake up my computer from hibernation at 1am and connect to the net and download the tv guide.

    Later when I had to wipe down my whole computer, well, it was 3am when I finished setting up my media center, and now I got woken up at 3am every night as it wakes my computer up from hibernation and connects to the net and downloads the tv guide.

    The time is not in the "scheduled tasks". It isn't in the media center's Settings. The time is buried in the registry somewhere, in some binary expression of the time. Why? I guess they are afraid that if people could choose their preferred time for it to connect, everyone would pick 12 noon and the system would get overloaded or something.

    So be warned! Do your first tv guide download at the exact time at which you won't be distracted by it! Like after you're usually at work, or something. Sometime not in the middle of the night!
  4. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

    Mar 29, 2000
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    I could be wrong, but a while ago you could not "upgrade" to Media Center legally. I bought a 'legal' copy, I was assured it was, but it was not. I looked into it and MS only sold Media Center installed on computers.
    I tried it out for a while since they had my money. I built my own computer and it did not have an IR Sensor and I could not get by that part of the set-up. I thought that sucked so I ended up with XP Pro.
    If anyone knows of an outfit selling legal copies, I'd like to know
    Good Luck Ron and have a Great New Years
  5. Matt Leigh

    Matt Leigh Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 8, 2004
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    I own a HP m470n Media Center PC. The Guide download for the TV can be set up automatic or manually. If you set it to manual you can download an updated guide whenever you want.

    The guide generally lasts 2 weeks and then another one needs to be downloaded. If you have it set to manual and the current guide is almost expired it will ask you if you want to download a new one.

    I have some version of an ATI 9200 installed. I had to phone customer support at one time and the guy there said that I could upgrade to any other ATI card without problem. I'm not sure if the graphics chip and the TV tuner are on the same card in my pc.

    Basically XP MCE is just XP with a very verbose version of Windows Media Player bolted on the side. The PVR in it works great, photo and video storage is great, DVD is good, it also has radio, and music playing abilities. It will also recognize and play WMV 9 movies such as Step Into Liquid.

    The interface is very easy to navigate and setup is a snap. For all it does I'm really happy with it. The only problem I ever had was that I accidentally screwed up the time on my PC and Media Center could never find the guide data as it only knows what is going on by the internal clock.

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