Media centre computer

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  1. #1

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    Media centre computer

    Hi All,

    I wanted to build myself a media centre pc, I was thinking of using the asus P2-M2A690G. It has HDMI and optic outs, I have heard them setup they are quiet.

    Has anyone here has any experience with is barebone and mythtv? I have used mythtv before in Australia but with different hardware. The one thing I can see myself having an issue with setting the guide up in English. There seems to be a lot of tuner cards some brands the same as Oz. I was going to use a dual tuner card.

    Can you use a DVB-C card here with a cam card i.e for HKBN?

    Also does anyone know where I would find the frequency list for tzap?


  2. #2

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    Did you get your Media Center PC setup? I am looking to set one up and any advice is appreciated.


  3. #3

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    Hello,

    What I did in the end was setup up a computer that acts as a media server to stream to the ps3, it works really well, it was cheaper in the end to buy a ps3 which was cheaper then buying a blueray player. I get a game console as well.

    The computer also downloads all my torrents. I found a little program that scraps the chinese guide for me, but I have not set that up yet, as there is little on TV most of the time, I mainly download shows and watch them through the ps3.

    If you want to setup a media computer I can help you if you like, I have set a few of them, linux based, vista and xp ones. You can build a good one for around 3000-4000 HK depending on your specs. I have a 42 inch lcd tv that works really well through my linux computer.

    What operating system did you want to use?

    -Ben


  4. #4

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    I was looking to run Windows XP MCE. But I don't know if there are better skins available as a media center running on Windows.

    The PS3 idea sounds interesting as I have been toying with the idea of getting one what with GTA4 being released in a week's time. Not sure the XBOX 360 would do it justice.


  5. #5

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    XP MCE is not too bad, but not as pretty as Vista, but Vista has some problems with the guide not been saved. There are hot fixes for it, I am sure they have fixed it with the sp1. So Vista might not be a bad choice. But if you get vista make sure your graphics card is semi decent, especially if you are going to use the glass theme. I did like the media side of Vista more then XP mce, there are more plugins for it and it looks a lot better.

    But I find the ps3 pretty good, games are great, the interface is really nice, you have a semi decent browser, the flash plugin is out of date, but that is because it is build on linux. The ps3 is way better then the xbox even just for the media components, having a blueray player is a big plus now that HD is going to die. The only thing the ps3 can't do over Vista, is the tuner, that is media side of it. Of course a normal computer has added functions. But there are talks of a tuner for the ps3.

    Sony talks up PS3 TV tuner | Register Hardware

    Once you get a ps3 you will love it, but I found that I also need a computer to fill my other needs, torrents being one. The ps3 supports an external hard drive via USB, so it also supports large storage. Also everything just works on the ps3, if you have another computer on a network you can stream media via a uPNP server. Through media player 11, it is easy as clicking on library, then media sharing, allow access on our firewall. Then search for media servers on our ps3. Works perfectly, I am using mediatomb on a linux computer which works just as well. Also the ps3 looks great and for 2600, plus 2500 for which is what it cost me for another pc, 5100 in total you can have both.

    Also you can get a mac mini and use xhub which looks good. They are very small and are more stable then windows, you can also stream media via a uPNP to a ps3. You just use a usb tuner, but you have to a special mac one, not that expensive.

    xhub

    If you want to build a cheap pc I can give you the list of components I used.

    Cheers

    Ben


  6. #6

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    Thanks again for the update. I think I may take a look at PS3's when GTA4 is on the shelves.

    One question - I use VLC media player as I was spending so much time looking for the correct codecs etc with Windows Media Player.

    If you use the PS3 (or MCE or Vista for that matter) how do you get around the codec issue?

    Last edited by HKNewBi; 22-04-2008 at 09:46 PM.

  7. #7

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    With the ps3, file has to be divx or xvid, with ac3, dts or mp3 as the sound for it to be supported.

    With Vista there are codec packs you can install, divx there is a free version to install, xvid is open source, so also free. If you buy m/b like mine, you just set with in the sound software to send the sound via optical to your receiver, that is if you have one.

    VLC does have greater support, but if you are planning on controlling your media computer with a remote through windows you can't. You can use a wireless keyboard, I would suggest getting the ps3 Logitech keyboard. I saw a cheap one at Sim city at MK for $450 HK. Sham Shui Po I pad $690.

    What I do with my setup is, if I come across a video that has ogg sound, or is mp4, I just re-encode it using mencoder. I have a script that allows my to encode whatever I put into a directory and it runs on it own till all the files are finished. That way all my files are one format, mediatomb has stream encoding, but it is broken with this ps3 firmware release.

    You can also do batch encoding on windows. Wtih the codec packs you will be able to play almost anything thought WMP in media centre. A good site for XP or Vista MCE is:

    The Green Button - Your Media Center Community

    Cheers

    Ben


  8. #8

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    my mate (and me) are looking into getting this. it streams with the ps3. have not researched a great depth into it yet though:

    Mvix MX-780HD Review


  9. #9

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    Excuse ignorance, but if I had a PS3, why would I need the MX-760HD?


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by aussben
    Thanks for so much information. If I am understanding this correctly, I can research the link above, and reencode my films, then use the PS3 to stream to my TV.

    Is that correct?

    Will the PS3 do this 'out of the box' or do I need to install any further s/ware on it. I am assuming I just plug it into my router using standard Cat5.

    Thanks

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