Media Center PC - What to buy?

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  1. #1

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    Media Center PC - What to buy?

    Hello List

    I am looking for a media center PC so I can play my videos, DVD's and Music out of my TV.

    I am really a bit lost as to what to buy here. Some reviews say get a cheap box with a TV out and use that and keep it next to the TV as a media centre and nothing else (which sounds like a good solution to me).

    Other reviews have some very expensive bits of kit on offer.

    Does anyone have one of these that they could recommend and where to buy it? I was looking for the Mongkok Computer Centre to have a look but couldn't find it. I found a place called 'Sim City' but that sold many peripherals but not any complete systems. I am guessing this is the wrong place.


  2. #2

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    May 2005
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    I'm probably the wrong person to answer this but.... I use my modded Xbox that has Xbox Media Center installed (it's very much like the windows Media center but probably better) and a 160GB HD. I can stream movies (any file format), photo's and audio (mp3's, wma, ra etc) from my pc (wireless notebook) to the TV or I can just store all the media on the xbox. Your most likely not to have an xbox (there not that expensive now) and therefore my suggestion becomes quite unuseful but I love my setup and thought i'd share the option. Oh, and I use Windows XP.

    EDIT: I also go through a linksys router but it's possible to do without the router but it's much easier with.

    Last edited by fuey; 09-01-2006 at 03:46 PM.

  3. #3

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    I would recommend waiting till the xbox 360 is available if you're looking for a reasonable cost option.. and if your TV support HDMI / HD interfaces.


  4. #4

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    Xbox Media Center (XBMC) on the first edition Xbox functions better (has more features, supports more files and responds quicker) than the Xbox 360 media center version at this current time (this is from users in the US that have both the xbox with XBMC and Xbox 360). To use the 360 with your PC to stream movies from the PC on the TV, you would also need Windows Media Center installed on your PC. The only benifit would probably less setting up to do.

    For more information about Xbox Media Center (XBMC) for the normal xbox click here

    EDIT: I think I remember people saying that with the 360, you can litterally plug in any mp3 device into the 360 and the 360 will reconise it and can play the music through your TV.

    Last edited by fuey; 09-01-2006 at 05:11 PM.

  5. #5

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    I saw a shop in SSP near the escalators selling media PCs that were assembled to your specs. You might want to check out theirs to get some ideas.


  6. #6

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    Dec 2005
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    And get advice from:

    http://www.tv-cards.com/messageboard...e79da7ad427e61

    Everyone agrees that a custom kit is better than a branded "media center" pc.


  7. #7

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    Thanks guys. When you say 'wait for the xbox360' - I thought they were already on sale?

    I must admit I had never considered the xbox option but that sounds like a great idea. I am guessing an xbox now would cost about $1000? I could also get one second hand I guess. Then just need a HDD to put in it and also some sort of ethernet port? Total cost under $3000? If you have an Xbox connected up to a router, can you simply browse the HDD with your windows pc and copy files to it that way?

    Cheers all.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    hmm...I will wait for the new window system by microsoft in June 2006 before I want to switch to media center (love the idea)

    also, I hope there will be an Intel 64bits co-processor by that time..(I don't want to use AMD 64bits)

    **I already have a XBOX 360..it works great to play music and movie clip (from PC and iPod), and also play photo gallery on TV

    Last edited by cb1118; 09-01-2006 at 10:02 PM.