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I iz your trusted friend
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  Reply # 56652 31-Dec-2006 10:41
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Media centre PC is an interface running on top of XP pro with some limitation (ie unable to join domain). Vista ultimate though has best of everything in every direction. MCE interface is a 10' interface so you can navigate around your media easily from far. However to use MCE PC as desktop on LCD TV is inefficient as the normal Windows interface will be too hard to read from 10'. you should goto DSE or Harvey Norman to checkout their floor model. But be warned, most of them are not trained or understand truly what MCE is capable or lack of. For one EPG is not available officially.




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Reply # 56870 4-Jan-2007 15:16
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Hi
A couple of questions, (remember, I've only just embarked on the road to geekdom!) When you say it is an interface running on top of XP Pro, what does it interface to? eg, watch tv, record tv, watch DVD, etc? If so, does it force you to use 'microsoft approved' programs, like 'windows media player'? Would it let me use my own third party programs for watching media (like PowerDVD for watching movies)?

What is 'unable to join domain'?

"MCE interface is a 10' interface so you can navigate around your media easily from far."
Sorry, but what is a '10' interface?

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Reply # 57165 7-Jan-2007 18:58
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Meaning you cant use domain names in the url bar on your internet browser and have you enter IP addresses in order to surf the net..

ie www.microsoft.com wont work; you need to type in 127.9.0.1 instead....

But seriously now...

It's something that businesses use to manage security and users etc etc; not something that you would ever _really_ have the need for at home thus not a problem

Also by interface he means its an application running on windows xp computer...
So something like iTunes or WinAmp but on steroids with heaps more features and designed to be used from far far away on ur couch



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Geek


  Reply # 57281 9-Jan-2007 01:49
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Okay. Still not sure why 'Media Center' would give me anything more than I'm already getting with current software set-up, tv-card, Win-PVR and remote control, DVD writer.
My boss's new Dell has a thing called 'Dell Media Center' which seems to be a similar kind of 'link to everything from one package' type of interface, and it just @#(%$ me off, because it's so slow to start up and it won't let me enjoy the same ease of use I'm familiar with.

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  Reply # 57323 9-Jan-2007 12:30
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It's not for everyone... But for the average joe thats not very computer literate it can be handy to have

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 57583 11-Jan-2007 14:00
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Hi I've been using MCE 2005 for over a year now and apart from having to tweak it every now and again I'd recommend it to anyone.  I've always used a normal TV but have recently upgraded to a Samsung LA40S71BX as they were quite reasonably priced in the shops.  And then the problems started……. It took me the whole weekend trying to adjust the desktop image on the screen to the correct resolution.  I was using the HDMI/DVI cable to link my Nvidia 6600GT graphics card to the TV but I couldn't for the life of me alter the resolution to the 1360x768 that was recommended by the manual.  After phoning Samsung on the Monday the guy said that I had to use the PC input and therefore use a VGA cable.  So I attached the VGA cable and got constant messages of 'Mode not supported'.  I called Samsung the next day and he said I had to change the resolution to 1360x768 in order for the LCD to show the picture – this is obviously not something easily achieved when you're staring at a black screen.  So I hitched up the DVI cable and attempted to create my own custom resolution – this was a reasonable success, until I attached the VGA cable and it still said 'Mode not supported'.  In the end the easiest way (after some kind soul recommended it on another forum) was to connect my 19"LCD via DVI together with the new 40" LCD via VGA and set up them up as dual monitors, then finally making the 40" as the primary monitor. So, Windows desktop appeared and I thought all would be well.  Apart from the fact that the desktop didn't fit on the screen when I selected either 1360x768 or 1366x768.  The only way I could get it to fit was to choose 1024x768.  It looks almost perfect – apart from when I watch TV or videos through MCE.  There are just the faintest of lines apparent on the picture – text on the TV looks slightly jagged. I have searched everywhere for a solution to this problem, and thought seeing as this post were covering DVI and connecting LCD's – and bordering on MCE, someone out there might be able to assist.  How can I get the desktop to fit on the screen under the recommended resolution of 1360x768 and get a clear TV picture? or alter MCE in some way to adjust the image to look better?  It hurts paying thousands for an LCD TV that looks worse than the previous one! BTW – Samsung's customer support is close to useless!

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  Reply # 57587 11-Jan-2007 14:11
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Sad to say... we found that out on our LCD TV too.. the best way is to use PowerStrip to create the custom monitor profile. Some brand like Philips does report DDC info to Windows on what resolution it supports, so that's good. However you need to adjust the overscan in some model, so it will be in perfect centre.

Good luck.




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  Reply # 57592 11-Jan-2007 14:33
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Thanks.  I tried using Powerstrip before, resulting in a black screen and a removal and replacement of my Graphics card to get picture again.  I can get what is supposed to be the 'correct resolution' according to the manual - 1360x768 and can also get 1366x768 (resolution of TV quoted in specs online) - it just doesn't look right!  If anything, the picture is maybe too tall for the screen - by only about 1cm - not sure what other resolutions I could use to get the picture looking better.  I read some articles about 1280x720 being equal to 720p - which the manual says it supports - but I can only imagine this will be way out!  When you say adjusting the overscan do you mean manouvering the image with the TV controller? - if so, I've tried, the image seems to be centered enough, just not a nice crisp, clean picture.  I've run the MCE 2005 TV setup and that doesn't seem to do much either.  I also read about using the composite leads (which my card does support) - but then I wouldn't be able to plug in through the PC input!

I'll try some other resolutions tonight when I get home to see what happens!

Samsung states everywhere that these TV's are plug 'n' play - yeah right - plug in and play around for a month trying to get a decent picture!

Thanks for the advice though!

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  Reply # 57594 11-Jan-2007 14:37
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depending on what graphic card you have, our mce's nvidia 6600 has overscan feature. but I used PowerStrip to adjust the overscan. Leave the TV's alignment as it is (our philips doesn't have such thing).

1280x720 is a wiser resolution to use and worth a try.

To today, we just use our 21" widescreen LCD with MCE and never bother connect it up to our philips. May be looking at Xbox 360 or Media Centre Extender to cover the LCD TV part of MCE.




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  Reply # 57595 11-Jan-2007 14:38
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TimBarrett: Samsung states everywhere that these TV's are plug 'n' play - yeah right - plug in and play around for a month trying to get a decent picture!



I played around with a Samsung 50" Plasma a few months ago and had similair troubles.

The ironic thing is the previous model Samung Plasma's have true P'n'P support and will work correctly the first time!

Plugging a PC into a big screen TV is still a hassle even though manufactuers promote PC input as a big selling point.



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  Reply # 57602 11-Jan-2007 14:51
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Hi Tim
I found the PC only works on my Uniden 32" tv at 1280 x 720 (different to some of the res quoted here.) It also likes 720 x 480 but at that resolution the PC desktop is just too chunky to deal with.
My graphics card has a DVI output and a VGA. I have an HDMI cable hooked to the DVI output (via adapter) to the TV. I have the monitor hooked to the VGA output, and I get the same picture on both (which is handy when the TV screen is black and you're trying to change settings).
Everytime I've tried to fiddle with the settings for Primary monitor and secondary monitor it just stuffs up. I think you need a second graphics card for that to work. So I just leave the settings alone and the two seem to work fine simultaneously.
My tv has aspect ratio settings of 'normal', 'full', 'panormama' and 'zoom'. Not much choice there, but the PC image seems to work best on full or zoom. The others don't look nice.
Apart from that it works fine at 1280 x 720. Strangely, although that doesn't fit on my monitor, the monitor image kindly pans around when you move the mouse.
Probably no help to you at all, but that's just the outcome in my experience.




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Reply # 57607 11-Jan-2007 14:55
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Did you see the article in the Herald today?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/3/story.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10418570

Yeh, right.

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  Reply # 57609 11-Jan-2007 14:59
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I'll give the 1280x720 a go tonight - and also the overscan - fingers crossed.  I just don't understand why if the native/proper/correct resolution is specified as 1360x768 this looks so bad on my screen and 1024x768 fits almost perfectly.  Will it be possible to set it to 1360x768 or 1280x720 and then overscan the image to zoom out so to speak??  It's not as if I can take the LCD and the PC into the shop and say you sort it out - which is what I would love to do!  Chiefie - what made you use powerstrip to adjust the overscan and not the nvidia settings directly - does it have the same result? - I'm hesitant about using Powerstrip again without having to!

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  Reply # 57623 11-Jan-2007 15:33
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Newsflash!!!!!   I decided I'd had enough so I called Samsung to abuse them - and a different guy answered - a somewhat more helpful guy.  This is what he said you have to do - bare with me on this.  This is using the VGA cable BTW.  1) Change the resolution to 1024x768, press apply. 2) press reset on computer 3) change resolution again to 1920x1080, press apply 3) when screen blacks out, wait for 15 secs until it says 'do you want to keep these settings' on the TV 4) press yes - screen will black out again and say 'mode not supported' 5) press reset..again 6) change resolution to 1920x1080, hit apply and hey presto...it works - supposedly anyway!!  He said the techies had been playing around for 2 hours trying to get it to work but it definately works - he was using the same model as me to test it!!! - let you know whether it works tomorrow - he has promised me it will though!! 



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Reply # 57646 11-Jan-2007 17:05
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Hmm???
Okay. Please tell me if it works. Cause it sounds like a whole new kind of logic.Tongue out

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