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ajobbins

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#16021 20-Sep-2007 15:42
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My parents are looking to invest in a media centre PC and have come to me for advice. They do not currently have Sky but are looking to purchase a Samsung 50" 1080i Plasma or 46" LCD as well as a 32" or so LCD verys soon.

I am thinking they should replace their aging Celeron PC with a reasonable Dell PC with Vista Home Premium, throw a couple of TV cards in it and use an Xbox 360 as an extender in the 2 rooms they want to have the TV's.

Being that DVB-T is coming early next year I would want TV card(s) that can decode Freeview DVB-T as well as an analogue tuner that will take care of things until DVB-T arrives, and for Prime once it does.

Are there any DVB-T cards available that are compatible with Freeview in NZ and Vista Media Centre? We would want to be able to pick up HDTV with the system.

Also, what recommendations would you make for the PC itself, being that it will be used as a PC as well? It would only be used for basic things like Email, spreadsheets, web browsing, photos etc.

Also, how many channels can you record at one time with a DVB-T card? I have read that with DVB-S you can record more than once channel at the same time from the same transponder (Ie. with 2 cards you can watch/record all of the channels). Will something similar be available with DVB-T or will I need one card for each channel we want to watch/record?

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sbiddle
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  #87387 20-Sep-2007 16:14
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Freeview's DVB-T service will not work with Vista when it launches in NZ unless somebody can find a hack to get it going.

The reason for this is the lack of MPEG4 support in Vista MCE, something that is going to be fixed by Microsoft but it's unlikely to appear until the "Fiji" Media Center update which will be due sometime next year.

ajobbins

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  #87388 20-Sep-2007 16:26
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OK, so maybe we hold off then, or consider DVB-S. Also, is it possible to use plugins installed on a media centre PC via an extender? We want to have somethings like Outlook plugin, called ID plugin, weather plugin etc


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  #87403 20-Sep-2007 17:32
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DVB-S will work but won't give you HD.

I'm unsure about the plugins as I've never used Vista MCE as an extender. IMHO Vista MCE at present is a very weak product in terms of a PVR application when compared to other products such as MediaPortal, GB-PVR and MythTV and you can't even do basic things like using another Vista PC as a media extender. Microsoft know this and have big plans for the MCE upgrade in Vista however this isn't going to happen overnight. There are likely to be some MCE upgrades in SP1 but the word is that most stuff won't appear until next year and anybody on here who could give us more details probably can't due to NDA.




itey
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  #87404 20-Sep-2007 17:36
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adamj: and for Prime once it does.


iirc, prime will be on DVB-T, so you won't need an analogue card to get it.

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  #87420 20-Sep-2007 18:47
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it has been suggested that the new v2 vista mce extenders from dlink, linksys etc should be shipping  before christmas.  if they do the you might find them a bit cheaper than going with the xbox




openmedia
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  #87428 20-Sep-2007 19:15
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itey:
adamj: and for Prime once it does.


iirc, prime will be on DVB-T, so you won't need an analogue card to get it.


Watch out. Sky have now stated that they might delay the launch of Prime on freeview until freeview has a big enough market share.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC as a Technology Evangelist and Portfolio Architect. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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