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26 posts


# 36724 1-Jul-2009 09:25
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I am finally taking the plunge, and upgrading my DSM-320 to a full Media centre PC. I require it to be able to play movies from my server on the network as well as being able to play and record Freeview TV. This will be a dedicated PC sitting next to my 42" plasma.

I have a Asus M2A-VM HDMI motherboard
A decent AM2 dual core processor
Up to 4gb of ram, more if needed.
500Gb sata hdd
Hauppauge HVR-2200 TV tuner
Windows Vista Home Premium

Have not got a remote sorted yet, but am looking at a couple.

I was oringinally looking at using the Vista media center, but have since been reading that that may not work for DVB-T do to it lacking some codec.

I would like suggestions on the best way to implement this, I would like to use Vista media center, not because I like microsoft, but because it sounds like it is easy to setup, and easy to use. But MediaPortal sounds like it might be the way to go.

I would like any suggestions and comments on the best way to get it all working.


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26 posts


  # 229792 1-Jul-2009 09:34
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The three remotes I am looking at are

I would like but it is a bit out of my price range

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 229812 1-Jul-2009 10:04
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Install Win 7 RC and go with WMC.


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 229831 1-Jul-2009 10:25
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I have the Philips SRM5100, it uses the same eHome driver as the official MS remotes so it just works out of the box.

I personally went with MediaPortal with 4TheRecord to do the recording scheduling, the MP TVSeries plugin to manage my huge collection of TV shows and the MovingPictures plugin for my movie collection (I own a LOT of DVDs which I've ripped to my server, a 4TB raid array and growing). WMC is definitely easier to setup, but the level of customisation I'm able to get out of the setup I have makes MediaPortal much more appealing for me personally. The nice thing is the UI's still simple enough that I don't get abuse from my other half, check out the StreamedMP or Bleazle skins for MP - the latter created by a Kiwi.

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  # 229967 1-Jul-2009 15:23
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If I just use the media centre in Windows 7 will I be able to do everything, or will I need to use other programs for the epg?

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Ultimate Geek

  # 230021 1-Jul-2009 17:51
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Have never used W7 personally, but  As it supports H.264 (FreeviewHD) natively inside WMC, then from what I understand, it will work pretty much out-of-the-box. Evidently, it isn't too hard to get the EPG working, but not sure whether a third party app is required. There are plenty of W7 users here now, so they should be able to asist there. If you don't already have an OS for your project, then I would go with W7.

I use Mediaportal & it is a great front-end (& as previoulsy stated, has brilliant plugins for custom skins & organising TV shows & movies), though marginally diminished by the admin's recent decision to alter how the 1080i broadcast signal is rendered, requiring a more powerful graphics card than I have. What are you going with? Is it integrated? And if so, what make: ATI or Nvidia? My only basis for comparison with a Microsoft media centre is the XPMCE version & if it is similar & you like to customise, then maybe a configurable front-end like Mediaportal or GBPVR (made in NZ) is the way to go.

I use the Microsoft MCE remote which is no longer imported, so can't assist there.

One other thing: if you are considering Mediaportal, then I know the Hauppauge remote is plug & play. Not sure about the others, though.

PS. you wouldn't be a Raymond E feist fan, by any chance, would you?

Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

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Master Geek
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  # 230030 1-Jul-2009 18:40
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Meesham pointed me in the direction of the phillips SRM5100 and I am very happy with it. It is 100 natively compatible with Windows Vista and above (not XP apparently). Win7 is definitely a very easy and painless way to go, everything tends to work without too much playing around unless of course that is your hobby. Also with Min7MC you do not have to worry about codecs, H.264 or otherwise.

I've just finished building my second HTPC and with windows7 it finally feels like a complete solution.

Unfortunately I don't believe the onboard graphics on your 690g chipset will unload decoding onto your GPU - you need 780G or higher for ATI. In saying that you can buy a cheap H.264 (freeview, Bluray) decoding graphics card from about $50 up.

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Ultimate Geek

  # 230042 1-Jul-2009 18:57
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I use mediaportal on vista with the integrated ATI HD3200 graphics, primarily because vista-mediacenter does not work with freeview hd. Your motherboard appears to be an earlier chipset version 690G vs 780G, but it is supposed to support bluray playback, so perhaps win7 will work for you. It doesn't cost much (a download?) to try the win7 rc, but if you like it you will have to pay next year.

Mediaportal works well now on my hardware, most of my freeview-hd issues can be traced to a dodgy UHF aerial setup.

HTPC: Antec Fusion 430, Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H F7, AMD X2 4850e, Sapphire 4670 1GB, Corsair 4x1Gb,  Adata 128Gb SSD, WD10EARS Green, LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray, Hauppauge NOVA TD-500, Logitech z-5500, Logitech Harmony 525, Samsung LA40B530 1080p, Vista Premium-32 SP2, Catalyst 10.12(Facelift preview), Mediaportal 1.2.3+OneButtonMusic, AC3Filter, Cyberlink Powercinema 6 codec, BLU-RAY: Samsung BD-F7500

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  # 230044 1-Jul-2009 18:58
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Yes, I am a bit of a Feist fan

I am planning to use the integrated video in the motherboard if I can. It has Integrated ATI Radeon X1250-based graphics. Apparently it can handle 780p and 1080i, but not quite the 1080p. Thats alright because my TV is not full HD. If that won't work then I will have to get a graphics card for it.

I have bought the phillips remote today, as I read some good reviews about it, and it works will with vista, and presumably with Win7.

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