XP Media Center PCs, are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by DJ-phYre, May 9, 2004.

  1. DJ-phYre

    DJ-phYre To whom it may concern

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    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    I will be graduating high school in exactly one week from today. I had planned on getting a laptop for graduation, but with the many features of the new Windows Media Center PCs, I have been having second thoughts. I want to make sure I know exactly what these PCs are used for.

    Windows Media Center PCs can:
    - Record live broadcasts / tv shows (just as tivo can)
    - The recordings are encoded in MPG format
    - These MPGs can be backed up to DVD/VCD/SVCD
    - Be used as a stereo (for CD and MP3 playback)

    These are just a few of the assumptions I have about these PCs. Are these correct? I have always wanted a TiVO because I am a huge fan of certain series that I would love to have taped/recorded.

    The thing is this. The laptop that I customized from Dell was going to be around $1800. This was going to be a low-end gaming laptop. I already have 3 towers, 2 of which I am taking to school with me. One is my main desktop the other tower houses my hard drives and runs as a server. I was wondering if putting a TV Tuner card in one of the PCs would basically give me all the functionality out of the computer just as a Media Center PC would. This would be a cheaper alternative and I could still get my laptop. I have looked at serveral Media Center PCs and seen that there are a lot of them under $1800 which would leave me some money towards a nice 21" LCD :)

    I am just trying to decide. I just need some opinions on some stuff and maybe a little extra info.

    Oh yeah, one more question. If I had a gaming PC could I run it with 2 Video Cards (One Top-of-the-line Gaming Card and a TV Tuner / Capture Card)?

    Thanks for all the help in advance!
     
  2. Lee

    Lee OSNN Proxy

  3. DJ-phYre

    DJ-phYre To whom it may concern

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    That info was great, but it didn't address the question on TV Tuner cards
     
  4. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

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    Build a tower with an ATI All In Wonder and Snapstream software and you're all set.
     
  5. DJ-phYre

    DJ-phYre To whom it may concern

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    I am looking into the ATI All-in-Wonder cards, just don't know if I want to fork up that much money right now for a new video card.
     
  6. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

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    4,702
    Location:
    Red Sox Nation
    You don't want to fork over the money for an AIW, but you'll do it for an overpriced Media Center PC???
     
  7. DJ-phYre

    DJ-phYre To whom it may concern

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    You can get a Media Center PC for ~ $1000 USD which is not that bad for a new computer with 3.2gHz and so on. Especially since you didn't build it yourself.