XP Media Center PCs, are they worth it?

DJ-phYre

To whom it may concern
Joined
22 Jun 2002
Messages
135
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!
 

DJ-phYre

To whom it may concern
Joined
22 Jun 2002
Messages
135
That info was great, but it didn't address the question on TV Tuner cards
 

dreamliner77

The Analog Kid
Joined
16 Mar 2002
Messages
4,716
Build a tower with an ATI All In Wonder and Snapstream software and you're all set.
 

DJ-phYre

To whom it may concern
Joined
22 Jun 2002
Messages
135
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.
 

dreamliner77

The Analog Kid
Joined
16 Mar 2002
Messages
4,716
DJ-phYre said:
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.

You don't want to fork over the money for an AIW, but you'll do it for an overpriced Media Center PC???
 

DJ-phYre

To whom it may concern
Joined
22 Jun 2002
Messages
135
dreamliner77 said:
You don't want to fork over the money for an AIW, but you'll do it for an overpriced Media Center PC???

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.
 

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