Vista vs Media Center


L

Lorin

I am building a Media Center PC from scratch.
I would like to know the pros and cons of using Vista Home or Ultimate vs.
Media Center.
Is one easier to use than the other?
I plan to use a MS Media Center Remote Control.
The PC will be hooked to a TV (as a monitor) and the TV tuner will be in the
PC.
This way I can record my favorite shows.

Also, is there a HDTV card or dongle that works well for this.
I have used the HDTV USB dongle and it has good picture but the software is
poor.
Does either Media Center or Vista compensate / replace that software?

Thanks for your time.
 
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P

Piers James

Vista Home Premium and Ultimate both include Media Centre, and you can
freely switch between Media Centre and normal windows.
 
A

Andre Da Costa[ActiveWin]

Its not a versus case here, Media Center either comes with the version of
Vista you purchase or it does not. The primary SKU's you are looking at in
this case is Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Editions. If you would
like to have Media Center functionality such as recording TV shows, managing
and previewing your multimedia on big screen TVs then MCE would be an
appropriate feature to think about in your Windows Vista purchase.

In case of the Vista SKU, this all depends on your work style and PC form
factor, are you using say a laptop at both work and home, where you need to
join a domain, record TV shows when you come home from work? The Ultimate
would be the appropriate choice for you.

Again, Media Center is only one aspect of Vista, it does not compensate for
all the features of the operating system. As for the TV Tuner and USB
dongle, don't know much about it, maybe somebody can chip in on that.
 
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C

Charlie Tame

Lorin said:
I am building a Media Center PC from scratch.
I would like to know the pros and cons of using Vista Home or Ultimate vs.
Media Center.
Is one easier to use than the other?
I plan to use a MS Media Center Remote Control.
The PC will be hooked to a TV (as a monitor) and the TV tuner will be in the
PC.
This way I can record my favorite shows.

Also, is there a HDTV card or dongle that works well for this.
I have used the HDTV USB dongle and it has good picture but the software is
poor.
Does either Media Center or Vista compensate / replace that software?

Thanks for your time.


As Piers said vista media center is a complete program and not an add on
to the OS, XP Media center wasn't quite as good (IMHO of course others
may disagree).

I am testing a Hauppauge WinTV HVR from Compusa and it seems very good
quality but with Vista Media Center I have had no luck finding a way to
capture anything from (say) a VHS VCR.

XP Movie Maker has this option but it never worked well, Vista Movie
Maker simply doesn't allow it, and as far as I can ascertain neither
does the Hauppauge software. My ATI card did come with a capture program
but that is not so great to use.

The Hauppauge comes with a Windows remote and a gadget to control other
devices like your cable set top box etc.

I have to say that with Vista 32 bit, 4 GB Ram and the above it all
seems to be working very well although I currently am not using it
fully. It burns to DVD well also.
 

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