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Is there a full-fledged digital media center out there?

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Anonymous
December 27, 2004 7:20:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

This isn't an HDTV question, per se, but as this is the group I follow
most (and certainly see plenty of non-HDTV "discussions" going on!), I
thought I'd try you folks...

I'm looking for what I think is commonly referred to as a "wireless
digital media center". What I want is to be able to access (listen
to/view) on my home theater system all the media that's currently on my
PC upstairs, the key phrase there being "ALL the media".

I'm picturing an 802.11G wireless device that I place in the rack with
my A/V receiver. It would then allow me to listen to any of the music
on my PC (whether .WAV, .MP3, .WMA, .RA, or Apple's .AAC, among others),
to view any still photos on my TV (.JPG, .BMP, .TIF, and ideally even
animated .GIF), as well as watch any video file I have on the PC (.AVI
of any flavor, .MPG, .MOV, .RM, .ASF, etc.).

I've looked at several types of units from D-Link, LinkSys, and a couple
other lesser-known companies. But all of them seem to lack something,
i.e., they only play a very limited list of the filetypes mentioned.
Some only play audio (and usually just .MP3), some show photos as well
(though usually only .JPG), and a few add the ability to show video
(though usually only Microsoft AVIs and occasionally .MPG files). The
closest I've found was from a company called PrismIQ, though it still
couldn't handle Apple music or video files, which is bad considering the
number of iTunes tracks I have on the PC.

When I started looking for this type of gadget, my original thought was
that the PC would still be used for actually "decoding and playing" all
of the media files, which it can do quite well, and that the "digital
media center" would just receive a stream of that playing file and route
it, in a usable format, to the correct device in my A/V setup. But I've
now discovered that doesn't seem to be the case...in each instance, the
file is actually just sent from the PC to the media center, and it is
then up to the media center to decode and play each filetype. And this
is where the problem resides, as none of the devices seem to have all
the codecs available in them that my PC does. Nor is there any way for
the owner to install or update codecs in these devices like you can on
the PC. Instead, you are dependent on the manufacturer to come up with
a firmware upgrade to handle new filetypes.

So I'm just curious if someone out there has found a better solution to
this than I have...some device that I've overlooked. It seems so
natural to say "I want to hear/view/watch everything on my downstairs
theater system that is stored on my upstairs PC", yet I've not found a
device that can completely accomplish this. Any thoughts?
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 1:11:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Can you run your PC off of your TV?

If not, consider building a HTPC with a wireless card. You can find info
about HTPCs on the avsforum.

Morbius wrote:
> I'm picturing an 802.11G wireless device that I place in the rack with
> my A/V receiver. It would then allow me to listen to any of the music
> on my PC (whether .WAV, .MP3, .WMA, .RA, or Apple's .AAC, among others),
> to view any still photos on my TV (.JPG, .BMP, .TIF, and ideally even
> animated .GIF), as well as watch any video file I have on the PC (.AVI
> of any flavor, .MPG, .MOV, .RM, .ASF, etc.).
> So I'm just curious if someone out there has found a better solution to
> this than I have...some device that I've overlooked. It seems so
> natural to say "I want to hear/view/watch everything on my downstairs
> theater system that is stored on my upstairs PC", yet I've not found a
> device that can completely accomplish this. Any thoughts?
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 6:41:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Given the array of support of formats you're looking for -- I'd look
to build something yourself on the Linux platform. You can even get an
HD capture card w/o flag restrictions for the time being!
Related resources
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 3:48:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Windows Media Center Edition with Media Center Extenders:
http://www.thegreenbutton.com

Brad H


"Morbius" <ive_been_mugged@yahoo.com.removethis> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c3a46c2f58400ee98968b@news1.prserv.net...
>
> This isn't an HDTV question, per se, but as this is the group I follow
> most (and certainly see plenty of non-HDTV "discussions" going on!), I
> thought I'd try you folks...
>
> I'm looking for what I think is commonly referred to as a "wireless
> digital media center". What I want is to be able to access (listen
> to/view) on my home theater system all the media that's currently on my
> PC upstairs, the key phrase there being "ALL the media".
>
> I'm picturing an 802.11G wireless device that I place in the rack with
> my A/V receiver. It would then allow me to listen to any of the music
> on my PC (whether .WAV, .MP3, .WMA, .RA, or Apple's .AAC, among others),
> to view any still photos on my TV (.JPG, .BMP, .TIF, and ideally even
> animated .GIF), as well as watch any video file I have on the PC (.AVI
> of any flavor, .MPG, .MOV, .RM, .ASF, etc.).
>
> I've looked at several types of units from D-Link, LinkSys, and a couple
> other lesser-known companies. But all of them seem to lack something,
> i.e., they only play a very limited list of the filetypes mentioned.
> Some only play audio (and usually just .MP3), some show photos as well
> (though usually only .JPG), and a few add the ability to show video
> (though usually only Microsoft AVIs and occasionally .MPG files). The
> closest I've found was from a company called PrismIQ, though it still
> couldn't handle Apple music or video files, which is bad considering the
> number of iTunes tracks I have on the PC.
>
> When I started looking for this type of gadget, my original thought was
> that the PC would still be used for actually "decoding and playing" all
> of the media files, which it can do quite well, and that the "digital
> media center" would just receive a stream of that playing file and route
> it, in a usable format, to the correct device in my A/V setup. But I've
> now discovered that doesn't seem to be the case...in each instance, the
> file is actually just sent from the PC to the media center, and it is
> then up to the media center to decode and play each filetype. And this
> is where the problem resides, as none of the devices seem to have all
> the codecs available in them that my PC does. Nor is there any way for
> the owner to install or update codecs in these devices like you can on
> the PC. Instead, you are dependent on the manufacturer to come up with
> a firmware upgrade to handle new filetypes.
>
> So I'm just curious if someone out there has found a better solution to
> this than I have...some device that I've overlooked. It seems so
> natural to say "I want to hear/view/watch everything on my downstairs
> theater system that is stored on my upstairs PC", yet I've not found a
> device that can completely accomplish this. Any thoughts?
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 4:09:10 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"No Thanks" <no@thanks.com> wrote in message
news:6il1t05tcqq02p9464v5677u7ka6m5uq7l@4ax.com...
> Given the array of support of formats you're looking for -- I'd look
> to build something yourself on the Linux platform. You can even get an
> HD capture card w/o flag restrictions for the time being!

Not to discount the DYI crowd, but is there any viable collection of Linux
apps or apps for any other platform that currently approaches the
integration and ease of use that Windows XP Media Center offers for home
theater integration? It seems that Microsoft has done their homework on the
latest OS release and no one else is even on the same playing field at this
point.
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 6:56:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Morbius <ive_been_mugged@yahoo.com.removethis> wrote:

> So I'm just curious if someone out there has found a better solution to
> this than I have...some device that I've overlooked.

How about a cheap PC mated up with a decent video card? Use the digital
output from the onboard sound built into the motherboard. Let the
receiver do the heavy lifting WRT decoding sound. You can build one with
recycled parts for a few hundred bucks. S-Video to the TV works fairly
OK. You can then download all the CODECs you need.

You can get an old PC for nothing, or next to nothing, at a garage sale
or a thrift shop. A suitable motherboard can be obtained for around $50.
Budget a couple hundred for the videocard, and if you can't scrounge
them, another couple hundred for the CPU and RAM.

That's basically what I did. Except I bought a fancy Antec HTPC case. I
took the guts out of my old desktop, and bought a suitable videocard. It
cost very little.

My next upgrade will be a nice pair of 250 Gig drives and a RAID card.
Already, I have around 40 Gigs of music, lots of games, and a bunch of
movies. But your plan is to use networked sorage, so any drive at all
will do for you.

--
In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the
disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
-- Dwight David Eisenhower
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:06:44 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Charles Tomaras <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:


> Not to discount the DYI crowd, but is there any viable collection of Linux
> apps or apps for any other platform that currently approaches the
> integration and ease of use that Windows XP Media Center offers for home
> theater integration? It seems that Microsoft has done their homework on the
> latest OS release and no one else is even on the same playing field at this
> point.

Yeah? The early reviews were ho-hum. Have they updated it?


--
In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the
disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
-- Dwight David Eisenhower
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:06:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

<EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com> wrote in message
news:cqsldk$l5e$3@reader1.panix.com...
> In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Charles Tomaras <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Not to discount the DYI crowd, but is there any viable collection of
>> Linux
>> apps or apps for any other platform that currently approaches the
>> integration and ease of use that Windows XP Media Center offers for home
>> theater integration? It seems that Microsoft has done their homework on
>> the
>> latest OS release and no one else is even on the same playing field at
>> this
>> point.
>
> Yeah? The early reviews were ho-hum. Have they updated it?

Yes, the 2005 edition has been met with favorable praise (by third parties)
both for improvements in utility and image quality over the initial release.
See the following URL for Microsoft's description of new and improved
features.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/evaluati...

I'm also told it supports HD hardware as well.
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:06:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> > Yeah? The early reviews were ho-hum. Have they updated it?
>
> Yes, the 2005 edition has been met with favorable praise (by third parties)
> both for improvements in utility and image quality over the initial release.

It's still getting "well, it's better, but it still isn't good" reviews
from just about every un-affiliated reviewer. The hardware manufacturers
are a lot happier with it and singing its praises, but that's because they
want to sell machines.

> I'm also told it supports HD hardware as well.

In the same way the first version supported SD hardware. If you buy the
one card they support, you're OK.

--
Jeff Rife | "You are now dead. Thank you for using Stop and
| Drop, America's favorite Suicide Booth since
| 2008."
| -- "Futurama"
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:06:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Jeff Rife" <wevsr@nabs.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c3bcf4e34dd2b5c989a1d@news.nabs.net...
> Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
>> > Yeah? The early reviews were ho-hum. Have they updated it?
>>
>> Yes, the 2005 edition has been met with favorable praise (by third
>> parties)
>> both for improvements in utility and image quality over the initial
>> release.
>
> It's still getting "well, it's better, but it still isn't good" reviews
> from just about every un-affiliated reviewer. The hardware manufacturers
> are a lot happier with it and singing its praises, but that's because they
> want to sell machines.
>
>> I'm also told it supports HD hardware as well.
>
> In the same way the first version supported SD hardware. If you buy the
> one card they support, you're OK.

http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/windowsxp_mce2005.a...
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:06:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> > It's still getting "well, it's better, but it still isn't good" reviews
> > from just about every un-affiliated reviewer.
>
> http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/windowsxp_mce2005.a...

Thank you for agreeing with me, even though you don't realize it.

Google for history on that site and the guy that runs it.

--
Jeff Rife | "Tragedy struck today in Sector Nine as rebel
| terrorists blew up the Death Star, killing
| thousands. The Rebel Alliance, a fringe group
| of anti-Empire fanatics, has claimed
| responsibility for the terrorist act.
| Fortunately, Lord Vader escaped without harm.
| Our hearts go out to the families of the
| victims."
| -- "NewsRadio"
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:06:49 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Jeff Rife" <wevsr@nabs.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c3be5c4bdceaa98989a1f@news.nabs.net...
> Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
>> > It's still getting "well, it's better, but it still isn't good" reviews
>> > from just about every un-affiliated reviewer.
>>
>> http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/windowsxp_mce2005.a...
>
> Thank you for agreeing with me, even though you don't realize it.
>
> Google for history on that site and the guy that runs it.

Thurrot is just as credible as your anti-MS detractors who wouldn't say a
positive thing about an MS product if their mother's life depended on it.
Thurrot's opinions actually carry more weight on this subject because he
actually has experience with prior versions of Windows Media Center and can
speak with some authority. All I'm saying is that there isn't anything out
there today that is as integrated and capable as Windows Media Center for
interfacing a computer with a home theater. All the other consumer oriented
solutions are much rougher and more difficult to deal with. MS has put a lot
of work into this and the detractors that I have seen in print appear to
have a vested interest in shooting down anything Microsoft.

Here's my search:

http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=Windows+Media...
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:43:07 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 14:34:21 -0800, Charles Tomaras wrote:

>
> <EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com> wrote in message
> news:cqsldk$l5e$3@reader1.panix.com...
>> In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Charles Tomaras <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Not to discount the DYI crowd, but is there any viable collection of
>>> Linux
>>> apps or apps for any other platform that currently approaches the
>>> integration and ease of use that Windows XP Media Center offers for
>>> home theater integration? It seems that Microsoft has done their
>>> homework on the
>>> latest OS release and no one else is even on the same playing field at
>>> this
>>> point.
>>
>> Yeah? The early reviews were ho-hum. Have they updated it?
>
> Yes, the 2005 edition has been met with favorable praise (by third
> parties) both for improvements in utility and image quality over the
> initial release. See the following URL for Microsoft's description of new
> and improved features.
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/evaluati...
>
> I'm also told it supports HD hardware as well.


M$ software engineers are unable to get WMC to play 19.4Mbs ATSC
(1080i or 720p) broadcast streams at full resolution. They feel the
problem is that all new computers are too slow.

On linux with mplayer, I can decode a ATSC TS stream with only 46% CPU
utilization using my Athalon 1800+
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:43:08 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"yea right" <spam@spam.spam> wrote in message
news:p an.2004.12.28.22.43.05.150237@spam.spam...
> On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 14:34:21 -0800, Charles Tomaras wrote:
>
>>
>> <EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com> wrote in message
>> news:cqsldk$l5e$3@reader1.panix.com...
>>> In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Charles Tomaras <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> Not to discount the DYI crowd, but is there any viable collection of
>>>> Linux
>>>> apps or apps for any other platform that currently approaches the
>>>> integration and ease of use that Windows XP Media Center offers for
>>>> home theater integration? It seems that Microsoft has done their
>>>> homework on the
>>>> latest OS release and no one else is even on the same playing field at
>>>> this
>>>> point.
>>>
>>> Yeah? The early reviews were ho-hum. Have they updated it?
>>
>> Yes, the 2005 edition has been met with favorable praise (by third
>> parties) both for improvements in utility and image quality over the
>> initial release. See the following URL for Microsoft's description of new
>> and improved features.
>> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/evaluati...
>>
>> I'm also told it supports HD hardware as well.
>
>
> M$ software engineers are unable to get WMC to play 19.4Mbs ATSC
> (1080i or 720p) broadcast streams at full resolution. They feel the
> problem is that all new computers are too slow.
>
> On linux with mplayer, I can decode a ATSC TS stream with only 46% CPU
> utilization using my Athalon 1800+

Please provide some documentation for the quote from "MS software
engineers." I find it hard to believe that a software engineer would say ALL
NEW COMPUTERS are too slow. I doubt you will come back with any backup for
YOUR fabrication or possibly someone else's fabrication which you are
referring to. While you are at it, go ahead and tell me about the collection
of Linux apps that match or exceed the functionality of Windows Media Center
2005. I've yet to read a review of any non-MS applications which will do
what WMC 2005 will do either as a standalone app or a collection of apps.
I'm sure there will be some competition soon enough...but right now MS has a
corner on the home theater PC OS/app market.
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 4:13:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> Thurrot is just as credible as your anti-MS detractors who wouldn't say a
> positive thing about an MS product if their mother's life depended on it.

Like:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3672_7-5536454.html
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=xpmce200...
http://htpcnews.com/main.php?id=mce2k5_1
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56864-20...

> Thurrot's opinions actually carry more weight on this subject because he
> actually has experience with prior versions of Windows Media Center and can
> speak with some authority.

And he neglects to mention any of the many things that *don't* work about
MC2005: no MP3 encoding built in, no DVD codec pack built in, combo
analog/digital tuners are treated as either/or, not both.

There is also no mention of the #1 problem: you can't buy the software.
You could have a PC that has 100% MC2005-compatible hardware sitting
in your home, and you can't install MC2005 because you can't buy it
separate from a PC.

For these, you have to go to reviewers who don't write reviews just to
get more free stuff from Microsoft.

> All I'm saying is that there isn't anything out
> there today that is as integrated and capable as Windows Media Center for
> interfacing a computer with a home theater.

MyHTPC (now called "Meedio") does a damn good job, especially because
it doesn't require special hardware.

> Here's my search:
>
> http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=Windows+Media...

First, try dropping the 's' and just search for "review", you get more hits.
Second, use an independent search that returns everything. The following
search string doesn't find any of the CNet reviews, even though there are
about a dozen mirror sites (including a newspaper) that have the review:

"media center" 2005 review

Google, Yahoo, etc., all find all the hits, not just the ones they want
you to see.

--
Jeff Rife |
| http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/FoxTrot/TransporterError.j...
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 4:13:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Jeff Rife" <wevsr@nabs.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c3c151052696b54989a20@news.nabs.net...
> Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
>> Thurrot is just as credible as your anti-MS detractors who wouldn't say a
>> positive thing about an MS product if their mother's life depended on it.
>
> Like:
>
> http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3672_7-5536454.html
> http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=xpmce200...
> http://htpcnews.com/main.php?id=mce2k5_1
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56864-20...
>
>> Thurrot's opinions actually carry more weight on this subject because he
>> actually has experience with prior versions of Windows Media Center and
>> can
>> speak with some authority.
>
> And he neglects to mention any of the many things that *don't* work about
> MC2005: no MP3 encoding built in, no DVD codec pack built in, combo
> analog/digital tuners are treated as either/or, not both.
>
> There is also no mention of the #1 problem: you can't buy the software.
> You could have a PC that has 100% MC2005-compatible hardware sitting
> in your home, and you can't install MC2005 because you can't buy it
> separate from a PC.
>
> For these, you have to go to reviewers who don't write reviews just to
> get more free stuff from Microsoft.
>
>> All I'm saying is that there isn't anything
>> out
>> there today that is as integrated and capable as Windows Media Center for
>> interfacing a computer with a home theater.
>
> MyHTPC (now called "Meedio") does a damn good job, especially because
> it doesn't require special hardware.
>
>> Here's my search:
>>
>> http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=Windows+Media...
>
> First, try dropping the 's' and just search for "review", you get more
> hits.
> Second, use an independent search that returns everything. The following
> search string doesn't find any of the CNet reviews, even though there are
> about a dozen mirror sites (including a newspaper) that have the review:
>
> "media center" 2005 review
>
> Google, Yahoo, etc., all find all the hits, not just the ones they want
> you to see.

Meedio while appearing to offer quite a bit has a mixed set of reviews as
well. The idea that somehow MSN search has figured out a way to cherry pick
results that differ from any of the other search engines based on a positive
or negative MS slant is preposterous. Get real. With or without the s on the
search you come up with over 200,000 hits both of which contain material
from CNet in the first few pages of results. You have a long history of
biased anti-MS postings, especially where digital media is concerned. You
continue to poo poo WMV-HD bandwidth statistics that have been positively
backed by well-credentialed digital media practitioners. You seem unable to
read anything positive about an MS product without some sort of retort. You
didn't offer Meedio to the original poster who might have appreciated your
suggestion....you instead joined the thread when something positive about MS
was offered. You are anything but transparent in your bias.
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 4:06:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> Meedio while appearing to offer quite a bit has a mixed set of reviews as
> well.

True, and I never said it didn't. The big point was that Thurrot gives
*every* "cool, new" Microsoft product a glowing review with no downside,
which you didn't seem to understand to begin with.

> The idea that somehow MSN search has figured out a way to cherry pick
> results that differ from any of the other search engines based on a positive
> or negative MS slant is preposterous. Get real. With or without the s on the
> search you come up with over 200,000 hits both of which contain material
> from CNet in the first few pages of results.

Oh, really? I scanned through the first 10 pages and didn't see anything
CNet.

> You have a long history of
> biased anti-MS postings, especially where digital media is concerned.

No, I have a long history of correcting your "blinders on" MS cheerleading,
which you don't like very much. There are lots of MS products that do
the job very well, but unfortunately a lot of their media-related software
isn't among that group. I'd *like* it to be better, and then I wouldn't
have to spend money on 3rd-party media players, CD/DVD burning software,
video editing software, etc.

> You
> continue to poo poo WMV-HD bandwidth statistics that have been positively
> backed by well-credentialed digital media practitioners.

There have been *no* tests using a real-time encoder on 1920x1080/60p
material, yet people are using multi-pass, 10x real-time encoding of
1440x817/24p material pretending that it *starts* with the same number of
bits, so it should end up with the same number of bits. That's isn't true
for other MPEG-4 variants (or *any* codec for that matter), so any
"well-credentialed digital media practitioners" who think otherwise for
WMV aren't as "well-credentialed" as you think they are.

> You seem unable to
> read anything positive about an MS product without some sort of retort.

No, but when I read blantant cheerleading and almost outright lies, I
respond. Like your following statement:

|> It seems that Microsoft has done their homework on the
|> latest OS release and no one else is even on the same playing field at this
|> point.

> You
> didn't offer Meedio to the original poster who might have appreciated your
> suggestion....

Unfortunately, Meedio is *not* a full-fledged digital media center. It
is a good integrator, but requires you have some other products to do
things right. Since they aren't claiming it's complete, it does the job
they claim, and it's good, but it's at least available for existing PCs.

I can't recommend *any* product at this point, because they are all
"hobbiest" products requiring a lot of time to get things working to the
point that it is STB-like. If MC2005 were more like this, I wouldn't have
a problem with it, but instead it is packaged as a complete solution with
no way to extend it. Since it is far from complete (no editing of
recordings is another shortfall), I call it like I see it.

--
Jeff Rife | "Oooh, I love children...
| they taste like chicken."
|
| -- Heddy Newman, "Herman's Head"
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 4:06:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Jeff Rife" <wevsr@nabs.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c3cbc38f1337fe2989a23@news.nabs.net...
> No, I have a long history of correcting your "blinders on" MS
> cheerleading,
> which you don't like very much. There are lots of MS products that do
> the job very well, but unfortunately a lot of their media-related software
> isn't among that group. I'd *like* it to be better, and then I wouldn't
> have to spend money on 3rd-party media players, CD/DVD burning software,
> video editing software, etc.

Actually Jeff....Window Media Center 2005 includes a video editing
application, CD and DVD burning software and more:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/evaluati...
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 7:52:53 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Charles Tomaras <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:

> I'm sure there will be some competition soon enough...but right now MS has a
> corner on the home theater PC OS/app market.

Which of the MS apps do you especially like? I use Windows Media Player
for some flavors of video, but not all.

I like iTunes for music files, and I use a variety of photo editing files
for for pics.


--
In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the
disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
-- Dwight David Eisenhower
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 7:52:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

<EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com> wrote in message
news:cqund5$a0t$4@reader1.panix.com...
> In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Charles Tomaras <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm sure there will be some competition soon enough...but right now MS
>> has a
>> corner on the home theater PC OS/app market.
>
> Which of the MS apps do you especially like? I use Windows Media Player
> for some flavors of video, but not all.
>
> I like iTunes for music files, and I use a variety of photo editing files
> for for pics.

I'm pretty much all over the place with my apps. Since my music library has
been ripped to WMA Lossless I'm pretty happy with WMP-10 for it's ability to
easily sync with smaller portable devices while transcoding to a data stream
rate that makes sense for the devices storage parameters. I use iTunes
merely for converting my WMA lossless to AAC for anything I may want to give
to my iPod friends. I use WMP for most flavors of video save for Quicktime
and Real, and I rarely deal with Divx so it's not a great concern. I've got
a number of photo apps installed but never seem to get around to doing any
editing so I can't comment on a favorite. For Audio and Video editing I'm
using more professional apps from Sony including Vegas 5.0 and Sound Forge
7.0. Pretty much overkill for most situations but as a professional location
sound mixer by trade I find the need occasionally to have some additional
capabilities at home even though my work is usually dealt with at
professional edit and post production facilities.

Never meant for this thread to turn into a flame war....merely stated what I
think is fairly obvious....that Windows Media Center 2005 is the current
front runner for HTPC integration at this point. Jeff Rife will ALWAYS take
an anti-MS stance so I suppose I should just leave it at that.
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 7:24:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

In alt.tv.tech.hdtv, Charles Tomaras <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:

> I'm pretty much all over the place with my apps. Since my music library has
> been ripped to WMA Lossless I'm pretty happy with WMP-10 for it's ability to
> easily sync with smaller portable devices while transcoding to a data stream
> rate that makes sense for the devices storage parameters.

I stick with good old mp3. I like the universal format, and don't like
proprietary ones. The ability you cite for WMA seems cool, however.


I use WMP for most flavors of video save for Quicktime
> and Real,

Me too. It seems to work well, especially the new version.

and I rarely deal with Divx so it's not a great concern. I've got
> a number of photo apps installed but never seem to get around to doing any
> editing so I can't comment on a favorite.

Photoshop is, of course, the best, and I use it sometimes. But I find
that for casual browsing and casual cropping, it is way too cumbersome.
I've got a variety of stuff I got packaged with various bits and pieces
of hardware, and don't have a favorite.

> Never meant for this thread to turn into a flame war....merely stated what I
> think is fairly obvious....that Windows Media Center 2005 is the current
> front runner for HTPC integration at this point. Jeff Rife will ALWAYS take
> an anti-MS stance so I suppose I should just leave it at that.

I got an ATI universal launcher with my ATI soundcard. It is just a
PITA. I rarely use the integrated ATI apps, preferring to use specific
third-party apps that are better.

So for TV viewing/recording, what are everyone's favorites? I use the
ATI TV program, but I don't like it much.

--
In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the
disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
-- Dwight David Eisenhower
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 8:54:11 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Yeah, its called an Xbox. You install a mod chip, supply a network
connection (wired or wireless) install Xbox Media Player, configure, and you
are set. HD and everything, you can even upconvert DVD video to 720p/1080i.
Pretty versatile, goes well with the name "X" box, because it can be
whatever you want.

I will be the first to agree with anybody who says its a lot of work getting
one set up, but they really are cool.

--Dan

"Morbius" <ive_been_mugged@yahoo.com.removethis> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c3a46c2f58400ee98968b@news1.prserv.net...
>
> This isn't an HDTV question, per se, but as this is the group I follow
> most (and certainly see plenty of non-HDTV "discussions" going on!), I
> thought I'd try you folks...
>
> I'm looking for what I think is commonly referred to as a "wireless
> digital media center". What I want is to be able to access (listen
> to/view) on my home theater system all the media that's currently on my
> PC upstairs, the key phrase there being "ALL the media".
December 31, 2004 1:41:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

In article <5qKdnY1EMv_Q8U_cRVn-3w@comcast.com>,
"Charles Tomaras" <tomaras@tomaras.com> wrote:

> You
> continue to poo poo WMV-HD bandwidth statistics that have been positively
> backed by well-credentialed digital media practitioners.

Speaking of which, doom9.org had a shootout of codecs.
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 2:09:18 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> Actually Jeff....Window Media Center 2005 includes a video editing
> application, CD and DVD burning software and more:

As I said, I'd *like* their media products to be better, then I wouldn't
have to spend money on 3rd-party products.

"Including" an application doesn't mean it's a good one, and the CD/DVD
burning and video editing leave a lot to be desired. I have used Microsoft
Movie Maker, and although it does the basics well (and is *great* for a
free product), I would expect a lot more from a product I have to pay for
(like MC2005).

And, although it does allow you to edit some video, you *cannot* edit
the video recorded via a tuner card before burning to DVD, so it's
really not that useful. It also *cannot* edit HD video of any kind.

MC2005 also doesn't include an MP3 encoder...only WMA is supported.

--
Jeff Rife | "Having your book turned into a movie is like
| seeing your ox turned into bouillon cubes."
|
| -- John Le Carré
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 3:10:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Jeff Rife" <wevsr@nabs.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c3e9afe8ff20a4a989a2e@news.nabs.net...
Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> Actually Jeff....Window Media Center 2005 includes a video editing
> application, CD and DVD burning software and more:

>As I said, I'd *like* their media products to be better, then I wouldn't
>have to spend money on 3rd-party products.

No, you said it didn't have it.

>"Including" an application doesn't mean it's a good one, and the CD/DVD
>burning and video editing leave a lot to be desired. I have used Microsoft
>Movie Maker, and although it does the basics well (and is *great* for a
>free product), I would expect a lot more from a product I have to pay for
>(like MC2005).

Once again...you said it didn't have it and now you are coming up with new
arguments.

>And, although it does allow you to edit some video, you *cannot* edit
>the video recorded via a tuner card before burning to DVD, so it's
>really not that useful. It also *cannot* edit HD video of any kind.

>MC2005 also doesn't include an MP3 encoder...only WMA is supported.

Windows Media Player 10 does in fact include an MP3 encoder and playback
support.
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 4:21:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
>
> "Jeff Rife" <wevsr@nabs.net> wrote in message
> news:MPG.1c3e9afe8ff20a4a989a2e@news.nabs.net...
> Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> > Actually Jeff....Window Media Center 2005 includes a video editing
> > application, CD and DVD burning software and more:
>
> >As I said, I'd *like* their media products to be better, then I wouldn't
> >have to spend money on 3rd-party products.
>
> No, you said it didn't have it.

No, I did not. I said there was no way to edit *recordings*, which is
true. You can edit captures from cameras (i.e., "home movies"). Find a
quote from me that says otherwise.

> >"Including" an application doesn't mean it's a good one, and the CD/DVD
> >burning and video editing leave a lot to be desired. I have used Microsoft
> >Movie Maker, and although it does the basics well (and is *great* for a
> >free product), I would expect a lot more from a product I have to pay for
> >(like MC2005).
>
> Once again...you said it didn't have it and now you are coming up with new
> arguments.

Find that quote and prove me wrong.

--
Jeff Rife | "...who paved the way for The Alan Parsons'
| Project...which I believe was some sort
| of a hovercraft."
| -- Homer Simpson
!