XP MCE, XP Pro, or Vista 64 HP for PVR use? NAS?

Hello All -

I'm building a new rig and I'd like to use it to record over the air HD TV. I've got the following components:

Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H
AMD X2 5200 Windsor
2 x 1 gig Corsair DDR2-800 4-4-4-12
Corsair 450W PSU
Hauppage WinTV HVR-1800
Asus DVD burner
Seagate Barracuda (.10) 250 gig SATA HD

I've built with these components before (XP Pro) with no issues, save for the TV Tuner, with which I have no experience whatsoever. I intend to use the onboard video and sound to output to an HD projector and DD decoder via HDMI (or component) and optical digital out respectively.

What OS should I choose? XP MCE? or Vista 64 bit Home Premium? Or Ultimate? Does it have to include MCE items to work with the tuner card? Will XP Pro work? What will I give up with XP Pro in terms of functionality? Or is there software available to record OTA TV without the MCE extensions? Is the software with the tuner card decent or lame? Never having done it - I just don't know.

Whats the deal with the DRM issues with Vista? Will it cause me headaches? All my music is legitimate, but I don't want any more hassles than necessary.

I have 2 more gig of memory available if Vista 64 Home Premium is the answer.

Also, I had been toying with the idea of putting 2 750 gig drives into a RAID 1 with the D-link NAS device. However, the Gigabyte motherboard has a RAID controller on it - perhaps I should save the $180 and just put the RAID storage on this new rig. I'm not sure what that means from a networking perspective - if its more difficult to set up so that other computers on the network (just a few PC's plugged into a gigabit switch behind a router to share broadband) can use the array for storage/backup. Again, having no experience with this - I'd hate to either paint myself into a corner, or spend money for functionality that I already have somewhere else.

The arrangement is this new PC, and 3 other XP Pro rigs simply plugged into a switch and router (Dlink 2208 and 4300), and also a PS3 which I'd like to explore as a media hub. So I'm not sure yet how the PS3 will communicate with any of the PC's, since I really haven't set up any "network" in the formal sense - just plugged into a router. But it would be cool if I could access my mp3's and recorded video with the PS3. Maybe its not possible - or too complicated. Or simply not worth it.

Anyway, I'm no expert, but I'm not afraid to learn either and quite enjoy the challenge. Any advice you could offer on these topics would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
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  1. what gfx? try putting in an ATI one
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