A HomeMade Media Center

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microcacti

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Jan 25, 2005
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I was wondering what software to use in a media center I want to set up.

Here's the twist: I want to make it using an old 16mb RAM 486dx prosessor. I have windows 98/NT/98 but what software to use.

I have basicly unlimited storage on my network which it can access

MP3, WMA, and some AVI or MPEGs will be all I want to play.

Please help.

Sean
 
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Feb 20, 1999
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Quite honestly, if its just music, picture, and video, you're better off getting a network DVD player like this one:

http://www.momitsu.com/dvd_880n.html

Especially if you are going to be outputting to High Definition television with surround sound system. That player will do a better job then video card will do outputting to television and as a bonus, it does a better job decoding commercial DVDs--you will see a noticeable difference, especially in color saturation and sound decoding if you have a good surround sound system.
 
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Mulder don't recommend one of those, wait until xbox 360 comes out, it will be networkable and you can stream Hi Def over your wired network to the xbox.
 
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iXneonXi said:
Mulder don't recommend one of those, wait until xbox 360 comes out, it will be networkable and you can stream Hi Def over your wired network to the xbox.
What does Xbox do? And what's the point of streaming Hi Def when you won't have any High Def on your computer? :confused:

The industry is going to great lengths to stop people from recording High Definition signals to anything else but PVRs where you can't get it off of there in High Definition.

Explain the usage of that, would you or point me to a link that explains it--I'd be interested in seeing what that is about.
 
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Okay, I just went and looked at that XBox and you'd ONLY want that if your main thrust was video gaming. The link I gave you will blow XBox away in terms of quality of DVD on high definition because it upscales DVDs. If you are not a gamer, there's no reason to buy and Xbox over a high end networked DVD player. I don't play any games so I am much more interested in higher quality DVD playback.
 
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Not a big M$ fan but it looks like if you are gonna get a system that can receive streams from ur PC then why not get the added support for xbox games? The system itself looked pretty fast.

High-Definition Game Support

* All games supported at 16:9, 720p, and 1080i, anti-aliasing

Digital Media Support

* Support for DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD
* Ability to stream media from portable music devices, digital cameras and Windows XP-based PCs


from http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox360/factsheet.htm
 
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iXneonXi said:
Not a big M$ fan but it looks like if you are gonna get a system that can receive streams from ur PC then why not get the added support for xbox games? The system itself looked pretty fast.

High-Definition Game Support

* All games supported at 16:9, 720p, and 1080i, anti-aliasing

Digital Media Support

* Support for DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD
* Ability to stream media from portable music devices, digital cameras and Windows XP-based PCs


from http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox360/factsheet.htm
I understand and you are absolutely correct if someone thinks they may want the capability of playing games. That X-Box looks like a real neat little toy and the networking capability is definitely a huge plus--it is the wave of the future (i.e., networking multi-media devices). However, you are sacrificing a good quality DVD player to have something you don't need--the ability to play games. MS isn't in the business of making high end audio-visual devices.

The user said all he would be doing is "MP3, WMA, and some AVI or MPEGs." If he thinks he may want the capability to play games, then go with the X-box (although its not even out yet). However, if he wants a lot more options for quality home theater, a good high end networked DVD player is a much better option.

As an example, my DVD player has choices to output to all kinds of different settings 720p 1080i, NTSC, PAL, Component, DVI, etc, etc. etc., which is great if you have a Plasma or LCD or projections television. Most people don't realize that DVDs are NOT High Definition--they are 480 lines of definition. The Momitsu DVD player (and other higher end ones) will "upscale" the DVD to 720 or 1080--which means it will make it look better even though not true high definition (the colors are richer, crisper images) and the sound decoding is excellent. You can really see and hear a difference between it and a commerical run-of-the-mill DVD player. I doubt seriously that MS has put that technology in their X-Box--I didn't see it advertised anywhere.

So I think you need to decide what you really want. In my situation, I don't need the capability to play games--I'd rather have the superior DVD viewing quality as well as more options for viewing at different resolutions on my Plasma television.

Of course, if the thread starter doesn't have High Def television, a high end DVD player isn't going to make any difference any way, but the wave of the future is high definition television.
 
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All broadcasts beyond 2007 i think have to be HD. And it makes sense if you aren't going to game to get a good player, but it is a nice plus to get a console bundled with a network media center. Later, when blue ray becomes popular, it doesn't seem the XBOX will be able to play blueray, but possibly you could just stream the HD from your computer player (most new computers will eventually start coming with blueray drives i'm assuming, or the technology may not even need a new drive) over to the xbox.
 
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