Windows Media Center 2005

Windows Media Center 2005

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We received our Windows Media Center 2005 from Dell yesterday and I'm quite pleased. Not only is the machine a nice configuration but the capabilities of Media Center are great. There's nothing like kicking back on the home office couch and listening to music selected via remote on your 5.1 surrouned sound system or watching recorded TV in the living room via the Media Center Extender for Xbox over your Wireless-G connection (which is required since B can't carry the bandwidth requirement).

If you get a chance to play with one of these I recommend it. The Best Buy in Bellevue has a couple of nice set ups to try and I imagine other locations and retailers do as well.

The problem is transfering gigabytes of digital photos and other files. Setting up a new machine can be fun (although I admit I didn't start by reformatting this one like I usually do) but copying all the necessary documents, configuration files, etc., can be laborious.

I'm also taking this opportunity to do something I should have long ago: running under LUA, or a least-privileged user account. While I've never actually had any viruses, worms, spyware, etc. infect any of my machines since my first C64, it's always a possibility and not being an administrator means that the machine can't easily be infected. Not trusting anything that touches your computer is always a good idea.

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  • Welcome to the LUA club!

    You'll find yourself driven nuts at times, particularly if you have to deal with older programming environments (VB6 *crashes* on startup until you've run under your normal account with admin privileges at least once) or mobile ones (eVC behaves very oddly until you give Users full control permissions on HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows CE Tools and the ability to write to the EVC\Bin directory). VC6 seems to be OK though.

    I can't claim I haven't been infected *because* I've been running with a LUA. And it's a roadblock if I want to fiddle with settings. On the other hand, it's a roadblock if I want to fiddle with settings ;-)
  • How's it going guys,
    Got a question I think I know the answer to already ,but since I'm not an expert, theres no harm in asking. My question is, Can windows media center by configures to recieve my cable channels besides local cable. I can only view and record channels 2-20 or so, none of my premiun challenges like Sci-Fi Ect. Hope theres an answer out there that doesn't include the word "no".


    Kirt Wharwood
  • Kirt, yes it can. I just recorded the season premiers of both Andromeda and Battlestar Gallactica (I don't care what die-hard Gallactica fans think, the new is better than the original, although the original 1976 version was still very good).

    I didn't have to do anything special - just plug-in the TV tuner card to the coaxial cable, set my ZIP code, and pick the cable provider for my area.

    You may need to call your cable provider, though. Each provider does things differently.
  • Been out the area for awhile. But I'm back now. I have everything configured correct I think, but I can't recieve my anything but local cable. There's got to be something I'm missing. Someone talk me thru the setup(physically and internal) so I can double check whether I'm missing somethng.
  • Kirt, first keep in mind that I'm really in no position to support the Media Center itself, being I'm pretty new to it, too.

    But clarify "local cable". Are you saying that your digital cable channels are not coming in? If you have digital cable and are trying to record channels coming in only on digital cable (and not piped through regular cable) you still are required to have a digital cable converter from your local provider. This is rumors of tuner cards that will be able to do this, but I don't know how likely that is or when we'll see them on shelves - if ever.
  • Supposedly the cable cards that will allow MCE boxes (equipped with the proper card slot) will be able to decode digital cable signals sometime at the end of 2006
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