Cheaper Media Center Alternative

S

skyxliner

Enthusiast
ok i posted a thread last time and i think i confused you guys instead. so i'll make my problem more clear. umm i'm sure you guys know what a media center extender is, which basiclly connects pc multimedia to the tv. I was interested in setting this up because many of my movies are on my computer and I'd like to watch them through this network system.

question 1) when you use windows xp multimedia edition 2005, does it only work on microsoft approved products or can you the software be used for any type of media center receivers.

I've done my research of a few media centers but they are quite pricey

Linksys Dual-Band Wireless A/G Media Center Extender

Dlink Media Center Edition

Question 2) is there a cheaper alternative to these products or is the market still not saturated enough for prices to drop from the 100 ranges. The cheapest that i've seen was the Hauppauge for around 80's.... is there another cheaper type of setup where i can watch videos from my computer on the tv
 
Spiffyfast

Spiffyfast

Audioholic General
Well for the cheapest alternative (not buying a media center at all), if you are close enough, or don't mind running cable around your house, buy a graphics card with a TV-out can be had for as little as probably 40 dollars, most use an s-video out, but I have seen a few that have component out options, and run the cables to your tv and voila you have a computer on your tv. Just run an accompying audio cable from the computer as well and you are set, thats what I've done for years and it works well.
 
S

skyxliner

Enthusiast
yeah i've done that in the past but i'm not too liking having a computer system right next to the TV... i guess the only way is to buy a media center or maybe i'll wait a few more years for the market to get more saturated.
 
Spiffyfast

Spiffyfast

Audioholic General
skyxliner said:
yeah i've done that in the past but i'm not too liking having a computer system right next to the TV... i guess the only way is to buy a media center or maybe i'll wait a few more years for the market to get more saturated.
you dont have to have the computer right next to the tv, use long cables. Then get something like the ATI Remote wonder and an IR repeater so you can control your pc from another room.
 
Duffinator

Duffinator

Audioholic Field Marshall
I'm using the Media MVP and it works well considering the cost. No component video connections though. I use mine mainly for photo and MP3 audio, very little video. I've been looking to upgrade to a more sophisticated device and from what I've seen none of them really do what I want them to do with a clean and simple GUI. Think TiVo OSD here. Even the TiVo Home Media Center (or whatever it's called) isn't perfect. It's really too bad because the basics of what the MVP and the like do is perfect for my needs. The Roku looks promising but after reading several reviews it also leaves a lot to be desired. There are about a dozen of these media extenders out there and maybe one of the manufacturers will put some R&D money behind their product and give us a really nice product. I have a friend that is buying the DLink version and if he gets it soon I'll post what I think of it.

BTW, I thought this was what you were trying to get at in your other post. :)
 
S

skyxliner

Enthusiast
I feel the wireless video transmitters will do the work but i don't think they are too good of a product.

Media MVP - is the one that i've been lookin at and have been considering because its probaly the cheapest on the market with a decent brand... but does it support avi files and others? cause i heard it only supports mpeg1,and mpeg2, and divx and a few others.... most of my movies are in avi

and the dlink and linksys seem to be the two top choices out there on the market... if only i had the money haha..
 
Spiffyfast

Spiffyfast

Audioholic General
skyxliner said:
I feel the wireless video transmitters will do the work but i don't think they are too good of a product.

Media MVP - is the one that i've been lookin at and have been considering because its probaly the cheapest on the market with a decent brand... but does it support avi files and others? cause i heard it only supports mpeg1,and mpeg2, and divx and a few others.... most of my movies are in avi

and the dlink and linksys seem to be the two top choices out there on the market... if only i had the money haha..
well, divx is avi so you are golden there
 
Duffinator

Duffinator

Audioholic Field Marshall
I have a wired network thoughout my home so I'm not using wireless. I would think Linksys would have their act together but I haven't read much about it. What I'm really waiting for is for someone to do HD. Maybe either the Dlink or Linksys will do that I'm not sure. I downloaded a Shark's Tale HD trailer from Divx and it looks spectacular on my PC but it won't play on my MVP.

Let us know what you get and your impressions of it.
 
S

skyxliner

Enthusiast
Duffinator said:
I downloaded a Shark's Tale HD trailer from Divx and it looks spectacular on my PC but it won't play on my MVP.

thats exactly what i read in one of the reviews about MVP, it has problems with playing large files and sometimes doesnt' work... but i think they had the problem fixed with a firmware.. I'll give mvp a try... or i'll just save money and buy a linksys or dlink at later times...


I think someone had HD tv connected to their computer and then had tv transmitted to their tv with the linksys media extender and it works with HDTV... so might wnat to check that out
http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/mce.asp
 
Tsunamii

Tsunamii

Full Audioholic
Ive used the VLC media player for awhile now (after I was in Codec hell trying to get a clip to play) and have yet to find a source it can not play. If your intrested in trying it out its free.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
What kind of a display are you looking to hook this up to? What type of connection are you looking to make?

The best way to ever hook a PC up is via hard wire directly to the TV via SVGA or DVI/HDMI. You are always sacrificing quality when you go another route. We just installed a couple of Linksys wireless PC receivers. The receiver picks up the computer video output and converts it back to SVGA. It looks very good, but it is slow and produces artifacts which immediately makes it worthless in a home theater environment.

I would just pick up a 50 foot SVGA cable and run it from my PC to the display.
 
Duffinator

Duffinator

Audioholic Field Marshall
BMXTRIX said:
I would just pick up a 50 foot SVGA cable and run it from my PC to the display.
So if you are fifty feet away then how do you operate the PC and HT? ;)

That's where the media extenders come in. They work well but have a lot of room for imporvement.
 
J

jbracing24

Junior Audioholic
I am running a Sony Media Receiver wireless network 802g. The PC is in the office and I can stream recorded video, stored pictures and music to the HT 30 feet down the hall. I was sent an upgrade disc to MCE 2005 which vastly improved the system. I stayed with one manufacturer to try to avoid conflicts. Turns out, Sony Support was instrumental in helping with the setup.
The Media Receiver has its own remote and Roomlink connects with toslink and S-Video to my Denon. I still get it hanging up once in a while, especially when FF commercials.
Initial outlay wasn't cheap, but you do want something that works as advertised.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Duffinator said:
So if you are fifty feet away then how do you operate the PC and HT? ;)

That's where the media extenders come in. They work well but have a lot of room for imporvement.
RF Mouse & Keyboard should work with no problem. You maintain video clarity and control.

Until PCs ship with HDMI I will leave my home theater display devices to home theater designed equipment.
 
avnetguy

avnetguy

Audioholic Chief
skyxliner said:
oI was interested in setting this up because many of my movies are on my computer and I'd like to watch them through this network system.
I think the cheapest & nicest route to take here is a modded XBox. Plays almost everything through shares you setup on your computer and DVDs to boot. It has a nice onscreen interface much like MediaCenter and if you like, you can even put the movies/music on the XBox itself with a simple harddrive upgrade.

The XBox also can output using component connections.

Steve
 

Latest posts


newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top