Media Center (mostly for audio)

B

bolker

Enthusiast
I posted this in the wrong forum, so moving it over here.

I'm mostly interested in setting up a Media Center to play my MP3s over my home theater system. It would have been nice to use my Tivo, but alas, it's DirecTV. It would be nice also to play some video from my PC network, but this would only happen once in a while. But for playing MP3s and other audio formats, is it worth getting anything more than a Hauppauge MediaMVP? It's only $86 from newegg It seems to handle audio very well, and only some glitches reported that supposedly were taken care of.

Is MediaMVP a good solution? What's better in that price range? If this works, it would solve pretty much all my media needs.

Ron
 
WndrBr3d

WndrBr3d

Full Audioholic
We discussed that here.

Basically, if you're going to be hooking your MediaPC up to your system using any form of digital out (Coax or Optical), it really doesn't matter what sound card you're using, because while listening to MP3's or Watching Videos, you'll be bypassing your DSP/DAC on the sound card, since you wont be processing the audio nor sending it out any analog outputs.

If you are going to be hooking up your sound card via analog outputs, you'll probably wanna sink the money into a good sound card.
 
B

bolker

Enthusiast
MediaMVP appears only to accept input from a network outlet, it doesn't connect to the sound card in any way. I believe that means MediaMVP is interpreting the audio and video files, and just accessing the PC as a file server. So it would be limited to whatever soundcard/video they use? I'm not sure.
 
Duffinator

Duffinator

Audioholic Field Marshall
Correct, the MVP has DAC's built in. I have one and it works well for the price. I use it mainly for audio and photos and occasionally video. The menu system is a bit clunky but it's a good option to get you started with this type of setup. I've been looking for something that will do HD Video and is more user friendly. The Roku looks promising but like all the others it's not perfect either. I also have DirecTV TiVo and wish the home media option was available to us. But even that's not perfect. :(
 
N

newfmp3

Audioholic
I've tried a few media centers, and to be honest, the absolute best media center is a modded xbox with xbox media center on it, and you can use Wireless ro cat5 to get to your pc and stream whatever you want from it. It has the best support for video/audio of ANYTHING PERIOD.

Now, if that's not an option, what about the Dlink DSM-320, which is also wireless or wired.

I've seen it for just under 200 Canadian at most places

http://www.dlink.ca/product.php?PID=281

You might only want mp3's now, but make sure to get something that supports xvid/divx video's....trust me.
 
avnetguy

avnetguy

Audioholic Chief
newfmp3 said:
I've tried a few media centers, and to be honest, the absolute best media center is a modded xbox with xbox media center on it,
I'll second that, use the modded XBox alone or even better networked to your computer for videos, audio and you ... I mean the kids ;) , can play games to boot!

Also, I use an Avermedia 1500 in my PC to record all my TV shows and watch them through the Xbox, works great!

Steve
 
Duffinator

Duffinator

Audioholic Field Marshall
newfmp3 said:
Now, if that's not an option, what about the Dlink DSM-320, which is also wireless or wired.

I've seen it for just under 200 Canadian at most places

http://www.dlink.ca/product.php?PID=281

You might only want mp3's now, but make sure to get something that supports xvid/divx video's....trust me.
The D-Link does look promising and a friend of mine just ordered one. When he gets it hooked up I'll report back on what I think of it and how it compares to the MVP.

I don't have an X-Box but I bet they will be real cheap very soon. Can someone post a link to a good site for modding the X-Box?
 
Duffinator

Duffinator

Audioholic Field Marshall
newfmp3 said:
www.xbox-scene.com

and the media center is

http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/info_screens.htm

although, these screenshots are of the older skins. You can get various interfaces (skins) for XBMC. You need to really see it in action though, it's amazing what it can do.
Wow, looks like this could be the ticket, I had no idea as I'm not much of a gamer. I have a PS2 but rarely use it. I saw a reference to a modded box but no link. Can you buy a box already modded?
 
avnetguy

avnetguy

Audioholic Chief
Duffinator said:
Wow, looks like this could be the ticket, I had no idea as I'm not much of a gamer. I have a PS2 but rarely use it. I saw a reference to a modded box but no link. Can you buy a box already modded?
Some places do sell a modded XBox but I don't think they are that common. Best thing to do is ask around your area and find someone that has done it and that will mod it for you. I installed an Xecuter 2.6 myself which was a little tricky but not really difficult.

BTW, you can view the MediCenter in 1080i with the component video connections. :D

Steve
 
Duffinator

Duffinator

Audioholic Field Marshall
avnetguy said:
BTW, you can view the MediCenter in 1080i with the component video connections. :D

Steve
That's what really caught my attention. While I don't use my MVP much for video I use it a lot for photos and it would be great to view them at a higher resolution. :cool:
 

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