"Media Center PC"

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by MattG, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #1
    There's a couple that I've been helping with some hardware they just purchased. They have an HP Media Center PC and one of these things. Basically, this computer has everything in it...both ethernet and wireless connectivity, every kind of audio/video port you could ask for, plus a video card that includes a Cable-TV outlet.

    The Media Center software on the computer can play TV, record TV, and work as a "TiVo" where you can schedule programs to be recorded, fast forward/rewind through stuff you've recorded, etc. Using that Media Center Extender, you can plug into your television and stream audio/video over the network from your computer to your TV. You can even program this thing to control your cable box so it changes the channel for you when it's time to record something.

    As much as I hate admitting something on a PC is "cool," I couldn't help but think it. When is Apple going to do something like this? Is there anybody that makes hardware that you could put in a Powermac and accomplish the equivalent? I don't necessarily need the extender thing, as long as I could plug the computer into the TV and accomplish the same thing. I'd really like a system like this, but I don't want to spend the money on an expensive Media Center PC, and furthermore...I really don't want a PC ;) What to do...
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Solon, OH
    #2
    My opinion on the matter of Media Centers is that they are before their time. I suspect that Apple thinks this way too, and thus is not releasing a product to compete with Windows XP Media Center Edition.
     
  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    Feb 4, 2004
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    Florida Resident
    #3
    Back in 1988, I was using my Amiga as a media PC. Only a few seconds of video without sound so it didn't record entire TV shows. Even integrated with my stereo to digitize music. I can watch live TV and radio.

    I would like a media Mac. I want it to use Quicktime standards for video and audio. At least the PC version that supports Quicktime and DV formats and iTunes.

    I think the Media PC is a cool concept.
     
  4. *Y* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Didn't Apple release a mac that could act like a TV, back in the days? :confused:
    I guess Apple was a little bit of their time, like they always are. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #5
    Before its time?

    Hardly - especially with TiVo on the market, this is a great thing, especially if you had a 30" display. It would make sense for Apple to do something like this - it might just be that they're not ready.

    D
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    In my younger days a "media center" would have been have been great for the "micro spaces" I used to live in. Now, it is less of a concern. Though if I were to be "forced to move"; having something that could be a "total center" for my personal and work life would be a high selling point. Though if it were a Windows based system, that is a non-starter. In the last year I have not had re-install my Mac OS for spyware or viruses, unlike my other halfs Windows system that is on it second install of the OS in a years time.
     
  7. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #7
    It certainly seems like this is where the future is going...I'm sure Apple must have something in the works.
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Northern Virginia
    #8
    I might be willing to go into debt over a Mac/Tivo 30" system. The only requirement would be to have a second monitor (maybe a 23") for when watching TV. :D

    One of the issues I see is the different capabilities offered. I have a Cox DVR that allows me to record two channels, while watching something that I already have recorded. "Time-slipping" has become my friend.
     
  9. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #9
    Picture quality is a huge drawback. I have a ReplayTV and a Media Center PC. The ReplayTv is connected to my regular television, and the Media Center PC is in my home office. Both are equally as functional, except I have cable and the picture quality on the Media Center PC is very bad. However, it serves its purpose.

    Until HDTV is widely adopted, and digital cable is affordable...I don't see Media Center PC's consuming a huge portion of the market.
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #10
    In my area I resent that my cable provider charges more for HDTV connection. Add to that they only allow the rental of the HDTV desktop sets now. No one locally sells them any longer, and they will not support any issues with an "owned" set, unless it was prior to 9/04 (damn Cox Cable).
     
  11. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    #11
    I thought the picture quality from the Media Center PC was pretty good...not as good as straight from the cable box, but acceptable.
     
  12. ShermDog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    I currently have a Dual G5 2.0 that I use as a media center. I have it hooked up to my receiver via the Toslink out port and a DVI-to-Svideo adapter, allowing me to surf the web, view my iPhotos, and listen to my iTunes in my living room. Of course, I still use it to edit home movies, word processing, etc., but it's nice having all my photos and music available on my main entertainment system. I control it all from my sofa using the Apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

    I am thinking about purchasing the Miglia Alchemy TV DVR pci card so that I can hook up my cable box directly to my G5 and record shows onto the hard drive (according to their website, you can even use iCal to schedule recordings). That way, I can get rid of my VCR. I'd like to get rid of my DVD player also, but I think my standalone DVD player can produce a better picture since it is a progressive scan player (I don't think Superdrives are, but I really don't know).

    I am hoping Apple introduces a media center computer, much like the Cube. The one thing I don't like about my set-up is having the huge G5 tower next to my entertainment center. A cube-sized media center would be awesome. Better yet, something the size/shape of standard media components would be nice.
     
  13. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    AR
    #13
    Its $15 extra in my area, and you must subscribe to digital cable (which is another $15). I pay $38 for cable, to get HDTV & Digital Cable I would be paying $68 + $5/monthly for each additional receiver (box).
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #14
    I guess we are lucky, I think HDTV costs are $5 or $10 more. Same thing, digital cable is needed. I am now paying $80 a month for "ultra" basic cable TV, digital TV (which is the Discovery channels and the Encore channels), DVR rental, and cable modem. I think it is too much IMO.
     
  15. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    AR
    #15
    I wouldn't say its Microsoft's fault. The resolution of a standard NTSC television signal doesn't cut it when its displayed on an LCD monitor.
     
  16. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #16
    That makes sense - the native NTSC "half" and "full" resolutions (used by game developers) look pretty blocky on a regular computer monitor. Don't even think about going fullscreen on a 30" Cinema HD Display for an NTSC "half" picture - it's going to look very, very bad.
     

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