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XP Media Center

This is where you can ask questions and get and give help about hardware related issues. This Forum will be moderated by Taw with help from some other experts. So feel free to ask any questions you may have about computers.

Post Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:08 pm

XP Media Center

In my eternal quest for new computer purchase, I'm tooling through different operating systems. I'm certain I'm going to go with WinXP Pro (not too enthusiastic 'bout Vista just yet). I'm curious what makes Media Center different from Pro for day to day usage (i.e. browsing/email/gaming, not just TV recording). Oh, and this is for a laptop with integrated graphics.

Post Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:13 pm

Media Centre really just is XP Home with a TV style friendly skin, just to organise photos, vids, music etc. It's not much cop really but it's ok for someone who really just uses their pc as a home media centre. It supports games, being basically XP, but can be a bit finnicky and by the time you've mucked about without, you might as well have left proper XP on in the first place.

laptop with integrated graphics should be fine as long as its of a sufficient spec to play the games you want to play. As you know we're not big fans of laptops for gaming here, although the newer ones seem to manage ok.

You'll be wise to bypass Vista and stick to XP, imo. Having said that, I don't think it's going to be as bad as some of us fear, i just don't see an argument for it. And I really don't like IE7 at all at all at all. It's Firefox all the way in Tawakalnistan.

Post Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:46 pm

Well said, Taw. I'm still thinking of going Alienware, but a much more low key machine oriented toward efficiency and *gasp*... academic usage rather than really hardcore gaming (I don't play too many 'new' games anyways), so the dual SLI and RAID is out. I'm not keen on spending $3500 US on a laptop anyways.

Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:15 am

if you do upgrade to Schmista-Vista, all the XP Media Centre features are included in Vista. It's actually a big rip-off of OSX in look and layout.

Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:40 pm

I am still confused about what the point is about Media Center... all examples I see from it show it to have an interface vastly different from the other 'normal' XP versions, more suited to a bunch of old folk sitting 'round the TV oohing and aahing about what the grandson taught the cat to do, than to gaming or other tasks. I think I'm (hopefully) wrong about this (after all, it'd be rather silly to have a whole expensive computer simply dedicated to playing videos and looking at photos...) I can't see any reason to use this OS.

Post Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:26 pm

underneath all the granny-intended skinning (very amusing observation btw!) it is just XP Home, and does pretty much all the things XP Home does. Personally I didn't really comprehend it's place in the market either, other than it gives system builders something a bit different to shove out to the punters who didn't really need a computer as such, but as you say, something to look at what the grandkids taught the cat. Whether a whole OS should be treated like this, rather than a third-party piece of software that operates as a media centre "shell" is debatable I suppose. I thought the Hauppage Media Centre suite was rather good, myself.

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