I love my Media Center

Sunday, December 18, 2005 2:34 PM

It’s been quite a while since I last posted about my experienced in the Media Center buildout.  I moved the MCE into my living room in late October, replacing the DVD player, and moved my Tivo into my office. I didn’t want to prematurely post about it until not only I had used it for a while, but my wife had used it too. After 1.5 months of use, I can easily say Media Center blows Tivo out of the water IMHO.

I am having a few issues, but nothing more than some annoyances I just haven’t had time to deal with. 

  • One of them deals with this weird rainbow effect on the picture that lasts for a few seconds… no big deal. I suspect this has something to do with my aging DirecTV receiver sitting atop the MCE that’s always on.  It shows not only in live recordings, but in recorded shows as well as when I watch the shows on my XP desktop or laptop.  Again, not something I’m concerned with.
  • The case I got contains two 8mm fans in the back. I can tell the PSU and CPU fans aren’t generating hardly any noise. While the case fans do generate some noise, it’s not enough to annoy or affect regular TV watching. Next time I get the case out, I may disable one of the fans and even replace one with a super silent fan just to generate some airflow.
  • Annoying Issue #1: Sometimes, when watching TV for a long time (over an hour or so), the picture seems to skip around.  I can usually fix it by letting it run it’s course, then jumping back one or two times to get it back in sync.  Unfortunately, the longest running things right now are football games and of course, it always does it during a critical big play.
  • Annoying Issue #2: Sometimes, the audio just goes away. If I leave it be, it almost never comes back.  But if I jump ahead and then back, sometimes it comes back.  Sometimes I just have to hit mute, follow along with close captioning, then unmute when the audio kicks in.
  • Annoying Issue #3: I have no idea if this is with my Media Center or with my client machines… I have a personal domain at home (AD).  All machines are in the domain (or in another domain, like my work laptop) except for the Media Center. Because the Media Center has all my music, pictures, and home movies on it, I’d like to map a few drives over and be able to play music in my office.  Unfortunately, after creating the mapping, then rebooting, I get errors stating the map already exists and I need to remove it… but I know it’s not… I’ve manually disabled all network drives.  Think this is more of an XP issue, but it’s annoying enough to cause my wife to nag me about it (hey, it rubs me the wrong way too when I can’t get to my music when working late or from home).

I’ve seen some fixes come across the MCE blogs that mention post MCE Rollup Update 2 fixes.  I haven’t done anything since installing Rollup Update 2 so maybe that will help… I just need to spend some time reading the newsgroups & forums on TheGreenButton.

Even with these annoying issues, I still wouldn’t give it up!

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