Andrew Connell

Latest Media Center topics

All the latest Media Center pages on this site.

Windows Media Center is a defunct digital video recorder and media player created by Microsoft. Media Center was first introduced to Windows in 2002 on Windows XP Media Center Edition.

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    Blog: Cutting the Cord - Taking Control of TV and Slashing Monthly Costs Over 70%

    In early October 2017 I made one change to this setup related to OTA channels. I got rid of the HDHomeRun Connect tuner & using Plex to watch OTA channels. Instead, I’m now using a TabloTV tuner with the associated apps on my phone, tablet & Roku to watch OTA live TV complete with a DVR & time shifting solution. I’ve updated the changes in the text below.
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    Blog: I love my Media Center

    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.
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    Blog: Another MCE update... if it's not one thing...

    It’s something else… isn’t it always that way? Well I fixed my video issue. Ends up I was fighting with the ATI Control Center, a special app you can get with the latest Catalyst v5.10 drivers that’s suppose to make it easier to manage your ATI card’s settings. I was having such a fit with it. In my research trying to troubleshoot my video issue (where the right & bottom part of the screen was getting cropped off when viewing on a TV & the video was only coming out in black & white), I saw many screenshots of people referring to the dialog with all the tabs when they went DISPLAY SETTINGS | SETTINGS tab | ADVANCED button.
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    Blog: So close, yet so far away... MCE update

    It’s been a while since I posted anything about the Media Center I’m building. I was having an issue where the after a few days, the audio & video would start chugging. The weird thing was that when I ran a WinXP system restore to jump back to a a day that I knew the MCE was not having the issue, it would resolve it. This made me think “ok, not a hardware issue”.
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    Blog: MSFT PDC 2005 - It all starts today

    Today is the first real day of the Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference in Los Angeles, CA. Now I know what it was like for those who weren’t at TechEd… living virtually through the bloggers and the news that trickes out of the event. With over 1,000 bloggers at this year’s PDC, I’m sure we’ll hear all the news as it breaks! I’m bummed (I’m not there), I’m stoked, and I’m totally distracted!
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    Blog: Media Center update...

    It’s now been about a week since I’ve had my box up and running and have overcome most of my earlier issues… still have a few things that I am working through before I move it into the living room. The biggest thing that was bugging me last week was the fact that everything worked great except watching/recording live tv. I had a unknown PCI device in the device manager (turned out to be the onboard audio) which I thought was the issue, but two other actions actually fixed it.
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    Blog: Media Center buildout update...

    I was VERY surprised to get a email the last two days from people asking about the progress of my buildout… so let me take a moment to toss out an update. Things have gone quite slow in the last 48 hours, and will for the next 48 hours as well as some final tasks wrapping up the book take the highest priority. So, here are a few tidbits: Everything is built, case is closed, and software installed.
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    Blog: Slipstreaming WinXP for SATA drives (and installation customization)

    It had to be one of the more frustrating computer related things I’ve dealt with. At first I thought there was something wrong with my media or drive as I was trying to install Windows Media Center from a DVD and the drive wasn’t booting like it was on my other machines. That’s still an issue, but even if I got past it (which I didn’t, I ignored it), I would have run into a more important one as you’ll see…
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    Blog: WMCE Build out: Day 2

    This was fun… after getting all the parts installed except for the video card , tuner , CPU , and CPU fan , I realized the Zalman fan I got for the case required something to be installed UNDER the board. Great… so I take everything back out and put it back in after I install the fan brackets. As you can see below, everything is now installed. I moved the case to my office, hooked it up to a KVM, and hooked it up to power.
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    Blog: Tangent: hardware manufacturers stink at documentation

    In putting together my Media Center last night , I encountered something I seen to hit every single time I am installing new hardware: the manuals/drawings/instructions almost always SUCK! I’m a developer… and I know enough about hardware to get by. When I started looking at parts for my Media Center, the term “PCI Express” was brand new to me… so was “SATA”. No problem there, we can all do a bit of research and find out why it’s so much better.
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    Blog: Let the buildout begin!!!

    The first box arrived last Thursday, the case on Monday, and the rest arrived yesterday! Unpacked everything and now it’s spread out across the dining room table. I’ve found my SilverStone LC16B-M case didn’t contain the bag of screws and risers for the motherboard which was disappointing after spending $200+ on a case. Thankfully I had two bags of spares lying around which solved that issue. Next, after opening the motherboard box, I got a little concerned if the huge 120mm Zalman CPU fan I got was going to clear a rather large heatsink for one of the on board chips.
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    Blog: TiVo posts it's first quarter profit ... but future quarters don't look so bright...

    Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a short overview of the TiVo conference call from Wednesday where they released that TiVo made a profit in the quarter ending July 31 of $240,000. However they issued a warning as they have elected to aggressively spend to boost their marketing. Another fact was mentioned during the call. They added 254,000 new subscribers in the quarter. However, 214,000 of them (roughly 84%) were from DirecTV subscribers.
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    Blog: Parts ordered for my new Windows Media Center

    After two weeks to looking around at various posts in the Media Center newsgroup , TheGreenButton ’s forums, reading other user’s config’s, reviewing the MSFT supported hardware , asking many questions, and just making decisions, I finally had my entire WMCE box spec’d out. Yesterday morning I ordered everything and it’s all on the way. Should have it ready for the build out over the Labor Day weekend. I’m looking forward to a solid few days of hardware driver hell… and flood the MCE newsgroup with questions.
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    Blog: And so begins my Windows Media Center build-out...

    I’ve had two TiVo Series 2 units for over two years now. Both are networked and are full of content, but my patience has been paper thin with TiVo . I’m a very demanding customer. You can’t just build a product, charge me a monthly subscription, and not innovate on top of it. In the last year, the only thing I’ve seen TiVo do is add the ability to record shows onto a DVD from your desktop… provided you drop another $50 on Sonic.
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    Blog: Nice tools from Chris Sells

    Chris Sells has a page filled with some nice utilities… I especially like the .NET CollectionGen tool .