Windows Media Center And The Race For Your Digital Living Room

Ross – my “IT guy” – stole my HP z545 Media Center PC a while ago.  I wasn’t really using it because there was too much “marital resistance” to this particular change in our AV infrastructure (plus, I never really got it working the way I wanted.)  Imagine my surprise when Ross suggested that it was the core of the best digital media solution he could envision (after he put it all together, of course.)  Ross has an extensive post on his blog up about his Media Center configuration and why he thinks it is the best solution – following is a teaser. 

The race for your digital living room is on, and you won’t believe who’s winning

Microsoft. Ok, so I didn’t want to keep you in suspense for too long, I guess that proves I’m not a great writer. But the fact is that right now in the race to win your digital living room Microsoft is smoking everyone else. That’s right, Microsoft. Ok, now let me tell you why and a little bit about my setup. First the goals for my system.

– Ability to access all my digital media (TV Shows, Movies, Pictures, Music).
– Ability to record and watch live TV (ala TiVo)
– Ability to playback virtually any codec type (from DivX, WMV, Quicktime, etc).
– Ability to output a HD signal and playback HD content
– Ability to program my existing remote controls to operate the system
– Easy to use, rich and attractive interface
– Must pass the WAF (wife acceptance factor) test (remember my wife works in IT too so this isn’t too hard for me)
– Common interface on ALL my televisions (Plasma in bedroom, Projector in Home Theatre, 32″ CRT in living room)

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