Today, AnandTech brings you the second part of the series, which focuses on Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 and how it compares to the Linux-based MythTV.
Building a Linux PVR, Part 2: Microsoft’s MCE 2004
2004-09-17 Rumors 9 Comments
I don’t know of a single person that would buy a special “Media Center” version of their PC’s OS; in fact, I don’t know of many normal people (non-geek) that even know a Media Center version of XP exists!
The results come as no surprise. MS is stuck when making things like this to rules that broadcast companies make up (when told to make recordings private MS does and MS can’t have complete commercial skipping). The open source solution has generally WAY more features than the closed source option (as is often the case with open source software), but MythTV is always way harder to set up than the MS stuff, and it lacks some of the polish.
All this said, MythTV is one of the most polished open source apps I’ve used. It really is quite slick. It’s a shame it runs so slowly on quiet hardware (fanless). I know MCE won’t run on quiet hardware either, so maybe a real PVR is the way to go.
Media center is made for your STB or whetever will be the device used for connecting your TV, fridge, stereo etc
What’s the point in writing about MCE 2004 when MCE 2005 is to be released in less than a month?
Isn’t the first thing a tech website should to be is relevant and up to date?
I gave up reading the article on the second page. It is unbearable without adblock, and since i’m on knoppix with Mozilla, no chance.
Do these people seriously believe that anyone’s going to read that article if they put flash ads all around it?
Try Guidescope (www.guidescope.com). It allows ad blocking, and works just great with Linux/Mozilla (or Opera). I use it on both Windows and Linux machines.
Just leave the ad preferences blank, and it will block all ads.
In the WinXP media center the use a GeForce 4 MX440 128MB in the box that runned MythTV the used the intergrated VGA card. I wonder how much difference the preformance would be if the used the same VGA card in the Myth box.
I use to diffent PVR’s one is a dreambox and one is a mythbox based on KnoppMyth. I must say both are briliant! I hope somebody will build a fully working MythBox, maybe customized themes etc., and will begin sell that on the consumer market so that people would not only, again, think Windows is the only OS.
To avoid the ads and stuff, just click on the “print this article” link at the bottom of the page.
Video card selection is not that big of an impact when it comes to video performance. Video playback directly writes to video memory using the XVideo extension for X or DirectDraw on Windows. Then, the hardware takes care of scaling and colorspace conversion, where there is no longer any big performance differences between chipsets unlike 3D GPUs. There can be quality performance differences due to the scaling some but more so with the electronics and analog output.
Near the end of the article, it mentions something about how MCE always displays the current video program as picture-in-picture (called thumbnail in the article) on any menu whereas MythTV does not. However, the article suggest that perhaps MythTV does not do it due to performance overhead of scaling, which is not a good explanation due to hardware scaling.