Building a Core2 Duo DIY Vista PC - Is itTime to Build a Vista MCE or HTPC

 

 

Building a DIY Vista PC - part 4)


Part 1) Computer Building Basics:


Store (Hell) Bound First?

A Masochists tale

Pink?

Meet the Hardware

The Theory of the Blood Sacrifice




Part 2)
Building:

Installing the motherboard, Cpu and memory

Installing the Drives

Cable installation - headers, power and drive connections


Is it time to build a Vista MCE or HTPC?



Um, let's see here, um, No!

This whole thing comes down to what was the weirdest thing about CES 2007. Everywhere you went, it was Full HD! 1080p!!!! Full HD! 1080p! or Media Centers! Media Centers! Control the Living room Content Experience! FUN! Total Convergence! The trouble was, the media centers and convergence products were mostly not HD. So much hype about watching Standard def stuff all over the house. Where did my Full, True and complete HD go?

This is getting tiring...
You can't have it both ways. Either HD content is important or it's not.

A mediacenter or HTPC (Home Theater PC) without new HD Disk format capability is, well, rather lame. You don't just need HDMI Video capability either. It needs to support the new audio formats - it must have an HDMI output that supports uncompressed PCM audio output for listening to the newHD audio formats in all of their glory. Yes, they are coming.... eventually. It doesappearthat processors and video cards now have the firepower to handle high bit rate Blu ray and HD DVD disks, but you still have to pay a premium for them. Give it a little while longer (summer?) and things should look somewhat less expensive.


Right now (March 2007) , you obviously still have BIOS issues with the new Core2 Duo CPU's and the motherboards right out of the box. The latest versions of some DVD software are only just now getting together their HD DVD and Blu Ray support. By summer it all may make perfect sense, but for now only the extremely determined and financially well healed should make the attempt.



New hot HD Stuff -Alternatives to HTPC's and Vista Media center?


True - Netgear has a possibly nice device for wireless transfer of A/V at a "real"
HD resolution, but what's happening with it on a crowded wireless network area? The GUI is supposedly weak, and obviously there's no new HD sound format support.


The new Apple TV thingy is very interesting, but such a weensie hard drive! and no hard drive expansion?! Bound to be fun to use, but not quite enough capability for a set-top or htpc replacement. With a mini and an elgato HDTV tuner? Maybe. Still - no real hd video or audio...



Xbox360? Cool and operative. Same problems with wireless, as above, etc.



Some thoughts - possibly incorrect

Wireless network 802.11 based equipment for A/V? With so many powerline and coax alternatives gaining steam, wireless may lose some traction if they don't grasp more bandwidth somehow. Dead? No. Yes, we'll need to throw out the current stuff to get to the next level? Is Mimo really good yet? Um, no.

Content is King!

Content is going to be the big bootheal on the necks of all of these hardware vendors.

Are you forcing your Webstore/Software? Well, if so, you better have "it".

The ideal box?

Current HDTV/SDTV Content - Viewing and "Time Shifting"

DVD Playback

CD Playback

Blu Ray and/or HD DVD playback (audio and video "properly" - uncompressed)

CD/DVD storage

PC-TV capable at high resolutions (web surfing, etc)




Now that will be a "converged" box. I want that box, not to buy 7 intermediate boxes that move towards that ideal , not even one intermediate. Please wake me up when I can make or buy one for a reasonable price.



 Thomas Steves