Column: Optimizing Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and Media

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by Kathie Werner, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. New Column: Optimizing Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and Media Center
    Extender Networks

    Columnist Barb Bowman explains how to enjoy digital entertainment throughout
    your home by setting up a wireless Media Center Extender network.

    Ask questions or post comments about the article here.
    Kathie Werner, Nov 21, 2004
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  2. Kathie Werner

    JOHNC Guest


    Looking for some guidence please.

    I am trying to set-up a home network with a new Media Centre desktop and
    wanted to get some expert advice before making mistakes.

    We have the following layout and equipment I would like to connect
    (wirelessly). The biggest gap is the Study to the Family Room which is
    approx. 20m. The walls are standard brick and timber.

    Layout as follows:

    Family Room
    TV + satalite decoder + VCR + hi-fi

    2 x PC (inc. new Media Centre PC)
    Broadband connection
    Wireless ADSL Modem & Router 802.11a/g

    Living Room
    TV + DVD + hi-fi


    1. Can I locate the Media Centre PC in the Study and still route sat-TV and
    VCR content through to the TV in the Living Room? What about routing onto
    other devices such as the PC monitors in the Study?

    2. Likewise can I route DVD content from the PC in the Study and/or the DVD
    player in the Living Room to the TV in the Family Room?

    3. Can I pause, rewind, stop and start the VCR from the Living Room?

    4. Do I need 1 Extender per device or per room?

    5. Can I play music onto both the Living and Family Room hi-fi at the same

    Many thanks for any help.

    2.Assumming I need to buy an Extender for both the Living Room and the
    Family Room.
    JOHNC, Nov 23, 2004
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  3. MCE/MCX won't let you share out your VCR or DVD. Almost stored on the MCE
    machine will be viewable on an extender. You will need an extender in any
    room that the MCE machine is not present. Your TV/SAT cable source needs to
    be near the MCE machine to make physical connections. Brick internally will
    be a problem for wireless.
    Barb Bowman \(MVP-Windows\), Nov 23, 2004
  4. Kathie Werner

    Speedy Guest

    I have a MCE connected to my MCE 2005 PC. When I look at a specific music
    genre on the PC, over 200 songs show up, but if I look at the same genre on
    the Extender, only 30 songs show up. Can you please help me figure out what
    is wrong? Thanks!

    Speedy, Nov 27, 2004
  5. Kathie Werner

    Terry Walsh Guest

    Derek - where are your music files stores on the MCE PC? Are they in Shared
    Music in your Shared Documents directory or somewhere else?

    Terry Walsh, Nov 27, 2004
  6. Kathie Werner

    Speedy Guest

    Hi Terry, yes, all my music files are stored in the Shared Music folder in my
    Shared Documents directory.

    Any ideas?
    Speedy, Nov 27, 2004
  7. Kathie Werner

    Terry Walsh Guest

    Apparently, the Extender unit needs to build its own library of music, even
    though you have your library built on your MCE PC.

    For more info:

    Doesn't sound like it's the neatest solution....


    Terry Walsh, Nov 27, 2004
  8. Kathie Werner

    Speedy Guest

    I have a problem with Windows security. When I go to My Music for the first
    time, a PC style security warning windows comes up indicating that is trying to redirect to and Do I Want
    To Allow This? If I don't clear this box immediately by pushing the OK
    button on my remote, the MCE will crash and have to reconnect to the PC. I
    used to get this message on my Media Center PC, but managed to get it to go
    away by adding * to my trusted sites list. How do I get this
    to go away on my MCE? Has anyone else seen this?


    Derek Ball
    Speedy, Nov 27, 2004
  9. Kathie Werner

    Alberto Guest

    I loved your article, so much so I also bought a DLINK DI-784 and I really
    love it. I use it for my XBox media extender (living room) and Media extender
    for the bedroom. A warning in the extender manual as well as your article

    Important: If you use the built-in wireless of the Media Center Extender,
    you'll need to disable any built in "super" or "turbo" modes on your router
    or access point.

    I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit. I'm using 802.11A strictly for
    the extender and I'm anxiously waiting for my DLINK 802.11A/G DGL3420 gamnig
    adaptor for the XBox. I'm still using an old school XBox wireless G network
    adaptor which does give me network congestion. Is the purpose of the warning
    that "super" or "turbo" mode will affect performance of the 802.11A network?
    I've been using it for a while now with the mode active and I haven't seen
    any performance degradation.

    Alberto, Jan 8, 2005
  10. Sure - the warning means that you have to have these special modes on
    both ends of the connection. if you configured the static supera mode,
    for example, on the DI-784 and were using the built in 802.11a on the
    stand alone extender, you might see some issues. there are 3 superG
    modes, as well. the DLink a/g gaming adapter (the one you are waiting
    for) can be run in any of the 3 modes with the same modes on the
    router and will provide incredible performance.

    The purpose of the warning is that some people configure these
    turbo/super modes on their router and then connectivity with their
    extender fails. Depending on which mode and what hardware, some of
    these faster modes have issues with certified a or g wifi modes.
    everyone has their own speed boosting mode these days, so the best
    general advice was to use only the certified wifi modes with the stand
    alone extenders for a better experience.

    BTW, the D-Link a/g gaming adapter is a real best of breed device.
    Barb Bowman [MVP-Windows], Jan 8, 2005
  11. Kathie Werner

    Thug 108 Guest

    can windows media center be downloaded and installed on any computer
    Thug 108, Mar 14, 2005
  12. Kathie Werner

    Bob [MVP] Guest

    The only downloadable version is for MSDN subscribers.
    Otherwise it's only sold by OEMs and system builders,
    either pre-installed on a PC, or bundled with some
    kind of hardware.

    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP Media Center Edition
    Bob [MVP], Mar 14, 2005
  13. Kathie Werner

    Bryan Guest

    Bryan, Apr 22, 2005
  14. Kathie Werner

    Bryan Guest

    Much is made of the "Extender". My apartment includes few tvs and many
    computers. Is it possible to interface with MCE2005 from another PC via the
    Bryan, Apr 22, 2005
  15. There is no "extender softwar for PCs" per se. However, there are at least
    two workarounds I know of.

    One is to just use another XP box on the network to play recorded tv and
    videos using Media Player.

    The other is to use Orb to give you similar abilities (plus live tv
    streaming) to any PC on your network or the internet.

    Neither will give you the "10-foot interface" of MCE.

    Dana Cline - MVP
    Dana Cline - MVP, Apr 22, 2005
  16. Kathie Werner

    afh3 Guest

    My MCPC is a Sony Vaio, and they included some of their own media-server
    software with it that allows me to install the client piece on my other
    WinXP systems and view the various content that way. It isn't the
    media-center interface, but it does give access to the TV shows and music.

    afh3, Apr 22, 2005
  17. Kathie Werner

    Bryan Guest

    Yes, and Snapstream's Beyond TV, which offers strong competition to MCE2005
    (I've tried both now), offers a software component to allow remote viewing of
    content. I'm afraid MS is still behind the curve.
    Bryan, Apr 22, 2005
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