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Thread: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

  1. #1
    sp3n
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    Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    Ok so I moved into a flat over the weekend from living in a double room in a shared house.

    The problem is this: in my living room, I have my Home Cinema Setup (HDTV, PS3, Projector, Amplifier and Speakers) - and then in my bedroom I have my PC (vista with media center and media browser) with external HD-DVD drive.

    How can I watch HD-DVDs and my media center content in my living room? I have heard there is a thing called a media extender? But I don't know what that really is... Or I could get an Xbox 360, which apparently has Media Center capabilities or something and then I could plug the HD-DVD drive straight into that? Or am I going to have to run a couple of cables (dvi and optical audio) from one room to another?

    If anyone has a similar setup or can give some advice, I would appreciate it greatly

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    Re: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    The best thing in my mind would be to build a HTPC, or by an Acer Revo to act as a media streamer, linking in nicely with your MediaBrowser library stored on the PC. If you didnt want to buy another HD-DVD drive, you could share your PCs drive over the network and play the DVDs from there via something like Total MediaTheatre in Media Centre.

    The Xbox 360 is an offical Media Extender, literally extending your PCs media centre to wherever the 360 is attached to. You'd need another HD-DVD drive for this option and would have to consider transcoding any videos files due to codec issues on the 360.

  3. #3
    sp3n
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    Re: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    Cool, thanks for the reply.

    As the xbox is an official extender, its sounding like I should probably go down that route!

    Probably should have mentioned that the HD-DVD drive is the actual xbox360 addon. So if I was to get an xbox, I would plug it straight into that.

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    Re: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    Only thing I would say about that is that my 360 is loud as hell playing dvds etc. Its an original one so things may have changed (I would hope), but check it out before you invest in it.

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    Re: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    You could maybe track down a cheap HD-DVD player I guess. Not sure how available there at the moment, but it could well be cheaper than a 360, and likely will be quieter.

    Or you could get a very long HDMI cable to hook up your PC to the AVR, and a decent remote, like a Gyration one, and control Windows from your living room - depending on the flat set up of course.

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    Re: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    I never considered the 360 myself, simply beacuse it a closed box with no scope for upgrades, expanded use and restricted codecs.

    The noise also put me off, but not sure what the newer units are like. For me personally, only a HTPC will do.

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    Re: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by s_kinton View Post
    The noise also put me off, but not sure what the newer units are like. For me personally, only a HTPC will do.
    What noise?

    When used in extender mode the optical drive doesn't spin up at all unless in use with a DVD and in my 'jasper' xbox 360 the noise generated when in use is comparable to my compro NMT-1000W media player.

    In regards to the orginal poster, I would recommend getting a media player that supports more codecs and file formats such as something like the popcorn C200 players and stick a HDD/optical drive into it as these support so much more than the xbox does and that is why I have the compro unit so that I can play various formats the 360 doesn't do.

    However, according to various sources, MKV playback with the 360 in extender mode should be now be supported but my 360 is still not networked so it's not something I've tried .... yet!
    Last edited by Lee H; 24-03-2010 at 03:04 PM.

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    Re: Media Center in another room? Extender? Xbox?

    Whilst i agree you mostly Lee, if the OP wants to watch their HD-DVDs, the NMTs won't help there.

    Other than that, the Popcorn Hour NMT series or WD Live 2 have pretty good reps.

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