Media Center DIY – Not for Wimps

June 13, 2005

Digital Media Thoughts posted recently about issues with various MCE plugins, and Chris Lanier has been talking about the issue of supported hardware in MCE.

What all of this comes down to is that building your own MCE 2005 system is not for wimps.

While the OEM version of Windows Media Center Edition 2005 is readily available from various online suppliers, there are a lot more moving parts in an MCE system than there are in your average XP install, and getting them all correct can be non-trivial.

This is the reason why packaged MCE systems seem so much more expensive than the cost of the parts involved would make you think.

It’s easy to get an MCE system about 75% functional.

Take a reasonably fast processor, some RAM, a little hard drive space, a DVD drive, and a mid-quality video card built in the last couple of years. Add one of the less troublesome tuners (one of the Hauppauges for example), a MCE remote, and the OEM MCE 2005. Stir in a few drivers, and you’ve got a working MCE system.

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