Windows XP Media Centre Edition
Windows XP Media Centre Edition is a program in the Microsoft Windows XP operating system which is specifically designed to play the role of a home entertainment hub.
A snapshot of the Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005
The Windows XP Media Centre Edition came out in different versions. The first version was released in 2002 (Windows XP Media Centre Edition). It came with an FM radio feature. The second version was released in 2004 (Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2004). If you previously had Windows XP Media Centre, then Windows XP Service Pack 2 would have updated you to Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2004. The third version of Windows XP Media Centre Edition was Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 released in 2004. This version had CD/DVD burning support and media centre extenders. Later, an update for the Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 called Update Roll-up 2 was released. It gave support for the Xbox360 system as an extender and supported ATSC tuner cards and DVB-T broadcasts. The Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 is probably the best version of all since it has everything including all updates.
All Windows XP Media Centre editions were based on Windows XP and had all the same features except domain-ping which was disabled in Windows XP Media Centre 2005 edition. Terminal release was also excluded from the original release of Windows XP Media Centre Edition. To find out which version your Windows Media Centre Edition is based on, you can go to the ‘Control Panel’ and click on ‘System Properties’. If you want to find out which Windows XP Media Centre Edition you are using, select ‘About Media Centre’ from the ‘General Settings’ inside the Windows XP Media Centre Edition.
Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 has higher hardware requirements than the normal Windows XP Operating System. These include:
- A minimum of a 1.6 GHz processor.
- An ATI Radeon 9 or higher or an NVIDIA GeForce FX series or better.
- At least DirectX 9.0 hardware-accelerated GPU
- A minimum of 256 MB of RAM.
If you want to have extenders, HDTV playback, or multiple tuners, then you will need better performing hardware to pull off the job. The hardware required for Windows XP Media Centre Edition is more than that of other software DVR setups. Windows XP Media Centre Edition tuners needed to have a standardized driver interface and MPEG-2 encoders. This is no longer the case since companies such as ATI now have drivers specifically to support the Windows XP Media Centre Edition with some HDTV cards.
Benefits of XP Media Centre Edition:
You will be able to have one OS which will allow you to have fun and continue working. The Windows XP Media Centre Edition allows you to use normal software and applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. You will also have your online functionality bundled in this great release from Microsoft. Whether you want to plays games, chat online or surf the web, you can do it all with Windows XP Media Centre Edition. With Windows XP Media Centre Edition, you will also be able to create and maintain your own personal digital media library. You will be able to download and play videos, music and send media files from your PC to portable devices or CDs. You will also be able to share and print photos from your collections. It basically offers you convenient access to all your digital media from just one place. Windows XP Media Centre Edition is the best thing if you want to have the functionality of your PC along with some entertainment features.
Who Needs It
People who enjoy entertainment in digital format would love the Windows XP Media Centre Edition. If you want to store all your movies, songs, pictures and other digital media content in one place and keep them organized in a personal way while still having your PC to do normal day to day computing, then the Windows XP Media Centre Edition is the right choice for you.
Other Operating Systems with the same functionality of the Windows XP Media Centre Edition
There are other operating systems that have editions similar to the Windows XP Media Centre edition, e.g., Linux and Mac. They both have their own media centres which provide relatively similar features as the Windows XP Media Centre Edition. Many of them will have additional features and some will be lacking in some area but if you do not want to try the Windows XP Media Centre Edition, then you will still have a number of alternatives to go by.
eAR OS is a media centre which is based on Ubuntu (a type of Linux). Here is what the desktop looks like.
With this in mind, you can determine if the Windows XP Media Centre Edition is right for you or not. There are also other types of software which can perform DVR-like functions. These will probably lack some of the functionalities of a full media centre of an OS but you should be able to find a few. The choice is yours.