Windows Media Center

I’m on the verge of purchasing a windows media center box, and was wondering whether anyone out there has any strong likes/dislikes about MCE.

I’m currently streaming my music through the house via an existing server (just does file and printer sharing) , and using an old ReplayTV for the TV recording. I’m hoping to consolidate the server into the MCE box and perhaps relegate the ReplayTV to backup status. I was thinking that I would replace the stock single input card with one of the new dual input cards.

Any suggestions/thoughts/insights?

My rig has XP MCE on it. It’s fine enough, configuring it is a snap. But! Make sure you back up your shit and try to pry an XP MCE system disk out of the manufacturer or Microsoft. A copy of MCE for reinstall ain’t easy to come by.

Plus, dunno if you know or care, but MCE doesn’t automatically mean you have a TV tuner/cable RF in. Mine doesn’t, but I work around that with an Audigy2ZS Platinum that takes a digital optical in and a Dell LCD monitor that takes an S video in, both from a DVD/VCR combo, to use my monitor as a TV. Plus, the front plate for the Audigy Plat (and the new SB card has it as well) has SPDIF i/o, the aforementioned dig optical i/o, your generic stereo red/white Aux in, an jack for real headphones and a line in (for a gee-tar or summat), plus MIDI i/o and a stupid little remote. I recommend it for your MCE rig (the card comes with a slew of adapters, to fit PC pin into headphone jack, etc).