Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Media Center Edition Plus GameEx MAME Plug-in = 1,2 Punch of Goodness

I'm no micro$oft fanboy, even the stuff they make that's pretty cool doesn't excite me like it should. Imagine my surprise when I found myself "loving" my media center pc connected to my tv, maybe more than a grown man should love a piece of electronics. Sure, I know the joys of a digital PVR, its a beautiful thing, but new are the joys of the Media Center PC, for one I can dump my backed-up divx and xvids, which play beautifully (read:install codecs). I like the online content, the TV recording tools are easy to use and have loads of great options (for example, say you want to tape the Simpsons Series, it will ask you if you want to tape from other channels to max out your occurences, and then tell you if there are dupes, conflicts, etc). It doesnt stop there, if you already have movies, photos and music on another PC in the house, you can stream everything over the network. I set up my machine to boot directly into Media Center, even though I know its booting into XP, then launching MCE, I just feel better not seeing XP, I think for the other people in the house, they are mostly unaware that its a computer and just think of it as some magical media gizmo.

The TV guide will also tell you all the movies on over the next 2 weeks and you can pick which ones you want to record, you can sort by genre, date, rating, release date, etc - complete with cover art, reviews and decription of the movies.

OK so I'm not going to get into details of building this PC or costs, you can buy a premade one for under 1G, you can build it even cheaper (or more, depending on how l33t you want it), I would recommend splurging on the case and getting something that doesnt look like a PC under your TV (unless you can hide it, computers dont excite the ladies like you may think). If you want to build one, just make sure you get cards that are supported by Media Center, all supported devices are listed here.

Still not convinced? well I've been polishing this silver bullet, there's a MAME front end for the MCE called GameEx , I dont usually pay for software but this 19 dollar enabler is the bomb diggity, everyone knows MAME is cool, but sitting at your PC to play games is shit ass lame, sitting at your TV with your friends watching a movie and taking a break to play some double dragon, pac man, SF2 and puzzle bobble (or any of the other 14 gigs of mame roms out there).. thats awesome. Best part is, everyone can play arcade games, there's not that "how do I strafe" issue with pac man, it's the first time when we had a bunch of people over and the girls wanted to choose the games to play and didnt end up getting bored cause we're playing burnout or something like that.

Theres EVEN more, with DVRMSToolbox (free) and ShowAnalyzer (10bucks), you can convert your recorded TV to whatever format you want AND detect and skip commercials, now thats sexy.

"Hand of Ike" gives the media center + mame combo a Five Finger Slap Of Approval! (that's a top score for those of you unaware of the 1-5 finger slap system)


At 12:04 AM, Blogger FiSHBoY said...

I checked that shit out. I'll admit it, it was the bomb.


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