Alright guys, I told you that I would put up some screens so here they are:
Standard Definition Cable TV:
Electronic Programming Guide, provided by Comcast
I recorded the new show "Parking Wars" since I missed it the other night:
When you hit the Media Center button on the remote or the symbol up top, you get this:
This is a 3rd party app called "MyMovies". It keeps your backed up DVD collection via SQL. When you tell MyMovies what movie it is, it automatically downloads cover art (front and back) and downloads information for each actor, actress and director. A little overkill but what the heck:
I'm still working on the music and pictures. I'm having to convert all of my iTunes music from MP4 to MP3 one at a time and then copying them over to the Media Server.
Overall, everything was real simple to get working. A fresh install of Windows Vista Home Premium and updating everything BEFORE installing anything else did wonders for my media. Streaming everything but my backed up DVDs to my XBOX 360 works perfectly. Right now, the X360 Media Remote is the only media remote I own. I plan on getting a MCE remote some time next month.
So what's next? First, let's get something straight with the whole HDM format wars. I'm a supporter of HD-DVD all the way and I believe it is the superior format. HOWEVER, I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants this format war to be done with. In a way I hate to see the HD-DVD camp lose support but then again, I just want this to be over. With that said, I am looking to add either Sony's Blu-Ray DVD-ROM drive to my HTPC or LG's Hybrid Drive. I would like to give the software a little more time to catch up since I hear mixed reviews about PowerDVD, AnyDVD and others.
Next, I will obviously like to add more hard drive space. Backing up my DVDs aren't taking up as much space as I thought it would so I'm happy. However, I do have 20 different TV show DVD sets to back up! Just for FYI, I am only backing up the movie itself, no DVD menus or BTS stuff. That saves 1-2GB!
Finally, I would like to get a different case and power supply. The case I have is OK but it is cheap, probably the cheapest case I've ever own in terms of quality. Maybe I can get something that is a real HTPC case and that will flush with my other equipment. The power supply is doing ok, but you can tell that it's maxing out. There has been a few times where I've tried to wake it up from screen savers but I have to reset the entire machine for response.
If anybody has any questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks for looking guys!