MCE 2005


Active Member
I am not an IP professional! Can someone explain in layman's terms what is meant by "Domain support has been removed" in MCE 2005 as it was included in MCE2004.

What would this mean to an end user with a home network, to have or not have domain support?

2. All of the MCE boxes I've seen to do not include a serial port. I would need a serial port to use my touch screen panel. Does MCE software support a serial port, provided the hardware mfg left a PCI slot open to plug a card in?

1) A windows based domain allows you to manage user permissions in a central location, makes it easier to share files among systems, and if in a windows 2000 environment, you can apply policies, manage the software installs/updates on all the machines on the domain. Most home users do not have a need for this, I personally use them at home but I have many machines which require access to each other.

2) MCE machines are just regular PC's, so they should come with them unless you get one of the cheaper machines where the legacy hardware might have been removed. You could always use a USB->Serial converter if you had to.
I would say that 99.5% of all home users never use a domain controller but rather use a workgroup (default configuration) for their home network.
Thanks electron and Rupp.

e, I was looking on BestBuys website, and neither the HP nor Sony MCE had serial ports listed.

What brand(s) MCE would be good?
I like the Medion machines, they are cheap, but loaded, Not sure if BestBuy has them the 2005 ones yet. I think the Sony's are probably the top of the line, followed by HP/Dell/Gateway.
Another question, does MCE support saving video as a MPEG 4 or only as MPEG 2 ?

(I'm about to get a headache trying to decide if I really want - ok I want, or need it, I think I need it)
they are actually mpeg2, but in a MS DRM wrapper (ms-dvr files). There is software out there to convert it to regular mpeg2 so you can convert it to whatever you want, that's one of the biggest issues I can think of. I got used to the ms-dvr format and never looked back or had the need to convert hem.
you play DVD's like you would play in a regular player, pop the disc in, MCE will automatically start the DVD playing, or you can go to the DVD menu. DVD ripping is not supported.
Yes, it's just like an XP machine, I have installed DVD shrink/decryptor myself so I can store the DVD images on my HD and switch them on the fly vs having to pop in a dvd whenever I want to watch a movie.
Thanks electron,

Sorry for all the basic questions, just trying to decide if I want to spend the bucks for a dedicated MCE machine.

I'm sure I'll have more "simple" questions!
I think there are plenty of reasons for a dedicated box for media use. Whether that box is running MCE or something else is another question.

The fact that MCE 2005 is so close in price to XP Pro, it certainly looks like it makes sense to buy it (if you are setting up a new machine) even if you end up using a different program.

Out of curiosity,
Does MCE play divx (and similar) files if the codecs are installed? Or do you need to launch something else?
Does MCE play ripped DVDs as VOB files (with the "DVD" codecs installed) or do you need to convert them to mpeg2?
Can you burn ms-dvr files to dvd (to play in a standalone dvd player) without third-party software?

I keep all my personally recorded stuff as mpeg2 for compatability (except for divx files for PPC use).
So Dan the ripped DVD's can be viewed using MCE software on just the TV connected to the PC or any TV in the house? Sorry for so many questions but this is confusing.
don't be sorry!

Any video file can be watched on any pc in the house, if you take ISO snapshots of the DVD's, then you would have to mount them with something like FireDaemon so they show up as a regular DVD drive. There is some nice software to do this all automatically for you in MCE, it's free, forgot the url , but I can find out. You could also mount the ISO's remotely so it looks like a local DVD drive to MCE, and assuming you have enough bandwidth, play the DVD movie. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want, this is the place to do it :)