PCworld.com reviews


Staff member
PCworld.com posted a huge review of 9 different Microsoft Windows Media Center machines. The machines reviewed:
  • Alienware DHS 5
  • CyberPower Media Center PC Limited Edition
  • Gateway 820GM
  • HP Media Center PC M1050y
  • IBuyPower Media-XP
  • Medion M3Director 5100
  • Shuttle Computer XPC G5 8300MC
  • Sys Technology MediaMax
  • ZT Group Cisnet Media Center PC X6534
Read the review
Their comparison chart seems to be missing/lost. Some of those prices are pretty scary (high).

I am curious why they didn't include a Dell, since I assume they are one of the big MCE sellers.

It would be nice if they dug a little deeper into the slow radio scanning issue. Are all the slow ones using the same FM card?
they obviously aren't familiar with MCE, an example is the removal of a radio station from the my radio menu, they claim they have to go through several menu's while all you have to do is push the clear button on the remote. Their issue with the Recorded TV/Guide under My TV doesn't make much sense to me either. As for the FM search issue, most of these machines use a Hauppauge based card/chipset (then there is AvertMedia, etc.), so they should be very similar.

I have the CyberPower machine, and FM scanning is very close to a regular radio. Keep in mind that you can rewind and pause live radio too, just like a regular TV station, so I would guess that's why it is slower with some of the other machines as it has to clear the buffer and restart recording, it's just a guess.

I emailed some manufactures for a review model (including Alienware), but CocoonTech just isn't big enough yet to get their attention, eventho the review would have been much more useful for sure.
I saw a guy at work using MCE. I was tempted to stop and ask him if i could check it out but he seemed a little busy and not paying attention. I didnt want to startle him :D

Why would one need MCE at work?
How in the world did he talk the geverment into letting him get it?
Why havent i tried it yet? :)
He probably has access to the MSDN libraries at work, and installed it there to play with it :D As for the reason why you don't have it yet, probably because people just ignore my MCE rants :)