* Posts by Mark 47

4 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

Windows Media Center EPG has SWITCHED OFF, wail Euro users

Mark 47

Re: Never was a huge success because it's crap

Which is why I and others who use it in anger run it on dedicated hardware with little else on it. It's still Windows after all.

I never experience any lag skipping back or forwards.

And if you use one of the dedicated remotes (and the original MS remote is a wonder) then you don't need to use the byzantine key combos.

Mark 47

That explains it...

...kinda. I'd have expected some announcement, and since Win8 offers MCE I presume this is a cock up rather than a switch-off.

I have said it before - in fact since about 2006 - and will say it again, Media Centre (Center!) has been the most reliable, useful, user-friendly MS product I have ever used.

If you go to the effort (yes, it's a slightly bigger if than just getting a Sky box) it rewards you time after time. My MCE box is home built (and that's the problem for the mass market) but being in an Antec case it's quiet, not too ugly, and fairly cheap to run.

This is a box that cost me about £300 to build in 2006 when I upgraded from XP MCE to Vista. It still runs fine with Win 7.

Having just got a 46" telly I can assure you the interface is the cleanest and most responsive I have ever experienced in a PVR. Even when I use friends' Sky boxes I think MCE still urinates from a great height.

It's speedy; the picture looks great; HD is perfect; SD upscales better than anything else; it worries about when to record things if it can't get the first transmission; plus it does the trick of being a PC if I need it to.

Best of all? It does the supposed-Apple trick of *just working*. If Apple ever build a TV presumably the TV interface will be very MCE. Indeed I wish the whole UI of my Samsung telly was similar to MCE rather than the Korean abomination which I otherwise try to avoid.

It is quite amazing that not only is it the same company behind MCE and Win 8 Metro - in many ways the origins of Win 8 can be seen in MCE, via the Xbox interface. They just lost the plot along the way.

If they ever did get rid of Media Centre I don't know what I'd use in its place. I'd cope, but IMHO it's such a genuinely refined product I'd be hard-pressed to find a decent alternative. It's amazing to think I began this journey with Showshifter more than 10 years ago. For once, credit to MS for coming up trumps.

Nexus 7 and Surface: A bonanza for landfill miners

Mark 47
Thumb Up

Depends on usage pattern

I have a Xoom, had it for about 4 months. Best thing I have bought in ages. In fact I bought the other half one for her birthday for #220 new the other day.

It depends what you want to do with them - I have found mine (as will she) perfect for web browsing, checking emails, reading some news, watching some telly and listening to podcasts etc.

I am under no illusions that the ipad is "better" but for what I need, this machine (which I am typing on now) for the price (I paid #250) for a 32gb tablet, is perfect. Best of all is how long the battery lasts - again not unique to this device. After a trip to London and back on the train (over 2 hrs each way) and a bit of use while there, it still had over 50% left.

(From my point of view, best of all is the ability to load it up with recorded TV from my Media Centre pc... it just plays the files, no faff. It's a bit slow to load on over USB but quicker than transcoding it all.)

So the Nexus 7 will have a market - but will it nick share from Apple? At #200 it might. The apps are getting better. Ever since I got this Xoom I've been saying Android tablets are much to expensive to compete - they need to be at the #250 level compared to a similarly-specced ipad. I certainly wouldn't pay #400-500 for an Android tablet.. Madness.

And there's another thing: every Android tablet I play with in a store runs like treacle. They never seem to stand up to the ipad next to them. Yet, shorn of all the crapware, vendor add-ons, pointless live wallpaper, and with a new launcher, they're perfectly fine.

(BTW the only issue I have, is whatever ROM I put onto this thing won't let this bluetooth keyboard type pound signs...)

Talking DAB and the future of radio

Mark 47

@Jon 77

"Surely, the reason is the low signal level, due to not wanting to interfere with the current analog signals!!"

Er, DAB broadcasts at around something like 210MHz.FM currently sits at about 88-108. No interference necessary.

The only interference of analogue signals will come from some twat in government wanting to turn them off. For that same hard-of-thinking twat, radio IS NOT LIKE telly. Tellies are fixed and can have decent aerials, and powerful signal amps and signal processing. (Unless you're a moronic chav in Coventry, you don't drive around with one on your dashboard.)

Radios don't work like that, and haven't for about 50 years. They're light, power-efficient, and able to resolve weak signals easily... at least when dealing with analogue transmissions. If you still don't get it, digital radio WINS NO VOTES.