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Windows 7: New Media center user with Questions

11 Nov 2011   #1

eindows xp home
 
 
New Media center user with Questions

I have a HP Pavilion Notebook that I am planning to use as a dvr and to stream video off the web and hard wire to my tv and use a Haupague USB duel tuner. My question for now is if I can utilize this laptop for this purpose while I am also using it to run another program at the same time? I use another program that utilizes the notebook display as well as two other displays connected through usb ports. Im wondering if I can assign the media center to either the vga or hdmi port and let it run in the background while running this other program? Or would I be better suited to use another dedicated computer to run the media center with.It is a situation that requires that the media center not interfere with the other program. I think that the processor has plenty of power to push the programs as the Core i7-2720OM processor only runs at about 5% utilization without the media center software running. Thanks for any insights you may have inadvance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

If i understand your query correctly( the performance of MCE and your other running program's will depend on your CPU and video card so best to give it a try and see. If your other program is an intensive graphic program or game you'll probably have issues.
You can run MCE on any screen, just drag it over in windowed mode to another screen then maximise. The mouse will be constrained to the MCE screen, to release it press the windows orb key on your keyboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2011   #3

eindows xp home
 
 

Thanks for the input. The second generation Core i7 processor should be up for the task with some to spare. The program that will be running all the time while Media Center is in use also as I said uses only 5% of the cpu up to maybe 15% at some rare times for short periods. I think more to the point of my problem is this issue that the mouse will lock to the display that media centere occupies. So if I am understanding you correctly if I use an HDMI port to connect this notebook to the TV the mouse will lock to the TV display but can be released with the windows key. This may or may not be an issue for me. I guess what I need to know here is if I can interact with the program that I have running on the laptop using the 3 other displays and not be disturbed by someone interacting with WMC on the TV at the same time. Will I have to give the up the use of the mouse in one program to WMC ro any interaction with it or can some other form of control be used for WMC like a remote which would leave the mouse for use strictly with the other notebook functions. I know its a strange question but it is just a matter of convience for me to use this computer as opposed to upgrading another computer to Windows 7 from XP to get WMC and use it for the dvr instead. Not having used WMC previously I dont know what the possibilities or limitations are. Is it best suited to use a dedicated computer to be the Media center PC? Or can I tell WMC to distinguish between using one drive or the other to store recorded media? Can I tell WM which drive to use or is that random? These are the typeof issues I need to know to decide which pc to use. I would probably also have to upgrade the Graphics card for the other PC as well as the OS. The card is a older card. I dont know if it is HDCP capable. It is a MSI-GeForce 8600GT card w/ heat pipe silent setup instesd of fans. Is that adeqate? Its this card: Newegg.com - MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256EZ HD GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card Thanks for any advice on which way to go with the setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Yes re windows key to unlock the mouse,
Yes re giving up the mouse whilst the remote is being used, you can use both but one will steal focus from the other, windows will only accept 1 command at a time, same as you can't type and move the mouse at the same time,
The remote is just another input device,
Ideally a dedicated media centre pc is best rather than trying to do too many things at once on a single pc,
Finally, the MSI 8600 is adequate.
If you have a dedicated MCE pc, used for nothing else or very little else (no games) then you don't need a powerful machine and the modern inboards graphics is adequate without need for a separate video card.
Hope this helps.



Someone else "interacting" with the TV I gather you mean using media centre at the same time as you - you can only use a single input at a time, do someone changing a media centre tv channel will jump you mouse to the media centre screen, you'll have to move your mouse back to whatever else you were doing beforehand. In short, you have 1 pc regardless of how many monitors there are, the pc will multitask but you will only take a single input at a time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

You can schedule a recording and Media Center will record in the background without the Media Center GUI being open. You get an icon in the system tray to indicate that recording is in progress. You can then run any other programs you like while this is happening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2011   #6

eindows xp home
 
 

Thanks fo rthe insight. I guess I may as well upgrade the OS in the other computer and use it dedicated. I cant live with the interruption of the usage of the program that will be in use by windows media center use at the same time. Appreciate the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New Media center user with Questions




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