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My total media center package

I have been asked a few times about what I have in my Media Center setup. I have sent information via email, but I thought it might be nice to build a concise list on the blog. So here it is.

Hardware
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Component Cost Source Comments
DELL XPS 420
  • $1,138.31 (PC)
  • $384.30 (TV Tuners)
  • $1,522.61 (Total)
Dell.com
  • My system specs
  • I used my corporate discount and received an added discount just for asking!
Western Digital 750GB SATA HD $139.99 NewEgg.com Supplemented the 500GB HD that came with the PC. This is a “Green” drive and has multiple speeds to conserve energy.
HITACHI Deskstar 1TB SATA HD $281.12 NewEgg.com I started run out of space quickly so I added this drive.
LINKSYS WRT160N Wireless Router $79.99 NewEgg.com Didn’t really need it, but I wanted to upgrade my router to an N router.
LINKSYS DMA2100 Media Center Extender $149.98 Amazon.com I was not plannning on getting this now, but Amazon had an amazing deal on it and I am very glad that I did get it.
HD Homerun $168.99 DVRUpgrade.com This adds 2 more tuners to the setup for a total of 4, but it will only tune the HD Local channels (which is about 75% of my recordings). It also records with NO DRM, unlike the CableCard recordings.
1700 ft Cat5 Network Cable $50 Craigslist I still can’t believe the deal I got on this!
Xbox 360 (w/ 20GB HD) $0.00 ($280-$400) Best Buy I put a cost of zero because I did not buy the Xbox specifically as a Media Center extender. I have had it for almost 3 years now.
Logitech Harmony Advanced Universal Remote for Xbox 360 $107.24 BestBuy Great programmable remote. It hooks up to the PC.
Total $2,499.92 Not sure if I wanted to know this or not!

Software
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Name Cost Source Comments
TapiRex w/ Media Center Plugin $26.90 Scendix Software Try getting the Trial Version working first.
WebGuide $0.00 Asciiexpress.com Allows for remote access of Media Center via a web browser or mobile device. It gives you remote scheduling, access to music & pictures and streaming non-DRM Recorded and Live TV content.
MyMovies $0.00 mymovies.dk Great collection management interface for ripped DVD’s
myTV $19.99 senseitweb.com Similar to MyMovies but for TV shows.
Total $26.90 I am still using the beta of myTV.

So my grand total at the end of the day was $2,526.82. So what did I get for that money?? Well first I got a kick-ass new PC. My computer was on it’s last leg and rebooted by itself every 2-3 days.

I also got a great home media experience. We have one central hub with lots of storage and easy access to our media. It’s still expandable and I can’t wait to see what Microsoft has coming (hopefully) later this year.

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