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October 14, 2015


Three Netflix plugins for Windows Media Center, which to choose?

by Brad Linder, posted May 14th 2008 11:56AM

Missing Remote

Ever since it was first demonstrated that you could control the Netflix "watch now" interface from Windows Media Center, MCE plugins for Netflix have been populating like bunnies. There are now three different plugins that let you browse or search your Netflix queue and watch movies all from the comfort of your couch.

Missing Remote has an in-depth look at vmcNetflix, MyNetflix, and NetflixMC. And it turns out that not all Netflix plugins are not created equal. Some are Vista only, while others will run on Windows XP Media Center Edition. Al three have attractive interfaces and most of the features that you'd expect. But only one vmcNetflix supports Windows Media Center Extenders like the Xbox 360.

If you're looking for Windows XP MCE support, NetflixMC is pretty much your only option for now. And if you're looking for support for media extenders, vmcNetflix is the way to go. But if you're looking for a more detailed overview, you should check out the full article at Missing Remote.

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How to choose a TV tuner for your home theater PC

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 2nd 2008 9:59AM
HVR-1600Once upon a time turning your old PC into a homemade personal video recorder was a snap. All you had to do was buy a TV tuner card for about $100, plug in an analog TV cable, and use some free or commercial software to start recording shows. But the TV landscape is a bit more complicated these days, and if you have digital cable, HDTV, satellite TV, or other newfangled doohickeys hooked up to your TV, you might not even know where to begin.

Missing Remote has put together an excellent primer on choosing the right video source for your PVR. For example, if you want to record over-the-air HDTV using a digital antenna, you can use pretty much any modern TV tuner. But if you want to record the unencrypted HDTV signals your cable company sends out as well as standard definition digital cable channels, you're probably going to want something a bit more specialized, like Silcon Dust's HDHomeRun for the HDTV, and a second tuner with an S-Video port and an IR blaster to record and change the channels on your digital cable box.

Of course, there's a lot more to building a PVR than choosing the right TV tuner. You also need to choose the right software package, make sure you have enough hard drive space, and make sure your video card can support your display. But in end, your video quality is only going to be as good as your TV tuner.

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