Media Center 2005 & Orb

Over the weekend I built a Microsoft Media Center 2005 system. I have been a serious DirecTivo user for the past couple of years. I have hacked them made them network accessible to offload recorded shows. I have also added larger hard drives so I can record over 200hrs on one box. The DirecTivo also lets you record two channels simultaneously. The only problem I had was the lack of being able to offload recorded shows to DVD. Stand alone Tivos have been able to do this for over a year. With the recent announcement that DirecTV is going to start selling there own PVR, it looks as if the DirecTivos are close to end of life. So I decided to build my own MCE system with a terabyte of storage and give cable a try. So I have two tuners built into it, which are attached to two cable set top boxes. So now I have the same functionality as my DirecTivo with a slicker interface and a DVD burner. So far I am very happy with it and it was worth the investment. In the near future I will write an article on the construction and installation of the software. I took a lot of great pictures during the construction of the system. Also I just started using a service offered by Orb that allows me to stream live TV, recorded TV, photos and MP3s to any network device (laptop, PDA, smartphone) from my MCE system any where in the world. It was very simple to setup and the quality was pretty decent. has an article on an announcement made at CES regarding Orb and Netgear partnering. Check back soon for more of my impressions of Microsoft’s upgrade to its Media Center and the article I am writing.

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