Building Home Multimedia Center PC Based

In less than a week, I try to figured out how to turn on my old rusted passed away Pentium III based PC I found on my warehouse. Got to revives & bring it to life as a semi-complete home multimedia machine. My PC was dead after a kind of “disaster” happened couple years ago. Lots of it’s component devices are totally inactive such as the 800MHz Intel Pentium III processor, Realtek Ethernet, 450W PSU, A-Open CD-RW drive & also the monitor. Somehow, comes an idea to revive it back & make it as a useful things: An entertainment box in a my own living room! Just for hear MP3 songs, watch DVD movies, storing pictures album & playing favorite games. Yeah, why not?

Finally, I brought home the devices I needed after passing by & looking around on a very cheap computer flea market someplace in Jakarta. Now, my PC are back with still old-fashioned technology. A Pentium III 750MHz, 2x128MB SDRAM, 40GB IDE storage, PCI SoundBlaster sound card, 3Com PCI Ethernet card, ASUS 16x DVDROM, 150W PSU & NVIDIA GeForce4MX 440 with TV-out + Sub Video 7 pin VGA card. It’s a complete box without the monitor! So where’s the monitor? Well I’ll used my 29” Sharp TV as the monitor.

Anyway, I installed the PC with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Roll-Up 2 (MCE), a Windows XP family series with multimedia enhancement. It’s a more light-weight hardware resources needed than Windows Vista with Media Center module. However, the installation took about nearly 1 hour. It’s a long long way time wasted installation with the old hardware. The interesting things was I don’t even need to provide any single devices driver since the MCE had all the built-in driver. What a nice hardware combination I got, huh?

Now what? Turn on the TV, turn on the PC, switch the TV to AV channel & here I go: the media center has come to my living room. Don’t set the TV resolution higher than 640x480 & you’ll get a finest & clearly display picture. Take a relax sit to hear songs or get ready to watch DVD/VCD movies or stay tuned with games (Need for Speed: Underground is my favorite); all available in just one box.



Eko Wahyudiharto
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