I make it no secret and make no apologies for the fact that I like to watch movies. Last year, I bought myself a Christmas gift in the form of a 46-inch LCD and a Blu-ray player. I have a Roku connected to that television and, until it died on me last week, a PC running Windows XP. That combination gives me access to a vast library of potential programming, and I was very happy with the arrangement.
However, with the recent death of my media PC, I have been contemplating a replacement or a repair (need a new power supply is my diagnosis). Looking at some of the potential replacements, I have done some research on mini-PCs like the Asus Eee Box. I have not been happy with those offerings because they cost too much for the equipment you get.
I have also wondered about getting a desktop PC that is capable of running the Windows Media Center. I really like the improvements Microsoft has made to the Windows 7 version of that application. It has gotten to the point to where I think I could actually use Media Center. I never used the XP version, because I felt it just got in the way. But with the addition of Netflix and other application interfaces to the Windows 7 version, I am thinking it may be worth it to get a true media-center-capable PC.
So, I am asking for some input from the TechRepublic Community. Do you use the Windows 7 Media Center on a regular basis? Do you like it? Are there caveats to consider? Your help is appreciated, not just by me, but also by your peers who may be contemplating the same sort of purchase in the near future. After all, Geek Gift Guide season is just around the corner.)
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Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.