"Perfect all in one system......"4.5 starson by kaman3
Pros: Consolidating all your media
Cons: TV image quality is good but could still improve.
Summary: I got my HP media center about 6 months ago and have been amazed at how quickly I was able to consolidate all (and I mean ALL) of my media. Thanks to MCE 2005 and the software that was preinstalled on the PC, I was able to do all of the following:
-Convert all VHS material I wanted - tossed all those clunky space-consuming tapes.
-Scanned all those old quickly decaying photos and negatives (hp photo scanner).
-Store all my favorite TV shows on a personal media drive (can slip the drive into the bay or via USB to any computer).
-Store my entire CD inventory on the hard drive (or media drive).
Now from the couch (with the MC remote), I can listen to any song from my CD library (download a sond or CD), any FM radio station, view home video, photos I've taken or downloaded, watch TV live or recorded (and record another while I'm doin it), watch a DVD, or browse the internet, not to mention answer and use the phone. With a decent video card (bought separately) I use dual monitors - one's the big screen TV, the other a flat panel mounted by my recliner - I often play Call of Duty or Battlefield II, while my wife watches a DVD, looks at the latest pics I've taken of our daughter, or views a show we've recorded.
I'm sure that many of these things can be done with other devices/programs, but I doubt one can put ONLY their TV, PC and a 5.1 speaker system in the living room and enjoy any and all of their digital entertainment. This thing is a godsend - no DVD player or DVR, or VCR, or stereo receiver, etc to plug in, no massive bundle of wires to manage.
Perfect for a someone looking to simplify their entire media/communication life.