Posts tagged: HTPC

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows

author | June 28, 2008

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for WindowsSo maybe I’m a bit behind the times when it comes to computer gaming.  Okay, I am way behind the times – but I have an excuse that I’ve got two small kids.  Can’t say I’m too anxious to see them spend their days in front of a computer or the TV playing games all day – they need to be outside, running around and getting exercise!

Now for us adults, however, things are a bit different.  Luckily, there’s nothing wrong with us entering a comatose state in front of the computer playing games until the wee hours of the morning.  Well – when you have the time and can stay awake after running after kids all day, that is.

But being hunched over a laptop alone isn’t much fun, especially when your back hurts from being hunched over a laptop all day at work.  There’s got to be something better.  Ah, what about this nice Vista home theater PC I recently built?  Maybe that could do the trick…  but, how to play a game on that?!  I don’t want to try and use some keyboard and mouse from the couch.  Apparently, some smart people solved this issue many years ago by inventing things called video game consoles.  These things came with an ingenious method of playing games called a gamepad.  Over many, many years of grueling research and development, they managed to invent some of these gamepads that could work without wires.  Wow!  Now we’re on to something that just might solve the problem – but this isn’t a game console made just for using a gamepad, it’s a full fledged computer.  How good could one of those wireless gamepads really work on this?

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DirecTV Tuner for Windows Media Center coming soon?

author | April 17, 2008

So this is old news – but hey, it may be great news, so why not bring it up.

If you have yet to be initiated to the Windows Media Center experience, then you’re missing out.  Why?  Well, for TV programming it’s a lot like Tivo – but with more features overall.  Since there’s a whole friggin’ computer behind it, it’s capable of all sorts of things (playing DVD, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DivX video, games, etc.).

“Yeah” you say, “but what about my DirecTV?”.  Ah hah – well, there’s the catch.  Apparently there’s no easy way to get anything but ATSC or NTSC TV programming (Over the Air broadcast digital or analog TV).  Of course you can try and get encrypted digital cable going – but for that you have to buy a whole new PC just so it’s got a special chip to allow the playback.  And you can’t build your own for that – those special motherboards are only available to system builders.  Grrrr…

But on the horizon, life just may get a bit better…

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