Home > Media Center > Once again, Extenders are amazing

Once again, Extenders are amazing

I’ve just received my new HP Media Center Extender and after a couple of months with no MCX in the house, I’m giddy as a little schoolgirl!

The production HP unit is all-black, which fits nicely into my A/V rack.  I’m not going to go into a full-on review of the HP unit in this posting, but am happy to refer you to a couple if that was what you were looking for (see here and here).  Instead, I’d like to take some time to confirm or correct some of my assertions that I made in my original articles which were based on preproduction units.

Assertion #1 – Video Quality is amazing
This remains true with the production HP unit.  After I plugged it in, my wife (who usually rolls her eyes at this kind of stuff) asked why it looked so much better than before.  Indeed, the picture quality improvement is so great that even the most novice person who doesn’t care about PQ will be taken aback.  I can’t quantify necessarily what this means; the picture just looks better.  This mean better sharpness, less noise, more vibrant colour, more consistent brightness.

Assertion #2 – Expect Slower Response and Performance
Turns out not so much on the HP production unit.  The performance on the interface and for video function (skip, replay, etc) is almost on par with running locally on the MCE machine.  It would appear that my pre-production unit had some problem that made it slow to respond to remote commands.

Over the next week, I’ll be running some more tests on the MCX unit to answer some burning questions I have such as:

  • what’s the best way to archive and watch DVDs on the extender?
  • what sort of audio can I get out of the optical jack?

I’m happy to reaffirm my love affair with MCX, no Media Center system should be without it.

Categories: Media Center
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