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We've dealt with plenty of novices considering making the jump to CableCARD and Windows Media Center, but what about someone with a more complex setup and list of requirements? Enter our friend Daryl, currently using a 20TB home server feeding ripped discs to a Mac Mini running Plex, and a TiVo for normal TV watching, plus similar hardware in another room. Now that the Ceton quad tuner CableCARD is on the way, he's thinking of integrating his setup with WMC, but there's a few questions to answer first:
"I currently have a 20 terabyte server (Server 2003 ) in the closet serving 800+ DVD and Blu-ray rips. I want to consolidate my devices and also take advantage of my server by switching to Windows Media Center using a Ceton device. Can I access live and recorded TV content on another PC other than the PC, or between two PCs equipped with CableCARDs? Can TV shows be recorded directly to my server or any other server other than the local PC? Does MCE have support for TS, VOB and MKV? How about on the fly closed caption switching? Finally, what about bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, and pulling in fan or cover art for my archived recordings?"

That's no lightweight set of queries, but we're sure some of the Media Center gurus here can break down what to expect when making the switch. So let us know, do you think he'll find satisfaction post transition, or will switching products mean compromising this home theater dream in a few areas?

Got a burning question that you'd love to toss out for Engadget HD (or its readers) to take a look at? Tired of Google's blank stares when you ask for real-world experiences? Hit us up at ask at engadgethd dawt com and keep an eye on this space -- your inquiry could be next.Ask Engadget HD: Should I switch to Windows Media Center? originally appeared on Engadget HD on Wed, 30 Jun 2010 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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