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How to Do Everything with Windows Vista(TM) Media Center Paperback – Dec 10 2007
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are no insights in the book, such as: which graphics or tuner card should I pick, what are the ramifications of using Vista's "Burn to DVD" function for an HD TV show (I assume it loses quality), how can I tune my MCE machine for optimal performance?
Also completely absent is any discussion of third-party software enhancements for MCE. I noticed the competing "Unleashing..." book has an entire chapter for these.
The book contains a lot of filler. Many passages in the book describe in detail what is about to be done, and then the following passages describe in detail what to do; sometimes it looks almost copied and pasted. There are even two tables of contents.
The book is also inconsistent in its treatment of hardware. In the earlier chapters the user is encouraged to go ahead and install new hardware inside of their computer. But in later chapters, the authors begin making comments about the perceived difficulty of working inside the computer. The last hardware discussion is the only one that includes a complete step by step guide of how to install the hardware. The whole treatment seems entirely backwards.
I got the book from my library to give me something to do while I wait for my new HTPC to arrive. To that end, it served it's purpose, as I now know what to expect with MCE and what the primary configuration options are, not to mention that reading it passed the time. However, I don't feel like I've learned anything I wouldn't have figured out after about 30 minutes - 2 hours of playing around with my new HTPC.
The book is definitely not worth $15+. I would suggest trying the "Unleashing..." book, which at least has a more promising table of contents.
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