So its been up and running for a week now. Has it made my life easier, done everything I wanted it to?
Hmm, its definitely an improvement on what came before it but is it exactly what I wanted, no its been a compromise.
The original goal was to have a motherboard with hdmi port and onboard graphics to handle everything and to get sound from the pc directly into the tv.
On Monday though we found that the onboard graphics were incapable of handling dvds. Therefore I had to quickly swap the graphics card from the dell into the media center, dvds now work fine and I can watch both regions (1 and 2) from inside media center. Now though I have to use speakers because of using the dvi ports in my graphics card which unlike the dvi on the media center does not carry sound. Also my desktop is now slightly underpowered (albeit as its used for web design barely noticably). I guess if there is money after christmas I will invest £50 in a graphics card with an hdmi output.
Other downsides so far, some tv channel reception is weaker than it was previously. I will try retuning and fingers crossed it will get better. Lastly am having some issues with the remote controller. Oh well give it time, its a work in progress that is only just beginning.
Overall though I am happy with it and its worth the investment solely because I now have a computer to call my own (the dell) which is being wonderful.