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Scott's Column
1.5 TB Seagate FreeAgent Drive, XBox 360

January 1, 2009
By Scott Lewis

This month is sort of slow. I received a Seagate FreeAgent hard drive, but I had to wait until after Christmas to really make use of it. So this month is really just a prelude to what you can expect next.

Current Topics:

Gaming

Gaming took a back seat during December. What with Christmas approaching and work I just didn't have time. I am still in the middle of the Orc campaign in Warcraft III, but I have not played it at all this past month.

However, gaming is taking a turn. My sons received an XBox 360 for Christmas. I expect to be playing Halo 3 and at least one really good racing game. I received Project Gotham Racing 4 and Forza 2. Next month you will find out which is better and why.

I also tried to get the XBox Live thing going and that has a story too.

Stay tuned, there will be a lot to report next month.

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1.5 TB Seagate FreeAgent Drive

I received a Seagate external hard drive. It is a 1.5 TB (yes, 1500 Gigabyte) drive. I have attached it to my Vista desktop PC. It was either attach it to the PC or attach it to my Windows 2003 Server. I chose the desktop because I am going to play recorded TV shows on it from Media Center and the TV Tuner card in that PC. I expect the USB 2.0 drive will give better performance attached locally than through a 100 Mbit Ethernet connection.

I moved all my Recorded TV shows and all my ripped movies to "the beast." I still have over 1 TB free after this. I configure Media Center to use up to 500 GB of space for recorded TV shows. I am going to re-rip all my movies. I plan to use the XBox 360 as a media extender. My goal is to be able to watch any recorded TV show or movie through the XBox.

I am going to record movies to WMV format (at 1500 kbps and full resolution) and see how this works with the XBox. I am also planning on ripping my movies to 320x240 resolution for my Zune (and my son's iPods). I clearly have plenty of space, so two copies of movies won't matter.

I am going to consider other formats for the movies. I have gotten just a bit of audio syncing issues with movies. I can live with it when watching on my Zune, but on a 65" TV I will be very picky. I am contemplating ripping the movies from DVD in uncompressed VOB format. I think Media Center will recognize this format. I will have to tell you more next month when I have had time to test all of this.

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Conclusion

That's it for this month. Sorry I was not my usual winded self. I have a lot of "playing" to do with the XBox & external hard drive. Next month I will have a lot more.

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