As you know I’ve been struggling a bit with my Windows Media Center. It’s living it’s own life, it’s not very stable and watching DVDs is a major pain in the ass.
So I decided to try Vista and see if that helped – there was no way it could be any worse. To get Media Center with Vista, you have to buy the Home Premium edition, which is a somewhat expensive piece of software and not really worth it since I was only upgrading to get the new version of the Media Center.
Luckily, there are places where you can get the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) version, which is cheaper because it’s only supposed to be shipped pre-installed on new computers. I’m not sure how legal it is, but it’s available at pretty much every online computer store. The package is not the fancy one, but who cares – it’s what’s inside that counts.
I’ve spent a couple of hours today installing and configuring Vista and the Media Center to get it to work properly on my sub-par Amitech box and I think I’m about to get it right now. The first challenge was to get the Gigabyte wireless network card to work. No drivers were available from the Amitech site and the drivers that Gigabyte had slapped together refused to install. I decided to use the ethernet connection instead and that’s when the magic started to happen. With an internet connection, Vista searched Windows Update for a suitable driver for the wireless network card, found one and installed it without any problems whatsoever.
Great stuff. I’m now using the wireless card, cables are so 2004. Too bad I had to have an internet connection to get the right drivers. A classic chicken and egg problem.
After a while I also had the Realtek sound drivers installed – they were kind enough to provide functional drivers on their web site and now the Vista Media Center is up and running. So far it’s pretty much the same as the old one, but with a different color scheme. I guess I need a week or two to figure out if it was worth getting the Vista Media Center or if it’s just as difficult to handle as XP version.
Of course, I’ll let you know, even if you find it interesting or not.