Windows 7 RC and the Sacrosanct Family Windows Media Center

Finally the Windows 7 Release Candidate is generally available and if you live in Australia then head on over to and download a copy which will be available at least through June.

P1040919Ok in my household the Windows Media Center is sacrosanct only to be tampered with by the fearless or in my case the reckless.  So as soon as I got my grubby hands on the Release Candidate I naturally wanted to install it on to the family Media Center.  Now in fairness, I did do a Vista System image backup on the "working" system and I'd recommend you do the same to avoid any family reprisal and simply roll the system back if your experience is not so great!!

So as per my previous posting "Oh Yeah Finally built a Vista Media Centre with PAF" with exactly the system reference as outlined in that posting I set to work installing Windows 7 RC 64 bit Ultimate Edition.  I updated to version 9.4 of the graphics driver (as of May 5th, 2009, cose the out of box driver is crap) for the integrated ATI Radeon HD3200-based graphics chipset and downloaded and installed the latest 64 bit driver for the DigitalNow TinyTwin Dual Digital USB Tuner.  The I fired up the Media Center and set to work scanning for TV stations and setting preferences as I like them.

Stuff I really liked!!

  1. P1040912The first is easy, over the air EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) finally just works for Australia, all the stations picked up their respective guides, fan-blimin-tastic, and hey you can even colour code the guide based on genre; news, movies, sports etc, cute!!
  2. Built in Divx support rocks!!
  3. Media libraries make more sense and you can now specify UNC (eg \\server\media) names (plus credentials) for media you may have setting on a home server or NAS, very handy!!
  4. Ability to turn off pesty system notifications from the Media Center menus rather than hacking the registry
  5. Love the music media montage made up of all the music album covers, hmmm, looks hot!!P1040918
  6. It just works and has been doing so for about near a week and not an ill word uttered by anyone:)

Stuff I don't like.

  1. Honestly for now, nothing bugs me about it.

Go on, give it a whirl, you'll love it and well ya know you going to anyways, just wait till they've all gone to bed;)

Tomorrow I'll write up my experiences with Windows 7 Release Candidate and my ASUS Eee PC 1000H, basically it just worked, too easy, all drivers in the box only needed to install the latest ASUS APCI Driver and Super Hybrid Engine utility and was good to go.

Cheers Dave

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