Home > Media Center > Why no Vista talk from me?

Why no Vista talk from me?

I’ve been conspicuously silent on MCE for several months now, and there are reasons that go beyond the usual “too busy”.  I’m in a listy mood today so, here’s your list.

  1. Quite simply, Vista doesn’t work on my hardware.   The 64-bit version thrashes my machine like you wouldn’t believe, making it unusable after a few minutes and forcing a hard reboot.  The 32-but version doesn’t display properly at all via SVideo on my hardware.  And when it missed one of the few shows that my wife cares about during the summer, I got the executive order to shut it all down.
  2. Vista doesn’t work with my extenders.  I’m a heavy user of extenders and have written alot about how amazing the extender concept is, and working around some of the 1.0 gotchas.  I only have v1 extenders which do not and will not ever work on Vista.  That’s annoying right now to me and while I’ve tried to work around it anything I’ve come up with is not acceptable to the family.
  3. Vista is not at a point on my hardware where I can legitimately talk about the features and functionality, nor do much useful bug reporting.  Jodie (the wife) finds some of the best software bugs, but we can’t get past the hardware ones to get to the point where we can even do that.  I’d rather remain silent right now, I don’t believe that it’s proper to write too much about issues with beta software.  It’s broken, it’s still very much in development… that’s not news, that’s status quo.
  4. There hasn’t been too much interesting going on with MCE 2005 to be honest.  Although with the price of MCE 2005 machines going very low and some nice hardware sitting on clearance racks it is potentially an exciting time to get some new people onto the bandwagon.  My brother is moving back to the area soon, and as I was setting up MCE2005 again in my home I was thinking “you know, this thing really is quite good and is at the point where it’s relatively bulletproof”.  I think that there are many people out there now who would shell out relatively low dollars for an MCE and a couple extenders and be happy with MCE2005 for years.  I think it’ll take Vista MCE about a year post release to get as solid as 2005 is right now.  That’s not a slam, just more of an expectation based on watching the evolution of MCE on the XP platform – there are alot of moving parts and getting all the permutations and combinations right just takes time (mostly getting the driver creators to all work together).

Now I like the way that it’s going…  I personally find the UI to be sexy and while the thumbnail views take some time to get used to, I found that returning to MCE 2005 after a couple weeks of working with Vista made me miss the thumbnails greatly.  I’m also looking forward to the new SDK and hoping it will allow developers way more freedom to make interfaces that don’t suck.  I installed My Movies the other day on MCE2005 and while the author has done everything he can to make a good UI, the fact that it’s in hosted HTML makes it look like he** on my standard definition TV.  Some new apps are coming out for Vista, including Big Screen photos (Flickr plugin) that should take the 3rd party UI to a new level.

I’m jazzed about the new MCE, really I am.  But until I have more nice things to say I’ll probably remain very silent on the subject.

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Categories: Media Center
  1. July 12, 2006 at 11:33 am

    I always appreciate your posts. Thank you for finding the time to enter them.

    That’s a real disappointment about Vista not having the extender protocol. Fortunately, I only have one extender. I’d been thinking about moving that one to the bedroom or kitchen and using an XBox 360 as the main extender. I’ve had the extender for about 18 months now and I figure hardware only has a 3 year life, so maybe it’s not so bad that it’s about to become obsolete.

  2. July 12, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    Don’t get me wrong – vista will work with the XBox 360 and next generation extenders that are yet to be released. It will not however work with MCX from Linksys, HP, and Xbox v1 which is what I currently have in my home.

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