Windows Media Center TV Pack

Category : Media Center · No Comments · by Nov 24th, 2008

I recently gave this a go, works alright but it prevents you changing the MPEG decoder to one which makes use of the hardware in the machine. This results in poor upscaling on both TV and DVD playback and stuttering when bringing up menus during playback or changing channels. So it had to go!

Change Vistas MPEG2 decoder

Category : Media Center · (1) Comment · by May 22nd, 2008

MS thought it would be a nice idea to include an MPEG decoder with Vista Home Premium/Ultimate. Though it is very nice of them the one they provide is rubbish; it’s quite poor at upscaling and it has no hardware support so you may notice it being slow even with a dual core CPU and 2Gb or RAM (I certainly did!).

To fix this you can install your own MPEG2 decoder (I use TheaterTek which uses a modified version of Nvidia PureVideo) and run this little app written by this guy. In the case of PureVideo you can see if its working by checking the system tray when watching TV or playing a video – if a Nvidia icon appears it works!

Unfortunately this will only work for 32-bit Vista, if you bought 64-bit you’re stuck using the crap decoder until someone writes a 64-bit replacement that supports decoding hardware.

Enable Concurrent Remote Desktop Sessions in Vista

Category : Media Center · No Comments · by May 20th, 2008

There’s a guide here on how to enable concurrent Remote Desktop sessions in Vista (that includes Home Premium which isn’t even supposed to support Remote Desktop).

However this didn’t work for me, luckily I stumbled across a batch file which does it for you.

Auto-login to Vista

Category : Media Center · No Comments · by May 20th, 2008

Very handy if you have a Media Center with multiple users (which you will have if you enable concurrent Remote Desktop). Just whack the following in a command prompt:

control userpasswords2

Then untick “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”, hit OK and you’ll be prompted to enter the details of the user you want to auto-login.


Category : Media Center · No Comments · by May 19th, 2008

I’ve been experimenting with Windows Media Center Vista plugins and this one is great, it allows you to set recordings from the web and even has a decent layout for viewing on a Windows Mobile device. I’ve also added a couple of other Media Center plugins and essentials to the links.