Taking Windows 7 Media Center for a Spin

After getting back from the PDC, the Windows 7 excitement drove me to upgrade my old Gateway FMC-901X running MCE 2005 (pre-rollup 2) to Windows 7 Media Center.  I bought 2 GB of memory for it and a new 500 GB harddrive (so I could preserve the original MCE 2005 setup).  The Win7 install was a breeze and went pretty fast.  But getting the Vista Audigy2 driver on there required me to trick the installer program into thinking it was installing on Vista (thank goodness for that “Compatibility” tab on the file Properties dialog).  Unfortunately the front panel display driver doesn’t seem to work.  I could install it but the built-in IR receiver doesn’t work anymore.   Oh well, I’m buying an inexpensive Pinnacle MCE remote that comes with an IR receiver.  That should take care of that problem.  Curiously, the front panel button (HID) driver does seem to work, well except that the “Home” button doesn’t work.

Setting up W7 MCE was also pretty easy.  It even recognized my Hauppauge PVR500 card right away – nice!  I also setup my XBOX 360 as an extender which was very straight-forward.  I pointed W7 at my Windows Home Server music, photo and DVD collection and it all works great.

But (you knew there was a but coming, right?), we keep getting these "Copying Prohibited – Protected Content" messages which stops "live" TV in the middle of a show.  I was trying to watch the Browns/Broncos game last night and it did this several times at what appeared to be commercial breaks.  I did a bit of research and came across the recent KB950126 and KB955519 patches.  I downloaded the Vista version of these but they won’t install on Windows 7 – not too surprising.  Any chance we could get these updates (even as a hotfix) on Windows 7?  Pretty please with sugar on top.  🙂  My family would love to help you collect CEIP data (yes, I turned that on) using Windows 7 Media Center.

BTW *this* kind of crap is why folks despise and I mean DESPISE DRM.

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