Friday, June 09, 2006

Vista Beta 2 Released to Public, Media Center Implications

As many of you already know, the Windows Vista Beta 2 Customer Preview Program is now open to everyone. You can check out the details at the Vista CPP site here or go right to the downloads here.

For those of you who want to try Media Center functionality in Vista, make sure you have a compatible tv tuner. Media Center in general requires that the tv tuner output MPEG2 without any CPU assistance. All in Wonder* cards, and your typical $30 tv tuner card won't do the trick.

*The most recent of AIW cards provide tv tuner support via a software solution, but it pales in comparison to a card that does it all in hardware.

For best results, the following TV Tuner cards are recommended:

  • Cards based on ATI Theater 550 chipset (including the ATI TV Wonder Elite)
  • Adaptec AVC-3610 USB
  • ASUStek Falcon2, Europa, Tiger, Tiger-s
  • Hauppauge PVR-150/500, PVR-USB2
  • Lumanate Angel PCI
  • ADS PTV-380-W
  • Pinnacle 310i

Driver support for the following TV Tuner cards will be available in Vista via Windows Update (with more likely to come in the future):

  • ATI Theater 550, DTV Wonder
  • Adaptec AVC-3610 USB
  • ASUStek Blackbird, Falcon2, Europa, Tiger, Tiger-s, Mercur
  • Hauppauge PVR-150/500, PVR-250/350, PVR-USB2
  • Hauppauge HVR-900, HVR-1100, HVR-1300, Nova-T
  • Lifeview LR1212, LR0214, LR0301, LR0303, LR0304, LR0306, LR3306, LR0307, LR3307, LR0314, LR0315, LR0502, LR1502, LR2502, LR3502
  • Lumanate Maui1, Maui3, Angel PCI
  • ADS PTV-380-W
  • Creatix CTX917
  • Pinnacle 100i, 110i, 300i, 310i
  • Sony ENX-26
  • VBox USB-A 3560

If your tv tuner is not listed here, but is on the Designed for Media Center list, it may still work under Vista if you use the drivers that are currently available.

For those of you with All-in-Wonder cards that currently enjoy CPU assisted MPEG2 decoding, your tv tuners will not work in Vista until ATI releases the encoding support software designed for Vista. Judging by past experience, this likely won't happen until much closer to Vista's Release to Manufacturing date (if it happens at all).

If you have any questions about tv tuner support in Vista, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to answer back ASAP.

Equally important to the tv experience is Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) support. Areas with EPG support for the Vista beta include the following locales.

  • AT Austria
  • BE Belgium
  • CA Canada
  • CZ Czech Republic
  • DK Denmark
  • FI Finland
  • FR France
  • DE Germany
  • IE Ireland
  • IT Italy
  • JP Japan
  • KR Korea
  • MX Mexico
  • NL Netherlands
  • NO Norway
  • PL Poland
  • PT Portugal
  • RU Russian Federation
  • ES Spain
  • SE Sweden
  • CH Switzerland
  • TR Turkey
  • GB United Kingdom
  • US United States

If your locale is not listed above, then there isn't any EPG support yet. Microsoft is constantly working on increasing the number of locales where EPG data is provided, so you may see it in the near future.


Arcadi said...

There are new cards fron Nvidia that have dual tuners with mpeg decoders and FM tuner to use with Vista

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

Thanks for this insightful blog. I have a Hauppage PVR-250/350 card. I did the Windows Update and it did install some drivers. In Device Manager I show that under the sound, video and game controllers that there's a YUAN 23880 Video Capture and Hauppague WinTV 88x Audio that both say "This device is working properly." However, there is still a Multimedia Controller and Unknown Device listed in other devices. I know these are part of the PVR board, because I have the same thing in XP until I install the drivers that came with my board. I did try to do this (use the XP drivers), but that fail horribly. The system crashed and did a system restore. When I go into Media Center and click on set up tv it says "The TV Signal cannot be configured because no tuner hardware was detected. Please ensure your hardware is correctly installed, restart the computer, and try again." I've restarted my computer several times. Any suggestions? I love MCE 2005 and use it all the time. I downloaded the Vista Beta mainly for trying out how MCE in Vista looks like. Thanks in advance!

Jason said...

arcadi: I guess that they have added those drivers to windows update. I should have added that my list is about a month old and that much can happen within that time period. Microsoft is working with their partners to give you guys a better experience, especially with all the new hardware that is coming out.

bdr: I don't have a Hauppauge PVR250/350, but are you sure you don't have a Roslyn card? I don't recall anyone on the beta newsgroups having the same issue with their PVR250/350. If you have a Roslyn card, I was able to get the tv tuner to work with these drivers...

Anonymous said...

I have a qosmio F25 and the driver for the tuner appears to install under vista. Upon reboot, I get a "class installer would not allow" error. Is there any kind of inf or registry hack for this? The tv tuner is a ttv300x.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that the Nova-T is claimed to be among the supported list! - Hauppauge have consistently refused to tell me whether it would be supported or not, and when drivers would be released, if at all. Last I heard from them was that drivers may become available when Vista goes RTM.

Anonymous said...

well, the pinnacle 110i drivers come with windows update, but - that does not mean you can use the card in the vista media center. i guess that, as for mce2005, you need some more than the driver. there are no setup routines from pinnacle available yet to make the card work in vista. the old installer won't run.

so unfortunately i have to use another media center software to use my pinnacle card with vista - like with mce2005.

but even though this hardware never really worked good with mce2005 (like so many other capturecards) i hope hardwaresupport for vista media center will be noticeably better than for 2005.

Anonymous said...

Dear jason

It's a good, helpfull info for all of us.

I have "ASUS TV FM 7135" card. Ander Vista it recognise it like "ASUS Tek Mercur Capture Device" all is OK with instalations but WMC can not see any capture device.

Do you have any info?
What do you think about that?

Centurion said...

Hello Jason,

Thank you for your blog. I have a Pinnacle PCTV 310i (Hybrid Card). Got it working in MCE2005 only after installing the extra software from pinnacle for MCE2005. Since there is no such software on Pinnacle for Vista, I cannot search for channels, the MC in Vista simply cannot find any... Could it be that I have not installed any MPEG2 encoder...? If you have any idea on how to resolve this I would be thankful,


Johan, Sweden

Anonymous said...

Hi Johan,

I also have a Pinnacle PCTV 310i (Hybrid Card). I you have any tip or ideas on how to get it to work well in MCE2005 or VISTA I really would appreciate that!
I now have MCE2005 installed on one computer, but I think I will try to use it in VISTA.

It seems that pinnacle are about to support 310i for Vista!

TVC Pro 4.7 Public Beta Version for Windows Vista and Windows XP

BR Robin

blazingrave said...

see i have pinnacle 310i and i tried installing the mce . i was not able to use this pinnacle mce but the vista inbuilt media center started working except for support for remote. so now am searching the net how to make my remote functional with vista mce

spinyol said...

I use the drivers from ADSTech
and now all goes right.

The file 3xHybrid.sys version is the key.
Pinnacle uses the version
and it doesn't work fine.

Anonymous said...

I have bought a Pinnacle USB HDTV stick with remote control, using 4.24 Pinnacle Media centre. Frustrated,as it worked fine out of the box on my XP laptop and then went into melt down when I tried to use it on my Toshina Vista laptop.
Can anyone suggest how I best fix the problem in a step by step fashion.
P.S: Greeting and anticipated thanks fron John in Australia.