This was the perfect opportunity to install my DViCO Fusion HDTV5 USB Gold to act as the ATSC HDTV Tuner in Media Center.
As many of you know, ATSC HDTV in Media Center is only officially supported in the US (for both Media Center 2005 and Vista's Media Center). Because I am in Canada, this should have been a setback. But thankfully, where there is a will, there is a way. Coupled with my recent antenna install, as mentioned in the blog postings, First Foray into HDTV, HDTV Antenna Update and HDTV Antenna Update Part 2, I was ready to have Media Center tune into these HDTV broadcasts.
Because ATSC HDTV is not officially supported in Canada, you'll have to resort to registry hacks. Following instuctions provided by Media Center MVP Peter Near in his blog entry "OTA HDTV in Canada on Vista betas", I was able to get Media Center to receive all the channels through my antenna. Peter mentions that he previously had trouble with CFTO and WIVB reception; however, thanks to his efforts with both those tv stations, they can now be viewed in Media Center.
Here are some screenshots of Media Center in action.
ATSC HDTV in action (CTV HD) - notice the Transport Control Bar is much less obtrusive than previous versions of Media Center
ATSC HDTV channels listed in the Electronic Programming Guide
The Extender Manager is now presented via the 10 foot interface
Viewing a HD Recording via the Xbox 360 Extender
If you are in Canada, and you have the right hardware, you can set this up too. If you run into any issues, take a look at my previous blog entry, How to troubleshoot ATSC issues in MCE, for links to some helpful tips that will help you troubleshoot.
As for me, I desperately need more than 512 megs of RAM for this computer. Windows Vista on 512 megs of RAM is like running Windows XP on 128 megs of RAM.
Microsoft, Media Center, HDTV, ATSC, Canada, Vista, Xbox 360, Extender