Windows 7 Media Center: A Tale of Two Experiences

March 1, 2009

Entertainment, Technology

win7mce

In a very short time (less than two years), I’ve become addicted to Windows Media Center.  I can turn the TV on while I go about all of the other chores I have to do.  Yeah, I’m not using an extender to run it on a huge screen.  Instead, I am running it on my primary system where I am able to lean in and watch TV without disturbing the rest of the family.  [For those who didn’t know, I have serious vision problems and I have to be within a few inches of the display device before I can even focus on the image.]

In the short time that I’ve used Windows Media Center, Ive become accustomed to the easy interface of the “Guide” functionality.  And I’m really liking the new Windows 7 features.  But after a few days of running the new Media Center on the new Windows 7 system, I was stunned to see that the Guide no longer functioned.  And I kept receiving download errors  on the system.

And I’ve been looking for answers to these problems ever since early February.  I am still able to watch all TV content.  And I am able to watch DVD’s and digital files w/o trouble.  But I can’t get the guide to work. This is terribly frustrating as I like to surf the guide via a Windows sidebar gadget – and this n0o longer works as the guide info isn’t downloading.

After stumbling through lots of dead ends on the Internet, I ran into http://www.sevenforums.com.  This is a GREAT support site for those who have taken the plunge into Windows 7.  If you are having trouble with something on Windows 7, this forum probably has an answer – or can link you with someone else who is having the same trouble.

So did I find an answer? Well, not exactly.  No one has a solution.  But I now know that many other people are having the same trouble.  I have noted that I am getting what appears to be DRM-related errors in the event viewer.  Beyond that, it looks like I’ll have to wait for Microsoft to fix the issue (hopefully in the April RC).

Nevertheless, I did find some very interesting hacks through the unofficial Windows 7 forums.  These forums sent me to http://hack7mc.com where I found some very cool mechanisms to change the default background and overall theme of the Media Center.  So while I don’t have guide functionality, Windows Media Center looks really cool now!

-Roo

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One Comment on “Windows 7 Media Center: A Tale of Two Experiences”

  1. Glen Says:

    In the middle searching old friends, found your website.Just passing by.By the way, your website have great content! 🙂

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    Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

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