Monday, February 9, 2009

Windows 7. Media Centre. Some Issues.

So, I’ve been running Windows 7 for a while now. I must say that for the most part I am very happy with it.

Now to the issues. Please remember, I only use this as a HTPC, so I am running the Media Centre component exclusively.

I live on the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia. I can receive signals from the Metro Brisbane broadcast tower, also the Regional Gold Coast tower and when the moons are phased correctly the Regional Currumbin broadcasts.

I only use Digital DVB-T, no UHF analogue broadcasts.

  • Microsoft. I have a Hauppauge HVR-2200 DVB-T PCI-Express adapter. Why can’t I use the FM radio. I know it’s analogue and I tune into digital TV. The card supports it, why can’t you? Why should my chosen TV format affect my use of radio broadcasts? Hell, even better, if my card supports FM radio, but I select to use digital TV, remove the damn FM radio option so it doesn’t taunt me.
  • I cannot get a scheduled recording to work consistently. The OS chooses to provide me with troublingly erroneous errors or simply no data at all. My wife likes to watch Bold and the Beautiful, which screens on Channel 10. I configure a scheduled recording for the series, specifically set to only record on my chosen Channel 10 broadcast and ignore any other Channel 10 broadcasts. Sometimes it records it, mostly it doesn’t. Sometimes it gives me an error in the Recorded TV history indicating a tuner conflict (which should not be the case) or it simply logs nothing and records nothing. Even the Event Log fails to explain the cause, it lacks any reports of the event whatsoever.
  • Erratic and unexplainable TV quality issues. My signal quality is excellent and is evidenced by the most of our TV viewing. Randomly channels will have major issues with video and audio stutters. Or I receive No Signal errors, I switch channels and it’s fine, I switch back and the channel works again. Sometimes nothing works, I shutdown Media Centre or have to resort to rebooting the whole system and everything starts working fine again. System isn’t short on memory, no excess CPU usage, just Media Centre freaks out and needs a good swift kick in the behind.
  • Movie playback. Supports MKV apparently. Just won’t show the files anywhere. Why must I hack the registry? Plays various codec's, but only if I use the right container format for the movie. Plays back AC3 and DTS, but not in my AVI or MKV files. Plays AAC audio, but only in some containers and not others. Skips and fast forwards/rewinds in some files, not in others, even files with same container and codec mix.
  • Music randomly shows Cover Art. I have everything in the same folder structure, with folder.jpg cover art images, works with 298 albums, but not all 514 albums. Sometimes even randomly switches which album art it will show.
  • If I set a folder for use with Movies, why does content from that folder show up in another category. If they all link up, why must I configure each category separately. e.g.. Pictures shows all my album art, whilst Music cannot???? That album art should not show in Pictures ever, as I only have that directory configured for Music.

Probably enough ranting for now, on to submitting my feedback officially and working through the bugs to get it working how I want.

Hey, it’s a Beta. But my family just wants something that works. maybe I should just install Vista, but….