Vista Media Streaming
I recently built a new media center PC. I’ve wanted one for a while along with also wanting a computer that would be capable of playing the “Latest and Greatest” computer games. The specs looks something like this:
- Processor: AMD Athlon X2 6000+ (2 x 3.10 GHz)
- Motherboard: Foxconn A7GM-S - a good motherboard, has integrated HDMI though I have a vid card with that too
- Video Card: Power Color AX4830 (ATI Radeon 4830 with 512 MB DDR3 + HDMI audio/video)
- Memory: 4 GB, soon to be 8 GB whenever I get my hands on x64 Vista or Windows 7
- TV Card: Hauppage HVR-2250 - dual digital/analog tuner with an MCE remote
- HDD: Western Digital Caviar 640GB w/ 16MB cache
- Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate x32 using Vista Media Center to record the TV stuff. Gotta say, thats some brain dead simple software to setup with my TV card.
Obviously not the best computer on the market but it can play Fallout 3 on Ultra High settings and I can’t seem to really slow it down. I anticipate an upgrade this summer whenever the novelty of the Phenom II chip comes down a bit. This new computer fits both niches nicely though I did find an interesting caveat with streaming my recorded TV to other computers in the house.
I don’t always like to be in the study watching TV, partly because my Dad works in there as well so unless its fairly late at night I can’t watch things I’ve recorded. In these cases I head to my room with my laptop. My laptop has Vista Enterprise on it and it immediately picked up the media sharing of my desktop/htpc.
However whenever I tried to play an episode of Southpark I found I was only getting audio, no video output whatsoever. My first suspicion was that the files were to big to be transferring over wireless at a rate that would transfer video but after thinking about that a moment I realized that was idiotic as it would have shown the video in some choppy fashion.
After some cryptic searching on Google I found that I was missing the DScaler MPEG Filter for Windows Media Player. After installing this codec, I was getting video playback fine. It seems odd to me that with all this media sharing between the different computers that Vista does so well that it doesn’t include the codecs to playback the PVR files recorded by Vista Ultimate or Home Premium.
So with that, I make a humble request to the group in charge of Media Center or the Media Codecs (in fact the team I’ll be on next summer as an Intern):
Dear Future Employer:
Will you please include this codec on all versions of the operating system in the future. It would make life a lot nicer for those of us not using the same version of Windows on all our computers. Kthxbai.
Your humble (future) minion