Vista TV Pack in 2013?

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Vista TV Pack in 2013?


Post by Wheeker » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:58 pm

Hi there, I wonder can someone help me. I have a W7 MC machine as my main HTPC but recently wanted to try to find a way to get Recorded TV into the Kids playroom. I wanted to spend the bare minimum, as you do, in the end I bought a 2nd hand home-built HTPC for only €70. This has Windows Vista SP1 newly installed on it, so I'm thinking that I should be able to install the 2008 TV Pack on it, then use Windows Update or install other updates/hotfixes & then, in theory, I should have a Vista MC which can play my .wtv files stored on my main HTPC- am I right?

I've read about the various issues with TV Pack, mainly the fact that MS never officially released it so I have to find it elsewhere, is that still the case in 2013? I have found an MS Support response on the MS Community ... 1eabad9cd2
(officially?) supplying a link to download
Will this cumulative update actually install all I need on top of Vista SP1 or do I still need to source 2008 TV Pack elsewhere? I have found a "Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008 Download and Installation Guide" which guides me through the process & has download links, but this was written in 2008- has anything changed since?

FWIW- I figured I would at least first try to get Vista functional before throwing further money at this by upgrading to W7 or even W8 (+ MC add-on!?).


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Post by leroys1000 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:25 pm

That link is just for updates to fix problems.
You will want to install the TV pack and playready while you still have
a clean install of vista service pack 1.
Then run media center setup.
Do this before installing any updates.
Installing updates before setting up media center will cause serious problems with media center.
After media center is setup and running,you can install all the latest updates.
Don't expect media center internet TV to work.
Microsoft got rid of that.

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Post by holidayboy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:29 pm

Yes, installing the TVPack would enable .wtv playback, assuming you can find the actual installation files. Please don't try it though! Go for Win7, you won't regret it in the long run.
Rob. - the one stop shop for the more discerning Media Center user.


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Post by erkotz » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:05 pm

The official installation procedure requires that WMC *never* have been run before installing the TV pack. Installing it on an existing PC may have unpredictable results.
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Post by foxwood » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:28 pm

erkotz wrote:The official installation procedure requires that WMC *never* have been run before installing the TV pack. Installing it on an existing PC may have unpredictable results.
Given that the only "official" installations were on brand new machines shipped from OEMs, that wasn't a hard criterion to meet.

I know that I ran the Vista TV pack back in the day. I don't remember doing a fresh install of Vista (I'm not saying that I didn't, I just don't remember that being a source of concern on the old TGB back when the TV pack was first "discovered" in the wild).

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Post by holidayboy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:38 pm

I lost count of the number of fresh Vista installs that I went through trying to get my system stable for more than 2 weeks! I admit that I did keep trying, purely for h.264 TV and native DVB-S support. Having said that, I grabbed the first Win7 Beta build as soon as I could and never looked back. :)
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Post by dmagerl » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:01 pm

It is reputed that the TV Pack was a very early pre-release of WMC for Win7. As such, its loaded with bugs and I wouldnt recommend it for anyone. Just install win7 and be done with it. Or dont install it at all. It's just not worth the grief it causes.


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Post by Dudeus » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:05 pm

For anyone else wanting to know since this post is 6 months later than the question posted, but the answer is "Yes, TV Pack 2008 can be installed on top of Vista even if all updates have been applied since fresh install of SP1".

I have Vista Home Premium SP2 32-bit OS with original Media Center that came with it and all updates from Microsoft applied.

I installed Vista Media Center TV Pack 2008 on top of this last night and it all seems to work. Check out this link for all the downloads needed and instructions on how to install it (NOTE: Make sure you create a System Restore point before updating in case you want to uninstall TV Pack 2008 as there is no way to do this using Windows Update after you install it) ... ... guide.html

Some of the latter updates were not applied since the update did not work so I skipped them - I figure I can always search for the correct updates later.

Anyway, I installed TV Pack 2008, then rebooted as system said. I then installed PlayReadyPC, then Cummulative Update for TV Pack 2008. I then rebooted and tried my new updated MC and to my surprise, it worked!

I had to use Setup TV again in order to reconfigure MC to get the Live TV button back. It worked great. I was able to record a show and now can select which tuner source applies to each channel.

If you want Netflix to work you also have to reinstall SilverLight updates and NetFlixInWindowsMediaCenter.exe again, but it worked fine after the re-install.

Here are some of the changes I found out after TV Pack 2008 was installed whether good or bad:

1) Recored shows now have the Windows 7 .wtv extensions instead of .dvr-ms extentions. There is conversion utility that comes with Windows 7 that will convert your .wtv files to .dvr-ms so I'm sure I can find a link on the web for that if I wanted to use it - comes with W7 that can be found in a MC folder and it can be installed such that a right-click of a .wtv file will have an option to convert it to .dvr-ms (this is nice).
2) Edit Sources is now available when you Edit Channels so you can select which TV Tuner to use (this is primary reason I wanted to update MC in the first place - using RegEdit to mess with RecordOrder and WatchOrder did not seem to work like I wanted).
3) Recordings.xml seems to be there still but the folder location has changed - still now sure if the new DB structure that Windows 7 uses overrides the Recordings.xml file or not.
4) As mentioned above, the eHome folder location has changed from previous Vista eHome location.
5) The Playback Control Bar at the bottom remains like Vista MC which I like much better than Windows 7 verson. The Record Button remains on the bar no matter how to resize the window - with Windows 7 I cannot figure out how to keep the Record button on the bar when the window size is reduced about 3/4 full screen mode.
6) If things go awry, I read that you can use System Restore to be back to uninstall TV Pack 2008 since you cannot do this by using the Uninstall options under Windows Update - this option disappears for this one update - all other updates have the option to uninstall. This is untested to beware - you may not be able to go back.
7) Edit channels also has the Windows 7 feature of searching for a Channel by using the keyboard to use type-ahead so it's easy to find channels when you have over 1,000 to choose from. Vista's version had to scroll down through each channel to find one - I use this so I can record from my DirecTV or Cable box using Channel 3 as a Shared Channel so EPG works and I can record using the proper show name and times. This is also a very nice feature.

Further testing needs to be done but initial tests show that it does work on top of Vista SP2 that had Media Center prevously configured and working - just that you have to reconfigure TV after the install, but that's minor compared to the new features of TV Pack 2008.

Many other changes may be unfamilar with long-time Media Center users (I've been using XP MCE 2005 onwards through Vista up to Windows 7, but still like my Vista version the best - now it can be better since I liked the W7 Edit Sources now that I have more than 1 TV Tuner installed.


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Post by blueiedgod » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:47 pm

How much woudl it have cost to get a Window Media Center Extender (Linksys, HP, or D-Link) or a used XBOX 360 for the kids room?

My guess that on the used market it would have been less than 70 Euros. And your kids would not have to suffer from Vista.

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