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Saturday, 10 January 2009

The Green Button - New Windows 7 Public Beta Forum

It wasn't obvious to me and others by the sounds of it, due to this new forum's location on the Green Button's forum home page right down at the bottom and no apparent announcement of it's creation either?

I have no idea when it was setup, but there is a new Windows 7 Public Beta Forum there now.

All the original Windows 7 threads that users started are still mainly in the Vista Media Center General forum including the "Windows 7 Official Beta (Media Center) Your issues, requests and feedback" thread which so far has had a massive 412 replies and contains allot of useful information if you are thinking about trying out the official Windows 7 beta and Media Center.

Official Windows 7 Public Beta download? - Microsoft having problems!

As yet I have not been able to download the official Windows 7 Beta1 from the Microsoft website.
Looking at this page on their site, it says:

"Thanks for your interest in the Windows 7 Beta. The volume has been phenomenal—we're in the process of adding more servers to handle the demand. We're sorry for the delay and we'll re-post the Beta as soon as we can ensure a quality download experience."

Still no official download link available?

Windows Media Center in Windows 7 Beta 1 in HD Action

A user on TGB called clifgriffin has released some rather nice videos of Media Center 7 in action on his blog. Worth a look if you have not seen Media Center 7 yet. So head over there and take a look and see what your missing!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

KB961367 Fixes DVR-MS Playback in Media Center 7

I've just installed KB961367 which I downloaded from here and now I can play DVR-MS files in Media Center 7 without it crashing!


The official MS download links for KB961367

32 Bit

64 Bit

New Movie Library in Media Center 7 so what can it play?

They say a picture speaks a thousand words so here's one of my pictures.

Full Screen View here

We have been playing around with the new native Movie Library in Media Center 7 that replaces the DVD Library in Vista. It's still a little buggy in places but I have to say it's a massive improvement on the original DVD Library. It looks the same really but the main thing for me is the ability to add in lots of different types of video files.

So far we have confirmed the following types on the PC not all will play on the extenders however:


.M2TS (Blu-ray)

.WTV (Recorded TV)

.DVR-MS (I needed KB961367 for playback on this build of 7000. Official beta might be ok without it)





.FLV (Flash)



Not too shabby a list at all, see the updated Video File types and containers table in PDF here.

For some types like MKV, MOV and Flash you need to install additional components as these are not natively supported

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

How to fix ngRC on Windows 7

ngRC (Next Generation Remote Control) was not connecting on my Windows 7 build 7000 machine. To fix it you need to go to C:\Program Files\ngrc and change the security permissions on the ngrc folder, for the Users group from Read and Execute to Modify.

ngRC should then work again, you will need to go in to Advanced Settings in the Windows Firewall to add a new rule for port 8080 inbound for your Private network so ngRC will also connect from your hand held devices, that's assuming your running the Windows firewall and not something else.

I've not tested much of the functionality of ngRC but it connected and I could access my music library in the ngRC web UI so all seems well again!

Media Center 7 - Which file types and containers?

I've been doing a massive amount of testing on Windows 7 Build 7000. You can follow mine and other users findings, issues, bugs and requests etc on this thread here.

The lastest thing I've been testing is which file formats play in Media Center now? Both on Media Center on the PC and in Media Center on my XBOX 360 Extender.

I've compiled a list of my findings in a PDF table which you can view here.

If the PDF doesn't open in your browser? You may have to right click the link above and select Save Link As (Firefox) or Save Target As (Internet Explorer) and save the PDF file to your PC and then open from that location locally.

I can say at this point, DVD VOB's don't play back natively on the extender, I'm not sure if Microsoft will enable this but I certainly hope so it would make my life a lot easier! Also MKV and MOV files do not play on the extender which was to be expected. MKV support is required and I really hope Microsoft can do this? If not we need a talented developer to create a transcoder that could remux .MKV files to .M2TS ones on the fly. M2TS files are now supported in Windows 7 but it is still unclear about native support for the playback of Blu-ray disks from optical drives? As people that have tried this are saying it doesn't work and Media Center prompts for software? I've not tried this myself as I don't have a Blu-ray drive currently.

The good news is DIVX/XVID I think both? Are now supported on the XBOX 360 Extender, after re-installing an "Optional Media Update" which appeared as a dashboard type pop-up within Media Center, I was slightly confused at first as I already had said update installed on the XBOX. However re-installing the update again then enabled the DIVX playback. Also my MP4 movie files now play natively on the XBOX 360 extender.

Head over to the thread on The Green Button and take a look at the PDF table.

Head over to the thread on The Green Button and take a look at the PDF table.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Serious DVR-MS bug in Windows 7 Build 7000

It seems no one can play DVR-MS recorded TV files in Media Center in Windows 7 Build 7 Beta 1.

On the PC and the Extender if you try to play a DVR-MS file Media Center crashes and displays an error

I hope this is just a bug and not MS killing off the now legacy DVR-MS file format which was replaced with .WTV as lots of people have converted DVD's and other content to

the DVR-MS container for native playback on the extenders!

Microsoft you rock!

I spoke too soon, I am now playing AVI files on my XBOX 360 MCX natively ! Even the Fast Forward is working on all 3 increments, which wasn't working properly in Media Center on my PC.

I had to reinstall the Optional Media Update, I had aleady installed on the XBOX 360 dashboard ages ago you remember that MP4 dashboard update that one. I guess there's something new in the update or the Windows 7 back-end just makes it work now!

Whatever I'm very happy now MS you rock!

Thank you! [:D]

Everyone with an XBOX 360 MCX needs to read this!

I'm confused, do we have native support in Windows 7 for DIVX/XVID in Media Center on the XBOX 360 Media Center Extender ?

I've just tried it and well you need to go here to read about it.

For those of you already running Windows 7 Build 7000 Beta1 please let me know what happens on your XBOX 360 MCX when trying to play an AVI movie?


Friday, 2 January 2009

Windows 7 Build 7000 (Beta1) Your issues and requests

I recently installed Windows 7 Build 7000 (Beta1) This is an important mile stone build and is the first Windows 7 build I have installed, I thought it was time I started testing Media Center out in Windows 7.

So far I have to say I'm pretty unimpressed, granted I've mainly been looking at WMP12 at this early stage but some of my findings are well more than a little concerning!

Some of the issues I've seen or have been having so far include the Music Wall generation in Media Center and Media Center in general using massive amount of memory resources, rending my little test laptop unusable when the music wall kicks in having to end task on ehshell.exe. I'm hoping a RAM upgrade will help me here.

The dreaded Low-Res 200 x 200 WMP issue has not been resolved despite assurances from certain Microsoft employees on the Green Button that it would be.

Issues with the WMP Media Libraries, album cover artwork images still appearing in amongst your family photos.

No Synopsis information in the Movie Library previously called DVD Library.

And more issues, granted some of these issues may only be on my system. However I strongly suggest all Media Center users especially those now running Windows 7 Build 7000 head over to this new thread on the Green Button and submit your comments and feedback as I'm certain the ehome team will be watching this thread in due course!

Thread can be found here