[EDIT - this thread is ONLY for discussions about Media Centre under Windows 7. We have a seperate thread for general Windows 7 stuff. Thanks! Gordon]
I've started this as a new topic, since I think the Windows 7 sticky is too general.
I have an old Media Centre based on an ASUS A8N-VM CSM motherboard, 2GB memory, with an Athlon 3200+, and running the XP version of MediaCenter.
I've just upgraded it to Windows 7. Here are some of my observations.
The upgrade was mostly straightforward, but with a few a few oddities.
I used a brand new hard drive, so that if it all went pear shaped I could simply plug in the old drive and revert back to XP.
1. First oddity was before I even started - my board has an on board graphics chip - but I've recently added an NVidia 9400GT graphics card to cope with BluRay. Running the Windows 7 Upgrade advisor produced ambiguous reports.
a. I had a warning that my current graphics adapter wouldn't support the Aero interface.
b. Further down the list it said the 9400GT was compatible.
Looking on the internet I found a couple of reports where it seemed that Windows 7 refused to recognise the 9400GT - would I have the same problem?
2. I followed the instructions, downloaded Windows Easy Transfer, and ran it. Next oddity - the progress bar for the copying of my Media Centre files went OK, but the second progress bar - for the copying of common files (or something similar) didn't move, and the estimated copy time kept increasing and increasing. However something was obviously happening, so I let it run, and it completed in far less than the pessimistic time posted by Easy Transfer. In the event I haven't used Easy Transfer to re-instate the files on my Windows 7 system, preferring to simply copy backup copies of my Media Files across.
3. The installation of Windows 7 went very smoothly. It recognised my 9400GT and downloaded the drivers from the internet via Windows Update without any problems. It also recognised my SPDIF audio connection - I'd had to set it up deliberately on XP.
4. The Windows 7 Advisor had warned me that drivers would have to be downloaded for my Terratec Cinergy 2400i TV Tuner card. Did that. Instructions tell you to go to the Device Manager, select the 2400i, and upgrade the drivers. However the Device Manager didn't show the Cinergy card. There were two warnings - one against the Matrix Orbital display (more later), and one against an unspecified Audio/Visual device (or some similar words), Was this the Cinergy card? I wasn't sure whether it was or whether it was the graphics adapter that the Upgrade Advisor had picked up on. Deep breath, select the Audio/Visual device, and point the upgrade driver instruction at the newly downloaded 2400i drivers. It worked, and the Cinergy 2400i appeared on the Device Manager list.
5. Then into the MediaCenter programme to set up the TV. Again a slight wobbly. There is now an early option to allow it to detect your TV signal. It couldn't - was there still a problem with the Cinergy drivers? However there is an option to let it carry on regardless, even if it can't find the TV signal. Selected that option and everything went smoothly - 90 something channels detected, guide set up OK, so why couldn't it find the TV signal earlier?
6. Then on to the Matrix Orbital display - this is one of the PLED types that Gordon recommended in PCW a few years ago. Downloaded the driver software, updated the drivers. This was partly achieved - the display was now shown as OK, but the USB driver was not. I updated the USB driver by pointing it at the original CD which came with the display. I might have been able to do the same thing by re-pointing it at the downloaded drivers - I don't know.
7. Then I tried to install the FrontView software to get something on the display. Appears to install OK, but doesn't seem to work with Windows 7. My Matrix Orbital display shows their words and Logo, but nothing more. Looking at the web seems to confirm that this is a problem.
So, other than FrontView, I'm just about there. I've copied my pictures, videos and music across from a backup disc, and they run OK. Everything feels a little tighter and slicker - response to changing channels is faster, you get the impression that the codecs are a bit better. The volume control is more linear (previously everything seemed to happen in the top few notches). The old XP MediaCenter remote and keyboard work fine.
And the icing on the cake - my case fans shut off in sleep mode. I could never get the S3 suspend mode to work under XP, but everything is off and silent now. That alone was probably worth the update.
And I can confirm that Windows 7 does not support BluRay.