Compared to MCE 2005 its extremely stable and reliable. My main Vista work PC contains our 4x HD TV tuners, and we use a XBOX-360 as a MC Extender to take the Video to the our HD TV.
The following related to Vista MC in Australia.
Don't let the size fool you — it delivers perfect HD TV. Two tuners in a single 3 inch USB stick with a single RF connector. I bought 2x
so have 4x tuners. The Digitalnow tuner is very stable and reliable (especially compared to the Divco Fusion tuner).
Here's my setup steps
If this is the case try other USB ports (not all USB ports are equal). Eventually you will find USB ports that is reliable. And try to use USB ports on your PC (not on a hub).
Alternatively.. you can easily find out which tunes to enable / disable by opening device manager and checking your tuner hardware IDs. You can also enabled all tuners in the list (real and phantom) — Vista Media Center will happily record on all tuners. When you fill up all tuners the next recording will fail (instead of the showing the usual Warning exclaimation mark).
Open Device Manager. Right+click on a tuner device and select properties.
In the details tab select "Device Instance Path". This will show an ID that will match one (or 2 for dual packages) of the tuners listed in "MCTuner Extender".
There are other IDs you can check bit that's what I use.
So in this way you can discover which tuners should be enable and which should be disabled.
My Movies. Work very well — When you play a DVD or ripped DVD the artwork is downloaded automatically. Use the separate manager application to build your DVD database. You can download cover art, artist info etc. You can make Movies open from a drive, a folder, or an ISO (using 3rd party Daemon Tools).
I was hoping they had a solution for running DVDs over XBox 360 Extender but they (and many others) are still trying to solve that one.
I like that my ripped DVDs that are mount using Daemon Tools) show up there.
To enable The feature make the following registry change:
Change ShowGallery from Play to Gallery.
Restart Media Center then you'll see "DVD Library" next to recorded tv.
Very cool feature. Why isn't it enabled by default?
IceTV Guide is a good choice for a guide in Australia. Microsoft usually privide a free guide however in Australian TV stations wont yet give permission to have their guides published for Media Center. So in the mean time IceTV is a great service and not too expensive.
This week the "IceTV Interactive" program (formally called Pimp) has been hogging CPU time and slowing Vista down. The event log is full of thousands of errors. I rang the IceTV people and was told I could should clear it's cache by removing all folders from the following directory.
Now it runs without errors. It's not a CPU hog and it's memory foorprint is smaller. I've think I'll also set "Update Frequency" setting to "Never" so it's not talking to the server all the time.
KB938927 is a hot fix you can ask MS support for. One assumes it will also be bundled into Vista SP1 early 2008. Call MS support on 13-16-30 and ask for the KB938927 fix. You will need to explain the problems you are having.
Once you install the Hotfix, add the following key to disable Opportunistic Scanning. The hotfix allows the key to work.
Create DWORD Value called "DisableActualStreamOpportunisticScanning"
Give it a value = 1