Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
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Upgraded the HTPC from Vista (built pre-win7) to windows 8 a couple of days ago. The highlights:
The "upgrade" itself (going from Vista it is more of a clean install) was smooth. My biggest issue was what the installer was going to do with my two partition drive. When they say the install will wipe everything on the install drive, do they really mean install PARTITION? Yes they do mean that, but I was worried. I had 750Gb of data on that other partition.
Base system is AMD 780G based, with 4670 discrete graphics, Realtek ALC889 audio and 4850e dual core CPU. Audio out is 5.1 analog.
1. I had to manually locate the drivers for my Hauppage WinTV-Nova td-500 DVB-T tuners. They work fine once installed though.
2. At this point I have just run with the drivers installed by Win8, staying away from the AMD legacy 12.6 win8 catalysts and Realtek audio drivers for now, as (blu-ray/hdtv/games) seem to work well enough. Caveats below.
3. Installed Mediaportal 1.3 beta (win8 supported), no issues in HDTV playback or music.
4. Tried to install my copy of WinDVD Pro 11 (I bought a copy which was working wonderfully on Vista). Fails to run. Not win8 compatible, looks like Corel are letting this one die. Pity.
5. Installed TMT5 trial. Blu ray stutter... Refresh rate matching no help. Indeed it left my desktop at 24Hz...
6. Installed PDVD12 trial. Blu ray nice and smooth :-) PAL DVD playback stutter :-( Thankfully Mediaportal can manage stutter free DVD playback.
7. Installed windows media center pack, seems to work ok, but Mediaportal is a more familiar (better?) solution. Looks like Microsoft aren't making things easy for media playback on HTPCs either.
So my working Windows 8 HTPC solution is:
Mediaportal for HDTV and DVD playback and PowerDVD12 for bluray.
Quite liking the performance upgrade on the system going from Vista to Win8. Seems much snappier.
Pretty disappointed that Cyberlink can't get DVD playback working right on my system... Shakes head. I winced all the way thru the DVD we watched tonight, but I couldn't take time out from our watch to "Let me just tweak that to get DVDs playing properly". WAF would never recover. Hopefully she didn't notice the hitching, I'm not even going to ask. So on my system we have these Win8 bluray playback results:
One product failed to run at all. One product failed to playback bluray smoothly. One product played bluray fine but could not manage smooth DVD playback. Maybe I just need to try with new hardware ;-)