Can't Decide!!! Vista VS MCE 2005 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 07-22-2007, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I have finally decided to build my HTPC Here are the components I am planning on going with:

Intel E4300 1.8GHz
MSI P6N SLI-FI
Kingston 2GB memory
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 2600XT GDDR4
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000 (2X)
LG GGC-H20LI
Silver Stone LC 17

I think that should get the job done for my first HTPC. I will basically be archiving my DVD's HD-DVD's and Blu-rays for playback. I will do other uses but this will be my main function.

I am undecided on which OS to choose. I like the familiarity of MCE2005 and I have a version of that already, but of course Vista is the direction MS is going so I don't want to be left out on the cold on Support issues. What do you guys recommend. What are the pro's and con's of both?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 06:14 AM
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Hi,
you will get answers for both operating systems. Personally, I would stick with MCE 2005 until the first service pack is out for Vista then re-evaluate the situation. You will have at least a year or two before support is cut off for XP\\MCE 2005.

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post #3 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 07:13 AM
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I would go with Vista, the interface is pretty solid.

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post #4 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 07:27 AM
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Go with the one that works with less workarounds.

Like, I just installed Vista and cant get rid of underscan at 1366x768. Minus point.

Vista MCE interface looks refreshed but overly complicated compared to XP MCE. Another minus.

XP MCE wont be getting support for HD formats(not counting ripped dvds). Minus to MCE, but minor to me since I dont care about HD for now. And not will till players are cheaper and reliable.


Im waiting for SP1 to see if it fixes all the anoyances of Vista, else going back to XP MCE. Even if the interface looks old.

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post #5 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 07:47 AM
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I would've said Vista hands-down, if it weren't for the annoying Album Art bug (Album Art being displayed for first song in album only). I like the new UI a lot, but that Album Art thingy is really annoying..

But since I have a 8600GT card I'm gonna stick with Vista until I can get HW-accelerated H264 in XP.
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post #6 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Replies

VaporeOn:

What do you mean XPMCE doesn't support HD formats, does that mean it wont Support HD-DVD's and Bluray? That is very important to me. Also
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post #7 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 08:01 AM
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Go with Vista. I have Vista Ultimate on one PC and Vista Premium on two others. Vista is much easier to work with then MCE. I can't stand using XP anymore. I still need to switch two more PCs to Vista Premium.

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post #8 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 08:53 AM
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I may be wrong in my statement.

You still need powerdvd or the sort to play HD DVDs.

Vista is supposedly needed for full HDCP compatibility. See cable card. But then again, you need an OEM computer to run cable card.
Im expecting MS to put Vista as a requirement if they ever make MCE work with HDDVD.

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post #9 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 09:17 AM
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Another vote for Vista.

I upgraded my 2005 to Vista last weekend. There is definitely a huge improvement in user interface and less work around with Vista.
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post #10 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 11:44 AM
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I'd still go with Vista if I was you even though the first service pack isn't gonna be out till December (Fiji). As somebody already said, the vista interface is rock solid and it doesn't have many compatibility issues.

Over the weekend, I ripped my CD collection again to Lossless with WMA Lossless and used Tag & Rename to add the tags with art. Everything is perfect.

The only issue I have is post-processing my downloaded avi files, once and a while media center hangs after watching a file. That is probably just an intermittent problem, maybe a corrupted DLL.
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post #11 of 36 Old 07-23-2007, 12:56 PM
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What about the issues with MPEG-2 HW Acceleration in Decoding causing problems with stuttering in Live TV for SD & HD content and higher than normal CPU use?

I'm kind of mixed because of that right now I have a HP Vista notebook that works great on live TV and etc but has higher than normal CPU use, but then have a nice system at home that stutters like crazy and loses sync with high cpu use when watching HDTV

Then the other thing I didnt like was no HW sound accerleration in games. Just didn't sound as good, all the nice effects and etc



I haven't tried Vista on that mahcine in a few months though.... may give it another whirl and see what happens with more recent drivers and etc.

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NO I DO NOT HAVE PowerDVD 7.2 lol I was using PureVideo decoders until I found those didnt work well under vista, then just stuck with the default MS ones. Don't like the idea of having to buy a new decoder
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post #12 of 36 Old 07-25-2007, 07:36 AM
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So did anyone have any input to lend to the above?
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post #13 of 36 Old 07-25-2007, 08:19 PM
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Yeah my input is that the Vista decoder is poor and the Nvidia doesn't seem to work right in Vista either.

For optimum stability and performance, use MCE2005. Vista is a big step backwards. I thought I heard a Vista sp was coming week of July 16. It needs one.
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post #14 of 36 Old 07-26-2007, 04:49 AM
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I don't have issues w hardware acceleration anymore. Using the stock MS decoder on an intel DG965WH MB that has integrated GMA X3000 integrated video with an e6300 CPU. Initially I had stutter issues that were resolved by a new release of intel's video driver.

MCE 2005 represents the MS version 3.0 of MCE to me. It's stable, it has a well defined features set and a clean user interface. It seems to be the culmination of the original vision of MCE. They got all of the core features working the way they should (except the music library which was slow as molasses).

Vista MCE is a re-engineering of MCE to allow it to handle new features and capabilities... protected HD content, extenders, third party plugins, widescreen displays, etc.. It really only seems half done to me. They redid a lot of the under-pinnings, new audio stack, protected path, improved priority for audio/video processes, a new SDK that allows developers to build much better plugins, a new UI layout, etc..

I prefer vista even though it's not quite 100%. I like having the MS decoder available that just works, I like the fact that plugins are much better looking and feeling, I like some of the new UI (they need to do more work on cleaning this up, the main menu is out of control).

The biggest reason is that in true techhead fashion I'm waiting for it to become better. I'm waiting for them to add DirecTV support, I'm waiting for low priced purpose built extenders, I'm waiting for them to fix the start menu and to finish using the new UI all the way thru the app.

My biggest complaint with vista is how slow stable drivers have shown up.
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post #15 of 36 Old 07-26-2007, 05:44 AM
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BigAl: What is your CPU use now as compared to before? Are you watching just SDTV or HDTV as well in Vista MCE?
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post #16 of 36 Old 07-26-2007, 07:22 AM
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Vista gives you no benefit. It's more taxing on your machine and the precaching it does it probably in there because the OS was so slow. It's difficult to write drivers for, so drivers even from companies with excellent programmers like nVidia are buggy. MCE does everything Vista will do, is faster and more mature. You WILL NOT be left out in the cold on support. MS doesn't want the press of millions of XP based PC's becoming drones for DNS attacks. They'll be releasing patches for it for long after you change your hardware again.
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post #17 of 36 Old 07-26-2007, 07:24 AM
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If you are interested in product updates, go with Vista. MCE 2005 will have no software updates for anything. The product is done, finished.

Also, if you are interested in upcoming v2 Extenders you will also need Vista. They will not be supported on MCE 2005.

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post #18 of 36 Old 07-26-2007, 08:15 AM
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From my experience (primarily listening to music and watching DVDs on Vista MC, coming from MCE 2005):

Go for Vista if you:
- have a large music library (much faster than MCE 2005)
- have a decent computer (2GB and dual core)
- want access to future updates
- want access to more, richer plug-ins
- want access to future hardware specific for Vista MCE (SideShow,etc)
- want a nice looking, more modern interface

Go for MCE 2005 if you:
- have a slower computer
- want best quality DVD playing. On Vista, the MS DVD decoder has many issues with de-interlacing and the Nvidia PureVideo decoder (in software mode) which comes with TheaterTek doesn't work as well as on XP/MCE2005. Probably in a few months Vista will catch up but as of now MCE 2005 is still ahead, at least on Nvida cards. I don't know how the MS DVD decoder works with the ATI cards.
- want less headaches since MCE 2005 is very stable and guaranteed to work
- already have it installed and works well. You can then wait a few more months until video drivers are more reliable and include all the functionality. For me the music library was too slow and Vista solved that.
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post #19 of 36 Old 07-26-2007, 03:56 PM
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For watching live HDTV...
On my XP MCE machine (w purevideo decoder, CPU is a single core AMD 3200+, video is integrated 6150 IGP) I see around 40-45% CPU usage.

On my Vista MCE machine Intel E6300 CPU and Intel GMA X3000 IGP I see around 25% on both cores.

Sorry I can't give you an exact apples to apples comparison of the two OS's on the same hardware. I didn't have an extra copy of XP MCE laying around to load on the newer Intel based machine.
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post #20 of 36 Old 07-26-2007, 05:57 PM
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Taranu,

You could add to your "Go for Vista if you:" list that Vista does not require a seperate NTSC TV card in order to utilize an ATSC card. Many, besides myself, have no need for an NTSC card which anyway will become history February 2009.
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post #21 of 36 Old 07-27-2007, 05:46 AM
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Garret yes that is a good point, but many users will still need a NTSC card for input of analog cable, cable from a set top box, or sat such as directv or dish network....

BigAl: I may go through and try Vista out again and post my results compared to MCE 2005 on CPU use to provide a apples to apples test on my machine. I'm just curious to see what has progressed since the first few months when I used vista.
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post #22 of 36 Old 07-27-2007, 10:41 AM
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I gave it another try. It seems with my Vista notebook (purchased that way), turning aero off allows smooth ATSC playback in a window. Also removing Nvidea decoders helps as they seem to make things worse.

After these changes ATSC (using Aver USB stick) looks great.

Vista menus still complicated (lot of horizontal options), but workable.

Overall it works pretty good out of box, just don't try to tweak it first (with other decoders, etc.)

Not sure if turning off aero to allow window playback is due to PC specs or glitch with Vista.

Also Vista does not seem to want to playback DVD rips.

Can anybody help me with that? I know there have been posts on it, but what is the easiest way?
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post #23 of 36 Old 08-01-2007, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vapore0n View Post

I may be wrong in my statement.

You still need powerdvd or the sort to play HD DVDs.

Vista is supposedly needed for full HDCP compatibility. See cable card. But then again, you need an OEM computer to run cable card.
Im expecting MS to put Vista as a requirement if they ever make MCE work with HDDVD.


I've seen lots of *i think* statements regarding HDCP and XP-MCE. If I buy a HDCP enabled video card and a blu-ray player, can I use XP-MCE to play blu-ray DVDs on my HDCP enabled HDTV?
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post #24 of 36 Old 08-01-2007, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opticalc View Post

I've seen lots of *i think* statements regarding HDCP and XP-MCE. If I buy a HDCP enabled video card and a blu-ray player, can I use XP-MCE to play blu-ray DVDs on my HDCP enabled HDTV?

I bought a graphics card that advertises HDCP compliance (ASUS EAH2600Pro). On XP-MCE2005, it is not compliant. Haven't tried in Vista.
Solution: AnyDVD-HD. I can play HD-DVD and bD.

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post #25 of 36 Old 08-01-2007, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

Solution: AnyDVD-HD. I can play HD-DVD and bD.

OK I took a quick look at their webpage - it looks promising. Can you just pop the bD in and just watch the movie? Or do you have to rip it first?
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post #26 of 36 Old 08-01-2007, 08:32 AM
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I'm using Vista and playback every video format under the sun including HD-DVD and Blue-Ray and it is solid for everything. No issues.

HTPC: Intel e6300 2.8ghz, Intel DG45ID, 2gb DDR2, Radeon 5570, MCE IR receiver, Yamaha RX-V663 receiver via HDMI, panasonic ax100u, 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 2x Roku 3's, chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Vizio M602i-B3
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post #27 of 36 Old 08-01-2007, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

I'm using Vista and playback every video format under the sun including HD-DVD and Blue-Ray and it is solid for everything. No issues.

Archer:
Do you have an internal BD/HDDVD player and a HDCP video card and HDCP monitor?

My goal here is to have a HTPC and use it as a blu-ray DVD player. BUT Neither my HDTV nor my video card supports HDCP. This is why I'm looking at AnyDVD-HD as a possible solution. But I'd prefer to not have to rip the dvd before I can watch the movie. I'd like to just be able to get the blu-ray movie in the mail from Blockbuster online and just play it.
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post #28 of 36 Old 08-01-2007, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opticalc View Post

Archer:
Do you have an internal BD/HDDVD player and a HDCP video card and HDCP monitor?

My goal here is to have a HTPC and use it as a blu-ray DVD player. BUT Neither my HDTV nor my video card supports HDCP. This is why I'm looking at AnyDVD-HD as a possible solution. But I'd prefer to not have to rip the dvd before I can watch the movie. I'd like to just be able to get the blu-ray movie in the mail from Blockbuster online and just play it.

Seems unusual that an HDTV doesn't support HDCP. But yes, my video card, 8500GT for $70, does support it as does my projector.

I do not have a HDDVD/BD drive. I have gotten those formats on there through other means.

I don't think you have to rip it with anydvd. It just breaks the copy protection of any disc that is inserted without having to rip it. So I would think it would then play just fine.

HTPC: Intel e6300 2.8ghz, Intel DG45ID, 2gb DDR2, Radeon 5570, MCE IR receiver, Yamaha RX-V663 receiver via HDMI, panasonic ax100u, 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 2x Roku 3's, chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Vizio M602i-B3
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post #29 of 36 Old 08-01-2007, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

Seems unusual that an HDTV doesn't support HDCP. But yes, my video card, 8500GT for $70, does support it as does my projector.

I do not have a HDDVD/BD drive. I have gotten those formats on there through other means.

I don't think you have to rip it with anydvd. It just breaks the copy protection of any disc that is inserted without having to rip it. So I would think it would then play just fine.

Yeah, my HDTV it pretty old. I think it was one of the last DVI models made before HDCP started being widely supported. Sooo.... Excellent, it seems like I should be good to go with all my current (non HDCP supported) equipment. Thanks for the advice!
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post #30 of 36 Old 08-03-2007, 10:55 PM
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Just to let you know guys, I have both Vista and XP SP2. Both do OK with HDCP content, playing HD-DVDs here. I actually am having trouble with Vista with HDCP, but only with the Radeon HD 2x00 cards I've tried, and only through DVI-DVI. DVI-HDMI works fine with HDCP content as far as I could tell. MCE 2005 should be doing fine too, but at this point I'd just choose Vista, though not for HDCP compliance, which seems to be irrelevant compared to XP SP2 (and I assume MCE 2005).

EDIT: Just to clarify, I am having trouble with HDCP in Vista with the 2400 pro and 2600 pro, only through DVI-DVI (as stated above) but not with other cards like the Sapphire X1900GT and Gigabye 8500GT, so it's not the OS.
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