Archive for the ‘Windows 7’ Category

Sky and Flash in media center

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

With the public release of Windows 7, there have been some interesting developments;

1) Here in the UK, the Internet TV Beta 2 link has?disappeared?from our menus. I suspect that is because it was really buggy (I often got errors that my video library was unavailable). Hopefully it just means that a new better version is on the way

2) An advert for Sky Player has appeared in the menus;


Auto Play DVDs in Media Center in Windows 7

Monday, September 7th, 2009


One of my great annoyances with Windows 7 is that you don’t have the option to auto-play DVDs with Media Center. I logged it as a bug during the testing phase, and was informed that it was intentional – something along the lines of if you wanted to use Media Center, it would be open already, so auto-play wasn’t appropriate.

Anyway, I disagree, and fortunatly someone has come up with a fix for the problem. Mikinho over at Seven Forums has produced a simple registry change to get Media Center added to the DVD movie auto play options. I tested it out, and it all works great; (more…)

Creating New Start Menu Strips

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

I’ve just read a great post over at the Hacking Windows 7 Media Center blog about how to add new start menu strips. It tells you how you can move Add-Ins out of the hidden depths that Microsoft has relegated them in Windows 7. I was chuffed to bits to see that the example that Michael uses is none other than TunerFreeMCE. Thanks Michael!

Flash in windows media center

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Since my TunerFreeMCE code has been out there for almost a year now, I have picked up a fair bit of experience of playing flash on windows media center.

Most of the TV companies who provide flash video do so using the Akamai tech stack to secure and stream their content. They build their own custom flash players on top of that to provide their own flavour to the players, e.g. related videos and so on. The probably intentional side effect of this is that it is really not trivial to get in to their flash streams and do anything with it. It’s not like the have an rtmp url easily accessible for you to get hold of. There are ways of doing it, but not easily. There is for example a project on sourceforge called rtmpdump ( which allows you to download flash videos from the BBC and from Hulu. (more…)

Dual Boot Windows 7 on an XP netbook

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

MSI Wind running Windows 7

As part of the Windows 7 Beta program, I wanted to see how it would run on my netbook, an Advent 4211, a rebadged MSI Wind. I didn’t want to completley blow away XP though, because this is only a beta after all. The main obstacle that you face with installing Windows 7 on a netbook is of course the absense of a DVD drive. This guide documents the steps that I had to take to make this happen. (more…)

Windows 7 Versions

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Microsoft have just announced the versions of Windows 7 that they will sell. One of the most detailed descriptions I have reas is on Ian Dixon’s blog. For consumers in the UK though, the options are Windows 7 Basic (no media center, no Aero), Windows 7 Premium (adds Aero, Touch and Media Center), and Ultimate (adds domain support, Remote Desktop, Bit Locker).

This puts me in a quandry. I spent good money on Vista Ultimate licenses, mainly because I wanted the Remote Desktop capabilities which Premium didn’t have. Then I discovered that Microsoft had crippled Vista Ultimate between the beta and the final release by not allowing multiple simultaneous users, so I couldn’t remote in to my living room PC to fix things while people were watching TV. Basically that made my extra investment in Ultimate a complete waste of money. I am therefore probably going to go for Windows 7 Premium rather than Ultimate because I got so badly burned with wasting money on Vista Ultimate. At the same time?though I’m?worried that perhaps they have made it less of a lame duck this time, and I am going to miss out on something worthwhile. Damn you Microsoft! Your clever marketing to geek insecurities is working!

Perhaps Windows 7 should be the Vista Ultimate Extra that never appeared. Hint Hint.