Just upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, my experience (1 Viewer)


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  • June 30, 2005
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    For those wondering if it will work or if it's worth, here's how it went for me.

    First some background: I wanted to do a clean install of the OS, and then move the current configuration of Media Portal so I could get it up and running quickly. I was going to use my current PC, which has a triple core AMD processor, 4 GB RAM, nVidia GT440, dual DVB-T tuner, etc. I wanted to go for the 32 bits version, because I'm using a Conceptronic remote control with a special driver that allows EventGhost to work with it (I don't think there's a 64 bit version.)

    1.- System installation
    I installed Windows 8 Pro 32 bits from a USB device in less than 15 minutes. After setting up my account as a local account I was on the new Start Screen ready to go. I had to install the driver for my TV tuner (I have a partition for the system and apps, and another for recordings, drivers and backups), and the EventGhost driver for my Conceptronic remote control (Windows 8 did install an MCE compatible driver, but that's not the one I need.) No more drivers where needed. I set up a new power profile that doesn't suspend the computer or screen.

    2.- Third party software
    I installed CoreAVC which is the codec that I use for h.264, TotalCommander to manage files on the computer (I always install it), EventGhost (to use my Conceptronic remote) and 3RVX (so I have a nice volume OSD). That's it.

    3.- Media Portal installation
    I installed Media Portal 1.2.3 which triggered the downloaded of some .NET version (3.5 I think) and proceeded with a custom install in single seat mode (using MySQL). It all went without a hitch. After that I installed The MessagePlugin so EventGhost can communicate with Media Portal.

    4.- Restoring the configuration
    Then I stopped MySQL and the TV Server services, restored the old database, restored the ProgramData folders of Media Portal, restarted the services and proceeded to check that the configuration was working. I had to select again the codecs for the TV, remove the old TV tuner entries as new ones where created, and re-assign the channels of TV and radio to the newly detected tuners. With this done I started Media Portal, checked that the remote was responding, TV was working, that EPG was there and that all my recordings were visible.

    It all went smoothly, no problems and nothing unexpected. It all took a bit more than an hour, so I can say it was quick and painless.

    Windows 8 Opinion
    Now about Windows 8. I installed it on o a computer that is only used as Home Theater PC: watch and record TV, DVD, ripped movies, music, pictures,... For this purpose Windows 8 works very well as the interface is readable at coach distance :) mostly. It has some annoying quirks though. For instance, my family pictures are stored on a NAS with a drive letter assigned. Unfortunately you can't add any folder of your choosing to the picture library, so it can't see my pictures. Same for the music. It's not a big problem as I watch my family pictures and movies with Media Portal. And for music, Rdio is what I've been using for some time.

    The new Start Screen works very well as used from the coach, because you have big icons that are easy to use. Same for Metro Apps. Regular desktop apps are hard to use on a TV that sits a couple of meters or more from you, so I'm happy with that part.

    However I have to point out that my main desktop computer has Windows 7 and will stay that way for a long time. As a desktop OS Windows 7 is simply better. Modern apps waste a lot of screen space, can't be run in windows along several other apps, and the gestures requiered to use them are simply awkward when performed with a mouse.
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