After a Week of Vista – I’m Switching Back

I was pumped. I was excited. I went out and bought a new TV tuner card to take advantage of the Media Center in Vista. After a week of researching out why the video was poor quality, why it would not play AVI files that I made in XP, and discovering that it would not install my Adobe Acrobat.

My Configuration

I have a Hauppauge WinTV To Go + TV Tuner card. This card comes with it’s of TV software and gives you ability to record programs. It works great. What it doesn’t do is work in Vista. It is recognized but there is no Audio driver (should be out soon) but even when it comes out even though Vista will recognize it the Media Center in Vista won’t. So I bought one that Vista would like at the tune of $120 at Fry’s.

Well the card was recognized but the quality of the video wasn’t any better then the card that was half the price. Also, it caused Vista to run really slow when watching TV (something the other card did not do).

After screwing with Vista for the last week to try and get it to do the things that I could do in XP I took the tuner card back and now using XP again (thank God I had setup Vista as a dual boot). To me the only difference Vista has to XP is that it is more limited. If I wanted to keep XP I would have to purchase about $300 in Hardware (TV Tuner card and video card) and an additional $100 in software to do what I could in XP. The thing for me is that my computer is only 2 years young. It is a Dell Dimension 4700 with the following stats:

  • Intel HT 2.8GHz processor
  • 1.5 Gigs of memory
  • 120GB hard Drive
  • ATI Radeon 550 128MB PCI Express video card
  • Hauppauge WinTV To Go + TV Tuner Card with DVR functionality

In XP this system is nice. In Vista it sucks.

Vista – Not Built Very Well 

The other thing about Vista (while I am on a rant) is that it is just not built very well. The day that it came out I went to Best Buy to see the new systems that came out with it. The “Display” systems that Best Buy had (the ones that are all decked out on the end of the aisle) where all screwed up – ON THE FIRST DAY!!!. The video was all jerky, the movement of the boxes in the media center were jerky, and this was on machine that were built for Vista.

An Apple in My Eye

 Fast forward to this weekend. I went to return the tuner card to Fry’s and decided to walk down the MAC aisle. The computers that were on display there were there for a while. I went to look at the Mac Mini and noticed that there was a little remote control Velcroed to the side of it. I click the menu button on the remote and was blown away at the very attractive media menu that took over the screen. The Mac Mini blew my system at home away even though it “technically” is no where near as good. I know that it doesn’t incorporate a TV tuner but you can get a USB one for $100.

So now I am REALLY considering getting a MAC when it is time to replace my Dell. I think a MAC mini would be cool but I guess I would get to play games (not like I play that much anymore anyway).

In Conclusion

I was stoked about Vista but that quickly went away after I tried to get it into the main stream of my life. It ended up just being a pain and would have cost me a lot of time a money to do what I already do in XP. In my opinion Microsoft just came out with Vista because they had to do something. There really isn’t anything new in Vista that justifies the pain in upgrading.