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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 25: Mastering Windows Media Center
If you want to use Windows Media Center to watch TV, you must have a TV tuner
card. If you want to use Windows Media Center to manage recorded TV programs,
you need to install a video capture card. Listening to music with the music library or
watching a movie requires that you install a sound card. If you want to use Win-
dows Media Center to download album and additional online content, you need a
connection to the Internet. To make it easier to navigate the TV functions and movie
library features, you should purchase a programmable remote control. Table 25-1
summarizes Windows Media Center functionalities and their respective require-
ments for successful use.
Selecting the Correct Hardware for Windows Media
Center
As with all other operating systems, purchasing the correct hardware for use with
Windows Media Center can mean the difference between using something that
merely works and having a great experience while using it. Microsoft has gone to
great lengths to increase the reliability of video functions within Windows Vista.
Drivers for the video card work differently than they did in previous operating sys-
tems. The kernel mode drivers and their functions in previous operating systems do
not exist in Windows Vista.
Video Cards
Windows Vista uses a fully rendered 3D accelerated desktop called Windows Vista
Display Driver Model (WDDM), which offers greater flexibility than previous Win-
dows display models. WDDM moved most of the driver components out of the ker-
nel environment and into the user environment. This driver arrangement isolates the
graphics driver from the operating system and additional applications.
Table 25-1. Windows Media Center functionalities and requirements
Functionality Requirement
Watch TV TV tuner card
Record TV Video capture card
Listen to music or watch a movie Sound card
Download online content Internet connection
Access via remote control Windows Media Center IR remote control
Listen to radio stations Radio tuner card
Selecting the Correct Hardware for Windows Media Center
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You should take the time to look for the best hardware available for Windows Vista.
Spending the time upfront will improve your experience with Windows Vista as a
whole, as well as with Windows Media Center. Currently the two hardware manu-
facturers writing Windows Vista drivers and video capture drivers are ATI and
NVIDIA. These manufacturers are the largest in the industry, and while others cre-
ate video cards that work with Windows Vista, it is in your best interest to decide
between these two manufacturers. They have taken considerable time to develop new
drivers in conjunction with Microsoft to offer premium services to their customers.
Visit the manufacturers’ web sites and research the hardware they currently offer that
works with Windows Vista. Each offers tables that give you choices on price versus
performance on each card they deliver for different needs. The professional-level
cards will always cost considerably more than cards at the novice or enthusiast level.
So, research the available hardware when you are ready to move to Windows Vista.
It will pay dividends in the end. For a list of the video cards available for use in Win-
dows Vista at the time of this writing, see Tables 25-2 and 25-3.
Table 25-2. ATI video cards and chipsets
Types of card/chipset Card series
ATI cards ATI Radeon X1900 Series
ATI Radeon X1800 Series
ATI Radeon X1600 Series
ATI Radeon X1300 Series
ATI Radeon X850 Series
ATI Radeon X800 Series
ATI Radeon X700 Series
ATI Radeon X600 Series
ATI Radeon X550 Series
ATI Radeon X300 Series
ATI Radeon 9800 Series
ATI Radeon 9700 Series
ATI Radeon 9600 Series
ATI Radeon 9550 Series
ATI Radeon 9500 Series
ATI chipsets ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200
ATI Radeon Xpress 1150
ATI Radeon Xpress 200
ATI CrossFire Xpress 1600
ATI Radeon Xpress 200M
812
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Chapter 25: Mastering Windows Media Center
ATI mobile ATI Radeon Xpress 200M
ATI Mobility Radeon X1800 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon X800 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon X700 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon X600 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon X300 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon 9800 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Series
ATI Mobility Radeon 9500 Series
ATI Mobility FireGL V5200
ATI Mobility FireGL V5000
ATI Mobility FireGL V3200
ATI Mobility FireGL V3100
ATI multimedia ATI All-in-Wonder X1900 Series
ATI All-in-Wonder X1800 Series
ATI All-in-Wonder 2006 Edition
ATI All-in-Wonder X800 Series
ATI All-in-Wonder X600 Series
ATI Theater 550 PRO
ATI TV Wonder Elite
ATI All-in-Wonder 9800 Series
ATI All-in-Wonder 9600 Series
Table 25-2. ATI video cards and chipsets (continued)
Types of card/chipset Card series

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