The Active Network
ActiveWin Active Network | Articles | Editorials | Interviews | FAQ's | Forums

  * Microsoft Windows Vista with Media Center Hardware Requirements Information

Posted By:
Date: February 23, 2006

Welcome to Windows Vista with Media Center!

If you want to use TV functionality of Media Center or navigate the Media Center user interface with a remote control, special hardware is required. Below you will find information about supported hardware, purchasing TV tuners and remote controls, as well as answers to questions you may have about using Media Center.

Required Hardware

Media Center runs on any computer that meets the hardware requirements for Vista.

Every computer can use the music, pictures, and videos features of Media Center without any special hardware or configuration.

Graphics Cards

For the purposes of this beta, only the following graphics cards are officially supported by the Media Center support team.


Please use the compatible video graphics cards listed below for Media Center. Most of these cards can be purchased at your local computer or electronics retail stores. Alternatively, they can also be purchased direct from the manufacturer online.   The device drivers for the supported ATI and NVidia hardware are included in this Vista build. 



Device Name

Model Number



X series or 9800



FX or 6 series



Watching TV

TV functionality is only available on computers that have a TV tuner card installed. If you do not have a TV tuner card, the TV features in Media Center are not visible.


TV Tuner Cards
Most of the TV tuner cards can be purchased at your local computer or electronics retail stores.  Alternatively, they can also be purchased direct from the manufacturer online.

In this beta build, drivers for the following tuner cards are currently supported on Windows Update. Use the Device Manager in the System Control Panel to update the driver from Microsoft Update. If your tuner is not listed, please try to download a driver using the Device Manager prior to reporting the issue as we will continue to expand the list of drivers on Microsoft Update.

TV Tuner Cards - Preferred

ATI Theater 550

Adaptec AVC-3610 USB

ASUStek Falcon2, Europa, Tiger, Tiger-s

Hauppauge PVR-150/500, PVR-USB2

Lumanate Angel PCI


Pinnacle 310i


TV Tuner Cards Supported on Windows Update

ATI Theater 550, DTV Wonder

Adaptec AVC-3610 USB

ASUStek Blackbird, Falcon2, Europa, Tiger, Tiger-s, Mercur

Hauppauge PVR-150/500, PVR-250/350, PVR-USB2

Hauppauge HVR-900, HVR-1100, HVR-1300, Nova-T

Lifeview LR1212, LR0214, LR0301, LR0303, LR0304, LR0306, LR3306, LR0307, LR3307, LR0314, LR0315, LR0502, LR1502, LR2502, LR3502

Lumanate Maui1, Maui3, Angel PCI


Creatix CTX917

Pinnacle 100i, 110i, 300i, 310i

Sony ENX-26

VBox USB-A 3560



If a software MPEG2 encoder is required, a demo version can be downloaded from Mainconcept:



DVD Decoder
Before you can play DVD or TV in Media Center, you must visit Microsoft Update and download the A/V codecs required for MPEG-2 and Dolby support.  Please visit Microsoft Update and download the update package to enable DVD and TV support in Media Center.


Media Center Extenders
Extenders are not supported in this beta build.

Media Center PC Remote Control & IR Receiver
Media Center remote controls and IR receivers allow you to control your with a TV/DVD player style remote. They can be purchased from your local System Builder or from

These remotes can also allow you to control a set top box with the same Media Center remote that controls the PC.

Electronic Program Guide (EPG):
For this beta build, Electronic Program Guides are available and supported in the following regions:



AT Austria

BE Belgium

CA Canada

CZ Czech Republic

DK Denmark

FI Finland

FR France

DE Germany

IE Ireland

IT Italy

JP Japan

KR Korea


MX Mexico

NL Netherlands

NO Norway

PL Poland

PT Portugal

RU Russian Federation

ES Spain

SE Sweden

CH Switzerland

TR Turkey

GB United Kingdom

US United States



In order to get the guide to download correctly, you will need a properly configured TV tuner signal setup for your region.


Additional Questions?: If you have additional questions about using Media Center, please post your questions to the Vista Media Center beta newsgroups.



Return To News Search ActiveWin News Database


  *   *