After playing around with Windows Vista Media Center on my new laptop, I must say, I have been impressed. There are lots of things that can be annoying when running mythTV: the lack of drivers on linux, the fact that no mythTV front-ends/clients exist for windows, and the latest one, that the TV listings are no longer free.
So now I am in a bit of a pickle. Do I pay for a mythTV listing service and spend the time to upgrade my mythTV server, thus supporting free and open software, or pay upfront for a copy of Vista and give media center a shot. I really don't know at this point.
I think I would have went with Media Center pretty easily except for one thing. In the latest version of Media Center, I can't play DVD files off the network. The only reason I can think of for why Microsoft would disable this functionality is due to movie industry pressures. This alone makes me scared to start using their products. Only after I added a separate piece of software called My Movies was I able to list and play DVD files over the network.
Not only was I able to play them, but My Movies (which is free) also categorized them, downloaded DVD cover images for them, and organized data for all the movies including directors, actor and actresses, MPAA rating, etc. Pretty amazing!
So, this got my wondering... why isn't this part of Media Center to begin with? This seems so in tune to what people want to do with their movie collections (same as with their music collections), so why do I have to add on a separate package to do this?
I'm not sure what I'm going to do on the TV front. Maybe I'll give MediaPortal another shot. I dunno...