Windows Media Center 2005 under Virtual PC

Windows Media Center 2005 under Virtual PC

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Having heard nothing but good reviews about Windows Media Center 2005 - and being a nerd at heart - I decided to try and build my own Media Center PC this weekend.

Once the install CD's were in my hands - I thought - 'I wonder if this would run under Virtual PC?'

I have previously tried running Media Center 2004 under Virtual PC - and the result was 'craptacular' (the entire UI was distorted and unusable).  So my expectations for Media Center 2005 in VPC were not very high.  Boy was I in for a surprise.

Obviously - I cannot use the TV functionality under Virtual PC (no virtual TV tuner) but the UI, photo and music aspects all worked beautifully.  I was able to listen to music while viewing photo slide shows.

All in all - a very enjoyable (though completely pointless) exercise :-)

Media Center under Virtual PC    Media Center under Virtual PC    Media Center under Virtual PC    Media Center under Virtual PC


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  • Nice :) this is what i use to test/develop MCE stuff. Don't want to mess up my MCE machine in the living room.
    VPC rulez ;)
  • Hi Ben,

    Mind if I add that to my site?

  • Go for it Jonathan, but I would add a note pointing out that TV / Video doesn't work.

  • Sure thing - I added "TV/Video doesn't work on VPC hardware" - if you want the phrasing changed, let me know.

  • I was under the impression that USB / USB2 devies would work under Virtual PC. Could you use one of these devies to get around not having an internal device?
  • Hi Jeff,

    Currently there is no USB support in VPC so that would not be possible. Also, MCE only supports a limited (but growing) number of TV tuners (just because your tuner works in Windows doesn't mean it will inside of the Media Center application) so it's not a guarantee even with a USB TV cards.

  • Let me rephrase my last post so that it makes more sense. Can an external USB/USB2 based TV Tuner card work under Virtual PC? If so this would get around Virtual PC not allowing you to interface with a PCI version.
  • This is a great! Now I can demo Windows Media Center 2005 to students at school. :-)
  • If you're a geek there never has to be a *real* reason behind doing something, other than to find out it it can be done and then tick that off the list ;-)

    Seeing as you're a Microsoft dude I was wondering if Microsoft had any plans to try and emulate a TV tuner in Virtual PC? Mind you wonder if VMWare would ever do the same??
  • Hi Jeff,

    As I said earlier, VPC doesn't support any USB devices, so a USB TV Tuner won't help the case.

  • USB/USB devices will work on the VPC-Mac version only.

    Under VPC 2004 for Windows, the only USB devices that can be used are ones that VPC emulates... keyboard, mouse, etc.
  • I'm using MCE 2005 in VPC for quite a while now and it really rocks, except for not beeing able to watch the videos.

    Isn't there a way to get the video function work with non-compatible drivers or another driver which can be used?

    Cheers, Neno
  • I have installed MCE 2005 under VPC and the screen looks bad !!!

    None of the bars line up... so what else do I need to do.

    Cheers, Danny
  • Jonathan,

    Point received. I posted within a few minutes of my posts and you beat me to posting my restated answer. What little I've played with Virtual PC I liked (on the 45 day trial) but I must say for that all the cool things it can do, it's disappointing that it lags behind VM Ware in device support (specifically USB). From what I've experienced in it, I've never had a problem with USB but I did with internal devices such as a PCI TV Tuner because it could not exist within the Virtual Machine. USB devices may be shared though. Maybe the 2006 version will support it.
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