My HTPC was giving more and more problems and so I decided to reinstall the system. I'm running Windows 7 on my laptop and workstation so I wanted to try it on the HTPC as well. I did run into a couple of problems but though, here's what I needed to fix:
The soundcard of my Biostar P4VBM800 motherboard was working. The onboard chip is a C-Media CMI9761, which should be AC97 compatible but Windows did not detect it. after a little trial and error I found these drivers. Audio's working fine now, even the digital output works.
My ATI Radeon X1600 was detected but the standard MS driver does not support OpenGL. After trying a couple of solutions I found that the 7.11 Catalyst Vista Drivers work fine.
My HTPC is quite old (Pentium 4 @2,53 GHz with 1 GB RAM) but Windows 7 was running like a champ, better then XP and of course the biblically terrible Vista. So now I needed to install some media players:
First I installed XBMC as my main media center. This was the main reason I needed to get OpenGL going. XBMC does not do hardware accelerated video playback so I also installed MPC-HC and now my old HTPC is capable of 720p video playback at 25% CPU load.
Last I installed Hulu and used HotSpot Shield to access Hulu outside of the US. Video playback is fairly watchable on low quality, I'm going to check some other VPN solutions to see if I can get this to work better.