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I'm putting a new system together and can get a copy of Windows Vista Home Basic very inexpensively. But I also see that the Windows Vista Home Premium version has Windows Windows Media Centre in it.

Is Windows Media Centre worth bothering with, or is it just repeating a lot of functionality you have from other software.

For the system, I am putting in the LG Blu-Ray/HD-DVD player and am going to get a TV Tuner PVR card. What I want to do is to be able to record TV shows for playback later and play Blu-Ray/HD-DVD movies. Is there a benefit to Windows media player beyond the software with the tuner card, the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD player?

Before I get comments to just use XP, I run it now and know the comments about Vista, but am going to give it a try anyway.
 

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There are more differences than just WMC. You need to ask yourself what software you want to use and how much will it cost to buy included with Windows or separately. I would get Premium but Basic might do the job with third party media software. You also need to check which Vista version the third party software requires. Here are a couple of links that might help...

Windows Vista Editions

Home Vista - Basic vs Premium
 

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This might not specifically address your question, but here are my thoughts regarding Vista Home Premium.
I went from XP MCE to Vista Home Premium and will not go back. On my AMD64 2800 the experience improved. I have used SageTV, BeyondTV and XP MCE and I am sticking with Vista for my Media Center.
 
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