How to Make TVAnts work on Vista: the Ultimate Solution
You’ve tried all the other solutions posted here and none of them worked for you. If so, maybe this is for you.
If your problem is caused by an ISP blocking your IP address this solution is not for you. You have to fix that using proxies or VPNs as described in other threads.
But if you are able to receive channel list and get as far as buffering, with or without proxies, then this solution will almost certainly work, but it is like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut. It is a last resort. It was not my idea; someone else mentioned that they had done it. I tried it myself successfully and now I have prepared this step by step guide for you. (Note: this is only for 32 bit operating systems, which is the most common type).
I don’t know if my machine is 32 bit!
Click on the start button, right click on Computer and choose Properties. Next to “System type” you will see “32 bit operating system”.
How it works
TVAnts works easily with Windows XP, so we will create a “Virtual Machine” and install Windows XP on it. A Virtual Machine is just a program that runs on Vista. When you run it, it behaves like another PC that uses your real PC’s screen, keyboard etc. It sounded difficult to me, but it was easy and worked first time. It has its own “C drive” but this is really just a big file that is stored on whichever disk you choose.
What you need
- Sun VirtualBox program from here (it’s free): Downloads - VirtualBox. In the first section VirtualBox binaries, choose VirtualBox 2.1.4 for Windows hosts and click on X86. Save file “VirtualBox....X86.msi” to your PC. There is also a downloadable Guide – you don’t need this, one gets installed when you install VirtualBox.
- A bootable Windows XP installation disk. You can find one of those, right? Google is your friend...
- Spare 10GB on your C: drive (or on another drive if you wish).
Insert XP CD, cancel it when it tries to autostart.
If you’ve got a USB memory stick or USB external drive plug it in and cancel any AutoPlay screens.
Install VirtualBox like this: double-click on the .msi file and follow on-screen instructions. You will choose Windows XP when it asks for machine type. Accept all default values, but if you don’t want to install on your C drive, on the screen “Virtual Disk Location & Size” browse to another drive. Don’t try to install XP yet. You will get the VirtualBox home screen, like the one below and we will change a few settings:
Click on Settings (top left) and then on CD/DVD-ROM to get a screen like this:
On my PC the CD/DVD drive letter is E. Yours may be different.
While we are on that screen we’re going to install something called Guest Additions. This makes life a bit easier when we’re using XP – more info about it here only if you’re interested: VirtualBox - VirtualBox
Click on “ISO Image File”, then browse to file “VBoxGuestAdditions.iso” ; it is in folder C:\Program Files\Sun\xVM VirtualBox. Press OK and follow on-screen instructions.
Come back afterwards and reselect the Host CD/DVD drive.
In the settings screen above, select Audio. See screenshot below. The audio controller was automatically selected, but I set the Host Audio Driver to “Windows DirectSound” myself.
In Settings, choose Network. You will get this screen:
You may need to refer to the guide (in the VirtualBox folder in the Start menu) to find the settings for your network interfaces (see “Host Interfaces” at the bottom of the screenshot above which appear automatically).
To set up my wireless connection I clicked on the tab “ Adapter 2” and set it as follows:
There are a few more tweaks but we’re impatient to install XP! So we’ll come back later. You now have a Virtual Machine waiting for you to install XP on it. Your Vista installation is safe! Everything you do from now on is installed in your new “virtual C-Drive” which you will remember is really just a big file on a hard disk.
Install Windows XP.
On the VirtualBox home screen press Start. The program will boot your XP installation CD and a standard XP installation will start. Follow on-screen instructions. It will take about 40 minutes.
You will probably find that the XP screen is small. Don’t worry; we’ll sort that out later.
In XP we’ll set up our internet connection. In Control Panel start the Network Setup Wizard. Choose the settings that apply to you – you’re on your own here! When you’ve finished open Internet Explorer. If you can browse internet you are ready to install TVAnts.
To get the TVAnts distribution file on to your XP machine I’m going to suggest that you download it again from internet while you are in XP. Later you can play with USB drives, file sharing and clip board sharing, but for now it’s the simplest way.
Install TVAnts and use it!
Now we’re going back to do some tweaking.
Close down XP in the normal way; Start / Turn off computer.... and you’ll be back at the VirtualBox home screen.
When we installed Guest Additions it gave us the ability to improve the screen display.
Select the General tab (see screenshot below) and increase video memory settings. You’ll have to use trial and error to find what works best for you. I turned on 3D acceleration but I don’t know if I needed to.:
When you restart XP from the VirtualBox home page, go to Control Panel / Display Settings and change your resolution and see how this increases your screen size.
Back in the VirtualBox settings choose tab USB.
Enable the first two controllers, or just the first if you haven't got USB2. Probably the USB Device Filters box will be empty. Add your USB devices by clicking on the connector symbol on the right with a plus sign.
Now when you go into XP you can use your USB devices. They can’t be in use on both Vista and XP at the same time. Switching between XP and Vista and trying to use the USB devices can cause XP/VirtualBox to crash. It’s OK if you remove the USB device before switching and then plugging it in again afterwards.
There's a feature to allow the contents of the clipboard to be transferred between the two operating systems but I couldn't make it work.
There's a way of sharing files between the two operating systems but I couldn't make that work either. Vista sharing security controls I suspect - no mere human ever understood them!
Finally, now that you've got your Virtual XP PC you can install on it other programs that don't work on Vista.
I hope this was useful for someone.
Happy TVAnts watching!