Mike gave me some advice when I started on my MP journey to expect it would take a bit of time, and that it certainly has. Several uninstalls / reinstalls including OS and I think I'm finally getting there. The problem I'm now encountering is blank screen after 20minutes, MP still runs in the back ground and if i toggle my remote the picture returns without crashing. Anyone encountered the same? I noted a question someone else had posted commenting on a similar problem but the thread went off track without answering that part of the problem.
In all likelyhood this is simply Windows power saving doing its thing, in Vista it defaults to turning the screen off after 20 minutes. At least that it was for me what I had that issue.
Now when I set up the media-center I go straight to power options and turn off all sleep modes, screensavers etc. Not needed for an HTPC, would be handy if Windows actually had an 'HTPC' mode that turned all that stuff off.
Eureka!! Many thanks. I had thought it was something to do with that and switched off the screensaver which is where I thought the problem was. New to VISTA and just discovered (and now set to never) the power save functions.