Xbox 360 Will NOT Kill Media Center

Xbox 360 Will Kill Media Center | Tim Coyle Says: “So let’s do a quick checklist – the Xbox 360 can pull music, photos, and video off of any computer (or device) with Windows Media Connect? And it can also rip CD’s right to the hard drive? Plus it can play high-end video games and eventually will play HD DVD’s? Sounds like a ‘media center’ to me.”


The Xbox 360 will not kill the Media Center PC, don’t worry about that.  The idea behind Media Center PC’s are that you get..

  1. A full Windows XP PC

  2. The ability access all your media from a single interface

  3. The ability to extend the experience of Media Center around your home.

An Xbox 360 is part of 2 and 3, it doesn’t replace them nor will it.  Most of all, the Xbox 360 will have no way to get a TV stream in without a Media Center PC.  Unless I’ve been missing something since I started using Media Center when it was first released years ago, that’s a big part of it.  😉


Lastly, Microsoft has never said that the Xbox 360 will have or will ever ship with an HD-DVD drive.  My guess has been that you will be able to stream an HD-DVD to your Xbox 360, however the verdict is still out if Microsoft is planning to add HDMI output (somehow) for 1080i output.


In addition, if you run down the checklist for what a Media Center PC can do—store all your music, photos, and video on your PC and access it from a single interface; record, watch, and timeshift TV; play high-end games; and eventually play HD-DVD’s, it does sounds like a Media Center to me.  🙂

5 thoughts on “Xbox 360 Will NOT Kill Media Center

  1. Media Center PC’s? no way – those are the hubs for data? Media Center Extenders from the likes of Linksys and HP ? oh yeah! stick a fork in those, they are done like dinner. XBOX 360 does what those do, but gives you local storage and the bonus of playing games…

  2. One thing though. Xbox 360 had better be quieter than Xbox. Using the XBOX media center is almost unusable because of the fan noise. streaming back AVi’s or tv episodes is sometimes not duable because you can hear the whirrr of the fan almost to distraction. This is especially true of video that doesnt have a lot of ambient noise in the composition (interviews, news etc).

  3. That may be the idea behind what Media Center PC’s are, but in reality its a little more like…

    1. A full Windows XP PC (To use whenever no one else is watching TV, as long as you promise not to do anything that would mess up the finally stable driver-decoder configuration!)

    2. The ability to access all your media from a single interface (Those that consider their audio DVD’s, non-OTA HD TV shows, or their DVD library as part of all your media, need to learn that you’re just borrowing it. Fortunately, Micrrosoft’s got your back and won’t let you borrow it permanently.)

    3. The ability to extend the experience of Media Center around your home (The ability to replace all of those $70 DVD players and $10/mnth cable-DVR’s around your home with an economical $1,000 Media Center. The boys in Redmond won’t be able to keep these on the shelves!)

  4. JD:

    1. You can use an up to 5 Extenders (Xbox 360) at the same time (I think 3 at the same time with TV, bandwidth issues IIRC) _AND_ still use your PC without the Media Center interface up on the screen. Decoder (DShow) issues are always being worked on.

    2. I don’t follow what your point is here, can you clearify it?

    3. As I said, the idea is that you get a PC _AND_ the ability to use Media Center. It’s not for everyone, but it is for people looking to get a new PC (or you can purchase it alone online).

  5. Microsoft have Windows Media Player 9 (&10) playing High Definition DVDs (called WMVHD – Windows Media High Definition Video) (go figure why the acronym doesn’t align) (

    These supposedly need a powerful PC with sourround sound cards, high end graphics cards, and connected to a HD screen – 1920×1440 screen resolution.

    It won’t work with connecting it up to an amp decoder – you need the sound card to decode the sound – ie. you essentially need a dedicated 5.1 channel speakers connected to a PC or Media Centre PC, with a HD screen, in addition to your TV and sound system.

    I have no intention of buying a 2nd PC being a Media Centre PC and a 2nd set of surround sound speakers, but I would love to play these WMVHDs.

    Can anyone tell me is there any chance that Microsoft’s separate departments have worked together and made the XBOX 360 capable of playing WMVHD DVDs with the XBOX 360 decoding the audio to an optical output for the existing amp and component video output to the existing HD-TV?

    Or is that asking too much for one Microsoft HD innovation to work with another HD innovation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *