What Vista Media Center will do to 3rd Party DVRs | As many people out there don’t agree with my views on Microsoft building a system to apply playback and capture of protected media, I’ll shoot something else out there. Without Microsoft adding a system like PVP-OPM to Windows, the consumer loses out on using their PC for a PVR. The PC as a PVR is stuck until a secure system is built; this is a fact and can be seen in every PVR product for Windows, Linux, and Mac on the market today. The content is already locked and isn’t coming into the PC without a secure system.
It’s all your choice if you wish not to upgrade to Vista because of the content protection it will have the ability to offer. It’s your choice to use Linux and MythTV over using Windows XP Media Center Edition. It’s also your choice to keep Windows and use something like BeyondTV or SageTV. However, be aware that any platform that stays open will not see any change in what you can record or view. As I have said hundreds of times now, all of this content is already protected now. Without a system like PVP-OPM in Vista, the consumer loses out on new ways to use the media that they already pay for. Microsoft wants to change this, putting the consumer first.
Using Linux and MythTV is a great solution, but since Linux is a complete and total open system, none of the content owners/broadcasters are going to allow any new content into the system. A semi-closed systems based around Linux will work fine; an example of this is TiVo.
Using Windows is your best hope for a PVR that will continue to include the ability to do more with what you pay for, in this case, your TV. Since Microsoft is taking on the task of building a system to allow playback and capture, you benefit with the ability to do just that. Media Center is of course an application that will greatly benefit from this. Having the new ability to capture the currently protected TV that you already pay for, pay next-gen DVD’s that require a playback path that is protected, and more will all be brought to life with Windows Vista. I’m going to assume, but don’t know for sure, that Microsoft will allow other programs to tap into this. This would most likely be the same type of method used for Windows Media Rights Management currently. The third-party software developer would license the technology from Microsoft, giving them the ability to bring these new opportunities to their applications.