v2 Extenders vs. Xbox 360

Henning Hoffmann at HDBlog doesn’t like the idea of no v2 Extenders other than the Xbox 360 being released (Ed Bott: Do I have to buy an Xbox 360 if I want an extender?).  I believe, if this is true, it is also a mistake.  v1 Extenders are grossly overprices for the technology inside.  The Xbox 360 is actually going to sale for extremely cheap for what’s actually included.


At this point, Microsoft needs to be pushing OEM’s to get sub $200 standalone v2 Extenders out.  I don’t want to buy an Xbox 360 for every room in the house.  I want a single Xbox 360, and then 3-4 standalone Extenders.  The perfect price point for standalone Extenders is just around $150, and I think it’s very possible with existing technology to provide the product at the right price.

8 thoughts on “v2 Extenders vs. Xbox 360

  1. What I want is extenders that do DVD up converting. I want to replace my cable box and the DVD player and want it to work at least as well at the $100 dvd player that does full 720p up conversion. Something the 360 does not, and sounds like will not, do (though it’s certainly capable of it). Though recently the answer went from "no" to something a bit softer, but that is just marketing. I would certainly pay up to $200 or even $250 for that, though the lack of Divx/mpeg4 support across the board is a big problem for any of us with large media libraries (like we really want to re-sample thousands of megs of data to a MS standard, god the headaches :p ).

    Think the human proffing is messed up on this site, it allways takes about 5 tries even when the answer is very clear.

  2. IMHO, the $150 extender should also include a DVD drive. You can buy a (cheap) stand-alone DVD Player for <$50 and a decent one for >$100, so why not put one in the extended?

    Yes, I know…that’s not exactly how extended are envisioned to be used…but if you want to move units, sell it as a "special" DVD player not an "oddball" device that you can’t even use to play DVDs.

    I asked about low-cost MCXs back in January (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/chats/transcripts/05_Jan20_mce.mspx)

    Tony [MS] (Expert):

    Q: Who is the target for MCX devices? $300 seems a bit steep when considering a DVD player is $50 – and no DVD player in a MCX.

    A: MCX is targeted at users who want access to their Recorded TV, Music, Photos and videos in other rooms in their house. Typically this customer is someone who has more than one television in the house and has a basic knowledge of in-home networking. MCX is not intended to be or replace a DVD player.

    Tony [MS] (Expert):

    Q: [ on MCX target ] : yea, I get that, but $300 seems a little steep for the convenience of not burning a DVD. I would think $199 – and include a DVD player – would be much more appealing.

    A: Again, it’s not intended to be a DVD player replacement, but a media sharing network device. You might find a better price comparison if you compare it to other digital media network players.

  3. I would assume that any OEM could add a DVD drive to the Extender without that much effort.

    However, while Microsoft hasn’t announced anything I’m betting on Extenders (both current and future) being able to playback DVD’s over the network come Vista. Mainly, using those nice DVD changers w/ 200 discs, then using WMDRM-ND to securely stream them to the Extenders. HD-DVD (and still hopefully Blu-ray) will have a managed copy feature so you can rip the HD-DVD to your hard drive, and then play it back other the Extender. The Xbox 360 should be able to correctly play ripped DVD’s over your network too using something like “My Movies” to catalog them.

    The idea is to go "disc-less" in the fact that the consumer doesn’t need to hunt down the physical disc to watch a movie.


  4. Diskless is good, but not without better support for universal formats then extenders seem destined to have with MCE, that is a very real problem.

    That said though there is always a need for a good upscale DVD player, after all I don’t want to have to illegally rip netflix dvd’s to watch them in the bedroom, and I don’t think mange copy is going to allow for that either. A number of DVD players are coming out with networking features, so the comparison is going to get even murkier. Simple truth is the first generation extenders where damed expensive for what they where, given that they are not really portable I have no idea what they where suggesting they be compared to ?.

    Something else to worry over on the managed copy front is that currently DVDs have all sorts of nasty intrusive and obnoxious add things at the start of them that can’t be bypassed, I fear that managed copy will suffer heavily from compliance with this same sort of crap, which is exactly what I don’t need to be suffering through to start my kids video (DO YOU HEAR ME DISNEY *angry fist shake*). Anyway I haven’t heard anything specific on this, which makes me fear it. DVD player compliance for this sort of crap has gotten worse over the years, I have old players that will skip or FF fine and newer one’s (including MCE) which won’t. Not a good trend.

    IP owners just can’t seem to let go of the idea that they must do something, anything, to a perceived captive audience. Lately it’s been the obnoxious don’t do illegal down load add that can’t be skipped or even fast forwarded. It’s enough to make want to go pirate something just on the leave me the hell alone principal.

  5. Actually, I look forward to picking up a few more first gen xboxes cheap to use as extenders. The one I use now works great with my 60" rear projection TV, and it includes a dvd player!

    What do you think, I am hoping I can pick up the xbox units for say, $75, and by then find some of the original xbox extender kits for $25 to $30…basically, $100 a piece (or less).

  6. I’m not a gamer, have zero interest in an Xbox 360 for gaming, and I don’t feel that an Xbox with Extender capabilities is the best suited extender for me.

    Please come out with a new Extender, focused on AV, and include XviD, DivX codec support! (and of course a DVD player)

    Thanks Uncle Bill,


  7. Yes, I think everybody gets the "nirvana" of MCE/Xbox360 extenders (namely "going diskless"). But we can’t get from here to there. Until my local video rental store stops renting DVDs, people need DVD players.

    In order to get mainstream acceptance, you’ve got to have a good transition story; extenders with a DVD drive make that story work.

Leave a Reply

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