With the new Dashboard update offering a host of new video
codecs and fixes, the Xbox 360 Dashboard has essentially become Media Center’s
number one enemy. More and more I’m
reading comments online from would-be Media Center users and “more average”
consumers who are basically content with video playback via the Dashboard
instead of the Media Center Extender functions of the Xbox 360. This is Microsoft’s latest issue, and the
problem is yet again Microsoft not understanding the market.
Those who really want a Media Center based solution can’t
because Microsoft doesn’t understand what features to include, what formats
should be supported where, etc.
Everyone else who would consider accessing their media in the living
room is happy with being able to playback content using the Dashboard. The market for a Media Center based solution
is shrinking fast.
In addition to the Xbox 360 actually supporting the formats
people want to play, the Dashboard boasts HD DVD playback and even HD downloads
(IPTV too, but that’s not as big of a deal as people make it).
Microsoft needs to hit a run home with the next Media Center
release, along with advertising it the slightest bit in order for Media Center
to stay at all relevant.