Reader Questions: Round 1

Have any questions
for me?  As a part of Media Center Week I’m
trying to answer as many as I can.  Post them
here.
 

Q: I’ve heard
that Cox is refusing new HD channels for CableCARD users even though they are
not going to SDV until the end of the year. Do you know why and how they are
able to do such a thing?

I haven’t heard about this specifically, and I’m not sure it
would work.  The channels either need to
be on their existing network, or the SDV network.  If they are not on either, you’re talking On
Demand/VOD which is generally a separate subject and of course not used for
traditional channel delivery. 
Semi-related, Bright House Cable pulled several HD channels from their
lineup in preparation for their move to Switched Digital Video (SDV), but they
have since caved and added them back until they rollout SDV. [Engadget
HD
]

Q: Any codec
updates coming to Xbox 360 MCX?

The Xbox 360 Extender will have to support H.264 in order to
playback recordings and live content from DIRECTV HD.  Given the DIRECTV tuner is a part of the next
Media Center release, I’d expect an MCX update for H.264 at the least around
the same time.  As for other codecs, I’m
not sure.

Q: I need a
recommendation for a small or slim form factor VMC. I’m not messing with
CableCARD, just ATSC and analog cable DVR functionality plus random web video
(Netflix, Hulu).

I’m a fan of HPs
Pavilion Slimline
series myself. 
Vista Home Premium, Core 2 Duo E4600, 2GB of RAM, GeForce 8500GT, and
500GB hard drive for under $650.  The
system should be just fine with ATSC and analog cable, just make sure you go
with the 8500GT option for smooth HD and you should be golden.

Q: Along the Mac Mini
line, is there a way to use the Sony Firewire DVD Jukeboxes on the Mini without
booting up windows? Also, do you know if the Hauppauge HD PVR will be supported
in OS X?

I haven’t seen any projects that tackled the DVD Changers on
platforms other than Windows, and considering they are pretty much dead now I
wouldn’t expect to see much action either. 
HD-PVR on OS X is another big question mark, but Elgato
might just have it on their radar.

2 thoughts on “Reader Questions: Round 1

  1. Chris,

    I’m thinking of replacing my extenders with PC’s so that I will have access to my DVD’s through out the house without transcoding, etc. I do push HD through the extenders now (All XBox 360s). Also, I’m finding that my family is really using the Netflix WatchNow feature witch won’t work on extenders. So the question is this… Do you think the HP Pavilion Slimline series you describe above would get this done?

    Love your blog, it is one of my first reads of each day.

    All the best,

    Brett

  2. Chris,

    I have been running XP Media Center 2005 for over 2 years now. My TV is connected to a Linksys V1 MCX. Recently I purchased a Linksys V2 MCX to power my new HDTV. Since it requires Vista Media Center (and I can’t upgrade my XPMC) I fired up VMC on an old laptop. All of my tuners are still in the XPMC and Recorded TV is stored there as well. I’ve read many post on The Green Button about sharing Recorded TV. The VMC pulled the Recorded TV listings from the XPMC so I thought I was all set. However, newly recorded shows never appear on the VMC. If I delete any of the old shows from either MC they disappear from both listings. I have tried everything I could find, even disabling the firewall on both machines, but still no luck. Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Mark

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