Windows Media Center TV Pack and the DIRECTV Dilemma

So
it would seem that the Windows
Media Center TV Pack is indeed Fiji
, at least
according to a report from Engadget HD

Engadget
HD is also reporting that the long
awaited DIRECTV
support in Fiji might not ship.  Sadly, I can’t really
comment on anything because of various NDAs, but it wouldn’t be an understatement
to say such a non-release would be devastating to the market.

Fiji
needs to be a huge release for Media Center as the next foreseeable release
will be Windows 7.  Without a good release that includes features like
DIRECTV support, Microsoft would be opening to door for others (eg. Apple) to
catch up and corner parts of the market.  Microsoft had the clear
advantage the past few years in that the market was still developing and they
got in early (2002).  However with new products shipping daily Microsoft
no longer has any time to wait.

10 thoughts on “Windows Media Center TV Pack and the DIRECTV Dilemma

  1. If true, this is the worst news. I left DirecTV for Comcast analog cable, just so my wife and I could access recorded TV from separate locations from one source. I even bought a second 360.

    News of the HDPC-20 had me excited about going back to DirecTV, especially since Comcast is beginning to remove analog channels from the lineup without adjusting the price. (Luckily it’s been nothing I watch… YET.)

    If this DirecTV stuff doesn’t come out, I’m going to have to abandon the whole project, as the only thing the Media Center will be good for is vmcNetflix.

    So disappointing… really hoping it’s not true…

  2. I have been watching this issue build steam over the past week. Based on leaked information this cannot be good. It is unclear who is at fault but it doesn’t look good either way. This will drive many people who were already disillusioned out of the Media Center community and into other areas (Sage, Tivo, etc.). In addition, this dashes the opportunity for DirectTV to build a new subscriber base with high paying customers.

    There are many of us chomping at the bit to jump the cable ship. Microsoft really gave too much away with the CableCard solution and consequently it has not been accepted by the greater Media Center community. This was a real opportunity to rejuvenate interest in a true Media Center solution.

    Unfortunately, it appears that all of this may be gone. DirectTV and Microsoft may now be losing their best customers who are often will to spend large sums of money and be the Guinnea pigs for testing new software. The damage in perception and goodwill these two companies will receive will be substantial.

  3. DirecTV support might be coming after all. Engadget now has this to say:

    “When the recent Windows Media Center TV Pack release candidate 0 was released to testers and was missing all of our favorite features, we were quick to assume that this would mean no new features until Windows 7. Well, based on some recent information received by our sources, the reason H.264 was cut was because it was too complex to add — because of all the dependencies involved — in time. You see, evidently this tuner update was promised to be released to OEMs by the end of July. Now our sources seem to be optimistic that there is another update in the works, and that it might just include both H.264 and DirecTV tuner support.”

  4. I’m disappointed that a team of developers with over a year to work on new features since Vista’s launch can’t add standards support like H.264 while one man developers like DVBViewer can get it working flawlessly.

    There is little surprise that Microsoft is not going to deliver anything of substance in this release. They have lost their way and are disconnected from whats required to be successful in the home.

    I know Apple will make major inroads over the next two years before Microsoft will get the yet to be delayed “Windows 7” out to market. Not to mention that there will be a handful of important features dropped at the last minute.

  5. I’m not really that worried about Apple… at least for what I’m interested in (real content from real media outlets). Apple is notorious for being control freaks… as are the cable companies and sat companies. I’ll really be surprised if apple would ever strike a deal with them.

    On the fiji rumors… I hope they are just are just that, rumors.

    I had directv for years and was really happy with their service… if I could get DirecTV with the media center interface it would make my day… especially if I didn’t have to buy a new machine to get it.

  6. I agree we have had Direct TV since ’94 and love it. I have personally experimented with cable (TW) and its way too expensive for what you get. Yes OnDemand is good and everything but for the cost????

    I agree with with Al however, do not require us to buy a new machine. That’s total BS since many people have BUILT their own and not bought a pre-built media center pc.

    Give me the Direct TV USB dual tuner box and the correct VMC update and I’ll be as happy as a pig in slop…

  7. Mircosoft really ought to drop this rediculous shroud of secrecy regarding this update. Since everyone already knows of the update, what exactly do they seek to gain from all these NDAs? Microsoft ought to remember that the end user ultimatley is who brings in their income, whether that be business or home. Perhaps the reason for this secrecy is that only OEM and new computers will get the update. I can understand in this case why they would not want to announce the update – it would make all other people who supported Microsoft and upgraded to Vista very very cross.

  8. CableCARD, possible no DirecTV, HDCP, Blu-Ray native playback issues, ads EVERYWHERE…

    I’ve been waiting to upgrade every component in my media room. It appears as if these issues won’t be worked out in time for me to really care. I’m going to abandon TV altogether and just watch my Netflix streaming video, the only thing I’ve ever seen that JUST FREAKIN WORKS!!!!!

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