The news at CEDIA that CableCARD will now be open to all has got everyone worked up about Microsoft getting things right and that the platform is back where it needs to be. However, while the news of CableCARD getting unlocked from OEM only machines is fantastic I’m not sure it chances much in the marketplace. First of all, AMD appears to be out of the marketplace which is actually a much bigger deal than people might think. While this hasn’t been confirmed, reports out of CEDIA showed that AMD didn’t have a lot to say about CableCARD in general. … Continue reading CableCARD Opens Up, but Does the Marketplace?
Customers get new capabilities, more options, and a better digital cable experience in Windows Media Center. ATLANTA, Sept. 9 — Today at CEDIA EXPO 2009, Microsoft Corp. discussed key Windows Media Center features for Windows 7 and announced a series of initiatives that enhance the digital cable experience in Windows Media Center. With the addition of native support for additional international broadcast TV standards, including QAM and ATSC, there will now be support for switched digital video (SDV), a new tool that will make it possible for end customers to add a digital cable tuner with CableCARD to their PC, … Continue reading Microsoft Enhances the Digital Cable Experience and Names 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Winner
While I still haven’t seen specs updated to confirm how I believe CableLabs would handle Tuning Adaptor’s with OCURs , I can confirm that the next firmware release (in theory 1.19) will support Tuning Adaptors as CableLabs has officially approved all ATI OCURs as Tuning Adaptor ready (hooray for me being wrong!). In addition the firmware should allow for less DRM on non-flagged CableCARD recordings. Expect more next week at CEDIA. This is one of the very few predictions that Ben at Engadget HD made that I believe will come true.
Charlie Owen, a former Media Center team member wrote a post this week about Media Center expanding its marketplace, specifically going from the current enthusiast market to a more mainstream market. Charlie analysis comes to the pretty simple answer of “It’s possible, but highly unlikely at this point.” I had previously come to this conclusion, but to me the real question is “will Microsoft attempt to develop for the enthusiast market?” Lucky for me, Charlie replied to my comment with exactly what I was expecting Charlie: “No. That’s because they have never done so. The enthusiast market is always a … Continue reading Going Beyond The Enthusiast Market
This weekend I installed Windows 7 on my Media Center and thought about writing a review. However, I think Ben successfully did that already so rather than try and recreate it I’d rather know what you think. Looking through Ben’s list of new features and changes, the one thing I noticed was that the vast majority of them are visual changes to the UI or straight up eye candy. Sure, they add additional functionality but channel logos, TV show images, colored coded EPG, and fancy fading in/out only goes so far when there are dozens of useful features still needed … Continue reading What Do You Think of Windows 7 Media Center?
I don’t believe that Hulu has a large interest in Media Center, but those very same mockup’s that show Media Center’s “PCTV” marketing also show Hulu as a key experience. My guess is that the material Microsoft provided to Lippincott said Media Center provides an Internet TV experience, and the designers took that as Media Center providing access to the most popular service for online TV shows. I don’t believe that the content providers are interested in seeing Hulu on the big screen as it would jeopardize traditional content delivery. Hulu’s entry into the 10-foot UI marketplace is heavily designed … Continue reading Is Hulu Coming to Media Center?
It has been my theory that Microsoft is slowly ditching the concept of using and promoting Media Center as a whole home entertainment experience and moving to the “TV on your PC” concept which they have been actively promoting over the past 6 months. This concept is something that most Media Center enthusiasts don’t want to believe as it turns Media Center into a product that most current users have no interest in. What better way to find out the future of Media Center than looking at how it could be presented in the upcoming Microsoft retail stores. Gizmodo got … Continue reading Media Center Gets "PCTV" Marketing in Microsoft Store Mockups
Reports suggest that the Digital TV switch in the US went by with little confusion or problems. Of course, if you rely on Windows Media Center your experience likely wasn’t in line with those reports. Ben said the transition is causing grief for Media Center users, but for most that might be an understatement. Microsoft seemed to think they were prepared; after all they deployed a nice Service Alert tile in Media Center on the 9th that explained the issue. What they didn’t do is update their servers and other online components to reflect the frequency changes that came with … Continue reading Microsoft Unprepared for Digital TV Switch
Microsoft rewrites the rules on fun with controller-free entertainment, Facebook for your TV, plus instant on 1080p HD streaming video. LOS ANGELES — June 1, 2009 — The future of home entertainment has a new name: Xbox 360. Today, Microsoft Corp. opened the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a historic Xbox 360 briefing that rocked, tweeted, revved and awakened the world to a new era of fun and entertainment. In addition to premiering 10 exclusive new games, revolutionizing the way we watch TV, and making it easier than ever to connect to friends, Xbox also welcomed visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg … Continue reading Xbox Unveils Entertainment Experiences That Put Everyone Center Stage
This week Microsoft took the wraps off the next Zune, dubbed Zune HD. It seems to be your basic next-generation touch screen only media player with the common additions of WiFi and an web browser (IE based). There are some other interesting parts such as a HD Radio tuner, an OLED screen, multitouch, and even HD output at 720p via a dock. The most interesting part of the announcement is not the device, but rather the service. The Zune Marketplace will now integrate with the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, finally drawing a realistic picture of Microsoft’s “3 screen” vision of the … Continue reading Microsoft Connects the Dots with Zune HD, Zune Marketplace, and Xbox