Going Beyond The Enthusiast Market

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

Can DISH Network One-Up DIRECTV?

Now that we are fairly certain that DIRECTV will not ship with Windows 7, the big question remains to be will DISH Network?  Around the time the TV Pack started beta testing, I did hear that some testers had been contacted about testing DISH Network Tuners, and that talk has popped back up in the past few weeks. Going under my theory that Microsoft has all the plumbing in-place for DIRECTV support, there is no reason that same framework can’t work for DISH Network.  If DISH Network wants to make a Media Center tuner, they can using this framework, and … Continue reading Can DISH Network One-Up DIRECTV?

DIRECTV and Microsoft: What Went Wrong

Now that DIRECTV has suspended development on their HDPC-20 Tuner where does that leave us?  There are a lot of differing opinions going around about why DIRECTV canned the tuner, whose fault it is, and where do we go from here.  Most people are pointing the finger at Microsoft, and with their history of releases how could you not?  This doesn’t mean however that Microsoft is totally at fault, but let’s look at the whole situation to see how we got here.  Timeline January 2006 – Microsoft and DIRECTV announce partnership to “develop new ways to expand the reach of … Continue reading DIRECTV and Microsoft: What Went Wrong

DIRECTV Kills Media Center Tuner; Windows 7 to be DIRECTV-less

DIRECTV has informed several bloggers and journalists in the Media Center community that they suspended development of the HDCP-20 Media Center Tuner.  Windows 7 will not include native DIRECTV support, which will servely impact the Media Center platform as a whole. I’ll have more on this later tonight, but I wanted to go ahead and get it out there.

About that DIRECTV Tuner

Small bits of “news” keep flowing out about the DIRECTV Tuner for Media Center.  The ever optimistic DIRECTV CSRs are promising that the tuner is good to go for a November launch, sadly that isn’t going to happen so don’t get your hopes up. Once again this is going to be a case of a feature noting getting in your hands until the next Media Center feature release.  The bad news?  That just happens to be Windows 7.  The good news?  PDC is only a month away and I’d expect Windows 7 betas to start making appearances out before the … Continue reading About that DIRECTV Tuner

Two Media Center Updates? Don’t Count on It

Ben at Engadget HD is being told that there might be a second Media Center release coming this year.  This is based on his source which has been leaking stuff directly from the beta (except this rumor, which has no meaningful info to back it up).  Based on various things I would be rather shocked if Microsoft pulled out a second Media Center release this year. The concept behind the said release would be to add DIRECTV and H.264 support, the two main features said to be absent from Fiji’s final release.  I can’t comment too much on what is … Continue reading Two Media Center Updates? Don’t Count on It

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 … Continue reading Windows Media Center TV Pack and the DIRECTV Dilemma

Microsoft Finally Seeking to Globalize HDTV in Media Center

Microsoft is finally getting set to take HDTV in Media Center outside of the US!  Our first hint was a few months ago in a job application where Microsoft stated they were working with European satellite TV providers.  This just screamed Sky to me, and with Media Center get H.264 and DVB-S(2) support in the next Media Center release it was just a matter of time until things started to materialize more. The next step has been taken in the form of another job application, this one laying to rest that Microsoft will indeed be taking HDTV outside of the … Continue reading Microsoft Finally Seeking to Globalize HDTV in Media Center

Dish Network Tuner Coming Soon?

It has been a while since we heard about native Dish Network tuners for Media Center, but according to one commenter on my Media Center beta post some e-mails might have gone out about testing such a tuner. I’ve personally heard nothing about Dish Network tuners, and all that Microsoft has talked about is DIRECTV.  Those talks started well over two years ago, so I find it strange that Dish has managed to jump in under the radar. That said the infrastructure will be in place for Dish Network support.  Media Center will officially support DVB-S and DVB-S2, so the … Continue reading Dish Network Tuner Coming Soon?

Short Bits: Media Center Show, Hauppauge HD-PVR, CableCARD

Ian Dixon had Scott Evans from Microsoft on The Media Center Show this week along with AMD talking about AMD Live! A lot of information dropped today about Hauppauge HD-PVR’s Component Capture device.  I’ve been meaning to do a whole big post about this and how it relates to Media Center and other products like SageTV but never found the time so here is the quick version. Some information about the device, it is a single input (also has passthrough) Component video capture device that encodes to H.264 (13.5Mbs max) at up to 1080i  It is expected to go for … Continue reading Short Bits: Media Center Show, Hauppauge HD-PVR, CableCARD