Flashback: Media Center gets better and better

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Jason Seuss sits down with Channel 10 and gives us all the info on the new announcements for Media Center. Media Center has matured a lot in the last year, now we can use digital inputs and extenders like an Xbox 360 to access your Media Center content.

Update: The downloadable versions are live. Bon Appetit!

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Ed Burton

      first!

    • User profile image
      Ed Burton

      first!

    • User profile image
      Ted Bracewell

      I just got a media center PC. My first new PC in like 6 years. Rendering video on the dinosaur I had before just became too much of an ordeal. 15 hours for a 3 minute After Effects project? No thanks, the new computer can do it in 2. I was considering not getting a media PC, but now I'm glad I did. It can do some cool stuff, and probably some things I haven't even discovered yet.

    • User profile image
      Ted Bracewell

      I just got a media center PC. My first new PC in like 6 years. Rendering video on the dinosaur I had before just became too much of an ordeal. 15 hours for a 3 minute After Effects project? No thanks, the new computer can do it in 2. I was considering not getting a media PC, but now I'm glad I did. It can do some cool stuff, and probably some things I haven't even discovered yet.

    • User profile image
      USArcher

      Can someone ask Jason when Media Extender will be widely adopted by manufacturers?  Will Zune be upgraded to act like a wireless Media Extender?  Will Zune create a inexpensive Media Extender to compete with AppleTV?  Will Media Center UI be able to access MarketPlace to purchase content?  Will MS Mobile be able to access home library over broadband mobile networks?   

    • User profile image
      USArcher

      Can someone ask Jason when Media Extender will be widely adopted by manufacturers?  Will Zune be upgraded to act like a wireless Media Extender?  Will Zune create a inexpensive Media Extender to compete with AppleTV?  Will Media Center UI be able to access MarketPlace to purchase content?  Will MS Mobile be able to access home library over broadband mobile networks?   

    • User profile image
      Andrew Parsons

      Will be interested to know how this will sync with Home Server.

    • User profile image
      Andrew Parsons

      Will be interested to know how this will sync with Home Server.

    • User profile image
      RLO

      I have been using Media Center since this past summer, and the Vista version rocks!  Make sure that you have plenty of drivespace, you're going to need it!  I use my media center as a server currently and run an X-box 360 as a Media Center Extender.  I loaded Zune Marketplace, and yes you can download zune pass music and listen to it through media center and the extender.  It was actually the tipping point for me to buy my Zune.  The only things I want to see is MC extender lite for the Zune, Ms-Dvr for the Zune, and maybe some different colored skins.  Blue is nice, but what about red or green or maybe even purple.  Just some thoughts gang.

    • User profile image
      RLO

      I have been using Media Center since this past summer, and the Vista version rocks!  Make sure that you have plenty of drivespace, you're going to need it!  I use my media center as a server currently and run an X-box 360 as a Media Center Extender.  I loaded Zune Marketplace, and yes you can download zune pass music and listen to it through media center and the extender.  It was actually the tipping point for me to buy my Zune.  The only things I want to see is MC extender lite for the Zune, Ms-Dvr for the Zune, and maybe some different colored skins.  Blue is nice, but what about red or green or maybe even purple.  Just some thoughts gang.

    • User profile image
      cwaters

      Enjoyed the video! Questions:

      1. Did I understand correctly that your Media Center PC up in your office is connected to your cable box and is able to capture HD content? How is that possible? I thought all current PC capture cards could only capture over-the-air HD content. Has that changed?

      2. What are the general specs of your Media Center PC?

      3. What type of network are you running? Was it wired or wireless?

      4. It looked like your Media Center Extender (an Xbox 360) was placed on top of another cable box. Is the MCE interfacing with the cable box, also?

    • User profile image
      cwaters

      Enjoyed the video! Questions:

      1. Did I understand correctly that your Media Center PC up in your office is connected to your cable box and is able to capture HD content? How is that possible? I thought all current PC capture cards could only capture over-the-air HD content. Has that changed?

      2. What are the general specs of your Media Center PC?

      3. What type of network are you running? Was it wired or wireless?

      4. It looked like your Media Center Extender (an Xbox 360) was placed on top of another cable box. Is the MCE interfacing with the cable box, also?

    • User profile image
      Erik Porter

      I'm not a Media Center expert, but will take a stab at your questions.

      1. Yes, things have changed.  As of Vista Media Center, it now supports CableCard.  This is OEM only, so you can't just go out and buy it, but it will allow your MC machine to decode HD for viewing on your TV.  Hip hip hooray!

      2. Sorry, I don't know that one.  But since Media Center machines are OEM, you're going to get a machine with the right hardware in it to use Media Center like it should be used and enjoyed.

      3. I don't know this one either, but if you're wondering if HD content can be streamed over wireless, the answer is yes.  I believe Wireless-A is recommended, but Wireless-G is also supported.

      4. No.  Media Center Extenders (the Xbox 360 and others) do not record TV from a cable box themselves.  They are simply an extender, so you can access everything your MC machine records, music, photos, video, etc.

    • User profile image
      Human​Compiler

      I'm not a Media Center expert, but will take a stab at your questions.

      1. Yes, things have changed.  As of Vista Media Center, it now supports CableCard.  This is OEM only, so you can't just go out and buy it, but it will allow your MC machine to decode HD for viewing on your TV.  Hip hip hooray!

      2. Sorry, I don't know that one.  But since Media Center machines are OEM, you're going to get a machine with the right hardware in it to use Media Center like it should be used and enjoyed.

      3. I don't know this one either, but if you're wondering if HD content can be streamed over wireless, the answer is yes.  I believe Wireless-A is recommended, but Wireless-G is also supported.

      4. No.  Media Center Extenders (the Xbox 360 and others) do not record TV from a cable box themselves.  They are simply an extender, so you can access everything your MC machine records, music, photos, video, etc.

    • User profile image
      jasonsue

      1. With Vista we now have CableCard tuners (aka OCUR devices) that can tune digital cable signals.  These are very cool and much anticipated.

      2. The PC I'm using is a ~3GHz Pentium 4, 1GB of RAM, 110GB hard drive, and a 256MB video card.  The video card really need to be that beefy, it's only driving my SD TV.  The graphics hardware of the 360 is driving my big DLP.

      3. My home network is both wired and wireless, between my media center and my 360 I'm wired.

      4. Yeah, I've got a Comcast STB downstairs as well but the 360 and the STB are not connected in any way.  I can either watch TV through the comcast STB or through the 360.  When the OCURs go from beta to released later this month the STB will go away.

    • User profile image
      jasonsue

      1. With Vista we now have CableCard tuners (aka OCUR devices) that can tune digital cable signals.  These are very cool and much anticipated.

      2. The PC I'm using is a ~3GHz Pentium 4, 1GB of RAM, 110GB hard drive, and a 256MB video card.  The video card really need to be that beefy, it's only driving my SD TV.  The graphics hardware of the 360 is driving my big DLP.

      3. My home network is both wired and wireless, between my media center and my 360 I'm wired.

      4. Yeah, I've got a Comcast STB downstairs as well but the 360 and the STB are not connected in any way.  I can either watch TV through the comcast STB or through the 360.  When the OCURs go from beta to released later this month the STB will go away.

    • User profile image
      jasonsue

      One correct to this.  Media Center is not OEM only anymore.  Media Center has moved into two of the mainline SKUs for Vista, Home Premium and Home Basic.  That means you will be able to walk into your local retailer and buy a copy of Windows Vista that includes Media Center.  You are correct that if you want a CableCard tuner you'll have to get that from an OEM initially, hopefully that will change.

    • User profile image
      jasonsue

      One correct to this.  Media Center is not OEM only anymore.  Media Center has moved into two of the mainline SKUs for Vista, Home Premium and Home Basic.  That means you will be able to walk into your local retailer and buy a copy of Windows Vista that includes Media Center.  You are correct that if you want a CableCard tuner you'll have to get that from an OEM initially, hopefully that will change.

    • User profile image
      Human​Compiler
      Excellent.  Thanks for the correction!  Smiley
    • User profile image
      Erik Porter

      Excellent.  Thanks for the correction!  Smiley

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