Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th Jan 2011 22:40 UTC
Windows Apple, Roku, Google, Boxee.... They're not the only ones gunning for your big screen. Microsoft was arguably the first major company to focus on bringing digital content to your TV with Windows Media Centre, which the Redmond company launched all the way back in 2002. It never caught on, but now, the Seattle Times is reporting that Microsoft is going to make another attempt - by putting Windows Media Centre on a set-top box.
Order by: Score:
Nitpicking
by BloopFloop on Tue 4th Jan 2011 23:18 UTC
BloopFloop
Member since:
2010-12-23

There was never a WES version for Vista, the XPSP3 based 2009 version is followed by WES 7, just nitpicking :-P

Reply Score: 1

Even More Nits
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 5th Jan 2011 04:02 UTC in reply to "Nitpicking"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Media center was not the first microsoft TV effort. IT was Ultimate TV.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_TV#UltimateTV

http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/news2/ultimate-tv-team-disbande...




Also, nit picking is disgusting. It refers to picking lice eggs out of another's hair.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by robojerk
by robojerk on Wed 5th Jan 2011 00:15 UTC
robojerk
Member since:
2006-01-10

Unless Microsoft can sort out the content providers issues that are plaguing GoogleTV, what's the point? Yet another box that can stream Netflix or Hulu+ (something Google is having issues getting on Android).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by robojerk
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu 6th Jan 2011 03:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by robojerk"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

HULU Plus + Netflix + LAN media == the holy grail.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by robojerk
by robojerk on Thu 6th Jan 2011 04:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by robojerk"
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

I would rather have unfettered access to all sites than just Hulu Plus.

Reply Score: 2

media centre was awesome
by stabbyjones on Wed 5th Jan 2011 00:56 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

Back in the day I used windows media centre edition and the biggest problem was the fact that you could only get media centre with a special edition of windows.

The MS attempt at controlling hardware to actually get this version didn't really go down too well. Add to that, the PC's that came with it were expensive as hell.

An OEM copy of MCE and a tuner card cost nothing compared to the full box at retail.

I started using Linux not long after that and XBMC/Boxee has been the best media centre software I've used since.

Windows 7 has got media services on Windows where they should have been 10 years ago. If they'd actually taken a risk by selling it as separate software with TV tuners (which most people didn't have then and still don't now.) they might have fought off competition in this area before it even started.

Reply Score: 1

Not the first.
by Sauron on Wed 5th Jan 2011 02:44 UTC
Sauron
Member since:
2005-08-02

Not meaning to rock the boat or nitpick here, but Microsoft was hardly the first big name to push media centre software. Back in 1991 Commodore released the CDTV which was basically a Amiga computer in a Hi-Fi style case. It did flop big time eventually, but that was more to do with Commodore marketing blunders and mis-management than anything else. It was a great innovation and way ahead of its time back then. Certainly wouldn't hurt Microsoft to take a good look at designs and innovations like the CDTV and others, and build upon them. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Apple TV
by byrc on Wed 5th Jan 2011 04:19 UTC
byrc
Member since:
2006-02-18

The most recent Apple TV does much more than "stream content purchased on iTunes from your computer." The NetFlix streaming, combined with the ability to buy and stream from iTunes has rendered my cable television connection useless.

I admit the Apple TV was lame when it was released, but its a lot better now.

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Apple TV
by jerry708 on Wed 5th Jan 2011 06:19 UTC in reply to "Apple TV"
RE[2]: Apple TV
by Tony Swash on Wed 5th Jan 2011 11:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple TV"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Most people, presumably people who don't own an iOS device, don't really understand what Apple TV really does. I got the Apple TV not for the iTunes media content or YouTube or Netflix, I got it so I can stream media from any Mac in my house to my TV with no effort and - and this is the killer - stream video or audio to my TV from any iOS device with just the tap of an onscreen button. That's big.

Instant media streaming from any iOS device may seem trivial if you don't own an iOS device but if you do the moment you use Airplay you are just blown away, as has been anyone I have shown it to. I can for example stream a movie straight from my phone to my widescreen TV and it produces a very good quality image more or less indistinguishable from SD cable TV. Apple TV is just a cheap box to link all your iOS devices to your TV.

Airplay is still at an early stage, as it is further integrated into iOS and into the hundred of thousands of Apps on iOS it will be very significant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Apple TV
by qbast on Wed 5th Jan 2011 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Apple TV"
qbast Member since:
2010-02-08

Streaming video from your computer of phone to TV. Wow, that's really big ... for Apple user maybe. The rest of us is already using DLNA for that. Check out 'Play to' feature in Windows 7 media player for quick demo.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Apple TV
by Laurence on Wed 5th Jan 2011 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Apple TV"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Sounds good - at least for those with Apple devices.

VLC has been able to do this for years now, albeit it's not nearly as pretty nor user friendly. However the reason I meantion VLC is that I've recently noticed an XBMC plugin that does this kind of streaming too (using VLC in the background IIRC).

It's something I've installed really to play around with but not yet found a need to try (features like these are rather cool but also pretty pointless for most users most of the time)

Edited 2011-01-05 12:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

X360
by Valhalla on Wed 5th Jan 2011 10:01 UTC
Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24

Wouldn't this be something they could do through X360 rather than introducing yet another device? They have a good console market share, and this would add value to X360 as more than just a game system, also they could probably cut game peripherals and offer a TV version of X360 which could later be 'upgraded' to a game system by purchasing said peripherals.

Reply Score: 3

RE: X360
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 5th Jan 2011 11:33 UTC in reply to "X360"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I wouldn't be surprised if this will become available on the Xbox 360 as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: X360
by Laurence on Wed 5th Jan 2011 11:43 UTC in reply to "X360"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Wouldn't this be something they could do through X360 rather than introducing yet another device? They have a good console market share, and this would add value to X360 as more than just a game system, also they could probably cut game peripherals and offer a TV version of X360 which could later be 'upgraded' to a game system by purchasing said peripherals.

In theory yes, but in practice most consoles (360 included) actually sell for a loss as manufacturers expect to make the money back from game licenses. So I wouldn't expect MS (or anyone else for that matter) to sell their hardware for even less still to those who just want a media centre - particularly when the actual hardware required for a HTPC is pretty cheap and lower-powered these days compared with what gamers needs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: X360
by Valhalla on Wed 5th Jan 2011 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE: X360"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24


In theory yes, but in practice most consoles (360 included) actually sell for a loss as manufacturers expect to make the money back from game licenses. So I wouldn't expect MS (or anyone else for that matter) to sell their hardware for even less still to those who just want a media centre - particularly when the actual hardware required for a HTPC is pretty cheap and lower-powered these days compared with what gamers needs.

Ahh, you are most likely right, I didn't consider that. Still, it doesn't exclude offering this possibility to existing X360 owners like Thom suggested, and having such a potentially big user base would perhaps help in getting good deals with content providers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: X360
by Laurence on Wed 5th Jan 2011 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: X360"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Ahh, you are most likely right, I didn't consider that. Still, it doesn't exclude offering this possibility to existing X360 owners like Thom suggested, and having such a potentially big user base would perhaps help in getting good deals with content providers.

Possibly, but I suspect MS would rather go after the multi-gadget market that Apple do so successfully at.

Redmond have already shown an interest in getting their customers tied into multiple products on that platform with (if I recall the name correctly) XNA which allows developers to write games that can be transferred from the XBox to WP7 to the desktop. I suspect a set-top-box would be the logical next step.

They might even want to include basic web functionality such as e-mail and searching - thus tieing users not only into Hotmail, but Bing, Trident (the engine behind Internet Explorer) and Silverlight. And the best thing is, because this is an integrated device like mobile phones rather than a blank desktop, there wont be nasty anti-monopoly trials (as MS don't own a monopoly on set-top-boxes) and plus it would be much harder to install competing products such as GMail, Firefox or even wiping the whole lot and installing Linux). So by encouraging users onto Microsoft's set-top-box, MS essentially have the forced lock in's they've crave for the desktop market.

Reply Score: 2

RE: X360
by kaffeenhed on Wed 5th Jan 2011 17:35 UTC in reply to "X360"
kaffeenhed Member since:
2010-04-29

Wouldn't this be something they could do through X360 rather than introducing yet another device?


They have the possibility of doing something like this already through the Xbox 360 Media Center Extender, which lets you stream some content from your Media Center PC to the Xbox.

While I'm generally very happy with Windows 7, Media Center, and the Xbox 360, the Media Center Extender for Xbox left me nothing short of infuriated. For some reason, using Media Center Extender, you cannot play all the same media types as you can when using Media Center directly on the PC. There may be a compelling technical reason for this, but I've always been suspicious that it was less about technical limitations than about media rights.

At any rate, I like Media Center reasonably well, and would be curious to see if a set-top box would offer any goodies for owners of the Xbox 360 and/or Windows Phone 7. I've liked that they seem to have started to put some effort into making their consumer devices and services work together.

Reply Score: 1

aka_mgr
Member since:
2011-01-05

A French ISP named "Club Internet" was offering IPTV using Microsoft TV on a set-top-box (KISS 8006 with a Sigma Designs chip). It was launched in mid-2006 and was one of most advanced STB with a really good UI.

In fact, most of the Microsoft software was not running on the STB itself but on a "cloud" of Microsoft Terminal Servers.

Two links, in french:
http://www.clubnews.fr/?espace=television&menu=television_evolution... http://www.infos-du-net.com/actualite/dossiers/47-microsoft-tv-adsl...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by snorkel2
by snorkel2 on Thu 6th Jan 2011 22:54 UTC
snorkel2
Member since:
2007-03-06

AT&T Uverse is essentially the media center software in a set top box.

Reply Score: 1