“Today, Microsoft launches its latest Windows XP version, XP Media Center Edition (MCE), at a special event in New York City’s Bryant Park. Mike Toutonghi, vice president of the Windows eHome Division, will join actor and comedian Tom Arnold and other celebrity guests for the launch, which also coincides with the North American availability of the Hewlett-Packard Media Center PC, which runs XP MCE. Microsoft’s latest OS combines the power of Windows XP with a remote control interface to digital media tasks and Digital Video Recording (DVR) functionality.” Read the report at WinInfo. Update: Jim Allchin, Microsoft’s Platforms Group vice president, talks about the future of specialized versions of XP.
Microsoft Launches XP Media Center Edition
Submitted by Stan Broné 2002-10-31 Windows 35 Comments
Our local Compusa had one set up. It basically a program that puts a DVD menu style interface on you My Pictures and My Videos folder. You need to use Windows Media Player to make songlists and such. Bundle that with PVR software. I’d consider buying software like this for $50 (with free remote!). I might even consider buying this Media Center Edition of XP if I needed to purchase a copy of Windows. I wouldn’t buy a whole new PC for it though (unless I could get the parts I want, put it together, and put WXPMCE on it). My parents would probably like it though.
How are those projects to do this on Linux coming along (I know there is at least one)?
“Microsoft’s latest OS combines the power of Windows XP with a remote control interface to digital media tasks and Digital Video Recording (DVR) functionality”
Does this really warrant a whole new OS? Sounds more like Microsoft Plus! for Multimedia.
Microsoft NEEDS to SELL so they come up
with a ‘thingy’ every once a while just
to keep their cashflow, so do RedHat, Suse and Mandrake
man i can no longer keep up with all the distro and
Anyway its again just PR and Hype it has nothing to do
with a new os its just a plain commercial.
Quick buy before your friends do!
Tom Arnold? Oh, man, is that funny… Is that the best they could do? What is he famous for, besides being Tom Arnold. I can probebly count the stuff he’s done on my hands:
The Tom Arnold Show
MchCale’s Navy (the movie)
The Best Damn Sports Show, period.
Okay, I could do it on one hand. I know it’s off topic, but it just struck me as funny that Tom Arnold was their headline celebirty. Make you wonder who the other unnamed ‘celebrities’ are…
This version of Windows is just a WinXP PRO, with a Media Center application running on top, from what I can gather (http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/windowsxp_mediacenter.asp). It is not directly a new OS, it is a new “shell” if you want to think of it this way.
It has its uses in some media systems, so Bas, give us a break and cut the hypnotic trolling over here.
Does anyone have a list of open source projects trying to bring Linux into the home entertainment space? I know of one, wasen’t it call flame-thrower linux, or something like that?
Look at http://staff.washington.edu/jmgasper
Sure there is some open source stuff out there, they just had to wait for Microsoft to come out with their version so they knew what to clone. Not like there’s an original idea in open source, just clones of closed source products.
“Sure there is some open source stuff out there, they just had to wait for Microsoft to come out with their version so they knew what to clone. Not like there’s an original idea in open source, just clones of closed source products.”
Sorta like how MS is cloning Linux’s/OSS clustering?
HP media center PCs will retail for $1300 to $2000. The high-end version features a recordable DVD drive and a 5 speaker stereo system.
I’m not sure why anyone would buy this. It does not seem to do anything that a PC with a decent video card and Winamp on it could not handle. Yes the integrated interface is nice and the remote is a plus but shelling out that much cash?
I’d use an optical wireless mouse and keyboard and I could still control a PC/Media center from my couch.
One component I would love to see for a PC would be a CD/DVD changer that would hold sevral discs. I hate having to get up and change the media in the drive.
It’s not really a whole new OS, it’s basically just a 2nd CD to XP.
In the XP SP1 beta, you could actually downloaded the add-on software for XP Media Center Edition as a second CD, unfortunately, only system integraters, such as Dell, were able to actually do anything with those files.
Ciprian: Well, let’s see, it has a DVD-R drive (not sure what standard it uses), CD-RW, TV tuner card, plus the software also goes out and gets TV listings and such, much like Time Warner’s Digital Cable set-top box, or any PVR device, such as a TiVo, or UltimateTV.
I don’t even know why you mentioned WinAMP, has absolutely nothing to do with the whole thing.
This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for, but I don’t want to buy a brand new PC to use it. Oh well.
I’ve been integrating computer technology into my home entertainment center for the last 15 years, starting with a C-128. Today I can stream my content over a network to any room in the house. It plays on windows, linux and macs, streams nicely over NFS or CIFS, and stores efficiently on removable $1/GB IDE drives. Backups are a snap. Storage for all my media, over a month of continuous non-repeating audio and several weeks of TV shows and movies, oh and of course my book collection and images, takes up a small tower case tucked away in a closet. I’m using around half a terabyte right now and with 64-bit computer just around the corner I’ll be ready to take advantage of its address space.
Its nice to see Microsoft provide a solution for this sort of thing. I don’t think it would be possible for you to enjoy the freedom I have without it. Who knows maybe one day they’ll make one of these that even lets you play your content without paying for it over and over again. You never know. Good luck to ya.
The HP media-center box is a really nice looking machine too. From the pics at HP’s website the hardware looks like it is all brushed aluminum and black. The remote and the mouse look very slick. The whole thing looks like it belongs in a living room, like something Denon would make (similar to the Sony media-PC, only even better).
Also, HP says they are selling like mad right now and they will be out of stock very soon.
somebody asked what linux had for DVR type stuff. I have to buy a bigger harddrive, once i do i’m trying out MythTv (http://www.mythtv.org) Looks pretty darn killer. It schedules shows, records them- in realtime if you’d like(realtime pause / ffwd). and if you have 2 TV cards you can even do picture in picture
neat stuff, just need to collect the hardware for it.
I understand its not a new OS really. I was just commenting on how ridiculous it is that they need to release this `as` an OS, as this seems to be how they are marketing it.
Copying Media Center? Really? Some of us have been doing this years before Media Center was even a reality. Be that freeware or open source. Next time before you mouth off, get a clue.
Like this: http://www.media-box.org/downloads/b3.jpg
Contributors are always welcomed – http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/mediabox
C, care to explain more indepth about your setup and throw some links in?
Save your money and get a second hand box that is BeOS(at least a 400+cpu) compatable, get yourself a Good supported soundcard,shove about 256mb(or more) RAM in it,get a winTV card,Pipe the sound into a decent stereo,Go on BeBits and get Soundplay,stamp TV and,all the other Free or very inexpensive multimedia software that is available there(Don’t Worry if the application you need isn’t there,somebody is probably working on it!)make sure you have a dvd drive in it,AFAIK no dvd recording yet, but like I say somebody’s probably working on it,Last ,But not least,Get a copy of BeOS pro or one of the personal editions that are around,and trust me you will see what a Media OS is all about!!!!You will be able to do twice as much with half the system for less than half the price(and you can always have a windoze partition if you wish,to see how much better BeOS works on most multimedia tasks!!)
That Media-Box project looks wild. You might also want to check these guys out…
CPUGuy this will teach me to make quick commenbts without an appropriate blood caffeine level….
What I meant is that you could duplicate some of the function of this setup by upgrading an existing PC.
-Get a DVD-R drive (about $300 or so)
-Get a decent video card with a TV tuner and TV out (the ATI All-in-Wonder comes with some good TV programming management tools. See here:
The card can run you anywhere from $80 to $300 depending on how low or high end you want to go.
-Get Winamp so you can listen and manage your audio or MPEG/avi files. FREE! whohooo
-Get a wireless mouse/keyboard so you don’t have to get up from the couch.
The only thing you give up is the ability to have everything integrated togethe but you save a lot of money and don’t have to get a brand new system.
Am I missing something? It seems to me that most of the XP Media Center features can be duplicated without needing a new “OS” or machine.
All that video in the screenshots from Media Center looks like really bad quality cable TV.
Get this: http://www.digitalconnection.com/Products/Video/myhd.asp
Stick it in a PC, and use its remote to view and record digital TV and analog. And dump shows to DVHS.
Feel like I’m starting some OT stuff, but:
Another problem I see with the Media Center is the S-VHS output. 640×480 from a PC looks terrible. Easily solved – with this little device ( http://www.audioauthority.com/aacconsumers/9a60detc.html) you can take your VGA from any OS and output 640×480, 848×480, 960×540, up to 1920×1080 to a progressive scan TV with component inputs.
Everyone should own one Anyway, you can build something exactly to your liking with all the existing stuff out there, or spend a few $ on a few key pieces of hardware like a tuner and video converter, and you end up with a kick-ass entertainment PC.
“According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is concerned that XP MCE violates the rights of content creators.”
Of course they’re concerned about the rights of content creators. Of course, they could give a rat’s ass about the rights of ‘consumers’, and do you know why? Because there’s no money in protecting consumer’s rights. If there were, I’d be willing to bet you anything that their tune would change pretty f**king quickly.
“We have some real concerns about content that enters an unprotected input into a personal computer, where the rights associated with the content are not being obeyed”
Unprotected – don’t you just love their language? Unprotected from what? These Corporate bastards put their anti-copying (read: anti-consumer) shit all over everything, and then it is ‘protected.’ *pfffffffffft*
“MCE’s original version, which didn’t allow consumers to share TV recordings, was preferable.”
Not only did the original version not allow them to share, it also would forbid them from making any backups, and thus the content would last about as long as their hard drives, which we all know are about as reliable as the hole in my ass. And what if they wanted to buy a new PC and sell their old one? Then I guess all those episodes of American Idiot (or whatever the latest abomination on cable TV is these days) would go bye-bye.
“those PCs are already selling fast. After being on store shelves for just a few days, the HP Media Center PCs are the best selling computers at CompUSA”
Of course they are, because CompUSA is where all of the lemmings go to buy new computers
PS – How does this Media Center OS know when it’s installed on a media center PC? I’ve seen this OS available for download in various places, so what’s the use if it only works on hardware that comes with the OS anyway?
“… the rights associated with the content are not being obeyed”
last i heard one would obey a license and enjoy a right.
1) You obviously never bought Microsoft Plus! which is just a improvement over Windows bundled apps (e.g. Paint), some themes and some nice toys to play with. This is a different, and I mean different concept.
2) You obviously didn’t read much about this version. It is XP Home with a extra interface you can switch on and off by pressing “Start” on the remote control. Not a different OS per se.
Ciprian: I’m not sure why anyone would buy this.
COnsumers wouldn’t go, “This is a expensive PC…”. They would think it as a replacement for a PC, a DVD drive, if they have one, a DVR. Which the average PC + DVD drive + DVR cost the same or even more than $1300.
sasquatch666: Save your money and get a second hand box that is BeOS [..]
At this point, I realize you forgoe all readings and just start trolling here. This isn’t a media OS just because it can play 10 QuickTIme movies at a time, but rather it has a UI for tha purpose, for use with remote control.
Ciprian: -Get a wireless mouse/keyboard so you don’t have to get up from the couch.
And that’s the big difference! Because All the stuff you mention is PC based, where you are up close with the monitor. This is a pretty interface so you could navigate with a remote control!
Besides, speaking on WinAMP, this is not a application you want to use from far away. Can you read the text?
Actually, winamp works quite nicely on a TV. You just need the right skin, and you’re set – http://www.winamp.com/skins/detail.jhtml;?componentId=119229
I haven’t yet seen one thing about WinXP that impreeses me as being a killer media OS,and i dont’care how many bells and whistles the box has or if it can cook dinner,the performance of winXP is typical windows herky -jerky, even with mega-big cpu’s and tons of ram,trust me if there were any better platforms available than BeOS I would be on it, being that Be has been bely up for a couple years now. That being said ,it still never ceases to amaze me, the stuff that stll keeps coming out for it. BTW Kon,thanks for the link to that VGA to TV device,that will solve a problem for me getting TV out of this thing,and the other link that Gill Bates had was also quite interesting
sasquatch666… BeOS Troll ;-P
Well the fact of the matter to me seems to be that the audience this is targeting are not the type that would want to go to all the trouble of trying to put together a PC that can do all of this straight out of the box, plus a nifty remote and interface. And if winXP could cook dinner, hells yes I would be jumping on the XP bandwagon!
for windows software
for linux and osx software
something like this:
Then I would go to http://www.pricewatch.com for a good price on hard drives.
You can put 4 to 8 drives into one of those cases, mix in a good motherboard with NIC and a few extra IDE controllers. A cheap durable CPU will cost you less than $50. Then just download and install the latest copy of redhat and with a little minor tweaking you get a file server. It can stream several copies of mpeg-4 media across your network simultaneously and cost you under $1000. A good client is something like a laptop or a small quiet PC running at more than 500Mhz for mpeg-4 and ogg media decoding. I’ve heard that X-Boxs make excellent video streamers.
I guess what I’m recommending is that you build your own PC. This isn’t for everyone, but if you do it right you get more for your money.
While it’s true that BeOS is better than XP for media creation, that is not what we are talking about here. For just simply play back media I’d say that Windows wins over BeOS. Why? Windows has less nasty bugs(hello avi.extractor!), more codecs and hardware codec support.
But then again, I’d rather use Win9x as a media playback box than XP. But then again, I’d rather use Linux than Win9x
Until OpenBeOS gets the new mediakit ready and gotten rid of those nasty bugs, we have simply nothing to brag about in this area. Sad but true.
The only argument here would be VLC, cause it doesn’t use the BeOS mediakit. But then again, how good is VLC for BeOS at the moment? It still needs a lot of work.
… don´t you get an iMac SupderDrive with a 17″ cinema display. Looks very nice, feels superior, performance is great, does anything you want without fearing MS security massacres. Same price, much more to enjoy seriously.
Where´s the difference? There it is!
If one of these Media Pc’s are this much in price why not just buy a imac instead? Much better imho.
While I’m well aware of all the shortcomings(dropped frames in movies,sound out of synch,some avi’s play some have only sound,others don’t work at all,no codecs for newer real media,and wma,and the other more proprietary windoze media types etc.)I still use BeOS as my main media player.WHY? because of the speed and fluency of which it handles them,and it’s multitasking abilities.I,like yourself am waiting for the new openBeOS media kit to address the issues with the current system.
As far as sound files go BeOS wins hands down(at least as far as playback is concerned,but in editing most BeOS apps run in RAM so you are limited by that to the size of file you can edit)
Linux? all i can say about it as it must have really improved since Mandrake7(the last Linux distro I tried) Type in the complete,case sensitive,correctly spelled name of a sound file in XMMS to open it LOL,that’s really a user friendly media experience! not for me!
Actually the point I was trying to make is that BeOS was designed from the ground up to be a media OS,however incomplete, and people should try it,develop it, and use it,and it is a workable alternative for people like me that lack the cash to run out and buy a new HP Media box,and don’t currently have the system to run XP(try running winXP on a 400 celeron for instance)Nobody new is gonna work on BeOS unless new people try it and fall in love as we have, and from what I see the BeOS community needs all the new blood it can get!!!