Better integration of the TV with Windows Vista

Cross posted at i-wisdom

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photo by onion83

In my previous post about better TV integration I was talking about starting to use mythTV. This plan isn’t cancelled, but I pushed it a bit further to the future. Why? I wanted to test Vista on my media PC. I got myself a copy at the launch last week. (Thank you MS)

I never used XP media center edition, so maybe for users of XP MCE this is old news, but damn, the Xbox 360 and Vista are really good friends. Just put them on the same network, they kiss and hug et voila , the media center extender does the rest. Watch every piece of media on your network on the tv, in a slick interface. I’ve not used Vista in my day to day life, currently it’s only my media extender. I can’t say anything about how it is to work with Vista. But it does seem that Vista has the glue to make every piece of technology work together, of course every piece of Microsoft technology.

Still their are some minor problems / remarks I’m having:

  • Video codecs: I’m looking for some decent codecs for Vista. I’ve found a package called Vista Codec Package, but still not every video format seems to be working. Anybody any ideas?
  • In the media center interface there is a section called online media. COOL, IPTV. Guess again, this is not yet available in Belgium. This section is empty. I can’t really understand this, we have something nice that is called the internet, this is a global network, so why can’t we get the same content as American users get. The whole IPTV story gets a lot less interesting if you’re still limited to the same local constraints as with regular cable TV.
  • Who will be able to provide content? Only Microsoft partners?
  • Can I add a media RSS feed to the Media Center? (youtube stream, flickr photos, podcast, rss-2-torrent, …)
  • Is it easy to develop extensions for the Windows Media Center?

Next step for me is to buy a TV tuner card and check how the TV recordings work. It would be pretty cool if I could stream cable TV over my wireless network (think watching football on my terrace) with the media center extender.

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photo by whalesalad

Anyway, I never expected such a smooth integration. I’m pretty possitive about Vista. But I only tested one aspect of it. I can’t really say how it is to work with Vista every day.

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