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New FREE MCE Update

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by JayList, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. JayList

    JayList
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    XP Media Center 'Emerald' Nears the Finish Line
    :thumbsup:
    By Deborah Rothberg
    Updated: Microsoft's refresh of its home-entertainment-hub operating system could go gold in August.

    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,2180,1830542,00.asp

    Microsoft is in the final stretches of testing an update to Windows XP Media Center 2005 expected to ship this fall.
    ADVERTISEMENT

    Earlier this week, the Windows enthusiast site Neowin.net reported that Microsoft was set to release to manufacturing the product — code-named "Emerald" — in August.


    Microsoft announced in May that it was readying a free software update to Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 that would enable customers to take advantage of the Media Center Extender technologies built into Xbox 360 gaming systems.

    The update is currently at the Beta 2 test stage, according to Neowin.net, Neowin said the update will include the following:

    * Native digital cable support;
    * Content protection;
    * Improved burning (digital-rights management, network, Hi-def :clap: , DVD-RAM);
    * Platform security; and
    * Support for additional languages and locales

    "Adding features like native digital cable support would be useful and make the platform more compelling. The other (features) would make the user experience better," said Michael Cherry, Senior Analyst at Directions on Microsoft.

    "More than likely digital cable will be the primary draw, with compression and content licensing," said McLaws. "If you are able to record a purely digital show from start to finish, then I would expect they might have some DRM worked in there, too."

    Others felt that the Xbox 360 support will be the strongest feature of Windows XP Media Center 2005 update.

    "The thing that will drive people to get this version of Windows is Xbox 360, which will reportedly incorporate the capability to act as a Media Center Extender. If someone's getting a new Xbox, this will be an attractive addition," said Bott.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    The update will support 200-disc DVD changers that will come to market this fall, and will add a provision for a second high-definition tuner card for handling high-definition video and HDTV signals. :thumbsup: :lesson: :smashin:

    It will also add a new "Away Mode," that will allow Media Center PCs to be shut down and started back up immediately—whereas it takes a few seconds to awake from sleep or hibernate modes—at the touch of a button, the sources said. :clap:

    -----------------------

    The next big Media Center Edition release, code-named "Diamond," will be available in the Longhorn timeframe, and also for the Tablet PC, according to sources.



    My comment. Great, MCE is getting better and better, AWAY mode rocks for me. It's so utterley useful.
     
  2. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Hmmm I'm more reading into it that it is starting to introduce Vista's DRM rubbish...Wouldn't be surprised if soon you won't be able to use Hi-Def with MCE without a HDCP compliant device...

    Call me suspiscious, but I hope I am wrong...
     
  3. Barbarosa

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    So no DVB-S and no lossless music support.
     
  4. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    It's already a reality in terms of playback of some DVD's via component out. Tried to watch for example the incredibles from HTPC to 27"LCD via component and it basically said 'bugger off' on the screen:) Same DVD and HTPC but to 32"LCD via DVI and no problem. I know that's not HD but if anything, Id expect it to be the norm for HD (although Sky promise to supply HD machines with component out in the first batches. That should be interesting)

    So whilst this is all heading for HD glory, just how will those of us with terestial TV cards be viewing HD in the hopefully not too distant future? My guess (and it is only a guess) is that the new satellite service the BBC and ITV are launching will have the capability to transmit Hi Def stuff whilst the conventional Aerial freeview will show non hi def for those not interested or bothered by the new technology. Views anyone?

    Jon.
     
  5. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I hope that they will introduce HD via DVB-T like in other countries...Will be much better than having to invest in a dish etc...
     
  6. JayList

    JayList
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    I suspect this is driven by the media industry rather than MS. We'll play ball with our librarys if you play ball with DRM.

    I am no MS fan, but the media industrys have always been really superprotective of IP (sometimes with reason sometimes without). Hence why DAT tape never took off, cause the RIA didn't want anyone making losless copys of music and hence wouldn't support the device.

    This is the way of the future, I don't blame the movie industry for this. How easy is it to torrent a film nowaday? How much revenue is lost etc.

    I also suspect that their will always be ways around this technology, it's only an arms race, no one ever wins outright.


    Sky are supporting HTPC for the same reason, to protect IP. You can't blame them for their business protection?

    Jusy have to get something that suports HdCP.
     
  7. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I have, my Pio plasma....I am all up for protecting copy rights etc...But what I am not happy about is when it gets linked through DRM to my machine and when I upgrade or change a machine I can't use that data anymore...But I guess that is a different issue all together...

    And what I don't get...It is so easy to get pirated copies, how come it is not just as easy to shut them down....
     
  8. stuartmc

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    Away Mode will only be availble to System Builders and not through the WinUpdate service. A bit like the Sonic Encoders that are only available when you buy a 3-pack of MCE.

    Schedulde for release on Winupdate tomorrow 10/14/05. Not sure what time the UK update happens.
     
  9. windfall

    windfall
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    Hi Guys

    Are they basically saying without this update the xbox 360 wont be able to "extend" MCE?
    Are they also saying that material that has not been signed will not be playable or are they saying that MCE will support the use of DRM and content protection in the form of commercially available digital media etc.

    Bit Confused. I have ordered an xbox 360 for use in my lounge and hope it will extend my MCE for me, I would love it if it could stream all my HiDef content, DIVX and DVD's I have put on my hard disk, play my music and show my pics, My TV would not be of use for me as the sky box is in the lounge anyway.

    Thanks!

    Tone
     
  10. lisag

    lisag
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    Well, it definitely won't support divx / xvid or vobs... and I thought that Roll Up 2 added support for it to work as an MCE extender, but I am just as confused as you!

    lisa
     
  11. stuartmc

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    Rollup2 is a "Requirement" for XBox360 to work as an extender
     
  12. JayList

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    360 will definatley function as an MCE extender. 100% no doubt about it.



    J
     
  13. lisag

    lisag
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    ... only with roll up 2 installed though, I understand

    lisa
     
  14. mr.nick

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  15. JayList

    JayList
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    Correct

    But the new software (rollup 2) will make Xbox, Microsoft's high-profile game machine, a peer in such arrangements and will for the first time include the ability to stream high-definition content. Xbox 360 consoles with special Media Center Extender technology will ship later this year, said Brad Brooks, senior director of product management in Microsoft's Windows client division.

    http://news.zdnet.com/Xbox+plays+st...3_22-5894933.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdnn
     
  16. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    Then as others have touched on, you will be bang out of luck. X360 will be very limited in its media format support - by design. You want unrestricted streaming? Go for a modded normal Xbox and XBMC, its the only way to fly!
     
  17. stuartmc

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  18. lisag

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    Interesting article, thanks for the link - leads me to think that the xbox 360 is overpriced and limited as a media playback device...

    lisa
     
  19. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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  20. JayList

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    Wrong. From my earlier quote.

    "Include the ability to stream high-definition content"

    The thing about Windows is that you can add stuff to it , you no doubt their will be extensions to MCE if it doesn't support what you want.

    DRM Torrent would be cool. Finnaly a way to achieve my two meg bandwith utilisation.
     
  21. nigelbb

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    The current extenders do their decoding on the extender box I doubt that the Xbox 360 is any different. The reason why the current extenders do not play DivX etc is bacuse Microsoft have chosen not to implement this functionality so I doubt they will implement it for Xbox 360 either.
     
  22. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    MCE doesn't support DVB-S. Hauppauge with their new cards & Technotrend with their new drivers for their Budget range do allow their DVB-S cards to be used in MCE but only by pretending to be a DVB-T card & mapping satellite frequencies to DVB-T frequencies. It's not a totally integrated solution as there are problems with populating the EPG.
     
  23. Monty Burns

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    Really? You wana add stuff to to your x360? Then you WILL need to mod it. I'm betting a days wages on it NOT supporting DIVX... wana take me up on it? (and I earn a lot!)
     
  24. JayList

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    But they didn't support XBMC either! You can always add third party and non support stuff. The xbox was supposed to not be able to run anyone elses software yet the protected bootstrap was soon hacked into . I ran my xbox with the xecuter 2 mod chip , and it was never detected on xbox live, when it was switched off.

    My point being that you are right in that MS will only support their own formats but their will soon be workarounds for whatever you want.

    J
     
  25. JayList

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    I didn't say you didn't need to mod it. I didn't allude to whether it will or will not support DivX, of course it won't out of the box as MS don't own DivX. The MCE like anything else can be enhanced any which way. But why use XMBC when it's about to be superseded. By XBMC360?

    I don't know what you earn (I'm pretty well off myself) , but I wouldn't bet a days wages , lottery is enough for me. Two kids, one terminal spending habit and one RD65 on the way and I'm negative on the cash flow. Even If I earn double it will be the same.

    To be honest, my Xbox 360 will sit right next to my HTPC so it's irrelevant to me anyway. MY htpc is the source and display of all my digital goodness.
     
  26. JayList

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    Although ,doing a trawl of the interweb found me this.
    --------------------------------
    The Console doesn't have any digital interfaces, so it won't be able to play High Definition videos, bought by the consumer. The built in DVD-Player only decodes MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. Other formats like MPEG-4 (DivX, XviD), VC-1 or H.264 can't be viewed on the XBOX360

    Other Codecs will be updated via Firmware updates. These will be distributed using new games or online connections. The user won't have any influence on this. Microsoft will also patch Security holes, which could be exploited by hackers, this way.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    So, looks like you better look at somethin else for multi format streaming for the time being, XBMC, till XBMC360 comes out!
     
  27. lisag

    lisag
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    Well, what I heard is... that Microsoft employed the person/people who originally hacked the xbox and created xbmc, and they have been working on making the xbox 360 unhackable, with security built in at chip level.

    But, I imagine it won't be long before someone, somewhere, finds a way in, I still think for media playback, a modded xbox is easier, cheaper and available now...!

    lisa
     
  28. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    Most people who want to play back their Divx/Xvid's obtained them illegaly, so why would microsft support that format?, Divx/Xvid is used more for illegal services than legal on the other hand WMV is used to create legal videos by developers/authors, I understand that some people encode their dvd's/video they legally bought to .Xvid/divx, but still it's only a small majority compared to those who use it to creat illeagaly sourced content, anyway just encode all your dvd's to .wmv and that will be the end of it...you will be able to play it back fine on your extender/360, so it might be a few 100mb's larger, no more than a gig, compared to other codecs, but at least you know it will play back straight away without messing around with codecs, WMV is much simpler to encode to, well once you know the basic steps, and yes you can have 5.1 audio, if you want to know how to enode to .WMV just end me a PM, all you need is Windows Media Encoder, and I will give you the right settings for it...anwyay i'm looking forward to the Xbox 360 and it's multimedia capabilites, I wonder if it can play WMV content from USB storage devices, or from the DVD drive, they mentioned it can play mp3/wma from attached devices but I wonder about video, cause I could then just hook up a 500GB USB Hard Drive with a load of high Def .wmv files...
     
  29. JayList

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    All this chaff around XBMC got me thinking. I was going to flog my chipped xbox for 65 just to clear some space.

    However when my RD65 arrives the old sony crt is going in the bedroom. I can use the XBox (it has the wireless link) to stream from my HTPC and use as a dvd player etc.

    Quality idea. like it.
     

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