Wednesday, 06 October 2004

From a review of Windows XP Media Center 2005 (code-named Symphony while in development) written by Chris Connolly, which is set to release next week - and it sounds like you'll be able to buy it all by itself, without having to buy a PC at the same time (which is exactly the option I intend to take advantage of):

"... Fortunately, Microsoft finally listened, and are opening up Windows XP Media Center Edition for everyone. Their latest version, Media Center Edition 2005, is now selling on the open markets, and is available to all. While the OS itself is not officially launching for another week, we were able to get our hands on this final product to give everyone a first hand glimpse of how Media Center Edition 2005 (Codenamed Symphony) works in an uncontrolled environment ..."

I jumped ahead, looking for the HDTV verdict, as there have been conflicting reports as to whether it is supported or works:

"... Now, setup for our analog TV stream was a piece of cake with the Hauppauge WinTV card. HDTV was a bit more troublesome, even when using ATI's brand new HDTV Wonder card. Many expected that Media Center 2005 and the HDTV Wonder product would be announced together and become the "duo" for hardware/software HDTV for the PC. Unfortunately, this really isn't the case. Media Center Edition 2005 does have integrated support for the ATI HDTV Wonder product out of the box. Even when the card's drivers are installed correctly, MCE2005 will not detect the card as a valid TV Tuner. ATI's Multimedia Center DTV application won't even work in the operating system, outside of the Media Center application. Our suggestion is stay away from this combo until ATI puts out a set of "Media Center Certified" drivers. All in all, outputting content to an High-Definition TV / monitor is no problem. Getting an HDTV stream to play on Media Center, well, that's up in the air at this point. We couldn't get it to work, but we haven't tried all of the available HDTV options out there ..."

This is an extensive review of the new version of Windows XP MCE. Note that another review by Thomas Hawk is a little more critical, but does a good job of pointing out the improvements as well as what Thomas wishes was different.

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Tech | Windows Media Technology
Wednesday, 06 October 2004 21:25:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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