Note: I can't answer or comment on any of them until the official announcements happen at CEDIA. But I can think about the answers before then. :-) If you have specific questions about the Windows Media Center TV Pack leave them in the comments.

Update: Ben Reed answers some of your questions over at http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/282555.aspx.



Categories: Windows Media Center | Comments [64] | # | Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 6:45:35 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 7:01:45 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Charlie,

The most important questions for me at this point are about the OEM only release rumors. Will it be OEM only? If so, will it be only for new systems?

The features that I have seen/read/heard about are great even if they are not the laundry list of updates we wanted. I do not want to rebuild my Dell XPS 420 or resort to the black (torrent) market to get the update.

Thanks,
Andres E.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 7:14:40 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Will teletext be included? How will it handle channels that use this for subtitles, can the subtitles be recorded?

Will it be possible to upgrade my existing Vista installation to TV Pack?

Really looking forward to it.

//Seb
Seb Hul
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 7:57:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Will we get to hear about DirecTV support?
Platup
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 8:26:43 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Ability/method to upgrade existing systems is key.

Can recordings made from CableCard system on which WMC TV Pack is installed be played after installation of the WMC TV Pack?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 8:46:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Will H.624 be supported? In New Zealand we cannot watch digital TV as the standard (FreeView) is H.624. When I heard MCE TV Pack was going to include this I was delighted but now I hear rumours that it has been stripped out. If so when specifically will we see this? As an update between TV Pack and Windows 7? Or Windows 7?
Daniel
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 9:54:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I'm not Charlie, but I have the TV Pack installed and am not under NDA.

The update is designed to be installed before VMC is ever run and since when you re-install you lose your DRM files, you also lose access to the CableCARD recordings.

Some have said they've successfully installed on existing systems, I haven't tried it, but hear it'll mess up the guide db etc.

H.264 is not included, but rumors are that some have gotten it to work by using some components of the early Fiji release, not sure if it's stable yet.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 11:26:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Are there any changes that will allow us to save the TV recordings to a shared storage medium, like Windows Home Server, easily and without the hassle involved with modifying security attributes to that share?

=D-
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 11:45:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I would also like to know about DirecTV support.
Evan
Thursday, August 7, 2008 12:54:03 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I second (or third) the question about DirecTV support. I am particularly interested in understanding whether DirecTV support will require an OEM / new purchase or if I will be able to purchase the DirecTV hardware to incorporate it into an existing, home built VMC.

I assume that despite the change to the new file format (from DVR-MS) I would still be able to watch any old, non-DRM (analog) recordings on any media center machine.
Ryan
Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:00:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Who the hell is Charlie Owen?
digitalfreak
Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:03:17 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
i want to know does Tv pack support ClearQAM or not? if it does, how does i setup VMC so it can detect?
ricky man
Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:22:48 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hi Charlie,

1) Please clear up the whole OEM vs. Vista Home Premium DCS (Digital Cable Support) confusion.
Techncially, I am an "OEM", since the copy of Vista Home Premium I purchased from Newegg is an OEM copy, so, by definition of the license, Microsoft considers me an "OEM". Given that, I should be able to get the OEM TV Pack for my Vista Home Premium OEM license. However, I suspect that by "OEM only" for the TV Pack, Microsoft is really referring to the Vista Home Premium DCS "version", which is only available to OEM DCS system builders. As I understand, there is no difference between the Vista Home Premium and Vista Home Premium DCS operating systems, other than the hardware BIOS which enables certain bits in the OS. Referring to TV Pack as OEM is really confusing.

2) Will the TV Pack only work on Vista Home Premium DCS computers?
That is, can the TV Pack be installed and used on a Vista Home Premium (non-DCS) computer, or is there something in TV Pack which requires the DCS BIOS before it will install/work?

3) Please provide details on the new WTV format.
The DVR-MS was widely known as a MPEG2 "wrapper". The WTV format apparently was needed to support H.264. Is WTV still a "wrapper"? Today I can watch DVR-MS TV recordings (NTSC/ATSC SD/HD recorded on VMC (non-DCS)) on any computer I own (Vista or Windows XP). The other question I have is when WTV will be supported for viewing on any Vista computer (without TV Pack installed) and on any Windows XP computer, the same way one can watch DVR-MS recordings today. Also, when is it anticipated for third party products (i.e. VideoReDo) to support WTV editing, etc?
rcme
Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:30:47 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
One question, when do we get DirecTV support?
Jerry
Thursday, August 7, 2008 3:59:31 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
When will those of us with Vista boxes that do not have OEM cablecard drivers be able to access cablecard programing? The reason I buy PC's over Macs is that PC's (in theory) can be upgraded by the user - you don't have to send them back to the manufacturer or but a new one every time you want to add a feature. I have an HP Blackbird and I use my PC as my only TV/DVD/BD player. (You could say, my media center) This oddly familiar name I have assigned it won't be apt after the digital changeover however, because what is a media center without TV (and OTA doesn't count as TV.) I refuse to go out and buy some crappy Dell or HP Pavilion just to watch TV when I have a much better computer already, however I, and I think a great number of people, would be happy to buy a CableCard Tuner and any software upgrades. The last time I checked, America was a capitalist society and Microsoft a for-profit business. Seeing as there is a definite demand for CableCard PC Tuners, will Microsoft facilitate (and benefit from) the capitalization of this new market by making available an update to the general public (not just OEM's) that would allow the personal installation of PC CableCard Tuners?
(My apologies for the circuitous nature of the phrasing of this question.)
William
Thursday, August 7, 2008 4:35:06 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Can you comment on what has changed that will prevent DVRMSToolbox from working with TV Pack?
Matthew
Thursday, August 7, 2008 4:41:23 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I'd like to know if there are any changes in regards to CableLab certification requirements...asin some relaxation? Is there a changing/postive story for enthusiast PC builders that allows them to build a cablecard PC? If "TV Pack" did nothing but support that, it would be a must have item.
JohnCz
Thursday, August 7, 2008 5:05:42 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Are are the advantages of the WTV file format over DVR-MS? Smaller file sizes? Less bandwidth needed to stream video?
Billy
Thursday, August 7, 2008 5:55:21 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
DirecTV. HDPC20. Want it yesterday!
Doug Lippi
Thursday, August 7, 2008 8:02:06 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I'm going to ask the OEM question again as I think the more people that ask it the more the message might get through.

Why is this update only being released through OEMs? Is it to protect users from the complications of re-installing the OS? If it needs a re-install if Vista ... it needs a re-install of Vista. People who don't know or don't want to do that won't install the TV pack. There's a significant amount of home hobbyist PC users that have been supporting this product for 4+ years, turning round to these guys and telling them that they can't install the TV pack because it's best left to OEMs.

And another OEM thing... in the European market the only half-decent systems one would want to put in the living room are built by non-Microsoft OEMs, so we have the silly situation where the HTPC solutions in Europe won't be sold with the TV pack.
Simo
Thursday, August 7, 2008 8:24:56 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I do hope you intend to fill the h.264 gap before Win7? Otherwise, you'll be considered a niche product for the US market...
Alex_G
Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:23:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Why is not H.264 enabeld, as it woked without any problem in the first beta?

1.) Worked without any problems on the Norwegian DVBt system witch is h.264 (Mpeg4 video and HE-ACC sound)
2.) Worked well on sat-tv H.264 HD channels (high cpu usage, but cannot se that it would be a greate issue to fix)
Harald B
Thursday, August 7, 2008 12:17:30 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Currently using Leaked April beta build and I am just loving finally having TV (DVB-S) in Windows Media Centre, especially BBC HD which looks amazing.

I do not understand why h.264 has been stripped from this release, any information on when it will be included would be appreciated. Until that time I will be sticking with the (very flaky) April beta as BBC HD is too good to lose.
K
Thursday, August 7, 2008 12:43:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Did Charlie ever answer the last question of why no DVD streaming in Media Center? If so I missed it.
Kingwr
Thursday, August 7, 2008 1:06:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Will Media Center be able to "download" TV Guide listings via the TV Guide data broadcasted along with the DVB-T signal?
Einar
Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:11:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Maybe not related to the TV pack, but when will Media Center support native Blu-Ray? Also need H.264 for watching HDTV in Sweden.
Bengt
Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:57:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Get the TV PACK here

http://www.mediafire.com/?kkthfq1xnaa
BenDover
Thursday, August 7, 2008 3:22:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Has the architecture of the A/V path moved from using DirectShow filters for interfacing with the codecs to Windows Vista’s Media Foundation yet? If it has, what differences are there in how Windows Media Center supports the inherent protected audio and video paths built into Windows Vista? Does this impact what can be played via component or VGA versus HDMI outputs?

=D-
Thursday, August 7, 2008 4:00:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
The people that *already* shelled out cash for a new OEM machine to get cabclecard access should not be treated like garbage and not given access to new and improved features, it's a slap in the face. I understand that it's not you personally making that distinction, but if you have any ability at all to voice an opinion, I'd urge you to do so against that policy.
chuckwagon99
Thursday, August 7, 2008 6:26:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
How will Media Centre compete with Playstation PlayTV? - Will there be one big box that can be used to watch and record TV, play games, manage my digital files?

Will there be closer interaction between WHS and VMC?

And of course - when does VMC get HD support? It it is cost that has kept it out, get people to buy a h.264 decoder. We had to buy a mpeg2 decoder for MCE.
Marc
Thursday, August 7, 2008 7:32:43 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Had a look at the beta tv pack Naughty but it showed what VMC could do outside USA, DVB-s support and h.264 great VMC heading in the right direction, now again Naughty I know i have got my mits on the RTM tv pack, all is well in VMC more stable than the beta but NO HD. How did this happen and why h.264 excluded I just hope i dont need to wait for windows 7 for this to be a feature.

Have to say great i have DVB-s support in VMC but no HD for people outside USA that sucks, now i still need to have DVB viewer or media portal to viewe HD material not very wife friendly

one thing i dont get is that i can receive radio from the sat but this shows uo in the TV part why cant i link this into the radio section of VMC

good work so far but lots more to do ....
Marc
Thursday, August 7, 2008 8:07:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Directv time line would be most interesting to me

H.264 would be nice to
Joe
Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:38:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Program guide listings for over the air digital TV subchannels?
Kris
Thursday, August 7, 2008 10:34:31 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
At last there's full DVB-T/S/C support.

Maybe H.264 has been stripped from the final release because it requires additional license fees. Maybe the support is in there but the actual codec isn't included.
Jack
Thursday, August 7, 2008 11:15:45 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Charlie,

Thanks for asking! I'm very excited about the WMC TV Pack...

All of my questions are mostly UK related. I would like to know:

1. Is there going to be DVB-S2 support?
2. How is the UK Freesat EPG work going (kind of related to the TV pack, just interested...)?
3. Teletext support?
4. "Red" button support (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Button_(Digital_Television)?
5. More views and ways to play around with displaying and consuming media such as Music, Recorded TV, Pictures etc.
6. Will there be better support for Internet TV?
7. Will there be more integration with download services?
8. Will there be support for multiple EPGs? E.g. It would be great to run a couple of DVB-T tuners and one DVB-S2 tuner with my Freeview and Freesat EPGs.
9. Will there be support for more tuners - 3 or 4 would be great!

I would be interested in DVD streaming too but saw your very interesting post on this and have to admit I do agree with you regarding the business issues (particularly regarding DRM and the stakeholders) - it's not worth your time, spend it doing other things in my opinion. The DMA2200 pretty much solves that for me in any case (it's really not a lot of effort to bring my DVD upstairs to my Extender!).

And finally... one thing that doesn't seem to get said very often in all the posts I read is that VMC really is a very cool product (I bought Vista simply for my dedicated Media Centre, and don't regret it). I am a UK user, and do understand that you are having to appeal to a global audience with what appears to be a fairly small worldwide team. I suppose you have to get things right in the biggest market first (i.e. US/Canada), but think of us people in the UK who desperately want our DirecTV and other perks!

Thanks to you and the team for the great work so far and good luck at CEDIA.
Barry Anns
Thursday, August 7, 2008 11:31:08 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Timescale on H.264 - in the UK satellite HD is already broadcast in it and terrestrial HD will be in a year or so.

I don't need it yet, but will by the end of 2009 - will I be OK?
Stuart Anderton
Friday, August 8, 2008 1:54:39 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
H.264, this is a must have if vmc is going to get anywhere near sky and freesat in the uk! HD is after all, the main reason why people wanted native sat support in the uk! what is going on?
Ian Solway
Friday, August 8, 2008 4:28:50 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I'm really interested in knowing about any enhancements to the API.
MCExtended
Friday, August 8, 2008 7:50:33 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Barry Anns,

Answers to a number of your questions are already known:

- Channel EPGs can be pulled over the air
- Red button support is working very well
- You can have multiple tuners and EPGs (I've combined 4x DVB-T and 2x DVB-S)
Alistair
Friday, August 8, 2008 10:06:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
one method to get h.264 working in the RTM is to copy MSDTVVDEC.DLL from the beta (this has the workinh h.264 support) and copy it over to the RTM volla HD working again like the beta
Marc
Friday, August 8, 2008 11:13:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Alastair - do you mean these are new features in the TV pack? If so, I can't find any official information about this?
Barry
Friday, August 8, 2008 12:01:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Why did Microsoft deliberately break Webguide from working - it's not as if you even came up with your own version as substitute?

Why did you remove HD support for BBC HD to boost Windows 7 sales ?

Why is it OEM only ?

Why are you so anti-competitive, Nelly Kroes at the EU would be interested in the above !
UK User
Friday, August 8, 2008 2:25:50 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
My questions are not so much about the TV Pack itself as it is on the information given to betatesters, oems and partners. I've been enrolled on connect for some time now and tested "Fiji" but nowhere on the connection there was information about changes we, as developers, had to make for our applications to continue working (or, in some cases, even install).

Not to mention the fact that the build notes available are from back in May and the latest build is from June. What, are we (official betatesters) supposed to download, install and use the leaked RTM version or what?

For anyone experiencing problems installing AddIns after they have installed Fiji/TV-Pack, check out http://mytv.senseitweb.com/forums/p/1216/10672.aspx#10672 for a (very simple) solution.
Friday, August 8, 2008 4:13:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Are their changes to the copy protection facilities for shows recorded using the CableCARD tuners? If one records a non-protected show (one that is not flagged as premium content from the provider), is it stored protection-free or is it still locked down like earlier versions? Can it be played on other PCs, or only on the machine on which it was recorded?

=D-
Friday, August 8, 2008 5:34:23 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Can you back up your Guide and Recoding Schedule?
Is there going to be an update to Media Center Extenders like the 360?
Are any extenders having trouble with the new update?
Can you use another computer running the same version of Media Center as an extender?
What is the extender limit?
If this is OEM only is there another update we should expect soon the rest of us especially the ones that paid for ultimate versions of vista?
DarkSages
Friday, August 8, 2008 8:45:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
chuckwagon99 wrote: "The people that *already* shelled out cash for a new OEM machine to get cabclecard access should not be treated like garbage and not given access to new and improved features, it's a slap in the face. "

You mean like when Vista MC shipped and it didn't support gen1 media center extenders? :-) WMC appears pretty volatile to me at this point. I think I'll just hang back on XP/MCE 2005 until the smokes clears.
Friday, August 8, 2008 9:17:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Does Microsoft approve of those who downloaded the leaked version of TV Pack, provided they "Use at their own risk"?

Will it be made available on the Microsoft Download Center?
Brad
Friday, August 8, 2008 11:07:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
More of a comment than anything else....

If MS decides to once again turn their back on the heart of their base (DIY builders) and release this OEM only, then I think I may have to rethink my commitment to Media Center. I have put a good deal of money into my Media Center and I have no intention of tossing it all out and buying what I consider to be an inferior PC (I will, however, have no problem retasking it and getting Tivo). I to be honest this seems like another attempt to steer people into the arms of HP, Dell, etc. The folks that build their own systems are usually Microsoft's biggest evangelists. Why alienate them? If your users abandon the product, what difference does it make if you have kept your content providers happy? I think as much as I have loved Media Center, this may be the nail in the coffin for me. If I want quality HD content, I have to go OTA, or buy a premade, overpriced hunk of plastic. Great choices. Come on Microsoft, stand up to the providers, and stand up for your DIY'ers. Make the pack open for download.
Danno
Saturday, August 9, 2008 1:26:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I cannot find the right words to express how disappointed I am with Microsoft's decision to go OEM only. The internet pundits have expressed understanding for this decision given how complicated the installation process can be, but that makes me more depressed, because why are Microsoft making software that is difficult to install in the first place.

The advertising for Windows used to be "What to do you want to today?" And yet....
Softsled? "No"
DVD Streaming? "No"
MHEG/MHEG5 support that's been talked about since MCE2005? "Yes, but only if you buy a completely new system. Otherwise no."

I could on, but I think you get the gist.
Alexander
Saturday, August 9, 2008 2:29:22 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
TBH, I think the whole OEM thing has been blown way out of proportion.

I remember when XP Media Center was OEM only. Didn't stop me from purchasing it alongside a new harddrive.

I would also think that OEMs (HP, Dell etc) would offer it as an upgrade to their existing customers so they won't be affected either. Sure, it'd be nice to have it come through automatically via Windows Update, but due to certain prereqs for the pack it's best to install on a fresh Vista SP1 installation (even before starting VMC for the first time).

I am much more upset about the way developers have received no information about NEEDED changes to their current installers and/or code. Surely the new SDK should be released before the pack?
Sunday, August 10, 2008 4:09:33 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Where next... and when!?

1) DivX/Xvid on 360 within extender?
2) Rename the 'DVD Library' to 'Movie Library' and add support for AVI files. (as was the orginal intention way back in the Vista beta)
3) H.264
4) Why do you think that on the media center forums there seems to be more hostility to the media center product. A few years ago there was much more love and hope about this product. Is it the users being unrealistic, or in your heart of hearts do you think that the eHome team within MS have somewhat lost their way since not truly finishing VMC off in the way that they would have liked to as the deadline for Vista RTM loomed?
5) Would you like to still be quietly releasing MCE2005 style roll ups for VMC twice a year, that attract less publicity but bit by bit build and improve the product.
buellpilot
Monday, August 11, 2008 11:03:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hi Charlie,

I would like to know when encrypted Digital TV will be supported in Europe as we are using different standards than in the US? The set top boxes are gettng more 'smart' everyday so intime it gets less compelling to buy a Media Center and at this moment its not even an option. 25% of the households have somekind of Digital TV but they cannot use Media Center.

Thanks for your response!
chewwie
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:05:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Charlie,

I'd like to know when you think you will all be made redundant due to Apple giving consumers a new product that works !

The ipod, the iphone - pretty much made MS look like fools even the xbox is getting stale now due to MS being complacent.

Windows Mobile was such a laughing stock that HTC and Samsung had to rewrite the user interface because MS are soooooooo slooooooooooow at getting their finger out and doing anything anyone wants. The shambles that is Vista (despite the fake statistics where MS has given away copies !) and the success that is Apple going strength to strength.

No, not an Apple fan boy, in fact WAS a strong supporter of Microsoft BUT only support the Office and server products now as they are the only decent product sets left.

Something is going horribly wrong in MS, I think Bill might come back at one point to rescue it - Ballmer is making such a mess up dabbling in lots of ideas rather than have a decent product lineup with decent updates (eg Ultimate extras !!!!) !!!!
Ex-Microsoft Media Center User
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 3:59:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Since the PlayReady update is independent of the TV Pack and available for download, can it be installed on the current (non-TV Pack) version of Windows Media Center to enable the ability to record non-protected TV shows via a CableCARD-based system in the clear (if the firmware update is applied to the ATI Digital Cable Receivers) or does it require the TV Pack?
Does this new feature allow us to transfer recorded TV shows made on a CableCARD-based machine to the Zune?
What other features can we expect to see out of just installing the PlayReady update without the Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008?

=D-
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 5:25:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
there are still some problems in the version (6.1.1000.18273) e.g. when the up and down arrow keys seem to control one miniguide and the right click button another. the guide doesn't seem to recognise series as well as the SP1 or original release and in the edit sources there are many duplicates of each tuners.

my question is will these be fixed by the 03/09
anon
Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:11:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I can has H.264? Kthxbye
Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:47:30 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hi Charlie,

Good to see you back, I really enjoy the insight and feedback you give!

I understand the need to provide the best end user experience for the end user, but at what expense?

I can't tell you how excited I was when I heard the first buzz about Cable card support. My excitement quickly diminished as it turned out to be an OEM only option (per CableLabs). Since then I have been going back and forth to take the step and going the OEM route. After learning that yet again more features/another update will be in the same manner I am extremely relieved that I haven't yet made the leap. Now I am seriously considering if I ever will. So my question not necessarily pertaining to the TV pack but related is: Will this become an increasing trend of providing OEM only releases?

Part of my concern stems from previous scenarios involving the Pocket PC & Smartphone. I was an early adopter, rushing to the store to get the latest and greatest. I absolutely loved them and wanted the newest features and fixes. However, I was at the mercy of the OEM and to no surprise their prerogative was for me to run out and buy the newest version of their product. Since then I have become really leery of OEM’s and their supporting of the new software since they usually don’t. I understand that hardware and software go hand in hand but unfortunately upgrading existing products is rarely even considered.

The whole reason why I even fathomed going to the Media Center was so that I didn’t have to “upgrade” my DVR box every 6 months to a year. The ability for me to install a hard drive, ram, processor and especially software opened up a whole world of possibilities for me. No longer was I stuck with hardware that quickly becomes obsolete. Until lately.

My answer to the cost for Microsoft is: The more you force users into specific hardware & OEM’s, the more alternatives become viable (and likely cheaper).
jcrowusa
Friday, August 15, 2008 12:28:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hi Charlie, thanks for offering to answer TV Pack questions.

I have a couple:

* Will there be updates available for non-TV Pack Vista and XP to play the WTV files? If not, why not?

* Will there be documented SDK/API updates released to allow 3rd party tools to interact with the WTV files. (Not much point lessening the DRM on CableCard recordings if nothing can access the file anyway)

* Will WebGuide be getting an update to work with TV Pack?

Cheers,

Mark
mark1234
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 5:04:01 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Another question please Charlie:

Over on TGB there are numerous people in the UK reporting issues with series recording. See http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/285292.aspx

When can a fix be expected? It is simply a data issue that will get fixed by the daily download, or is it a code issue that requires a hotfix?

This is a showstopper issue that will prevent me upgrading.
mark1234
Friday, August 29, 2008 3:37:12 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Charlie:

My question is in regard to the new WTV file format. In previous versions of MCE, it was possible to both edit and create DVR-MS files using the SBE, effectively allowing me to remote video and audio to extenders with full support for visual navigation and metadata. Will it be possible to convert media to the new .WTV file format via DirectShow SBE?

Thus far, I m confused by the new PDBA encrypt/decrypt tag filters and the subtypes for the video, audio, and data (previously Line21)streams?

By the way: We met in Vegas a few years back. I still have your business card, and I'll use it if I have to! ;-)

DMM
Deavon M. McCaffery
Monday, September 1, 2008 8:58:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I don't think it gone happen, but if HDTV (H.264) is coming to europa, is it compatible with the XBOX 360 as a media center extender? What i mean, can i watch HDTV with my XBOX 360 media center extender?
Pieter
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:14:25 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
this isn't so much of a question, but comments about things that seem broken in Media Center.

1) It doesn't respect the shutdown, restart, hibernate, sleep group policy change (which actually means its ironically not vista compatible). Namely, a user that one takes away that permission from, can still do all those things via the media center interface.

2) In general there's no way to lockdown media center for limited users, they should only have the ability to view the content that is setup for the media center, and not change it.

3) It be nice if media center could be used as a custom user inteface (in media only mode, without the ability to unlock media only mode, and ignoring alt-f4), so that one can make a locked down user account without a password that anyone can use to start media center, so not requiring every user to have an account. Currently, if one tries this, notably volume control doesn't work (for some reason explorer needs to be loaded for volume control to work). But even more so, if one launches ehshell.exe too early, it misdetects the system and seems to put it into low experience mode. I need to put a sleep of 30-40s before ehshell.exe is launched in order to have a full fidelity experience.
sp
Thursday, September 4, 2008 6:52:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I have a question regarding DVB-T in Europe. I am able to receive some channels from two transmitters that are using different frequencies. Prior TV Pack it was possible to see all the channel instances and select the desired one. In my case the signal from the close transmitter is good while the signal from the distant transmitter is too weak and picture is non-watchable in practice. After installing the TV Pack it is not possible to select the desired instances of the channels, Media Center makes the selection automatically. Unfortunately, the selection goes wrong and some channels are lost. Is there a way to tell the Media Center which channels to select?
TTT
Monday, September 22, 2008 3:25:26 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
My big question is - are you resigning or being sacked. Whatever happend about TV Pack - its a shambles. Whether it is the lack of features we wanted, lack of support to the development community, breaking existing plugin support, no feedback on how to do things we used to - like backing up series, loading our own EPG - which in lots of countries means that tv pack is completely unusable as the EIT stuff is not working... Whatever went wrong - it was your fault and your responsibility. As a Project Manager responsible for delivering the TV pack - the butt stops here. So whatever the failing - technical, complacency, lack of emotional intelligence - there is no excuse. The lack of communications during the beta, launch, and post launch - and still questions unanswered just highlights how poor of a release this has turned out to be. My question would be are you going to resign or are the powers to be at Microsoft seeing what has happened and will rightfully sack you. Move over - its time for new blood
Long term MCE User -
Monday, September 22, 2008 7:06:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
To: Long term MCE User -- thanks for the great laugh. I constantly find it amazing what people will write anonymously. Do you have nothing better to do with the hour of time your parents allow you to spend on the computer after school..? :-)
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