New Apps coming to XBOX starting with SkyDrive

 

Today Major Nelson announced a list of 40 new apps coming to XBOX 360 before Spring 2013! Because I live in the Netherlands not all Apps will become available here. Please check out the blog post at MajorNelson.com for the entire list

For some of the Apps it’s not sure if they will be available in the Netherlands, but the following Apps certainly will appear on a Dutch Xbox near you:

  • RTL XL (already available)
    watch missed RTL (4, 5, 7, 8) programs
  • SkyDrive (available on December 11th)
    SkyDrive is the place to store your files so you can access them from virtually any device. With SkyDrive for Xbox, you can easily view your photos and videos on your TV. You can also play slideshows and view photos and videos shared with you. For more information, visit the Inside SkyDrive blog
  • Karaoke (available on December 11th)
    Karaoke provides access to more than 8,000 songs from the latest hits to the oldies but goodies, available on Xbox LIVE. Your avatar will go on stage and sing with a full complement of stage props and back band. Use SmartGlass to play/stop/pause, browse the database and lyrics or to add songs to the playlist. Songs don’t require any download and will playback immediately via streaming for a robust karaoke experience.
  • Eredivisie Live
    watch live soccer games from the Dutch soccer league
  • LiveSport.tv (not available yet?)
    watch sports
  • Pathe Thuis
    watch/rent movies
  • SBS
    you can probably watch missed SBS (6 / Net 5 / Veronica) programs, but there is no info about the app yet
  • Ziggo
    watch live tv with your Ziggo subscription, just like the iOS and Android App. In the near future Video on Demand will be added to the App. The Ziggo Company Twitter account told me that recording live tv will also become available in a later stadium.

 

XBOX_Ziggo
Screenshot of the Ziggo App

image
Twitter conversation in with Ziggo

RTLXL_Nieuws
Screenshot of RTL XL App
 

 

Today Major Nelson announced a list of 40 new apps coming to XBOX 360 before Spring 2013! Because I live in the Netherlands not all Apps will become available here. Please check out the blog post at MajorNelson.com for the entire list

For some of the Apps it’s not sure if they will be available in the Netherlands, but the following Apps certainly will appear on a Dutch Xbox near you:

  • RTL XL (already available)
    watch missed RTL (4, 5, 7, 8) programs
  • SkyDrive (available on December 11th)
    SkyDrive is the place to store your files so you can access them from virtually any device. With SkyDrive for Xbox, you can easily view your photos and videos on your TV. You can also play slideshows and view photos and videos shared with you. For more information, visit the Inside SkyDrive blog
  • Karaoke (available on December 11th)
    Karaoke provides access to more than 8,000 songs from the latest hits to the oldies but goodies, available on Xbox LIVE. Your avatar will go on stage and sing with a full complement of stage props and back band. Use SmartGlass to play/stop/pause, browse the database and lyrics or to add songs to the playlist. Songs don’t require any download and will playback immediately via streaming for a robust karaoke experience.
  • Eredivisie Live
    watch live soccer games from the Dutch soccer league
  • LiveSport.tv (not available yet?)
    watch sports
  • Pathe Thuis
    watch/rent movies
  • SBS
    you can probably watch missed SBS (6 / Net 5 / Veronica) programs, but there is no info about the app yet
  • Ziggo
    watch live tv with your Ziggo subscription, just like the iOS and Android App. In the near future Video on Demand will be added to the App. The Ziggo Company Twitter account told me that recording live tv will also become available in a later stadium.

 

XBOX_Ziggo
Screenshot of the Ziggo App

image
Twitter conversation in with Ziggo

RTLXL_Nieuws
Screenshot of RTL XL App
 

XBOX Live Presents : Free Live Weekend!

image

And just like the previous four years (Xtival ‘07, Xtival ‘08, Xtival Spring ‘09 and Xtival Winter ‘09) …it’s party time again!

All Xbox LIVE Free members will be upgraded to Gold – giving you access to the complete Xbox LIVE experience, including online multiplayer games, instantly-streamed movies and music in Zune , voice chat, Video Kinect and great social features like Twitter and Facebook to share your achievements with your friends.

You’ll also be able to explore an amazing line-up of movies and music, and find some awesome discounted goodies in Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

Joining in is easy: simply fire up your Xbox 360 and browse to the Free LIVE Weekend page in Spotlight.

Get set for an unmissable weekend of fun and games!

 

COMPETITIONS
We’ve got some amazing gear for you to win over the Free LIVE Weekend – including:
An HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 that lets you play great games on the move, and add to your Xbox LIVE Gamerscore too!
Halo: Reach Limited Collector’s Edition – with that exclusive in-game Elite armour, for the ultimate bad-ass appearance…
Find out how to enter by visiting the competitions channel in Dash during the Xbox Free LIVE Weekend!

MUSIC VIDEOS from ZUNE
Including Rihanna, Far East Movement, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga – and an Xbox exclusive: N.E.R.D’s new video Hot ’n’ Fun, featuring Nelly Furtado.
KINECT
Take Kinect online with Kinect Sports and Kinect Joy Ride – and try out video chat with your friends and family using Video Kinect.

ONLINE MULTIPLAYER
If you’re an Xbox LIVE Free member, you get to try out the multiplayer modes of all your favourite games – for free!

DISCOUNTS
Pick up some awesome goodies for a song! There are discounts on everything from Xbox Originals and Xbox LIVE Arcade games to add-ons and Avatars – and movies too!

And again this year it’s for the European XBOX Live fans only…

 

Just click here for more info.

Finally Minority Report in the living room

UPDATE : (22/11) Added a new video…

Don’t know about you, but when I saw the movie Minority Report I immediately wanted this in my living room. Since about a week I’m the proud owner of a Kinect ‘controller’ for my XBOX 360. It works really nice in combination with my XBOX 360, but what I was hoping for is going to be reality real soon! Controlling Windows with your hands, just like in the movies.

Check out the video below which demonstrates controlling Windows 7 with Kinect!  The German company Evoluce has developed some drivers which makes this possible. On Wolfgang Herfurtner’s blog you can also find some interesting info about Kinect and Windows 7.

 

Control Windows 7 with Kinect

 

Today Wolfgang uploaded a new video in which he demonstrates the control of Windows Media Center and some other cool stuff!

 

Microsoft Management is ready for Kinect! Are you?

image

The Microsoft Executives are a big fan of Kinect. If you check out the Microsoft Executive listings you can see that their pictures have been swapped with their XBOX Live Avatar’s! Too bad their XBOX Live Gamertag aren’t mentioned, so you won’t be able to become friends with Steve B. for example.

Just click Read More to see what I mean…or click here to go to the Microsoft Press pass page.

Continue reading “Microsoft Management is ready for Kinect! Are you?” »

Live : XBOX E3 Media Briefing Starts at 19:30 CET

Cllick to watch the Live Media Briefing

It’s E3 time again. Just like every year Microsoft has some nice new XBOX 360 features to announce. Watch it live over at xbox.com.

The most, in my opinion, interesting feature will be the new XBOX 360 add-on called Kinect (also known as Project Natal), which will make it possible to control your XBOX 360 without a physical controller. Your body is the new controller!

XBOX 360 : Xtival Winter ‘09 Starts This Friday!

 
It’s party time again if you own an XBOX 360! Just like last Spring ‘09, in 2008 and 2007 this will be the 4th Xtival in Europe! This year the party will be bigger and better then the last editions!

See Tiësto headlining, plus MSN bring you live performances from the music scene’s best talent. There’s a lot to play for this weekend including tournaments, demos and great deals on your favourite games. This year’s glittering Xtival film stage is packed with a world exclusive James Cameron “Avatar” trailer, prizes, offers and more.

Create your own line-up and share it with your friends!

More info about Xtival Spring ‘09 (United Kingdom)

Meer informatie over Xtival Voorjaar ‘09 (Nederland / België)
Plus d’information plus de Xtival Printemps ‘09 (France / Belgique )
Mehr Info vorbei Xtival Fruhling ‘09 (Deutchland / Österreich)

Più Info sopra Xtival Primavera ‘09 (Italia) winter
Más Info encima Xtival Primavera ‘09 (España)
More info about Xtival Forår ‘09 (Danmark)

If your language isn’t in the above list, click this link to go to your own localized version. If you get a Looking for something at XBOX.com. The page you tried could not be found’ error then Xtival is not available in your country!

XBOX 360 : Zune Video Streaming Test Weekend – FAIL!

image81[1]
Just a few days ago I received an e-mail with the invitation to test drive the upcoming Zune Video Streaming service on XBOX Live! Yeah..you have to pay (even during the testing phase) to test the streaming service, but when you complete a survey you will receive 1200 Microsoft Points (1 movie is about 500 Points).

I’m not sure what went wrong, but just a few moments  ago I received another e-mail in which the XBOX Beta Administrators announced that they discontinued the offer of 1200 Microsoft Points for completing the error reporting survey.

This was the e-mail I received :

 

Hello Testers,

We regret to inform you that we have discontinued the offer of 1200 Microsoft Points for completing the “Zune video streaming” error reporting survey. We appreciate your continued feedback during the testing process and can’t wait to bring the full service to you in November.

Movie night is still taking place this weekend and there will be a wide variety of movies available for rental during the Preview period. Please note that you will need to use Microsoft Points to rent these movies.

Even though the 1200 Microsoft Points offer is no longer available, we look forward to your continued participation in the Xbox LIVE Update Preview Program.

Regards,

The Xbox Beta Administrators

 

They still want us (the Testers) to test the video streaming stuff, we have to pay to test and won’t receive anything in return? Oke….when you’re participating in the XBOX Live Update Preview Program it’s normal you do something in return…but pay for testing the streaming of a movie (not much choice for now, only considerable old movies available in the Netherlands)…I don’t like that at all!

I can imagine that everybody was filling out a error report (to collect the 1200 MP’s), even the movie night hasn’t even started yet 🙁 If the testing wasn’t gonna cost me anything (or they had new movies available) I wanted to try the service, but now I have to pay and they don’t have any recent movie….sorry…I’ll just skip the testing part!

XBOX 360 : Xbox LIVE Fall Update & No Blu-Ray

Today was the day that the First Wave would receive the Fall 2009 Xbox LIVE Update Preview. When I turned my Xbox on earlier today (or better said : yesterday) I received the update. Ohw…another fact about the Xbox 360 : There will be no Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360! The Blu-Ray accessories Steve Ballmer talked about earlier were Blu-Ray accessories for the PC!

To refresh your memory : This is what’s the Xbox Live Fall Update bringing us….

  1. Zune video brings movies and TV shows with instant on HD in full 1080p to your Xbox 360 console. You’ll find a huge selection, all with the amazing clarity and the convenience of cable.  Xbox LIVE members can now enjoy a true movie theater experience from the comfort of home.
  2. Facebook: Now you can compare your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends lists, update your status to share  hat movie, game or entertainment you’re enjoying, find friends and view their news feeds, status and photos on the big screen – all seamlessly integrated and custom-built for Xbox 360. Requires adult Xbox LIVE Gold account.
  3. Last.fm (US & UK Only): Turn your Xbox 360 into your living room juke box with a library of more than 3.5 millions songs. Stream personalized radio stations through Xbox LIVE by skipping, “banning” or “loving” songs to tailor the radio station to your tastes – we’ve even built in “Gamer Stations” with music selected specifically for the gaming community. Requires adult Xbox LIVE Gold account.. [More Info]
    Twitter Stay in the know by discovering, posting, and replying to Tweets right on your Xbox 360. You can even view friend profiles, trends and conversations, or search to see who’s Tweeting about your favorite game. Requires adult Xbox LIVE Gold account.
  4. Inside Xbox News & More (US Only): A new section of the “Inside Xbox” channel, “News and More” transforms Xbox LIVE into a full-fledged media portal. With a regularly-updated stream of content from msnbc.com , The New Yorker and Dilbert, “News and More” brings the latest in current events, arts and entertainment right to your fingertips.  Requires Xbox LIVE Gold account.

So…enough about the theory! Check out my video below to see all the stuff in live action (because I live in the Netherlands I can’t show you the Last.FM and Inside Xbox News & More)

 XBOX Live Update Preview Video

Participate in the 2009 Fall Xbox Live Update Preview Program

image

Earlier this year I blogged about an XBOX Live update Preview, but now it’s time for another XBOX Live Preview. This time it’s the Preview of the Fall 2009 Update with Twitter and Facebook and Zune integration.

What do you need to do? Just read the rules below :

Just fill out the form on Microsoft Connect (Note: You have to use the Windows Live ID that is connected to your XBOX Live GamerTag!).

When you’ve successfully signed in, you need to fill out the XBOX Live Update Preview Sign Up survey in order to be considered for receiving the Preview System Update. There are some questions about where you live, what kind of connection to the internet you have and some info about your console.

The XBOX team will review all the applications and if you are selected they will send you an e-mail notifying you about the acceptance in the program. Read the following before you register:

  1. We’re looking for multiple thousands of participants, so your chances of making it in are good
  2. This opportunity is open to all Xbox LIVE Members in regions where Xbox LIVE is available.
  3. Just completing the survey does not automatically get you access to the Preview Program. We’ll be making final selections from the completed surveys and send you an email if you are selected.
  4. While both Xbox LIVE Gold and Silver members can sign up, Priority will be given to Gold members in the selection process.

If you are accepted, the XBOX team will contact you in about a week. Make sure your contact information at Connect is updated and correct!

Do you want to know how the new features look like? Just check them out below!

Twitter
image 
Click here for more information about the Twitter feature.

Facebook
image 
Click here for more information about the Facebook feature.

Zune
image 
Click here for more information about the Zune Feature

XBOX+MCE+WHS=Nerd Network!XBOX+MCE+WHS=Nerd Network!

image

Nerd Stuff
Like a real Microsoft-fan/nerd I own an XBOX 360, a (Windows 7) Media Center and a Windows Home Server to satisfy my Multimedia and gaming needs. In this blog post I will tell you about my setup and why I choose the products I mentioned.

There is also space for some criticism, because hey..it’s Microsoft stuff! Just kidding…I love the products, but I am missing some features. Some of the missing features have something to do with the country I live in. I love pictures, don’t you? That’s why I first show you a picture of my network, so you can’t imagine how everything is connected. If you have a question, don’t hesitate just drop me a line. How? Check my About page for my contact info.

The Network

On the network drawing above you can see the network as it exists at my home. Next to the Windows 7 Media Center, there are several other PC’s and laptops in the network, but because of the lack of space I just have drawn one of them. It’s also possible to remote connect to the MediaSmart Server through my personal Homeserver.com website. Through the web interface it’s also possible to connect all other Windows clients in the network!

Windows 7 Media Center
If your pc has a TV card and you’re using Windows 7 (or even Vista) you really should check it out….or not? In this blog post try to explain some of the issues I’m having while using my Windows Media Center and the solutions I found…if they’re available (as far as I know).

Media Center Extender (= XBOX 360)
When I bought a XBOX 360 (back in 2005) I bought it to play games (of course), but that was only for 30% of the time…..for the other 70% I wanted to use it pure as a Media Center Extender. This is still the case (after almost more then 4 years of XBOX 360), but during the last 4 years I had some serious doubts about my choice to use Windows Media Center as my personal PVR. The Media Center Extender does work, but (at least in the early years) you’re not able (without 3rd party software at least) to play DVD’s or MKV files via the Extender interface. I will get back to the doubts later in this post!

HP MediaSmart Server (= Windows Home Server )
Earlier this year I bought a HP MediaSmart ex475. This is one of the first generation Windows Home Servers. With this Home Server your home network administration becomes a piece of cake! You can have a central storage for your documents, pictures, video’s, music and recorded tv. Talking about Centralized TV Storage! Since Power Pack 3 became available in beta earlier this year, it became even better! With the new PP3 features (I blogged about them earlier this year) it became very easy to ‘backup’ your tv recordings to the Windows Home Server to have them available to all the Media Centers! The Windows Media Center (with the dual head TV card) records all the shows and they can be viewed from any Windows 7 Media Center in the house!

My Issues
Of course the setup described above sounds great I think! Too bad not everything works as you may expect! In the following few paragraphs I will describe the issues I ran into the last few months.

Media Center: TV Guide

When you want to record tv shows a good working TV Guide is one of the major things! I’m not sure how it’s in your country, but in the Netherlands the TV guide sucks from time to time. So it happens that when I want to search for a TV show which will air on Friday (Oct 30th), it’s not available in the TV Guide (see the image below, channel 3 and 23…no data). I just took the screenshot today (Oct 28th), and this happens all the time. I heard some friends talking about the bad EPG’s in their PVR (or hard disk recorder), but if getting a TV Guide right is an issue (it seems to be an issue here in the Netherlands)…solutions like Media Center will never become interesting for the general public, because it’s really difficult to schedule a recording if the show isn’t in the guide! This is the first (major) issue I’m having right now with Media Center.

image

Media Center : Digital TV (DVB-C)
One of the other major issues I (and a lot of peers) are having is official supported availability of DVB-C support in Windows Media Center. Oke..with some workarounds it will work, but not officially supported by Microsoft and the Cable providers! When do the (Dutch) Cable companies enter the 21st Century and support other recording devices then their own PVR’s (the ones without the possibility to centralize your tv recordings)!

The strange thing is : Ziggo (my own cable provider) has a page on their website where they suggest that Media Center is a perfect solution for all your media. Just click here to watch the video (it’s in Dutch!). They don’t tell you that it’s not possible to (easily) record DVB-C with your Windows Media Center.

Earlier this evening @MartijnBrant mentioned that there is indeed an easy DVB-C Solution to record digital tv on your Windows Media Center : USB Clark Anysee. I’m not sure how (and if) it will work, but hey…it’s not officially supported, so when for example Ziggo is blocking the use of not-CI+ devices…you will have a problem recording your tv shows.

If you ask why they’re not supporting the DVB-C in combination with a Windows Media Center, they’re not very clear. The answers I heard of include they don’t like the ease with which you can record your tv shows and maybe manipulate the scrambled signal? Technically it is possible, but what percentage of their clients will try that? It’s the same as with people who buy original dvd/blu-ray disc’s. They have to watch all the anti-piracy shit, and everybody who is leeching their movies from usenet/torrents (for who the anti-piracy video’s are there) won’t see them….

Media Center : Internet TV and Add-On’s

The third and last issue I’m having with my Windows Media Center is the lack of Internet related TV/Video. When you’re in the USA (or UK), with Windows 7, you can use Internet TV which is part of the Media Center (see image), but when you live in the Netherlands (and probably other parts of Europe (or the World) the Internet TV option isn’t available!
02 - TV - Free Streaming Internet TV
Let’s hope that the European Cable companies work together and make Internet TV available in our Media Center. In other words : Let’s hope they will support IPTV in the near future. Ow..it also seems possible to watch IPTV through the XBOX 360 Dashboard, at least…a few years back I’ve seen a video demonstrating IPTV right from the Dashboard!

XBOX 360 : Media Center Extender and Media Connect
Since the last update the new XBOX 360 Dashboard has some nice new features like Facebook and Twitter integration, but the features of the Media Center Extender haven’t been extended over time. One of the things I (and a lot of peers) can use is support for MKV files. A few weeks ago I heard that it is possible to play MKV files via the Media Center Extender, but out-of-the-box it isn’t supported. It would even be better it was possible to play MKV files directly from the Video Library, so you won’t have to run a tool like Transcoder 360 (or some of the other available tools).

Conclusion
If you like to have a central recored tv storage with the possibility to watch your tv show from everywhere in your house the combination of an XBOX 360, Windows 7 Media Center, Windows Home Server and some laptops (with Windows 7 Media Center on it) will give you a great solution!

If you (at least) live in the Netherlands and the only recording device you have is your Media Center you’re not sure if your tv show will be recorded…the TV guide isn’t (entirely) complete most of the time. I heard that this is also an issue with some (or all?) Hard Disk Recorders. Most of the time all the episodes of a serie will be recorded, but if you want to schedule the serie (before the first episode starts) and the guide isn’t entirely up-to-date it can be frustrating that you sometimes can schedule the serie on the first episode..

Overall the setup works great and if Microsoft (and the European media content and cable companies) would ‘fix’ all the issues mentioned above they would make me very happy!

Maybe this will all be fixed in the new version of Windows Home Server which, if my sources are correct, will be released somewhere in 2010 and will contain some of the features that are now available in Media Center….if they don’t forget to add some support for DVB-C (and TV cards with CI+ support)!image

Nerd Stuff
Als een echte Microsoft-fan/nerd heb ik een XBOX 360, een (Windows 7) Media Center en een Windows Home Server mij te bevredigen in mijn multimedia en gaming behoefte. In deze blogpost zal ik je vertellen over mijn opstelling en de waarom ik juiste deze ‘producten’  heb gekozen.

Er is zelfs plaats voor wat kritiek, omdat hey…het is Microsoft spul!! Grapje…Ik vind de producten geweldig, maar ik moet zeggen dat ik toch wel wat mis. Sommige van de ontbrekende features hebben te maken met het land waar je woont. Ik ben echt een fan van plaatjes, jij ook? Daarom zie je eerst op onderstaande afbeelding hoe ik alles heb binnen mijn netwerk heb aangesloten. Als je een vraag hebt, aarzel niet en stel hem gewoon. Hoe? Op mijn About pagina vind je mijn contact informatie.

Op dit moment is de rest van deze post nog in het Engels, maar ik ben bezig met een vertaling….

Het Netwerk

On the network drawing above you can see the network as it exists at my home. Next to the Windows 7 Media Center, there are several other PC’s and laptops in the network, but because of the lack of space I just have drawn one of them. It’s also possible to remote connect to the MediaSmart Server through my personal Homeserver.com website. Through the web interface it’s also possible to connect all other Windows clients in the network!

Windows 7 Media Center
If your pc has a TV card and you’re using Windows 7 (or even Vista) you really should check it out….or not? In this blog post try to explain some of the issues I’m having while using my Windows Media Center and the solutions I found…if they’re available (as far as I know).

Media Center Extender (= XBOX 360)
When I bought a XBOX 360 (back in 2005) I bought it to play games (of course), but that was only for 30% of the time…..for the other 70% I wanted to use it pure as a Media Center Extender. This is still the case (after almost more then 4 years of XBOX 360), but during the last 4 years I had some serious doubts about my choice to use Windows Media Center as my personal PVR. The Media Center Extender does work, but (at least in the early years) you’re not able (without 3rd party software at least) to play DVD’s or MKV files via the Extender interface. I will get back to the doubts later in this post!

HP MediaSmart Server (= Windows Home Server )
Earlier this year I bought a HP MediaSmart ex475. This is one of the first generation Windows Home Servers. With this Home Server your home network administration becomes a piece of cake! You can have a central storage for your documents, pictures, video’s, music and recorded tv. Talking about Centralized TV Storage! Since Power Pack 3 became available in beta earlier this year, it became even better! With the new PP3 features (I blogged about them earlier this year) it became very easy to ‘backup’ your tv recordings to the Windows Home Server to have them available to all the Media Centers! The Windows Media Center (with the dual head TV card) records all the shows and they can be viewed from any Windows 7 Media Center in the house!

My Issues
Of course the setup described above sounds great I think! Too bad not everything works as you may expect! In the following few paragraphs I will describe the issues I ran into the last few months.

Media Center: TV Guide

When you want to record tv shows a good working TV Guide is one of the major things! I’m not sure how it’s in your country, but in the Netherlands the TV guide sucks from time to time. So it happens that when I want to search for a TV show which will air on Friday (Oct 30th), it’s not available in the TV Guide (see the image below, channel 3 and 23…no data). I just took the screenshot today (Oct 28th), and this happens all the time. I heard some friends talking about the bad EPG’s in their PVR (or hard disk recorder), but if getting a TV Guide right is an issue (it seems to be an issue here in the Netherlands)…solutions like Media Center will never become interesting for the general public, because it’s really difficult to schedule a recording if the show isn’t in the guide! This is the first (major) issue I’m having right now with Media Center.

image

Media Center : Digital TV (DVB-C)
One of the other major issues I (and a lot of peers) are having is official supported availability of DVB-C support in Windows Media Center. Oke..with some workarounds it will work, butnot officially supported by Microsoft and the Cable providers! When do the (Dutch) Cable companies enter the 21st Century and support other recording devices then their own PVR’s (the ones without the possibility to centralize your tv recordings)!

The strange thing is : Ziggo (my own cable provider) has a page on their website where they suggest that Media Center is a perfect solution for all your media. Just click here to watch the video (it’s in Dutch!). They don’t tell you that it’s not possible to (easily) record DVB-C with your Windows Media Center.

Earlier this evening @MartijnBrant mentioned that there is indeed an easy DVB-C Solution to record digital tv on your Windows Media Center : USB Clark Anysee. I’m not sure how (and if) it will work, but hey…it’s not officially supported, so when for example Ziggo is blocking the use of not-CI+ devices…you will have a problem recording your tv shows.

If you ask why they’re not supporting the DVB-C in combination with a Windows Media Center, they’re not very clear. The answers I heard of include they don’t like the ease with which you can record your tv shows and maybe manipulate the scrambled signal? Technically it is possible, but what percentage of their clients will try that? It’s the same as with people who buy original dvd/blu-ray disc’s. They have to watch all the anti-piracy shit, and everybody who is leeching their movies from usenet/torrents (for who the anti-piracy video’s are there) won’t see them….

Media Center : Internet TV and Add-On’s

The third and last issue I’m having with my Windows Media Center is the lack of Internet related TV/Video. When you’re in the USA (or UK), with Windows 7, you can use Internet TVwhich is part of the Media Center (see image), but when you live in the Netherlands (and probably other parts of Europe (or the World) the Internet TV option isn’t available!
02 - TV - Free Streaming Internet TV
Let’s hope that the European Cable companies work together and make Internet TV available in our Media Center. In other words : Let’s hope they will support IPTV in the near future. Ow..it also seems possible to watch IPTV through the XBOX 360 Dashboard, at least…a few years back I’ve seen a video demonstrating IPTV right from the Dashboard!

XBOX 360 : Media Center Extender and Media Connect
Since the last update the new XBOX 360 Dashboard has some nice new features like Facebook and Twitter integration, but the features of the Media Center Extender haven’t been extended over time. One of the things I (and a lot of peers) can use is support for MKV files. A few weeks ago I heard that it is possible to play MKV files via the Media Center Extender, but out-of-the-box it isn’t supported. It would even be better it was possible to play MKV files directly from the Video Library, so you won’t have to run a tool like Transcoder 360 (or some of the other available tools).

Conclusion
If you like to have a central recored tv storage with the possibility to watch your tv show from everywhere in your house the combination of an XBOX 360, Windows 7 Media Center, Windows Home Server and some laptops (with Windows 7 Media Center on it) will give you a great solution!

If you (at least) live in the Netherlands and the only recording device you have is your Media Center you’re not sure if your tv show will be recorded…the TV guide isn’t (entirely) complete most of the time. I heard that this is also an issue with some (or all?) Hard Disk Recorders. Most of the time all the episodes of a serie will be recorded, but if you want to schedule the serie (before the first episode starts) and the guide isn’t entirely up-to-date it can be frustrating that you sometimes can schedule the serie on the first episode..

Overall the setup works great and if Microsoft (and the European media content and cable companies) would ‘fix’ all the issues mentioned above they would make me very happy!

Maybe this will all be fixed in the new version of Windows Home Server which, if my sources are correct, will be released somewhere in 2010 and will contain some of the features that are now available in Media Center….if they don’t forget to add some support for DVB-C (and TV cards with CI+ support)!