Windows Media Center

OK, so I stumbled across this thing called “Windows Media Center”. I thought, this looks neat! So I can play music and videos on my 360 from my PC. Sweet!

So I hooked up it and it does actually seem to work. Hooray!

Then it told me that my network throughput was abysmal and therefore I wouldn’t have the best experience. Um, everything else uses this network with no complaints so I’m going to go ahead and ignore you. No offense.

Anyway, I then saw this thing called “Internet TV” that offers up old series via Windows Media Center. Visions of canceling my DirecTV danced through my head as I thought of Hulu and other services like that.

One thing … I don’t have the option for Internet TV when I go into the extender on my 360. Why not? What’s the point of having stuff that’s only available on the PC?

The extender on the Xbox 360 can only play content that the 360 itself can play and that doesn’t include ‘internet TV’, unfortunately.

Windows Media Center is indeed awesome and it is utterly baffling to me that MS haven’t spun it off into a thing on its own the way Apple essentially did with Front Row and Apple TV.

I don’t get that though … if the PC can do it, can it not just stream that content to the console? Stupid, stupid decision…

Media Center extenders are basically gussied-up RDP for the UI, but the content is streamed directly to the extender box, so if the extender box can’t play the video, there you are.

Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t licensing/blocking issues with some of the web video stuff, the way that Hulu won’t play on media center devices even if they’re totally capable of it.

Ugh. So lame. Could have been awesome…

Yes, back around… 2005?.. I was convinced that Media Center and PlaysForSure and all of Microsoft’s partners with those things were going to lead it to become a juggernaut of home media stuff. And then CableCard destroyed the HTPC market (which is starting to rebound now that traditional cable is less relevant), and Microsoft did that whole Zune thing, and at this point, it looks like a bunch of proprietary apps (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon VOD) running on miscellaneous platforms (PS3, Xbox, TVs, Tivo, receivers, Blu-ray players) are the big winners.

Agreed, there are lots of tech that’s crippled just because of stupid licensing issues. There was something that I used to be able to play on the PS3 browser (Hulu and network website maybe?) that was blocked for some silly reason. Now I just connect my laptop to get around it. Really though why is that blocked, so I don’t watch this content on a TV instead of a computer monitor… they’re pretty much the same damn thing now!

My main source of rage is that I told my wife about Internet TV before I actually tried to view it on the 360 (I logically assumed it would work). I told her the first season of The Love Boat was on there. She insisted that we watch the first episode. We sat down and met with failure. So god damned lame…

Windows Media Center’s program guide hasn’t been working for me for the past month or two. (Windows 7) Is it still working for everyone else? Or is the Microsoft’s subtle way of encouraging me to upgrade to Windows 10?

MS switched TV listing providers a few months ago. You have to go through TV setup again.

So the TV Channel scan you mean? I’m doing that now. Fingers crossed.

Edit: Yay! That worked. Thanks Gordon.

And don’t upgrade to Windows 10, since it completely removes WMC forevermore.

That is true. They stopped supporting it years ago. Very few people are interested in it sadly.

There actually is a hack to get WMC fully functional in win10, but it’s nothing I would want to rely on as my primary source of entertainment.