Will XBox 360s and Other Media Center Extenders = Lost Revenue for Cable and Satellite Providers?

Infinite Abyss: Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center and TiVo multiple tuner fees Brian Hoyt over at Infinite Abyss has a post out on a question he has about Media Center and extender technology in the near future. Basically Brian wonders if the satellite and cable providers will change their pricing models to reflect the fact that someone could use a Media Center PC in their home and then stream all of their content throughout the house without having to pay the cable or satellite provider for these extra viewing rooms.

At present you have to buy multiple boxes where the providers nickle and dime you for each box.

As far as I’m aware Brian, by using a MCE set up with extender units throughout your home you can in fact avoid these annoying fees for each box. It’s something I’m looking forward to when I finally can get my hands on an XBox 360 someday.

I’d imagine that for us early adopters anyway that you will not see charges for these extra viewing through extenders. If the providers saw large enough adoption of a thin client extender strategy though and saw it as a meaningful threat to their revenue, you never know, they might try to figure something out. Expect to hear me bitching loudly if they ever do try to put some kind of extender tax on our bill.

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  1. Tuig says:

    Yeah my thinking exactly – I’m in Europe and have digital satellite (DVB-S). It’s getting possible now to decrypt TV channels using smartcard/CAM on an MCE device, and view the decrypted channels anywhere with your Xbox 360. Normally you’d need a sat tuner/smart card/subscription combo for each room. The Xbox 360 is more expensive than a sat tuner, but eventually you save by needing only one subscription – and you get a great games device & media client to boot.