Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger Scoble has an excellent post out answering Doc Searls on the roll of the PC in televsion. Obviously as anyone who reads my blog knows I would have to resoundly agree with Scoble. The PC has a huge role to play with television. PCs essentially add power and features to television. Microsoft’s Media Center Edition is a computer, TiVo is essentially a linux based computer. These two computers have revolutionilized the way that people watch television.
Scoble, you really should get a Media Center PC. They are amazing. Although you will get better “tv” through your new Comcast high def box, the Media Center PC will allow you to record additional non HDTV content (hook up an external 250 gig Maxtor to the unit and you’ve got at least 80 hours), it will allow you portability of your television (you can transfer your favorite shows from your MCE machine to your tablet PC for your flights down to San Francisco), and my favorite use, which is using it to manage your music and photos, your “coffee table.”
Imagine this, prior to your guests arriving for the cheesiest 40th birthday party of all time you do a quick search for each of their last names on your hard drive. You quickly copy the corresponding .jpgs and dump them into a folder called “Birthday Guests.” You then have MCE play a random slide show in the background of all of these photos of your guests while they are at your party. People would love it and equally as significant you would have evangelized MCE to 20 new people or so — and probably 20 very technically literate people who are prime candidates to purchase an MCE machine.
In terms of the music playing in the background on the unit during your party, you might want to leave that to Maryam. It sounds like she may be more up with what the kids are all listening to these days. Then again, it’s you birthday and if you want something other than No Doubt it should be your call.
Speaking of the “Car PC”. The killer app for this will be the car stereo that WMP 10 (or WMP 11 beta) sees as a wireless “portable device.” Did you know that WMP 10 has already been downloaded 90 million times! With this feature you would be able to transfer playlists, albums, etc. from your home PC to the car. You should also be able to transfer television for your in car video system. Step one, record Dora the Explorer on PBS Kids, step two, transfer it wirelessly to your car video unit, three, your kids are watching it in the backseat on the way up to Tahoe. This is something that Microsoft should definitely be working on.
The remote scheduling PVR stuff is already available in beta with MCE you could be using that now.
Although the convenience of your tablet PC might make things like on screen NewsGator RSS and some of the other features unnecessary at the present there is much more exploring possible with other features of the MCE machine.
Your final question, “What will it take to get the mainstream to want a PC on their HDTV screen?” I’m afraid the answer to this one is not there yet with regards to MCE, it’s satellite and cable HDTV record capibility. Perhaps with the CableCard we will finally see this with MCE shortly. If so they should announce this and an upgrade path to encourage people to buy the MCE machines today.
So my follow up question is, when are you hooking yours up and when do we get to hear more about the experience?