DVR Smackdown: Media Center vs Cable Company

The F-Stop Blues: DVR Smackdown: Media Center vs Cable Company Tim Doyle is out with a comparison between his Adelphia cable company freebie DVR and his Media Center PC. The contest? No surprise, Media Center wins.

“While on the surface both Media Center and the Cable Company provide the same DVR functions, Media Center comes out ahead by leaps and bounds.”

Although Tim does think the cable freebie box wins on price.

Media Center is a far more intuitive package and will win out over any cable or satellite provider’s box any day of the week. A huge point missing though is HDTV and while Tim acknowledged that his Adelphia box was capable of recording HDTV, his Media Center box is not capable of recording HDTV cable TV, yet.

I bet if you polled HDTV users and asked them would they give up their HDTV in exchange for a DVR with superior features and functionality you would get over 90% of them who would never do it. Once you have seen HDTV you can’t go back. Although MCE can do HDTV via OTA, most people are not interested in the hassle and want the premium channel HDTV feeds that they already get from their cable or satellite provider. This is the achilles heel of the Media Center PC at the moment, but I suspect you will find in addressed shortly.