The F-Stop Blues: Site Feed of the Day: Peter Near Tim Coyle is back this morning with his continuing coverage of Media Center bloggers and this time interviews Microsoft MVP Peter Near.
Although Peter is very complementary of Microsoft and the Media Center product, he does bring up one thing that bugs me as well.
“I hope that by now you can tell that I’m deeply passionate about this technology and its promise, and to recognize its true potential there are some very fundamental things that need to change. Most importantly, Microsoft needs to eliminate product confusion about what people are buying and make sure it’s a complete package. If MCE is dependent on video decoder, then it should just be there in the box and it should work and be supported by Microsoft. If MCE claims to be able to burn video DVDs, then it should just be there in the box and it should work and be supported by Microsoft. Sadly, this is not the case and Microsoft needs to fix these things before adding any features. The core enabling technology *cannot *be third-party.”
I have long felt that words like codecs and decoders and DivX, etc. do not belong in the end user consumer experience with regards to Media Center. These are foreign terms and concepts to the mass market. They cause confusion and a bad aftermarket experience, especially when combined with the idiotic embarrasing excuse for technical support that you receive from most OEMs.
Yes, I’m aware that decoders cost money. Real hard dollar money. Build it in to the pricing on the product and have ongoing continual support from day one. It is terribly frustrating as an end user to have technical issues with Media Center because, let’s say, you can’t burn to DVD because you don’t have some Sonic encoder in your upgrade. Microsoft needs to work out deals with third parties and include all necessary technology in a system and it’s upgrades even if, yes, it means increasing the cost of the box.