HP Media Center Extender Review

Matt Goyer’s Microsoft Windows Media Center Blog – MCE 2005 Matt Goyer blogs on Tim Coyle’s Media Center Extender review. In the review Tim offers his theory on “why the extenders aren’t selling:”

“A lot of people have been talking about the recent research survey stating that the Media Center extender¬?s are not selling well. For me the initial $299 price was way too much seeing how you could purchase the full Media Center operating system for $150. Plus a lot of people have been down on the extenders because they do not have a DVD drive and only support limited video playback formats.”

Matt Goyer ads:

“I double checked this and they were not discontinued because they were not selling well. (Sorry, I can’t disclose why they were discontinued).”

My own theory is why in the heck would anyone else want to be in the extender market when Microsoft is coming out with XBox 360 later this Fall which will be the best priced most superior extender unit on the market? I might be a little pissed if I were HP or another extender manufacturer but what can you do about it?

I know that’s what I’m waiting for. Of course I may also push out an XBox purchase given that it’s not likely to include support for cable or satellite HDTV. But I’d certainly buy this upcoming extender over any other on the market at present.

Seems pretty clear to me. Not sure why Matt can’t disclose this.

Chris Lanier also has a post out covering an analyst take that media center extenders have been “slow to take off.”

Again, let’s put this another way. Why would anyone buy an expensive extender unit today? HDTV sets are getting cheap enough that you can even put a second smaller one in your master bedroom. Why would you buy a crappy extender today that can’t stream HDTV to your new HDTV bedroom TV (is anyone really buying non HDTVs anymore?) when you know that one that can is very shortly due out on the market AND it can play XBox games as well? Of course it still sucks that if you want to watch time shifted Six Feet Under in HDTV that you’ll need to use your TiVo or cable or satellite freebie box as premium HDTV risk seems to be too big a step for Microsoft to take.

2 Replies to “HP Media Center Extender Review”

  1. “is anyone really buying non HDTVs anymore?”

    Yes, quite a few people in the main stream commercial segment. I’m a semi-early adopter; bought an X-Box at the original price point, bought an Extender the day it was available at BestBuy, see movies on opening night, about to purchase a Sonos music system but… I haven’t bought an HDTV.

    Mostly because I refuse to get a dish or pay a premium for HD channels through my cable provider and everything I watch is recorded MCE so an HDTV would just be wasted except for the few times I watch DVD’s. What I really want is an HDTV that displays an SDTV signal at least as good as my old 32″ analog Toshiba.

    Until you don’t have to work for an HDTV signal I think HDTV’s are going to remain in the minority.

    I do happen to agree though that the X-Box 360 really will be the best extender out there.

  2. The Xbox 360 will definitely be the extender to buy in the future – but- it won’t be shipping with a HD DVD drive so you can only stream HDTV via your extender.

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