Roll ’em up roll up the hooty mac, rollem up… Rol ’em up, rollem up rollem up….. — Vanilla Ice
Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005: You can download it here. Note, it would appear that you cannot download it in Firefox, only IE.
“Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 enhances the stability and performance of Media Center 2005. This update fixes several known issues. The update also adds the following new functionality to Media Center:
• This update improves the Media Center Extender experience. Media Center now recognizes when a Microsoft Xbox 360 is connected to the network. Additionally, Media Center now prompts you to install the software components that Media Center must have to support the Media Center Extender functionality of the Xbox 360.
• On U.S. versions of Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, this update provides support for a second Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) tuner card. Media Center now supports up to two ATSC tuner cards and two National Television Systems Committee (NTSC) tuner cards.
• Media Center now supports DVB-T radio where DVB-T radio is broadcast.
• Media Center now includes a configurable optimization option to make sure that your Media Center computer continues to run smoothly.
• Media Center now includes a nonlinear zoom mode for widescreen TVs.
• This update improves the process of burning DVDs in Media Center.”
With an HDTV TiVo with four tuners that I’ve had for over a year (2 high def, 2 standard def) I’m not so impressed that I can now have two HDTV tuners on my Media Center machine. Quite frankly we should have had this a hell of a long time ago. And Media Center is still only OTA HDTV of course.
“The update improves the process of burning DVDs in Media Center.” This could be good. Supposedly we’ve had DVD burning in MCE for quite a while now but I’d never really gotten it to work in the past. I think I probably in the past two years have burned 2 DVDs and tried to burn 25. Perhaps with the update burning DVDs will be less error prone.
I’d probably write some scathing rant except for the fact that we all kind of had a pretty good idea what would be in this thing. See this post for my thoughts.
It looks like we are going to have to wait until Vista to get the really good stuff.
Paul Thurrott has a review which goes through the improvements in detail. It’s as good as anything else you are going to find out there on the update.
At some point very shortly here Microsoft would be wise to: 1. Tell us all that we’ll have premium HDTV in Vista if they really got it (smoke ’em if you got ’em). and 2. Offer a clear upgrade path to both Vista and HDTV for Media Center buyers today. Without a clear upgrade path people are not going to be buying Media Centers as anything other than a cheap add on. It would be wise to offer a free Vista Upgrade to anyone who buys a MCE machine from this point out.
I haven’t seen anything out yet on Akimbo et al as being added to Online Spotlight, but then again this release was supposed to happen tomorrow, not tonight. Perhaps we will hear more on some of the new content providers tomorrow.
Update: Microsoft’s Matt Goyer has some info on some of the new Online Spotlight partners. Still haven’t seen Akimbo or Brightcove come up but Matt hightlights, MTV Overdrive, Digital Interactive Systems Corp., and Game xStream.
Update 2: Jupiter Research’s Joe Wilcox chimes in. “This week, Apple announced new iMacs with the “Front Row” interface, which like Windows Media Center is meant to be accessed at a distance using a remote control. Most of today’s Media Center enhancements don’t competitively affect Apple’s new iMacs, because companies’ entertainment strategies are somewhat different. Apple chose not to support TV/DVR, which is where are the bulk of Windows Media Center’s enhancements.” Also Charlie Owen makes some corrections to Paul Thurrott’s review above.