Saturday, August 09, 2008

Windows Media Center TV Pack Announcement

From, Ben Reed, a member of the Product Marketing team for Windows Media Center posts the following about the new Windows Media Center TV Pack:

On July 16th, 2008, Microsoft released an update to the version of Windows Media Center included with Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate to our OEM partners - this update is referred to as the “Windows® Media Center TV Pack”. In order to ensure that users get the best experience possible, this update will only be available from OEMs, as they are best positioned to provide the testing and hardware configurations for a great customer experience. This is due to the fact that in some geographies there are specific technical and hardware requirements for the Windows Media Center TV Pack that are best handled by the OEMs. We are working closely with our OEM partners as they finalize their decisions on Windows Media Center TV Pack products.

The Windows Media Center TV Pack is primarily targeted at adding support for additional international broadcast standards including:

  • Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting – Terrestrial (ISDB-T) Digital television standard for Japan;
  • Digital Video Broadcasting – Satellite (DVB-S) free-to-air satellite standards in Europe;
  • Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial (DVB-T) digital television with improved user experience in Europe;
  • ClearQAM (Unencrypted Digital Cable) in the United States; and,
  • Interactive television with integrated Broadcast Markup Language (BML) in Japan and Multimedia and Hypermedia information coding Expert Group (MHEG) (MHEG5) in Europe.

This version does not include native support for subscription-based satellite tuners or the H.264 video standard. We test many features in beta releases, and optimize our feature set in the final code for the best user experience.

We do want the Windows Media Center community to know that Microsoft will continue to improve upon the Windows Media Center experience for our customers worldwide, by adding content partnerships and enhanced features. We will share these developments as they become available.

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