Windows Media Center – W7MC

I currently use Vista’s Windows Media Center (aka VMC) product to fulfill all my in-home (and outside, actually) entertainment desires.  I am running VMC on a central server with 4 tuners (two HD tuners and 2 normal cable tuners).  I have 3 media center extenders throughout the house.  This setup allows us to watch movies, home videos, TV and a handful of other media.  I can also listen to my entire music collection, shoutcast, or even tune into the local radio stations (or radio stations far away, for that matter).

VMC has its share of shortcomings, no doubt.  My biggest complaint is the incorporation of the cable-card devices.  I need premium HD channels and you need specific hardware to make this work. Honestly, this is more of a hardware issue than VMC.  Only a few hardware manufacturers are providing compatible cable-card readers.  I believe there is some Microsoft partnership related issue too.

Either way, I must stay that I’m pretty excited about the upcoming Windows 7 Media Center release.  I believe it is being dubbed W7MC (that sure doesn’t roll off of the tongue easily).  Check out the following link for a preview of the upcoming release.  I believe it is scheduled for public this summer.

Other exciting news: I believe some new cable-card HTPC (Home Thearte Personal Computers) will be unvailed in the coming weeks.

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