Microsoft Announces Windows Media Center Internet TV Beta
( Dailytech ) - Microsoft today launches a beta of its Windows Media Center Internet TV platform. Microsoft's Internet TV initiative was first hyped for the Xbox 360 platform, but it will first show up on Windows Vista machines.
Owners of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate will be able to access free ad-supported TV content without the need for a hardware TV tuner. Over 100 hours of programming will initially be available during the beta phase including episodes of "Arrested Development" along with music concerts by John Mayer and Snoop Dogg.
Vista users will also have access to news clips from MSNBC and sports highlights from FOX Sports.
Owners of Microsoft's Xbox 360 will be happy to know that their consoles can be used as Windows Media Extenders to view the same content available on Windows Vista.
Microsoft also announced that Linksys, D-Link and HP Windows Media Center Extenders would be capable of streaming Internet TV content to high-definition TVs.
Linksys' Media Center Extender DMA2100 is priced at $299, D-Link's DSM-750 MediaLounge HD Media Center Extender is priced at $349 and HP's 42" and 47" MediaSmart LCD HDTVs already incoporate Windows Media Center technology.
"We are excited to reveal the first series of totally quiet, cool, and sleek-looking Media Center Extender devices, designed to deliver the ultimate entertainment experience to every TV set in your home," said Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Entertainment and Devices eHome Division.
"These products are the initial third-party devices that can wirelessly connect a TV with a PC, with features including live high-definition TV, PVR, movies, pictures, music and online services. In addition, the Internet TV beta allows Windows Media Center as well as Extender users to enjoy free high- quality television from some of their favorite studios and networks in Media Center, directly over the Internet."