Another Fluff piece of no real substance
From Microsofts site.http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/m...tion/top10.aspMedia Center 2004 Top 10 features
Do amazing things
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004¹ is one of the most fully featured versions of Windows you can get for a home PC. Built on Windows XP Professional, it delivers the same power, reliability, networking capabilities, and security features you expect, plus tools that help you do amazing things with digital media. Create, manage, and enjoy your world of digital music and video using Windows Media Player 9 Series. Download Windows Movie Maker 2 and use it to turn your digital video clips into professional-looking movies. Communicate with friends and family in real time using text, voice, or video with Windows Messenger.
Hmmmm kind of like what I already have with OSX and iApps minus the need for "security" patches every week.
Enjoy digital entertainment in a single system
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 gives you easy access to more types of entertainment experiences without the complexity of multiple devices. Media Center PCs are built to deliver the picture and sound quality you expect from a digital entertainment center. With support for adaptive de-interlacing and video scaling, Media Center delivers a smoother, sharper picture on high-resolution progressive scan displays. Support for 5.1 surround sound in Windows Media Player® 9 Series puts you in the middle of breathtaking audio.
"Complexity of multiple devices"? What complexity? Again hyping "Media Center" for features that other OS already have. Marketing BS
Access more entertainment with less effort
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 keeps all your entertainment in one place. Menus and commands are consistent across all digital media and easily navigable using a mouse and keyboard or remote control. Within one unified view, you can browse thumbnail images of your music, photos, and videos to find entertainment easily. While you browse, the Now Playing window can keep your currently playing media selection in view and within reach. Search helps you find TV shows by category or keyword, or music tracks and albums by artist or genre.
I can't see the Interface but personally I don't want my Music managed like my Photos or Videos. The UI should be tailored to the media. Consumers are savvy enough to traverse small UI changes.
Make your living space a home theater
Connect your Media Center PC to a standard or widescreen TV or a high-resolution display, such as a plasma or projection TV, to create a dynamic home theater environment. The TV Setup and Display Calibration wizards help you configure your TV signal, type of display, and video playback quality, so you can get the best possible quality experience. Enhanced 16:9 support lets you toggle between normal, zoom, and stretch video modes to make the most of widescreen displays. Start a movie, get comfortable, and enjoy.
This can already be done. HTPC(Hometheater PCs) offer nice features but what we need to know is what makes using a Media Center PC better than dedicated Hardware? I can't see much.
"Time shift" live TV and radioand never miss a moment
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 puts you in command of all your entertainment choices, including live TV and radio. You can pause, rewind, and skip through live TV and radio as easily as videos or music. When interrupted, just press PAUSE to freeze the broadcast. With live broadcasts in your control, you can even advance recorded TV frame by frame, skip back or ahead by 29 seconds at a time, or replay a priceless moment.
Ahem Tivo, Replay TV. Nuff Said.
Watch your TV shows on your schedule
Have your favorite shows waiting for you, instead of the other way around, by using the Personal Video Recording (PVR) features. Browse up to 14 days of upcoming programming in the Guide, or select category filters to display just the programming you want, such as sports, movies, news, music, or kids. Or you can search by title or keyword to find shows that interest you. Then set recordings of a single episode or an entire series, with or without reruns. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 can also automatically record shows based on keyword or category, title, actor, or director.
See the above answer. Sheesh this didn't need another bullet. Microsoft you're "reaching"
Experience your digital memories with friends and family
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 is a versatile tool for viewing vivid, full-screen images of your digital photographs. You can navigate thumbnail images of photos stored in My Pictures, and zoom in, pan, and print a photo. Or you can insert a digital-imaging storage medium, such as CompactFlash or Secure Digital Cards, and launch a dynamic slide show of your vacation or special event complete with animated transitions and your favorite soundtrack.
Wow...we had this feature for a Decade.
Work and play at the same time
Now you can watch a baseball game, movie, or video while performing other tasks on your PC. Simply resize the Media Center window to view your program or movie while simultaneously working, e-mailing, or surfing the Web. If you are interrupted while watching TV, just click to mute the volume and automatically display closed captions that stream along the bottom of the window.
Geez thanks. That TV and Tivo would have cost me $750 but your $1750 Media Center PC took care of that dilemma.
Put your music at your fingertips
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 and Windows Media Player 9 Series help you build a digital music library or Media Library on your Media Center PC and make it easy to find the music you want. You can copy your CD, including album art and information, to your digital jukebox at the press of a button on the mouse or remote. Specify the file format that best suits your needs, and then optimize for efficient storage or for the highest possible fidelity to your original CD source. With your music collection in one place, use the remote to sort and shuffle by album, artist, song, or genre. You can select from one of 20 Auto Playlists that automatically update depending on your listening habits, or create your own playlists
Connect with movies, music, and moreon demand
The Media Center PC and remote control can connect you to brand-new entertainment experiences. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 connects you with entertainment options available from leading online, on-demand content providers. Rent and watch digital on-demand movies. Find and download new music. Watch movie previews. Play games. Discover a world of entertainment content from the comfort of your favorite chair.
Um no thanks. Netflix is cheaper than your movies will ever be and until you provide more info on just what content I have access to this means nothing.
No I could be overreacting. I could fail to realize just how special Media Center is. However I doubt that. Microsofts approach is one of total Integration. "Use our software, submit to our plan" while Apples idea of Digital Hub is to create an infrastructure. I don't want a PC in my living room controlling my video. I want to tie together disparate products in an easy way(Rendezvous, Wireless) and have them work together. That way I can upgrade component at a time without tearing my whole system down.
Media Center is small potatoes. It's marketing buzzwords like "Digital Media Files" and repackaging photo viewer and Music technology under a new fancy sobriquet.
Microsoft severely overstates how easy it is to hook up components nowadays.
From DVD Burners with HD in them. Receivers integrated with DVD. There are plenty of options for those who want easy hookup.
Tech like HDMI(hdmi.org) will further help connect devices in a simply no muss no fuss manner.
My vote on Media Center is Thumbs Down. It'll take more that a puff piece with no substantive info to convince me that Microsoft has anything special with Media Center.