Microsoft launches Windows Media Center Internet TV beta

Microsoft is getting official with its Windows Media Center Internet TV feature, which is set to go live in beta fashion tomorrow morning. According to Microsoft, users of Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate will soon be able to download a simple update that will enable them to "enjoy a range of television and video content on their PCs and TV sets [with a Media Center Extender of some sort] without a TV tuner in their PC."

The streaming content will all be ad-supported "by an advertising platform provided by YuMe," which means that you'll be getting it gratis. The programming reportedly "comes from MSN Video," and just over 100 hours of it will be available when the beta begins. To whet your appetite, a few notables that will be available are "full episodes of TV shows such as 'Arrested Development,' full-length music concerts by artists such as Chris Cornell, Snoop Dogg, Elton John, Pink, John Mayer and the Pussycat Dolls, movie trailers, news segments from MSNBC, and sports clips from FOX Sports."

News source: engadget
Link: Neowin Back Page News Discussion | thanks fu5i0n

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toadeater said,
The advertizing is misleading. This service is not free, it requires proprietary software.

How is it misleading? Vista Home Premium is the edition that comes pre-installed with most PC's, hence they already have Media Center. There is no additional charge for this feature, so it is de facto without cost, therefore free.

How about supporting MCE 2005 users? Great example of how MS does not get the CE space. These boxes are installed by professionals as part of an entire package of features for the home including many features up and above simple PVR use. Based on how negative the response has been towards Vista by VARs who specialize in this field MS sure as H*ll better continue to support and expand on MCE 2005 until a better solution than Vista is available. Vista MCE and more to the point Vista in general has given MCE a real black eye.

The real question is, will the streaming be blocked from recording?

WMC is cool. But I immediately stopped using it due to all my cable on-deman channels pushing out no-copy codes which blocks the record button on WMC.

I now use an older version by Microsoft - Windows Media Encoder, which ignores the no-copy code.

This would have been a perfect candidate for one of those whined at Ultimate Extras, but personally being on Home Premium, I'm not complaining! :)

Hmm, I hope I didn't give them any bad ideas now!

As for Joost, well I think it'll have to be pretty darn bad to be worse than that. :p

But who knows... For a first, what's their plans for international coverage? Have they, unlike Joost, managed to arrange reasonable deals with the media companies as for that?

It sounds like Joost, but I'm optimistic. What I really want in the end is live, streaming tv, and during the commercials, they could put their own ads instead of prerecorded video.

Citrusleak said,
It sounds like Joost, but I'm optimistic. What I really want in the end is live, streaming tv, and during the commercials, they could put their own ads instead of prerecorded video.

yeah that would be pretty sweet. But for now this will due.. Thanx MS

I've watched a few concerts on MSN Video and thought it was pretty nice. Just makes me wonder why MS took so long to get into this. I mean when AOL was still popular they had concerts and all kinds of good stuff all the time and all you heard from the MSN camp were crickets. Glad to see MS doing something with MSN but its still not enough. They still need to do more.