Microsoft, after what has to be more than a year of speculation, finally released some news about the new Media Center Extenders, which allow you to stream music, pictures, video, live and recorded TV from a Media Center PC to set-top boxes all over the house. New devices have been announced from Linksys, D-Link and Niveus Media, incorporating new features like:
- Support for new media formats, including DivX, Xvid, Windows Media Video HD and H.264
- First Extenders (not including Xbox 360) to stream HDTV and in high definition and protected HD content
- HDMI and 1080p to support that HD video
- New wireless networking options, including 802.11n
- The new technology can be built into more than set-top boxes, but also into DVD players and new TVs
- Support for up to four CableCARDs (up from 2)
New Extenders will be demonstrated at CEDIA in Denver over this weekend, as well as at Digital Life in New York at the end of the month.
The Xbox 360 is not getting the new codec support, even though it presumably has the necessary power to do so. Considering all the free features the Sony PlayStation 3 offers that 360 owners have to pay for, you’d think that Microsoft would workt to give owners at least some new codecs.
Engadget says that, because of less processing power, the Extenders don’t perform as well (mostly in terms of interface animations) as the Xbox 360 does. Of course, if the 360 does a better job, why can’t it get more codecs?