Windows Media Center is an application that started life in Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) and now comes standard in Windows Vista Home Premium and above (excluding Business and Enterprise).
Basically, you throw a big hard drive (RAID5, anyone?) and a TV-Tuner or two (I have 2 digital tuners, one analog tuner in mine) into a computer and with Windows Media Center you can record all of your favorite TV shows, listen to the radio, listen to your music collection, and more… either through your monitor, or on your big-screen TV. Cool idea. Works pretty well, too.
The most common Extenders for Windows Media Center are Microsoft’s own XBOX consoles (the XBOX original worked with Windows XP’s Media Center Edition, the XBOX360 works with the Vista version; the XBOX original cannot connect to the Vista version, which ticked off most early adopters).
The “old” XP MCE had a few set-top style boxes that worked as Extenders (which don’t work with the Vista version, which ticked off those early adopters). Now, the Vista version of Windows Media Center has Extenders – a few of which are even built into the TV set itself… pretty cool.
I clicked an ad and checked out the new Extenders for Windows Media Center… They have a menu item for “experience,” so I clicked on it.
Hmmm… “Buffering…” for 3 minutes isn’t the experience I was looking for… Maybe MythTV?