Chris Lanier has an interesting post on the problem Media Center is going to have with HD content now HD-DVD looks in trouble. Read Chris’ post for the details but it boils down to the fact that Microsoft has betted on HD-DVD and will not want to write support for Bluray and it’s Java interactivity layer. Chris is talking about native support and not 3rd party addins. I saw ArcSoft TotalMedia solution at CES and it was almost seamless (see this video) but it’s not going to work on an Extender. Chris thinks that streaming HD-DVD may have been built in to the next version of Media Center and that could be wasted effort now
The other problem is with the Xbox 360. To get proper Bluray interactive support on the 360 Microsoft would have to write a Java machine for the Xbox which I can’t see them being very keen on. This makes the Xbox Live Video downloads critical in Microsoft’s plans, and it demonstrates that there needs to be an equivalent service for Media Center. I would love a service where I can download movies via Media Center to my server and watch them from any of my Extenders. The Xbox live service is nice but I want to use Media Center to access it.
Read Chris’ post (I can’t seem to get on to his blog at the moment)