Microsoft confirm only the Xbox 360 will work as a Media Center Extender with Windows 8

Microsoft confirm only the Xbox 360 will work as a Media Center Extender with Windows 8

The old Linksys Extender

Just before Christmas Microsoft quietly posted a KB article about Windows Media Center Extender support for Windows 8. I forgot to post about it at the time but chatting with some fellow MVPs this week at CES I thought it would be worth doing a post on.

In the KB article Microsoft confirmed that the only Windows Media Center Extender that will work with Windows 8 is the Xbox 360 and 3rd party devices from HP, Linksys and Netgear will not work and neither will the new Ceton Echo. Microsoft’s stance is pretty clear, if you want to use one of the 3rd party extenders don’t upgrade to Windows 8 and don’t expect an update in the future that could fix the issue.

UPDATE: I should say a 3rd party like Ceton (who are very clever guys) could find a work around for their Extender so all is not lost but we will have to wait and see.

Here are the details from the post:

This article applies to the following:

  • Windows 8 upgraded with Windows 8 Pro Pack
  • Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center Pack

An extender for a Windows Media Center PC is a standalone device that connects to your network and TV display. By connecting an extender to a wired or wireless home network, you can operate your Windows Media Center PC and stream media from Windows Media Center to your extender and TV. Microsoft Xbox 360 is the only extender that is supported in Windows 8 Media Center PC. Third-party extenders that work with earlier versions of Windows won’t work with Windows 8.

Windows 8 introduced a number of significant infrastructure changes on which extenders for Windows Media Center relied. These include changes to the RDP protocol. Because of these necessary changes, extender devices that were designed for Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 cannot connect to Windows 8 Media Center PCs. These devices should still work with earlier versions of Windows.

If you have Windows 8 upgraded with Windows 8 Pro Pack or Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center Pack, you can use an Xbox 360 console as an extender for Windows Media Center. 

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