A tipster also sent EngadgetHD a few screenshots of the upcoming update, which adds a few new features like the ability to use as many TV tuners as you want, and to use a combination of tuner types such as NTSC, ATSC, QAM, CableCARD, DVB-T, PAL, or DVB-S. The update includes additional features for international media center users, such as support for ISDB-T and BML standards in Japan, and DVB-T and DVB-S in Europe.
But when Vista launched, the only media center extender available was the Xbox 360. Now that Linksys, D-Link, and HP have all put extenders on the market, EngadgetHD's Ben Drawbaugh decided to throw three extenders together in a cage match.
So if three enter and only one can leave, who wins and who gets beaten into a bloody pulp? We'll let you click through to the full review to find out. But here are some of the highlights of the battle between the Linskys, D-Link and Xbox 360 extenders:
- Picture and sound quality is pretty decent on all three boxes, but the Xbox 360 does the best job of showing photos
- The Linksys extender boots up way faster than the others
- The Linksys extender is the cheapest, but all three devices cost between $240 and $300
- The Xbox 360 has the noisiest fan and overall operation
- The D-Link and Linksys extenders support several video codecs that the Xbox 360 does not.
- The Xbox 360 plays games, the other extenders don't (unless you count games designed for Windows Media Center)
But word on the street is that Comcast will be expanding its TiVo offering soon. EngadgetHD reports that a Portland, Oregon Comcast customer says two different Comcast cable installers told him that TiVo service would be an option soon, as in this summer.
Keep in mind, you don't get a TiVo box, just TiVo software on your regular Comcast box if you sign up for this service. And you get the privilege of paying $3 extra per month for that software. But if you're tired of staring at Comcast's generic program guide and menu system, $3 might seem like a small price to pay.
It seems Auntie Beeb -- that's the BBC to all of us blokes here in America -- can't make up its mind whether or not to step into the 21st century earlier than planned and go HD. That's according to our colleague Matt Burns over at EngadgetHD, who reports that a decision has yet to be passed down on some ongoing high-definition tests.
The dedicated high-def station currently in trial, BBC HD, is a mixture of programming from all current BBC stations. Fifty percent of its material comes from BBC One, thirty comes from BBC Two, and twenty percent comes from the company's digital networks, Three and Four. The tests seem to be garnering a great deal of support. Yet, it looks like BBC HD's trial service will end in November and not return until the British digital switchover of 2012.
Moneaul are the same folks who brought us the first $1 million jewel-encrusted media center PC, and more recently a sub-$1000 "silent" machine.
The I*magine falls in between with a nice set of specs and an odd design that works vertically or horizontally. If you like your PCs vertical, you can also mount the I*magine on a pole since it likely won't fit in your media center.
The PC packs a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 256MB ATI 2400 PRO graphics card, 2GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI, 5.1 channel audio, and a speaker on each end. There's also a built in flash card reader and a microphone for voice commands. Is it worth the $5000 asking price? Probably not. But we're pretty sure you'll be the only one on your block to stick a PC on a pole if you buy one. And how can you put a value on that?
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