DVB support (probably just cards with BDA drivers though), clear QAM too? Wow! About freaking time. That's the kind of things XP MCE should've had a long time ago. Now once Windows 7 MCE supports "subscription-based satellite tuners", if they make their menu layout not suck, and also support other formats better (like H.264/AC3 in .mkv), then it might finally be worth using for once. Making this OEM-only though is a bad idea.
But then again, it's still going to need a lot more work, like support for switched digital video (SDV), which is what most cable providers are moving to (clear QAM support is too little too late, and CableCard never really caught on and is quite problematic from what I've seen). And there's no excuse for not using CI modules and smartcards for DVB tuners, the specs aren't that hard to implement (there's even open source implementations of it), and that's features people have had using other apps for many, many years -- again, too little too late (Windows 7 might narrow the gap with DVB apps we've had/been using for nearly 10 years). Also, MythTV has been supporting QAM and even encrypted DVB streams for just about forever, plus, the menu layout doesn't suck, it supports most formats better, it's free, and you can have separate front/back ends and even play what's on other computers as if it was local, it supports more tuners, it can automatically delete TV ads for you, it has a console emulator front-end, etc. Best of all, MythTV doesn't have MCE's DRM. Windows 7 still won't have most of those. So just hope for Windows 8 to finally deliver, or use something else and have those same features today. Even on Windows there's plenty of alternatives to MCE (e.g. SageTV)
It's sad to see that Microsoft has nothing better to offer. They certainly have a lot of great programmers, they have the power/influence/money to make MCE work with almost any device or provider out there, and the payoff would be quite nice (being on every computer in all living rooms). Yet, they're consistently behind on features and everything else. It feels like they're holding off on features just to make us upgrade to the next version, which is still going to suck unfortunately (just wait for the next! this time it'll be good!)
Also, I stopped wishing for MCE remotes to be useful in anything else than MCE itself. Why make a remote that sends WM_KEYPRESS messages that every app will be able to use, when you can make one that sends WM_APPCOMMAND messages instead? I mean, if it was just for special buttons, sure, but when half of the basics stuff uses those... Just try to get one to control all the basic functionality in Winamp an you'll see what I'm saying. Funnily, Windows MCE remotes work a LOT better under Linux than they do in Windows...
This post has been edited by crahak: 10 August 2008 - 02:00 AM