Lots of posts recently as people realize that we aren’t going to see cable/satellite HD feeds into MCE machines for a long time — No CableCARD for Windows Media Center until Longhorn (probably), Say It Ain’t So Joe… Why HDTV Support in MCE Won’t Change Until Longhorn Arrives. Not at all shocking, the PC is DRM swiss cheese. Certainly suggests that the closed boxes — TIVO, captive settop boxes — have a long life yet in the home. I bet that you don’t see HDTV support on the PC until you can run a separate OS in a separate VM with hardware-enforced DRM — ie, until you can run a closed hardware/software box inside a PC.
Meanwhile tho, the MCE developer economy continues to grow — here’s a list of plugins you can install. Regardless of HD capability, these boxes make way cool DVD players. As does the XBOX 360. Sure seems to me that the DVD player market will break into two — cheap low-end fixed function players, and then at the high end, people will put in an XBOX, Mac Mini, MCE, or PS3 box.
Another interesting idea is the PocketDish. This seems compelling to me, if I could take all my Tivo or Dish content on the road, without futzing around with a full laptop pc, I’d be interested.
Some interesting thoughts by Mark Pesce on the future of TV — “The idea of an advertising payload attached unobtrusively to the television program has a certain appeal; it can be ignored, but it’s always present. The audience can’t edit it out of the program without destroying the content of the program. Audiences will learn accept them — so long as the advertisements aren’t too busy, distracting, or otherwise obnoxious.” We’ve watched this whole season of Alias via torrent downloads and I would have been happy to get an HD download direct from ABC or my affiliate which had modest advertising content in it.