Remember when Microsoft and DirecTV announced that they were developing tuner modules and the associated software that would allow vendors to sell Vista-based Media Center PCs with built-in DirecTV support? No? Well, I can’t blame you, since it was at CES 2006, nearly two years ago now. Since then there have been very few additional mentions of the development. Even at CES 2007, both parties were mum about the project. It seemed that it, like so many other CES announcements, had simply died a quiet death.
Well, CES 2008 is just a couple of weeks away, so we may hear something this time around. But Chris Lanier has some interesting info in his blog. He spotted a job posting which indicates Microsoft is still working on satellite TV support in Vista:
We are delivering next generation TV Tuners designed to deliver Premium TV experiences from world class Satellite TV network operators into the Media Center Edition PC. TV Experiences such as PPV, H.264 HD, in-band guide loading, all on newly developed dual-tuner TV receiver devices makes this job exciting and fast moving.
DirecTV isn’t mentioned by name, and the technologies listed apply equally to DirecTV and DISH Network, as well as other DBS providers outside the US, but it does provide some hope. He also found a second job posting which indicates the satellite TV support will not be confined to the US:
Working with Satellite TV providers, both in U.S. and Europe, you will help deliver native Satellite TV tuners allowing native content to flow directly into Media Center, opening up HDTV and NetOp experiences/services directly into the PC.
So it seems the project, at least satellite TV support in Vista Media Center in general, isn’t dead just yet. It remains to be seen if Microsoft and DirecTV are still actively engaged, or if this is just a platform development by Microsoft that would allow such support in Vista. In any case, it certainly has taken a while since the initial announcement, which made it sound like it would be seen in the then near future.
Picked up from EngadgetHD.