Windows Media Center Extender

I installed the new-fangled Windows Media Extender for Xbox today. Very simple. Drop the ‘Media Center for Xbox Disc’ (DVD) into the Xbox, connected to the same network subnet as your MCE 2005. Why should you care? Well, if you don’t have a Media Center PC, no biggie. But the promise here is pretty cool. You can have your home PC hidden in your office, or in a closet somewhere, but access the PC’s recorded TV, live TV, pictures, mp3s, and other applications on your living room PC with no wires. NICE!

Box Contents:

  • Setup Guide for Media Center for Xbox
  • Media Center Extender for Xbox Remote Control
  • Infrared receiver
  • Media Center for Xbox Disc (DVD)
  • Windows Media Center Extender Setup Disc (CD)
  • Networking Poster

    So, get your Xbox connected to your TV, and then on the same wireless or wired network subnet. Plug the infrared receiver into an unused controller port on the front of the Xbox (it’s just like the DVD kit sold by MSFT), and drop the DVD into the tray and boot the Xbox.

    After a few prompts, the Xbox reports a startup code you will need to enter back on your MCE 2005 box. Then fire up the Setup CD in your Media Center, mine being a Qosmio laptop across the room. After a typical Windows application install process of just a few minutes, several EULAs (who reads these?), and numerous progress bars, the installer asks first for the lengthy product key, then the startup code. Reboot the Xbox, and you should be up and running.

    It seems to work quite well – although some buttons and interface elements gracefully degrade to have less animation, etc. to optimize performance over the terminal services connection being used. I found television to look quite good, most third-party apps to function just fine as well. More reports to follow!

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