Discussing DVD Streaming with Media Center

July 17, 2008

Ian Dixon locks on to Charlie Owen (of the Media Center team)’s new post discussing DVD Streaming from a Media Center PC to Media Center Extenders such as Xbox360.  Many have lamented the fact that the same theatrical releases are available in streamed from via PPV, Amazon, NetFlix, iTunes, Xbox Live, PS3 and others, but if you own a physical copy, you cannot stream it around your home.  The same holds true of personal DVDs you burn but in that case, most enthusiasts can rip the DVD (legally) and keep it on our HDDs in a matter of minutes.

While Charlie’s post (and mine) should not be interpreted as insight into future features in Windows Media Center and do not represent any formal position of the Media Center team, Charlie outlines a number of speed bumps to delivering a comprehensive DVD streaming solution.  The legal issues alone would make this highly prohibitive at a time when the industry is moving to direct digital (vs. physical-digital) distribution.  Is it a niche feature?  Depends on your perspective.  Personally I’d like to see the MCE team first address codec support issues (my Vista MCE still can’t stream home movies captured on a Canon Powershot to my Media Center Extender but can playback fine on the PC).

Lots of discussion happening on this on Charlie’s blog.  Feel free to post your thoughts over there.