Microsoft to launch Extenders for Windows Media Center

At the CEDIA EXPO, Microsoft has announced it is revamping its Media Center Extenders concept - this time round for Windows Vista.

The new Extenders for Windows Media Center platform will come to consumers in the form of hardware from, initially, Cisco's Linksys division, D-Link and Niveus Media.

The new Extender devices will be unveiled later this month in a variety of form factors and price points, and will allow consumers to "unleash the pictures, music, video content and live TV" but only if they have a PC running either Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate.

The Extenders will be available as both stand-alone set-top boxes and integration with other devices such as DVD players and televisions.

Support for Wireless N technology means the format will be freed up to work wirelessly while there will be expanded support for audio and video formats such as DivX and Xvid, as well as Windows Media Video HD files.

"With more than 60 million Windows Vista Media Center PCs in use worldwide, there are many customers eager to bring the simple and elegant Media Center experience to the televisions in their homes", said Dave Alles, general manager for eHome at Microsoft.

"The new Extenders for Windows Media Center make it easy to get a wide range of personal and Internet content not only on someone’s main TV but on all the TVs in the house. Whether it’s a high-def show recorded from digital cable, new Internet video, or your personal library of pictures, music and videos, it’s all on your television — just a remote-click away."


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