As a large screen, entertainment-oriented user interface, Windows Media Center is really good. It is intuitive and it works well from the distance you will probably have in your lounge.
But my first "must have" is an EJECT option in the UI. This new option would actually eject media inserted in an optical drive. Hw innovative!
As described before the Mac mini doesn't have an EJECT button, and neither does the Microsoft Media Center remote control. And there isn't an EJECT option in the Media Center interface either.
Lucky the plugin MyMovies has an EJECT option. But this should be there, just after "Watch DVD".
Next is the content itself. While having a plugin such as Yougle allows you to watch YouTube, MSN Soapbox and Apple Quicktime movie trailers, I realy want movie rental downloads in New Zealand.
And I don't mean something that uses a browser, but an actual Media Center interface (better if the service offers APIs so others can create plugins for other software and devices) that would allow me to browse the catalogue, rent and download the movie directly from Media Center without having to ever see a web browser.
Then comes the infrastructure. People who are fortunate to live in a cable modem serviced area with speeds of 10 Mbps or more or even ADSL2+ should have no problems in downloading a full length movie in just under one hour.
But providers should make sure the servers aren't in Australia or somewhere else.
They should be here in New Zealand for fast delivery. And the ISPs should help fostering this by for example not charging traffic to these specific servers or charging a fraction only as "local traffic" - like TelstraClear used to do in the old days.
Then it's on-line TV. I don't like to have another box for cable TV. I don't want to have a sattelite dish on the roof. I want an all IP solution. Providers, deliver IPTV now and integrate with Media Center. TVNZ, you can enhance TVNZ On Demand to provide this. Make it come to my lounge. I don't want in the browser!
Again, make an API available so that people can develop plugins for other devices or software. And make sure you have XML feeds with your programming guide.
Microsoft could and should help too by creating incentives for local companies to invest in the media industry.
And again Microsoft, where's the damn EJECT button in the remote control?
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