Your TV Tech Fix: Media Center Finally Goes Embedded, Could be Your Next DVR

Forget what you thought you knew about Microsoft’s various living room blunders (assuming you knew anything at all) and listen up. Because the company that brought you such ‘winners’ as WebTV and Media Center Extender may have actually got something right.

Just last week, Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing (meaning final code going to print) of Windows Embedded Standard 7, which means OEMs can build customized versions of Windows 7, including the fantastic Windows Media Center, right into TVs, set-top boxes, and other connected media devices.

Translation: Someday soon your TV or set-top could fully integrate with every content source on your Windows 7 PC, including libraries and shares, plus record TV, archive shows on Windows Home Server, share content with other devices, and much more.

Even if you’re not a fan of the typical Media Center look, the end result may look little like Redmond’s vision. According to sources at CE Pro, Microsoft is allowing OEMs to go further down the customization path than usual. The horizontal and vertical navigation scheme is off limits (a good thing I’d say), but the colors, fonts, and other design elements are open for tinkering.

“The same functionality and features from Windows PCs to the world of specialized devices.” Sounds like a dream…

…for a Microsoft home anyway.

Are you excited about the idea of Windows Media Center in a set-top box or built into your TV? Post your thoughts below.

Satisfy your inner geek while fueling your TV addiction… TV Tech Fix is a column by Matt Whitlock, editor of the Consumer Electronics Community (plus several other gadget-focused community websites), and lover of both technology and TV. In this column, he’ll cover a wide variety of tech topics aimed squarely at the TV addicts of the world – from tips and tricks to help you better your TV experience, to gear recommendations, to the impact technology is having on the TV shows we love.

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