Windows media centre was exactly how, in my opinion tv on your PC should have been. A nice responsive UI that worked well on the 10ft screen. I loved windows media centre despite trying xbmc and various other “media centers”. Sadly today windows mce becomes obsolete.Microsoft has confirmed that the media software is dead and if a user upgrades to Windows 10, their PC will lose this functionality.

This was revealed at its developer conference in sanfranciso. Microsofts build event is their version of WWDC.

Windows 8 came out with media centre as a £14 add on after the initial period of free but no new features were introduced and it was the same as it was on windows 7,vista and o ly really cosmetic changes from Xp media centre edition.

With cord cutting o ly set to move forward its another move from the Microsoft giant who's mantra seems to be “if it doesn't work cancel it”

Of course you can watch TV with the Xbox one but without half of the features or being able to compress/export recordings.

What makes it worse is those tv card manufacturers still really haven't grasped how to make a decent gui.


The choice to can windows media centre has been a debate amongst myself and colleagues. From my point of view the traditional viewing experience of serial programming, channel surfing with a pleasant user interface experience still has it's place in the living room. Not to mention the advantage for those of us who might be on capped data usage plans.

All of that and without mentioning of being able to skip past adverts, export shows to your iOS device (mce buddy rocks btw) whilst utilising a PC which costs less than a TV or slingbox. For free media centre was worth it even if support laboured, dvb support was slow in being supported and small tv boxes came out.

For the price of free with Xp and then a small charge for windows 7 onwards to get a program of that calibre was a no brainer. Guess it didnt hit the fiscal targets that were set.

My colleagues are on the other side of the coin saying it's surprised that its lasted this long Majoritvely speaking most streaming sticks, boxes, fire tv etc support the majority of streaming platform. Ones that suceed almost always have Netflix and Amazon otherwise it's seen a lacking offerings. Sky also have the lock in syndrome now with their offerings which dont require netflix and amazon as being part of the Murdoch empire, films and most of the USA shows you want to see (game of thrones) on their Now TV package.

Even so with all these boxes having a myriad of apps available for streaming almost any station on any device they all have the same problem. Different user interfaces depending on the broadcaster, for originality, branding and all bringing the stations identity to the app is great but exectutionally wise the experience differs.

Some apps let you type in ABC text mode, some don't, some lag some don't, its an inconsistant experiene per station offering which Windows Media center and other offerings do away with and why I think it has its place still.

I look at Netflix as the old video rentals shop which used to adorn many a towns high street but with some original programming. It's almost worth the price of subscription alone to be able to rid the front room of those vhs tapes of shows that I'll come back and watch again honsetly.

Commercial stations in the UK are plain outright annoying. Nothing is more irksome than watching a 3 minute pre roll of adverts to watch a live station only to hit it square in the middle of an ad break. Even with VOD offerings adverts at still at broadcast length.

As you know commercial stations are allowed to show x minutes of commercials per hour in the most basic sense but why apply the same logic to online offerings? The old mindset of traditional advertsing lingers on..

YouView almost hit the mark, almost but fell foul in a number of ways but thats no fault of their own. Freeview specifications changed, companies merge to offer a more complete package. What does that mean for the user? A channel list of programs you cant watch unless your box supports the internet or you've subscribed to a channel.

Back to media center and windows for me. Windows 10 looks interesting, set to tidy up the mess of Windows 8 and truth be told the temptation to delve into the windows powered tablets is interesting enough for some serious consideration but that does mean going back to the barbaric experience of using my TV as a TV, waiting for programs, adverts to endure and i'm not quite sure a leap forward in technology is worth a step back in viewing pleasure experience.


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