Microsoft Mediaroom. I love the name. However, what the name conjures up in my mind isn't what the new name is all about. Here's the full marketing description:
Microsoft® Mediaroom™ enables a new, personalized television experience. Consumers can easily find and discover TV, video, movies, and digital media at the touch of a remote control. Live programming and video-on-demand in standard-definition and high-definition formats, digital video recording, MultiView picture-in-picture, music, and photos are presented together with an intuitive on-screen interface. With Microsoft Mediaroom, consumers get the best in TV plus all their media in one place.
Ok, sounds good. When can I get it? For me the answer is never until Verizon's name shows up on the list at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/Customers.mspx.
The piece I thought is missing is gaming. I'd like to subscribe to Microsoft Mediagameroom right now that includes everything mentioned above (the HDTV stuff anyway), plus all of the benefits of Xbox360 and Xbox Live.
I want to subscribe to an all-you-can-eat service for about $100 per month. I want to be able to select any TV program and watch it live or watch it later on demand in full 1080i HDTV glory. You'll notice I didn't say record it. Why should I record it? It's already recorded somewhere. Just deliver it when I want it, to my gaming mediaroom machine.
Until then, I have to settle for the available hacks like everyone else. Your choices today for HDTV when YOU want it are TiVo, Windows Vista OCUR, or your friendly neighborhood telco/cableco HD DVR (assuming you want premium channels). Sorry for digressing.
Anyway, click on the banner above for more information. Be careful though, the Flash site they created sucks all of the performance out of my machine. I'm sure there's a bug that will be fixed later. Maybe they should have used Microsoft Silverlight instead. :?)