A beta of a new feature for Windows Vista Media Center was announced yesterday at the DigitalLife conference, and I wanted to post a link to it here for folks who haven’t yet heard about it. The feature, known as the Windows Media Center Internet TV Beta, will be available within Windows Vista Media Center on systems in the United States starting this morning, September 28, 2007.
Windows Media Center Internet TV will allow you to stream free ad-supported video content from MSN video on Media Center PCs or on Media Center Extender devices. Types of content that will be available include the following:
- Full episodes of some TV shows
- Full-length music concerts
- Movie trailers
- News and sports clips
The music concerts and movie trailers will be presented in a hi-resolution format, and the team is working on adding more hi-resolution content in the future. You can read more details about this beta and some of the content that will be available for streaming in this press release.
The Windows Media Center Internet TV beta will be automatically downloaded if you opted in to receive CD album art, media information for DVDs and movies and Internet Services during the initial Media Center setup wizard that appeared the first time you launched Media Center on your Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate system. It will appear as a new tile named “internet tv” in the TV + Movies strip on the Windows Vista Media Center start menu after it has been downloaded to your system.
If you did not previously opt in for automatic downloads, you can opt in by doing that sense:
- Launch Windows Vista Media Center
- Go to the Tasks menu, choose Settings, then General, then Automatic Download Options
- Check the box labeled Retrieve CD album art, media information for DVDs and movies, and Internet Services from the Internet
- Click Save to save this change
- If you would like to immediately download available updates, click the Download Now button at the bottom of the Automatic Download Options page – you may be prompted to configure internet settings if you did not do so the first time you launched Media Center
- You will need to restart Media Center after clicking Download Now in order for the Windows Media Center Internet TV beta tile to appear on the start menu
There will also be a public beta site for Windows Media Center Internet TV on the Microsoft Connect site. You will be able to submit bug reports and other feedback about this beta on this site once it is available.