Windows Media High Definition Video

Robert X. Cringely has an interested article where he guesses that the Mac Mini is going to be a device for downloading and watching movies in High Definition (HD), and make it proprietary like the iPod. Sounds pretty cool to me, but I already download and watch HD stuff on my PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition. So far, I have only watched the sample HD videos from the Windows Media High Definition Video (WMV HD) site and a few others from the site, but that's mainly because I don't watch much TV.  

What would make a Mac Mini that is seen as an HD movie device cooler than my Windows PC that can also play music, photos, TV, DVDs, plus everything else that a Windows PC can do? Keep in mind that it is pretty cool that I can have a variety of PlaysForSure devices to easily sync my digital content, including the very cool Portable Media Centers. So the Mac Mini would be competing with that, which to me, is already pretty impressive.

Is it the slick look of the Mac Mini that would make Cringely’s proposed HD Movie device so cool? I'm curious.

And yes, this is only my opinion, I don't work on Windows or any of the Media-related products.   

Comments (1)
  1. Mark Smith says:

    I’ve tried HD video playback on the Mac Mini and it does struggle .. I took a CD with some HD DiVX’s and some WMV HD files I downloaded (from and the High Definition samples from MS), loaded all the relevant software onto the Mac (nice helpful shop keeper) and had a play …

    The 720p DiVX’s were just about OK on the Mac Mini (1.42Ghz and 256Mb) more RAM might make an improvement, the 720p WMV was a slide show .. the 1080i WMV was a slow slideshow 🙁

    Interestingly the Dual 2.5Ghz G5 PowerMac with 2Gb and an Nvidia Gefore 6800 connected to a 30" Cinema Display was also a slideshow when running the WMV videos .. makes me think that MS haven’t made use of the graphics GPU to offload colour space conversions etc and are using pure CPU grunt to do the decoding … or just REALLY sloppy programming with no optimising.



Comments are closed.

Skip to main content