My house is unlike many houses in America. You see, I have a Dell XPS 420 with two Digital Cable Tuners. It is the only device that is currently receiving cable signals. The two TVs in our house use Xbox 360s as Media Center Extenders, and for the most part, the experience is light-years ahead of the standard DVR. All in all, I’m very happy with the setup.
So I was rather surprised to wake up this morning unable to use WMC on my Xbox 360s. The reason? Xbox Live is down for maintenance. I find this completely unacceptable, especially in the wake of the news that other 3rd party Extenders are being taken off the market. I shouldn’t need a connection to the Internet to watch content on my local network. Any technical reason you have for it is completely fabricated and unnecessary. There is no reason why you can’t create a web service to handle the Extender authorization through the Media Center, if such a thing is required.
And while you’re at it, Microsoft, please remove the requirement that I need to be connected to Xbox Live to watch MP4/DivX/XviD content. That is extremely annoying.
UPDATE: This issue is apparently only limited to Windows 7, which makes even less sense than before. What gives?
UPDATE2: A source at Microsoft tells me it's Windows 7 beta related, and that there are "good, consumer-benefiting reasons" for the tethering. There is no workaround for Microsoft employees, and my source's family had the same lockout as today as well. It's a good thing I still had my old HP Extender.