Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Xbox 360 WMC Coupled to Xbox Live: Beta Woes

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.

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Comments

  • Rick Huizinga said:

    Another blog posted that this limitation only applies to WMC on Windows 7 and does not affect Windows Vista.

    I can confirm this using a similar CableCard setup running on Windows Vista as I was able to launch WMC on XBox 360 extender this morning to watch live TV.

    If this is not fixed, I cannot upgrade to Windows 7 when it becomes available as this is my only method to watch TV in my house.

    June 16, 2009 2:05 PM
  • Wow. That is even more BS than I thought. Do you know which blog posted that?

    June 16, 2009 2:09 PM
  • James said:

    It's a hard life, isn't it, with your multiple Xboxes? ;P

    June 16, 2009 3:10 PM
  • Ian Dixon said:

    This is a Windows 7 beta/RC issue and will not be an issue in the release version of Windows 7. I have got so used to how well Windows 7 is working its easy to forget its a pre-release

    June 16, 2009 4:26 PM
  • Viran Patel said:

    Just to reiterate Ians comment above, 'e' from the Xbox Live Operations created a post about this one the Xbox Live Operations

    Blog blogs.msdn.com/.../trying-to-use-your-xbox-360-as-a-windows-7-media-center-extender-right-now.aspx

    June 16, 2009 5:42 PM
  • Adrian said:

    Its Microsoft, they own you.  You don't buy things from Microsoft, you pay them money for the privilege or using it until they decide to charge you more or stop the service.  Required to connect to their service in order to play your own media on your own system, you should be bowing down and praising them that they let you.

    June 16, 2009 6:39 PM
  • bernard said:

    This is where having a backup dual-boot Vista pays off.

    June 16, 2009 11:24 PM
  • Dave H said:

    Didn't take the spam bots long to find this post did it?

    Anyway, I agree the 360 is an awesome extender (and may be our only choice shortly). A little noisy, but a great extender none-the-less. Hopefully this will actually be corrected in RTM.

    July 24, 2009 2:23 AM
  • Rick Huizinga said:

    Now that Windows 7 has gone RTM, has anyone confirmed this problem has been fixed?

    August 23, 2009 3:25 PM