Microsoft Windows 8 To Abandon TV Tuners?

Paul Thurrott has a short “preview” of sorts for the next version of Windows – Windows 8.  It seems like Windows 7 has barely been around long enough to get acquainted, but there’s no question Microsoft already has it’s teams working on the next version of their flagship OS.  One thing that might surprise or even disturb some Media Center fans is this little tidbit from the article:

“One of the big trends involves PC-based TV tuner support. Microsoft has been steadily evolving TV tuner support in Windows since the initial XP Media Center release in 2002, but the thinking now is that future “TV” experiences on the PC will be web-based. If this works out as believed, future media PCs will not need TV tuners or the complicated software required to make them work. To this end, Windows 8 will likely be the start of the move away from traditional TV tuners in Windows.”

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10 thoughts on “Microsoft Windows 8 To Abandon TV Tuners?”

  1. I just read that post… very disturbing for all of the Media Center users around the globe! But it all boils down to revenue. Microsoft doesn’t make any profit delivering the daily TV guide updates… and bandwidth costs.

    Might have to consider alternatives. Sage TV, Beyond TV…etc. And pay for guide updates!

    Wow, great news for those folks out there waiting for their Ceton / Silicon Dust Cable Card tuners to ship!

  2. I read the article a bit differently than Brent’s headline. It leads me to believe that Windows 8 won’t drop CableCARD support, but will leave it in maintenance mode instead – aka it’ll still be there, but it won’t get further development efforts.

    For all of Windows’ sins, they’re pretty good about supporting legacy stuff. In other words, if you’re geeky enough (and crazy enough) to use Media Center as your DVR, you’re probably good to go for several more years.

  3. Yeah, I read it as Chucky does. No future enhancements, or limited. Don’t see why they’d need to strip it though…

    TiVo Steve, I wouldn’t bank on BeyondTV – they’ve pretty much conceded the consumer market as far as I can tell. SageTV is probably the best roll-your-own bet today beyond Windows Media Center. (If you can live without CableCARD support.)

  4. There is no BeyondTV to bank on. BTV is over. SageTV, XBMC, Boxee and the others are left to hang in there with Media Center, but the real competition will be from the traditionals like Cable Companies and Satellite companies with their version of “whole home” DVR service as well as the online streaming delivery. I think SageTV has done everything they can to be the best alternative, but who knows what the future holds in the HTPC niche.

  5. I hate to still the alarm bells but you don’t need to change to a different MCE solution, You can just continue using Windows 7 MCE.
    The reason for this is by the time 8 ships most TV content will be IP based so tuners will be old hat, live IP streams is where it will all be at.

  6. “The reason for this is by the time 8 ships most TV content will be IP based”

    You, my friend, are nuts.

  7. Yes Ryan’s comment is true. Cable companies ARE moving at a very slow pace in the industry. IP based TV is STILL a LONG ways away from becoming completely mainstream.

  8. What you should really worry about is MPEG codecs being removed from Windows due to pressure from people like Dolby for pay-per-use fees.

  9. I know the direction is going to internet but there are still some of us in the remote areas that are getting left in the dust cant get cable can get extended dsl don’t want to pay for satellite ( cant see paying for 700 channels of junk} off the airways hdtv using the tv tuner in the corner of the screen was nice. now will have to go back and junk up the area with another screen a tv.

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