Microsoft Presides Over Linksys, D-Link and Niveus Media Center Unveilings, Debuts Internet TV BetaS

Later today at DigitalLife, Microsoft's Windows Media Center chief Joe Belfiore will demo the new Media Center Extenders you're just now hearing about, including the Linksys DMA2200 and DMA2100, and the D-Link DSM-750 MediaLounge Media Player. Another one he'll show off is the Niveus Media Extender, which we'll cover in more depth tomorrow.

Microsoft will also introduce a new Internet TV service for all Vista Home Premium and Ultimate users: starting this Friday, those customers will find the option in their Media Center interface, and can use it to get a range of video programming without the need for a TV tuner. Check out more details on that and the MCEs in the press release below:

Microsoft Unveils Extenders for Windows Media Center and Internet TV Beta - Connected Entertainment Comes Home for the Holidays New devices from Cisco's Linksys division, D-Link and Niveus Media deliver new video formats, form factors and HD TV over wireless home networks; Internet TV Beta debuts with more than one hundred hours of free full-screen video

NEW YORK — Sept. 27, 2007, 12:01 AM EST — Today at DigitalLife, Microsoft joined initial launch partners in revealing highly anticipated details on new Extenders for Windows® Media Center. These devices, which are expected to be available for purchase this holiday season, will allow easy access to premium cable, high-definition TV, popular video formats including DiVX, music, paid movies, photos and more from any TV in the house, with a wired or wireless network connection. People can even pause a recorded show in one room, and then resume it from the same moment in another room. Adding to the wealth of content available on Windows Vista Media Center PCs, Microsoft launched a beta test of Windows Media Center Internet TV, which will offer more than one hundred hours of ad-supported entertainment from MSN Video, including full-length shows, music concerts and movie trailers.

"These new extenders bring the Media Center experience on a Windows Vista PC to any TV around the house in full HD over a standard wired or wireless home network connection," said Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, eHome division at Microsoft. "We are excited to show consumers how easily they can enjoy their digital lifestyle around their house with any of the new sleek looking and quiet Extenders from our launch partners."

New devices build a wireless entertainment bridge throughout the home

The Cisco/Linksys DMA2200 Digital Media Center Extender with DVD Player is an elegant solution integrating an upscaling DVD/ CD player with wireless Extender for Windows Media Center in a single box, letting people reduce clutter while still having easy access to their HD television content with 5.1 audio, using just one remote control. Linksys will also offer the DMA2100 Digital Media Center Extender, which delivers all the appealing features of Extender for Windows Media Center in a compact wireless device. Both products support dual-band draft Wireless-N networking for high quality video and the utmost in convenience. Both devices will support WMV, DivX and XVid formats and are expected to be available for consumers in the US before the end of the year. Pricing has not yet been announced.

The D-Link DSM-750® MediaLounge® Media Player is housed in a sleek 17-inch black aluminum chassis, and connects to the home network using Ethernet or dual-band draft Wireless-N networking to make it easy to enjoy the Windows Media Center experience with friends and family on a home entertainment center. The player will support WMV, DivX, and XVid formats and the DSM-750 includes a USB 2.0 port for instant access to music, photos and videos stored on removable USB flash drives or hard drives.

Designed for the high-end home theater enthusiast, the Niveus Media Extender offers a high fidelity experience, uncompromised 1080p video, digital audio, and the same amazing 3D user interface found on the award-winning Niveus Media Center. Additionally, the Niveus Media Extender features the proprietary Niveus Glacier™ Passive Cooling system for cool and quiet performance and a sleek and stylish A/V form-factor.

Windows Media Center Internet TV Beta Launches

On Friday morning, September 28, 2007, United States users of Windows Vista Home Premium Edition and Windows Vista Ultimate Edition will find a new feature inside Media Center - the beta release of Internet TV. This new feature will allow people to enjoy a range of television and video content on their PCs and TV sets, without the need of a TV tuner in their PC. This streaming video content will be supported by advertising technology provided by YuMe Networks, and will be available to viewers for free.*

The content available in Internet TV comes from MSN Video, with more than 100 hours available during the beta period, including:

· Full episodes of TV shows such as the critically acclaimed "Arrested Development."

· Full-length music concerts including Chris Cornell, Snoop Dogg, Elton John, Pink, John Mayer, The Pussycat Dolls and many more.

· High quality movie trailers from major movie studios

· The latest news segments from MSNBC

· Sports clips from FOX Sports Television

Internet TV has been designed for both the TV and PC screen, and features high quality video optimized for broadband streaming. Viewers can enjoy these high quality videos on Media Center Extender devices, including Xbox 360, as well as Windows Vista Media Center PCs.

Extend Your Digital Entertainment to the Whole Home

Watching a recorded TV show in the living room, pausing it, and then quickly resuming it from the bedroom or kitchen will soon become even easier with these new low-heat, quiet, home-theater designed devices. Extenders for Windows Media Center support streaming live high-definition TV, including premium cable channels in the US, along with formats such as Windows Media HD. The D-Link and Linksys devices add built-in support for dual band Wireless-N networking and expanded support for popular video formats such as DivX, XVid and H.264. These devices allow people to almost instantly start enjoying their entertainment - there's no need for a built-in hard-drive to cache the video before viewing.

New Extender devices are expected to be available this holiday season, and will unleash photos, music, videos, live and recorded TV from PCs with Windows Vista Media Center for viewing and listening on big-screen TV displays or standard definition TVs - delivering the ultimate entertainment solution with a wide range of flexibility - ready for today and the future.

These Extenders will lead the industry in supporting the ability to send protected HD content to additional rooms, including recorded TV from over-the-air Advanced Television Systems Committee or Digital Cable Tuners. Extenders also support on-demand broadband content from Media Center Online Media partners such as up-to-date sports reports from FOXSports.com, kids programming from Nickelodeon, downloadable TV episodes from Showtime Networks, and subscription movies on demand from Starz VONGO, along with support for a wealth of 3rd-party plug-in applications.

More information on new Extenders for Windows Media Center is available at http://www.windowsvista.com/extender