Illustration for article titled FYI: New Media Center Extender Getting H.264 and HDMI

Got some eyes-on time with the upcoming refreshed Media Center Extender v.2 boxes. Here are the features that weren't in the press release that will hopefully keep it from being DOA like the older MCE 2005 extenders and differentiate it from current-gen Xbox 360.
• It is lame, but the Xbox 360 is not slated to get the added codec support.
•The press release said the new boxes will by default reference design get XVid and DivX, but they're also getting H.264!
•The 2005 was a set-top box that didn't do HD out. These likely all have HDMI and 1080p.
•No one wants another set-top box if they can avoid it, so MCE Extender v2 will be built into upcoming and soon to be announced DVD players and TVs. Very cool.
•Oh yeah, wireless N support, for HD of course.
•The UI is identical to the UI on the Xbox 360 Extender software, and has all the visual stylings of the latest MCE. One difference. UI animations aren't as smooth, because of the lack of visual Horsepower that the 360 has. This was denied by some in the booth, but a Microsoft employee and my own eyes confirmed it. But really, it isn't a big deal.


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