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Friday, April 06, 2007 

HP Drops its Flagship Media Center Line

CEPro is reporting that HP is pulling out of the media center business and will no longer sell living room friendly form factor PCs with MCE. The company that pioneered the living-room form factor for Media Center Edition (MCE) PCs has decided to drop the line. I am sure you can guess the reason, the product must have virtually no demand in the market.

The company instead will focus its energy on MediaSmart, the new brand of TVs, mobile devices and media servers - this is not Microsoft Media Center Extenders, but HP's own implementation of the UPnP A/V and DLNA standards.

This, in my opinion, is a reflection of MCE failure to serve its purpose. Sure, Microsoft is selling millions of copies, but are they being used as media centers? Are they installed in living rooms? The answer is now clear, definitely not - therwise HP would not abandon this market.

Bring on latest and greatest UPnP Hi-Def players with ideally LCD Wi-Fi control devices to connect/control any consumers Hi-Fi and Video equipment.

Anyone any idea on companies who are really interested in further developing this end of the UPnP/DLNA Media Player market?
(Please don't point me in the direction of fly by night's)

I personally would love to purchase such a well developed combination as it would also free me to continue to upgrade as I need, any PC and network device with an Operating System and software that is best suited to my overall and specific usage pattern.
i.e. Use of TVersity ;-)

TVersity is now my central media server of choice, where I would like to see it running natively on an alternative OS platform such as Linux Ubuntu.

The problem with HP's media center PC is that it was too expensive and too unreliable. I don't blame HP for getting out of this..

- a media center PC driving an Xbox 360 extender is way better (more stable) and and way less expensive, and it does HD TV, HD movies, etc.
- microsoft is getting extender put in lots of devices besides the xbox, so why would they try to sell PCs for $2000 in the living room?
- other companies have nicer and cheaper living room PCs anyway. (eg., shuttle)

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