Originally Posted by wildrock
.... This sort of post tells me exactly why MCE has failed, and will continue to fail in the open marketplace.....
Hm, if you think MCE has failed, then I am curious what you think of Front Row, and all the rest of the OS X HTPC "solutions."
MCE is the most successful, and the most widely used, by far, implementation of a HTPC front-end. Whether you like it or not. For God's sake, take a look at the two platforms' forums: we barely have 5 posts a day here, all from the same three people.
rant - To boot, we now ban discussion of non-Apple OSs running on Apple hardware. Crazy, if you ask me. Because people who like Apple's hardware for HTPC, like the Mini or the iMac, but wish to run a more polished and complete front-end, have no place to go. If they try to ask a question about Apple hardware in the Windows forum, they get abused by the same zealot types that exist here. So without a place to get answers, if they are just exploring the water, but have not yet jumped, they may just end up with a Dell.
Face it, using Apple hardware with a non-Apple front-end can be a significant source or revenue for Apple, increases Apple's sales and market share, and at least gives a taste of OS X to people who would not otherwise be exposed to it or consider it. - end of rant.
As far as "too many options" being a problem, you sound like an old Soviet aparatchic arguing against the evils of the free market. Plus, most of the options available for MCE are not from MS, but from third parties, who develop plug-ins and provide content.
Are you seriously arguing that you would be happier having only Apple bringing content to your TV, instead of having the choice of several providers, who offer different and more diverse content, and compete for your $$?!
Or are you really telling me, that you DON'T WANT to have the choice of streaming DVDs from Netflix?! Even if it is effectively "free"?!!
Those who argue that MCE is more complex than, say Front Row, have never really used MCE. MCE is actually simpler to use, because one does not have to dig as deep in menus to find particular content. Not only are the menus not as deep, but there are direct access buttons for the main areas, such as Music, Movies, Photos, etc.. Very, very simple, really.
(Funny enough, I just left a 50-something out of town visitor at home, and she is perfectly comfortable with MCE. She had never even heard of MCE before, but all I had to do is hand her the universal remote, and show her that she should press "Watch TV" to watch Dish, or "Watch Movies" to watch my ripped DVD collection, or "Watch Videos" to watch my ripped TV series collection, etc.. It really takes only ONE button push on the remote!)
I love Apple (yes, Further, I run a business which uses Macs exclusively, so I do buy and have a lot of them.) I still like the current Apple OS better than Vista, and I do like Apple's hardware design better than pretty much anything else. (I feel I need to prove my credentials here, because the faithful are out to burn anyone who challenges the dogma:-)
But Apple has been a non-player in HTPC, and while I am still hoping, nothing I have heard so far tells me that it will become one soon.
I fear that in its push of Apple TV, Apple will cripple or never develop a real, comprehensive HTPC. Wrong move, me thinks: Apple TV is too expensive (at a minimum of $10 per movie) to be viable beyond the initial novelty surge, and as a concept it offers nothing new, compared to services like MovieLink, or Walmart, or the new download services for the X-Box or PS-3. Again, movies are not songs, people use them differently, and they are priced differently.
That's why I see the Netflix flat-fee rental scheme as succeeding, where the likes of MovieLink have generally not made impact.
But of course, some here prefer to trash Netflix and all the other options available to the other side, and believe it is all "sour grapes," rather than direct their efforts at convincing Apple that it should get on the real HTPC bandwagon. I am afraid, it's games all over....