Home > Uncategorized > From where I sit, MCE uptake on the rise

From where I sit, MCE uptake on the rise

This is of course a completely unscientific observation, but I’ve noticed a distinct lack of new earth-shattering developments coupled with a slow and steady uptake of MCE amongst the people around me.  Does this mean that MCE 2005 seems to have it right?

The new postings here at thenears.com have been light, as there hasn’t been a whole lot of unique content for me to write about.  There is now a vibrant MCE community out there who are popping up the news as soon as it is relevant, there’s not much in the way of product developments. In general it’s been kind of ho-hum for a bleeding-edge MCE guy like myself.

What is interesting however is the number of people who seem to be getting excited about MCE.  From what used to be like pulling teeth amongst the geek friends of mine, I now am getting people coming out of the woodwork to ask for advice on their MCE setups.  These are the same people who a few years ago didn’t get it, were bugging me about the strict hardware requirements of MCE, and saying they’d rather go with something like MythTV.  As I talk to these friends, I think that it’s because they’re growing up… 

HTPC used to be something that they played with in their basements and was a cool toy.  Now they have wives and children who are interested in the technology as well and MCE fits the bill for them as geeks and also fits their role as geek-dads.  Most people, and I’ll admit that this is probably due to some biased influence from me, are going the route of a PC in the basement running the plays with a series of extenders throughout the house catching the passes.  This setup seems to be very family-friendly and is getting alot of traction amongst my peers.  It’s cheap, it works, and the wife approves.

Others are going the full HTPC route, and again doing it in a family-friendly way.  Case hardware is now readily available that makes it fit nicely beside the television, tuner hardware now easy to come by and not as muddied with cheaper software-only encoders, and finally MCE itself is available from plenty of suppliers.

Not only are my friends taking up MCE with a fury, but there seems to be alot of anecdotal traction amongst the general population as well.  I tend to participate in the Microsoft MCE product newsgroups and the extender group over at thegreenbutton.com; I can’t keep up.  As of right now, there are 3402 unread newsgroup postings sitting in Thunderbird waiting to be addressed, which I’ll probably not get to before they go stale on the server.

MCE is both cool and hot right now.  Cool in that there’s not a whole lot going on at the bleeding edge, and hot in that it seems to finally be catching fire in the mainstream geek community.

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