As noted on many different sites by now, Phillip Swann of TVPredictions.com is saying Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition 2005 will be the biggest flop of 2005. The first thing I decided to do after reading this guys "Predictions" was to see what he predicted last year in terms of DVR/PVR's.
Amoung his top Predictions for 2004 was that TiVo would be sold to DirecTV (He also predicted that in 2003 also), that it would be the "Buzz Year” for DVD/DVR's, ReplayTV would fold or die, and DVR's would experience "Moderate Growth".
Now, the TiVo thing didn't happen, after he "predicted" it would for two years in a row. The ReplyTV thing just about everyone saw coming. We all knew that TiVo would over power it. I guess DVR's did experience "Moderate Growth", but that really depends on your definition of "Moderate Growth" and he didn't give any context. Not sure what he meant by "Buzz Year" for DVD/DVR's, but how does "Buzz Year" then relate to the "Moderate Growth" of DVR's that he also predicted? TiVo is the “Name” for PVR's. You hear it in TV, Radio, Etc. DVD Recorders have yet to hit the big time, and are just now starting to be priced correctly, so they could experience "Moderate Growth" in 2005! BTW, I just purchased a DVD Recorder for my mom from Sony. So far, it's great!
In terms of 2005 and MCE, I don't think Phillip has taken all the factors into account. His whole reasoning for MCE big a flop is based on the average American not wanting a PC "as an entertainment device". Okay?!?
I would call myself an American, let's see how my PC functions in terms of media.
(1) DVD Player and Jukebox
(2) MP3/WMA Player and Jukebox
(3) TV Viewing and Recording
(4) Editing Home Movies
(5) Internet Radio/Video
(6) DVD Burner
(7) I'm sure there are more.
My PC is my entertainment device. The average American has loads of digital content on their PC. PC's now ship with 160GB+ hard drives just for the storing of digital media! Music Services offer streams only so you can listen on your PC, is that not “entertainment“?
Screw the MCE angle for a second, what about Windows Media Connect and the half-a-dozen other UPnP type devices and protocols that are specifically meant to send digital content from your PC to set-top devices in your home?
Back to MCE, Media Center Extenders (MCX) get the content off the PC and stream it to your Living Room. You will see new TV's ship with MCX Technology inside in 2005! (Thanks for the catch, getwired) The average American uses their PC for "entertainment". MCE 2005 brings Media Center Extenders to stream the content from the PC (Your Digital Media Hub/Server) to a more "Family Friendly" device with a sweet interface. I 100% do not buy the fact that the PC is not an "entertainment device", do you?
The PC is a Hub for Digital Media content and will continue to grow in 2005. While this might not be the “Year of MCE”, it will be far from the “Year MCE Flops”. That's my Prediction, we will see who is right.