I received the Media Center Extender for X-Box today… I’m very pleased with the purchase. Being able to watch recorded TV in my office on a (relatively) big screen is excellent, and the device works as advertised.
The Good:<ul><li>Because it is basically a terminal connection, the UI is intact. If any of you have used Media Center 2005 you know that’s a good thing: it’s a fantastic UI.
</li><li>Setup was pretty painless, and it worked right out of the box without a hitch.
</li><li>Because it’s an X-Box, it has a DVD player… a feature absent from other extenders.
</li><li>The price is right… you can pick them up online for around $55.</li></ul>
The Bad:<ul><li>Performance can be a bit sluggish– it’s not slow or anything, there’s just a half beat between some button presses and the action you’ve initiated. Definitely not a big problem.
</li><li>The remote that comes with it is the default Media Center remote, but in black. Not as well designed as he remote that came with my HP MCE PC.</li></ul>
The Ugly:<ul><li>Certain actions are unavailable, which is frustrating. For example, for legal reasons they won’t stream a DVD from the main system to an extender. There are other similar limitations.</li></ul>Bottom line, the X-Box extender does what it’s supposed to. It’s far from perfect, but it does a great job of remoting the Media Center experience to another location without spending a bundle. I’d really like to get my hands on a dedicated extender, but I’m pretty happy with the X-Box version.