Wednesday, September 10th 2008

Microsoft and Hauppauge First to Bring Freeview-Certified PC Solution to UK Viewers

Microsoft Corp., working with tuner manufacturer Hauppauge Computer Works Inc., today announced the launch of the first Freeview-certified, PC-based TV solution. With Windows Media Center, found on all PCs running Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate, and Windows Media Center TV Pack, Microsoft will now be able to offer U.K. consumers best-in-class interactive and enhanced TV paired with some of the best personal video recorder (PVR) features available on the market today.

Freeview support is one of the major Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) enhancements of the Windows Media Center TV Pack, an update released to OEMs worldwide on July 16, 2008, with targeted optimizations for TV standards in Europe. Other enhancements of this update include support for Digital Video Broadcasting-Satellite (DVB-S), improved guide and playback experience, great PVR auto-extend support, and the flexibility of support for multiple TV standards.

“The launch of our Freeview-enabled solution is a great addition to Windows Media Center, allowing us to reach more users and add real value to TV consumers and broadcasters,” said John Curran, director, Windows Client Group, Microsoft UK. “We are dedicated to improving Windows Media Center for customers worldwide, and this addition of Freeview as a platform and brand will offer a real benefit to our partners and consumers. We see this as a critical step to building awareness and setting a standard for great TV experiences on the PC.”

Windows Media Center with Windows Media Center TV Pack was certified as Freeview-compliant by the Digital TV Group Ltd., the industry association for digital TV in the U.K. The certification was made in coordination with Hauppauge, which certified its HVR 2200 tuner as part of the same program. Together, the components offer a complete Freeview TV solution for the PC, joining existing manufacturers of Freeview equipment such as Humax Company Ltd., Philips, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co., Sony Corp. and many more.

The Windows Media Center TV Pack enhancements for the European market, and ultimately Freeview certification, were driven out of Microsoft’s European Development Center, established in 2005 to specifically develop software tailored to the European market. This dedicated European team will continue to focus on interoperability with free-to-air European digital television as part of its commitment to European customers and DVB, the European standards organization.

“The expansion in service of Freeview digital terrestrial TV has created consumer demand for more advanced PC-TV solutions,” said Ken Plotkin, CEO, Hauppauge. “Our Freeview-certified dual tuner, WinTV-HVR-2200, provides Windows Media Center with the ability to record one Freeview digital TV program while it displays another TV program on the PC screen.”

The Freeview logo is also a statement of the quality of Microsoft and Hauppauge solutions. The Freeview certification effectively kicks off a program that will enable PC OEMs and additional tuner manufacturers to launch Freeview-branded PCs with Windows Media Center in the U.K.

Freeview is managed by DTV Services Ltd., a company owned and run by its five shareholders — British Broadcasting Corp., BSkyB Ltd., ITV plc and National Grid Wireless. DTV Services launched in October 2002 and provides up to 48 free-to-air digital TV channels, up to 24 radio stations and interactive services through an aerial. There is no subscription for the service.

“The addition of a Freeview-enabled PC further increases and enriches the number of ways viewers can access Freeview’s subscription-free TV channels,” said Cheryl Sloan, Freeview’s director of strategy and new product development. “Microsoft and Hauppauge have made a great step toward connecting PCs in the home to the Freeview experience, allowing PC users to enjoy the U.K.’s most popular TV platform. We look forward to collaborating with them both to ensure its successful entry to the U.K. market.”

Windows Media Center TV Pack will be demonstrated at IBC2008, Sept. 12–16, at the Microsoft booth in the Topaz Lounge. Visitors to the booth will have the opportunity to experience the latest solution as well as other elements of the product such as broadcast broadband integration.Source: Microsoft
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17 Comments on Microsoft and Hauppauge First to Bring Freeview-Certified PC Solution to UK Viewers

#1
Beertintedgoggles
A question for all you UK people, do you have to pay the TV license for a PC with a TV tuner? I'm assuming the answer is yes but it seems like you'd be able to hide the TV functionality of your PC better than a regular TV from the government.
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#2
KieranD
yas freeview on my pc

now i can watch virgin 1 and bbc 3, so you have to have that digital tuner already im thinking?
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#3
stordoff
How is this different from using a current DVB-T Card (eg. Nova-T 500)?

@KieranD - I've had Virgin1 + BBC3 on my Nova-T for well over a year IIRC
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#4
alexp999
Staff
by: stordoff
How is this different from using a current DVB-T Card
None, but this time it has been officially freeview-certified.
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#5
WhiteLotus
by: Beertintedgoggles
A question for all you UK people, do you have to pay the TV license for a PC with a TV tuner? I'm assuming the answer is yes but it seems like you'd be able to hide the TV functionality of your PC better than a regular TV from the government.
yes i believe you do still have to have a license. that is the impression i get anyway.
Posted on Reply
#6
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
by: Beertintedgoggles
A question for all you UK people, do you have to pay the TV license for a PC with a TV tuner? I'm assuming the answer is yes but it seems like you'd be able to hide the TV functionality of your PC better than a regular TV from the government.
We do yes. If not, they'll 'track' you down. :eek:

It's also against the law to watch live TV over the internet without a license. I didn't think this was true until I read a letter they had sent my girlfriend stating she hadn't paid her TV license. They completely ignored the fact she didn't have a TV or a TV card and continued to send her letters. I argued with her so much until I read the letter.
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#7
WhiteLotus
by: InnocentCriminal
We do yes. If not, they'll 'track' you down. :eek:

It's also against the law to watch live TV over the internet without a license. I didn't think this was true until I read a letter they had sent my girlfriend stating she hadn't paid her TV license. They completely ignored the fact she didn't have a TV or a TV card and continued to send her letters. I argued with her so much until I read the letter.
stupid license. its why i dont watch tv at all.
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#8
alexp999
Staff
by: WhiteLotus
stupid license. its why i dont watch tv at all.
Sucks for students in halls though. just another way of them to get money. I've got friends in halls, and their places literally get raided by the "Tv licensing police", lol. (no jk)

It should be based on your permanent addy :shadedshu

Apparently they sit outside suspects homes in a van with receivers to see if you are receiving TV. :eek:

Surely it would be cheaper to keep the money in the licensing fund than raiding halls of residence over, what £10 or so a month?
Posted on Reply
#9
WhiteLotus
by: alexp999
Sucks for students in halls though. just another way of them to get money. I've got friends in halls, and their places literally get raided by the "Tv licensing police", lol. (no jk)

It should be based on your permanent addy :shadedshu

Apparently they sit outside suspects homes in a van with receivers to see if you are receiving TV. :eek:

Surely it would be cheaper to keep the money in the licensing fund than raiding halls of residence over, what £10 or so a month?
a tv license is now £139.50
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#10
timta2
So what kind of programming does the license cover? How many channels? I guess one good thing about it would be not having to deal with the cable companies that we have in the US!
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#11
alexp999
Staff
by: timta2
So what kind of programming does the license cover? How many channels? I guess one good thing about it would be not having to deal with the cable companies that we have in the US!
These are the channels the license covers:

http://www.freeview.co.uk/channels

Though you need more than a standard tv to get them all.

A standard non-digital TV can only pickup five of those channels. Four in the south.
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#12
kylew
More accurately, you're basically paying for the BBC, yet you have no option not to receive BBC TV. All the other channels make their money from advertising and so on, but because the BBC doesn't do ads. they charge you to watch their shows. Then they bring their shows out on DVD some time later and expect you to pay again to watch it. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#13
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
by: Beertintedgoggles
A question for all you UK people, do you have to pay the TV license for a PC with a TV tuner? I'm assuming the answer is yes but it seems like you'd be able to hide the TV functionality of your PC better than a regular TV from the government.
the way i see it - what they dont know cant hurt - but 98% of us already have a TV license (as well as a TV) unless we are/they are illigal immigrants who just enterd the country in the belly of a whale which then beached it self somewhere along the River Thames.....

personally - I wouldnt worry about it. if they really give 5 shits (& PLEASE DONT GET ANY IDEAS@ the goverment) about TV cards for PC's/Laptops they would make it clear on the box or through their website or other various methods of advertising - otherwise its just a scam.

If it aint on paper then i dont give a toss. Ive never heard of anyone getting caught because they didnt have a license to watch tv on their pc & in case one smart bastard decides that he wants some extra money for his girlfriends birthday present by running you through the courts for watchin tv on your pc - grab yourself a lawyer & sue his ass back for 30x as much & also for every second of the shitty reality program that he made you miss. not that you were actually watching it at the time but thats not the point....
Posted on Reply
#14
alexp999
Staff
by: kylew
More accurately, you're basically paying for the BBC, yet you have no option not to receive BBC TV. All the other channels make their money from advertising and so on, but because the BBC doesn't do ads. they charge you to watch their shows. Then they bring their shows out on DVD some time later and expect you to pay again to watch it. :rolleyes:
Its not just the BBC you are paying for. You are also paying for all the TV masts/maintenance and those people in vans that hunt down the non payers!
Posted on Reply
#15
Esse
Finally Hauppauge. It is about time. Mediaportal and the like just don't cut it sometimes.

You would think MPEG-4 supported hardware made for Freeview would actually have software for using Freeview after all. NZ's has the same problem.
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#16
smiler3k
Ive been watching freeview on a dedicated htpc using Mediaportal for over a year now and never had a problem.
Posted on Reply
#17
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
by: smiler3k
Ive been watching freeview on a dedicated htpc using Mediaportal for over a year now and never had a problem.
Is that with or without a TV license? ;)
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