Microsoft Media Center 2005 should be announced in one month's time, and should offer an interesting ability: an Xbox media center extender. With this kit, your Xbox can become an extension of your media center PC, and play back all your MCPC media on the screen the console is connected to.

Microsoft Media Center 2005 seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. OK, HD support is there, but its terrestrial signal only, and won't take HD from cable or satellite. Now that is a little disappointing. Still, there is comprehensive DVD burning and loads more in there, such as a big list of supported portable devices to sync to, and wireless support, albeit only 802.11a. A new service called movie finder will let you find a movie based on things like title, actors, cover art, a poster or just about any other criteria. This alone makes the software interesting.