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Zune 4.0 software won't play nice with HDTV Media Center recordings


With the launch of the Zune HD and the CEDIA show just around the corner, we've been hoping this could mean an all new integrated future for Windows Media Center and other Microsoft platforms -- until now. As a few commenters pointed out yesterday, the corrected spec sheet received from Microsoft indicated HDTV and protected Windows Media Center DVR-MS (the files used by Vista Media center) recordings were not supported. We reached out for clarification and received the following:

"Zune HD, and the forthcoming Zune 4.0 PC software, will support and transcode Windows Media Center recorded TV file formats from Windows Vista or Windows 7 that contain MPEG-2 video, in either the DVR-MS or WTV formats. Support is limited to unencrypted SD and HD recordings. HD Files with AC3 audio are not supported by Zune."

As you may or may not be aware, at least in the U.S. , and most other countries, any high definition broadcasts you snag from antenna, ClearQAM or otherwise use Dolby Digital AC-3 audio, meaning the Zune software won't be able to convert them. Current workarounds for bringing Media Center recordings on the go should still be a go, but all we can see is the missed opportunity to tie the two platforms together with easy one click transcoding support. Hopefully Microsoft still has something up its sleeve to pull together Zune and Windows 7 Media Center, but portable DVR recordings ain't it.

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