Big Screen EPG by remote isn't the Webguide replacement we've waited for

Ben Drawbaugh
B. Drawbaugh|02.28.10

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For those not familiar with the tragedy, Microsoft hired Doug Berrett a few years back and he was the developer of one of the greatest 3rd party plugins for Vista Media Center. His WebGuide would not only let you do something that even the crapiest of DVRs can do today, remotely schedule recordings, but it would also let you watch your recorded shows over the internet. Well with Windows 7 came a new Media Center EPG database which broke WebGuide and while Microsoft built show streaming right into Windows 7, the void for the rest has never been filled. Recently we've seen two new add-ins that try to fill in the gap with the latest being Big Screen EPG "by remote." But we're sorry to say that the wait isn't over. The problem with Big Screen EPG isn't that it is a pay app, but that it is using Microsoft's guide data. Now this is a problem because they don't have a licensing agreement to use this data (that we know of) and we'd be shocked if Microsoft let this go unnoticed. But the bigger issue is that the remote interface is built on Silverlight which means it doesn't work on mobile phones -- although the developer left a comment stating that mobile browser support is on the road map -- and since Microsoft doesn't seem interested in letting Doug spend some company time on this, who knows how long this wait will go on.
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