First Australian Digital Tuner Card for MCE

Pioneer Computers are claiming a world first with the development of a television digital tuner card for the Australian version of Microsoft Media Center (MCE).

"With the release of Microsoft's Windows XP MCE in mid-October a major concern surrounding the operating system was its compatibility with digital television tuners," Pioneer CEO, Jeff Li, said.

To overcome this issue, the whitebox vendor worked in conjunction with Microsoft engineers to create a software driver for its DreamVision TV tuner products which allowed them to run on MCE, Li said.

Pioneer has been distributing its DreamVision cards, which retail for $199, over the last few months to resellers including Harvey Norman and homeware retailer, Domayne.

The new model will give MCE owners the ability to receive and record free to air digital television while skipping advertisements.

The good news for existing card owners and resellers was that they could simply upgrade the card's driver by downloading a new one from the Pioneer website, Li said.

However, the software giant said it did not officially support the digital TV card from Pioneer.

"The Australian release [of MCE] supports up to two analogue TV tuners only," Microsoft senior product marketing manager, Danny Beck, said. "We do not officially support Digital TV tuners in the local market at this point in time. It is too early to speculate when official support might be available."

Pioneer hoped to capitalise on being one of the early players in the whitebox MCE market, Pioneer's Li said. The company has already been approached by a hotel chain that intended to put MCE-based systems in guest rooms.

"This is an important breakthrough that will accelerate the uptake of digital home technology," he said.

IDC analyst, Landry Fevre, said the launch of the MCE-compatible card demonstrated the flexibility of whitebox companies over their badged counterparts to create specific products for local market conditions.

Fevre said the product would also have ramifications on the television advertising industry, and force advertisers to revise their marketing models.

This emerging trend in the television market could have parallels with the way the music industry failed to respond to new technology enabling music downloads.

"With the introduction of TiVo personal video recorders in the US around 40 per cent of viewers chose to skip the adverts," Fevre said.

Meanwhile, other local hardware distributors are also working on similar tuner cards as a way of cashing in on the digital growth of the CE market.

Director of Lako Pacific, Evan Kourambas, said it would soon launch its Dvico digital TV card, which would also be compatible with MCE.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?