I recently read Brent Evans’ ZNF post on Vista Media Center’s (‘MC’) new MSNBC video on demand service. As with virtually every-other Internet-related video distribution announcement these days, I fully expected this service not to be available in Canada.
Here’s a typical message I get when I try to access this type of MC functionality from Canada:
Much to my surprise, as I was testing out the Xbox 360 media-extended piece of the latest MC upgrade (the upgrade got my MC working again for the first time in over a year), I saw the msnbc.com item (circled below) on the 360’s MC screen.
Fully expecting the usual ‘Not Available in Canada’ notice, I clicked on it anyway. To my surprise, however it worked.
For the next half hour I played around with the content. Watching the various clips, making them full screen, pausing, fast forwarding etc. Given we Canadians get very little of this functionality, I felt like a kid in a candy store.
I happily set about to write this post (originally with a title proclaiming that msnbc.com media-center-based iVoD functionality worked in Canada). I fired up the Vista version of Media Center to get some screen shots. Since it worked on the 360, I expected it to work on the Vista version of Media Center.
I went back to the 360, t0 double check it was still working there. As you can see, it still was:
Ah, the vagaries of Canadian online media! What Microsoft accidently giveth, it purposefully taketh away. No doubt Microsoft will soon patch whatever hole exists in WMC that allows this to work on my 360. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. But I should have known it was too good to be true!