Windows Vista FAQ

Multimedia

Q. What's new in Windows Media Center?
Q. Has Windows Media Player changed?
Q. Will Vista play HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs?
Q. Because of Digital Rights Management for prerecorded high-definition media, will I need to buy a new monitor to play premium high-def content?

Q. What's new in Windows Media Center?

A. It has the same basic features as before, but it sports a redesigned menu system, mainly so you can control it from an Xbox 360 over your home network.

Q. Has Windows Media Player changed?

A. A new interface gives you additional ways to organize and browse your media collection. For example, you can access your music by an album cover view. Vista's search feature is integrated into Windows Media Player, so you can find media more easily, too. And Windows Media Player includes tie-ins to URGE, a for-pay music service that Microsoft launched with MTV.

Q. Will Vista play HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs?

A. Not without third-party software. Though Vista ships with the infrastructure necessary to support HD-DVD--drivers, file system, codecs, and other components--you'll need additional dedicated software to play an HD-DVD video, and the OS has no native support for Blu-ray Disc.

Q. Because of Digital Rights Management for prerecorded high-definition media, will I need to buy a new monitor to play premium high-def content?

A. You might, regardless of whether you're running Vista or Windows XP. For a PC to send next-generation video content to a display, the display must support HDCP--and while most HDTVs do support this copy-protection technology, many older monitors that support high-def resolutions do not.

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