The XBOX 360 is proving more and more useful these days. First, there is the Verizon FiOS app (which I have not tried yet). But more importantly is the fact that it is a Media Center Extender (one of the best…and only, really). I had paired it to a desktop that I wasn’t really using and could leave powered on…
But the real power came when I upgraded the lab\infrastructure to VMware. I never had the hardware to do a RemoteFX VM, but VMware has a virtual 3D video card that works very well. So long story short, it is completely possible to use a virtual machine as the source for a media center extender…
…including live TV coming from a cable card thanks to the HDHomeRun Prime 3CC. This was simply not possible when the VM was running in Hyper-V – for whatever reason – slow disk (local storage) or if 3D hardware resources are required, then they certainly were not available in the old environment.
Once the HDHomeRun software is installed, MediaCenter will try to run the Digital Cable Advisor tool – but will fail on HDCP connection to a monitor (obviously) – performance of the VM is suitable for MCE\CableCard support – here’s the machine rating of the VM:
I ran a procmon trace on a system where DCA was successful and found the following executable was run after validation succeeded:
Once this was run on on the VM, the DCA noted it had previously “succeeded”, the CableCard support was installed successfully, and the tuners mapped as expected, downloaded guide data, etc. Once the XBOX was mapped as an extender, live TV worked perfectly, including HD channels!!
I have not tested extensively, but it looks like this will work well.