Well, that was fast. We have been following the rumors coming out of the beta testing community concerning the next Windows Media Center release over at EngadgetHD. Evidently they have been tipped off by Brent Evans over at Geek Tonic that the Windows Media Center TV Pack was released to OEMs on July 16.
Part of the confirmation for this tidbit are Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles 955485 and 955486. The content of these KB articles make clear that QAM support has made it into the TV Pack, but also make clear that this update has been provided to OEMs and that not all machines in the retail channel include the TV Pack. This would seem to suggest that rumors that Windows Media Center TV Pack would be an OEM only release are probably correct. It does not rule out the possibility that OEMs could offer the update to their users, but we will not know for sure until we hear more about the distribution or branding that will be associated with the TV Pack. It also does not rule out the possibility that Window Media Center TV Pack will bring new hardware requirements to WMC.
We’ll let you know as we hear more.