The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation has just released it’s comprehensive service for media center PCs. First out is Windows Media Center Edition. The service makes NRK’s vast archive of content on the net available from a GUI that is tailored for use on a TV with navigation through a remote.
Users get access to more than 20 000 video clips and 12 radio channels with three weeks of archive on the main channels. This is one of the most comprehensive services ever made for Windows Media Center’s Online Spotlight broadband portal.
Microsoft Media Center Edition was choosen because it is the first media center to be released in a version for the Norwegian market. Based on the experience from this service NRK will explore possibilities for adding support for systems like Apple Front Row, Mediaportal, MythTV, Beyond Media and Meedio.
The TV main menu. Most of NRK’s own productions are available minutes after they have been broadcasted. Many of them are indexed in detail. This gives the user a possibility to jump directly to the most interesting parts.
The radio page gives detailed information on the three main channels. Including playing now / next and information on the current show. For these channels an archive is available with all shows broadcasted for the last three weeks. In addition to this nine more channels are available for streaming. Currently the streaming is done with several different qualities. The best one is 160 kbps Windows Media Audio. This gives better quality than current FM broadcasts and is even better than most DAB broadcasts.
In addition to the streaming media services a small weather service has been added. It gives detailed weather information for all counties in Norway. The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation will explore more services like this as well. News, sports results and other text / image based services that already exist on NRKs extensive services on the net and for mobile phones will be considered.
A special web page has been set up to give the users information and a possibility to comment and provide suggestions. You can find this page here (Norwegian).