Most Australians will recognise ABC iView as the country's best online TV service. In recent years they have done a good job of expanding to multiple platforms including PS3, Xbox 360, iOS and many smart TVs. Unfortunately one platform that is close to my heart but has not received any love from the ABC is Windows Media Center. (Windows 8 is also missing out but it's early days there so hopefully things will change soon!).
The only way I've found to get ABC iView through Media Center is to use the TunerFreeMCE application. This is an excellent app that provides a remote control friendly interface to many popular TV services. But the app was built primarily for UK services, and while its plug-in model made it possible to support international services like ABC, the original plug-in was somewhat limited and unreliable.
Recently TunerFreeMCE author Martin Millmore added some enhancements to the app which made it possible to build much more reliable plug-ins. Building on top of this and some richer metadata from the ABC, I'm pleased to announce that I've rewritten the plug-in. Users of the old version will notice more programs, grouping of episodes under series, and improved reliability when starting or ending programs. If you haven't used it before I encourage you to download TunerFreeMCE and give it a go. There's no need to download my plug-in separately as it can be accessed from the app's Settings page. There's also a plug-in available for SBS Australia that I wrote a while back but haven't yet migrated to the improved plug-in model.
Rumours of Windows Media Center's demise are greatly exaggerated. After a recent hardware failure of my Media Center PC I needed to decide whether to fix it or try some other path, and indeed I did experiment with a non-PC PVR. However I still think there's no better solution for combining broadcast TV with my digital media library. With TunerFreeMCE and support for services I care about, the solution is even more complete.