Vista Packaging

Looks like Microsoft may be learning from the old jokes about there packaging, remember the "If Microsoft designed the ipod packaging video"

If the pictures are true then the packaging of Vista and Office 2007 looks much better and should really stand out on the shelf

pictures from Windows Vista Blog


Your feedback on The Media Center Show Extra

So I have done two episodes of The Media Center Show Extra and wanted to get your feedback.
First off do you like the idea of an extra show? If so what would you like to see on the show.
What format should it be in? (Youtube, direct download etc)
Go to this survey page and let me know what you think

The Windows Media Center Show #80 – Media Center Development (Part 2)

The Media Center Show #80 – Media Center Development (Part 2)

October 26th, 2006

The Media Center Show #80(MP3 – 15.4mb- 44mins 55secs)

This week I have part two of a the interview with Aaron Stebner from the eHome team at Microsoft. We are talking about Media Center Markup Language the new way of developing applications for Media Center. In part two we talk about code, the tools for developing MCML application and how to deploy the applications.

To see the sample application Aaron talked about checkout The Media Center Show Extra #2, also tell me what you think of the “extra” shows

Don’t forget the Media Center Show Award nominations!

The Media Center Show with Orb Networks

Send your questions and feedback to isdixon at gmail dot com (feel free to send your questions in mp3)
or you can send your questions and comments in to the show Skype Line “MediaCenterShow

Don’t forget your to check out Media Center Show Gear

The forums are at

Show Times:

0:40 Coming up this week
01:04 Checkout the Media Center Show Extra, #1,#2
01:35 Email – DVB-T Signal Issues
03:31 Email – Missing program ends
04:35 Forums Question – The Green Button does not work
05:17 Linksys DVD Media Center Extender
06:25 Onevoice’s new voice control remote
06:49 Big Screen Headlines
07:28 Big Screen Contacts
07:42 MCETunes – itunes tracks on Media Center
08:31 Vidabox Dual Blu-ray and HD-DVD Media Center PC
09:07 A Message from Onevoice
09:52 Part 2 of Aaron’s interviews
10:00 Getting .net Assembly’s in to MCML applications
14:40 Working with the assembly – Rules
16:16 Why is there not a GUI tool for MCML?
18:00 Advanced UI without code
21:00 Time lines
24:00 Media Center Web Applications (code free)
28:00 Delivering the application
30:00 Registering the application on the start menu
32:50 Availability
34:00 SDK
35:59 The Media Center Sandbox
37:30 Why use MCML over HTML or WPF?
40:18 Thanks to Aaron Stebner
40:37 Don’t forget the Media Center Show Awards and the “extra” show
41:17 Music by Ian Dixon

Media Center Communicator

October Rollup for Media Center

Aaron Stebner points to the update for Windows Media Center out this month


Today is the day for the monthly release of new Windows hotfix packages and updates, and there is a new Windows Media Center hotfix that has been released today that I want to draw your attention to:

October 2006 Update Rollup for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (KB925766)

This package includes all previous hotfixes issued for Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and also addresses some other bugs that have not been fixed by previous hotfixes.

This package will be offered as a recommended update if you visit Windows Update on a Windows XP Media Center 2005 system that has Update Rollup 2 installed.  Also, you can download it directly from this location.

This package includes the following fixes in addition to all previously released fixes. There is more detail about each of these fixes in the knowledge base article for this hotfix:

  • A race condition can occur after you install Microsoft Windows Media Player 11 that causes loss of licenses for protected TV content.  If this happens, it causes TV programs to only play for up to three days.
  • When you scan for services, a connected Italian (Rome) 810 megahertz (MHz) version of MUX is not found.
  • Compatibility fixes for certain third-party audio stream plug-ins.

Update Rollup 2 is a prerequisite for this package, and this package supercedes the July 2006 Update Rollup (KB919803), the April 2006 Update Rollup (KB914548), the January 2006 Update Rollup (KB912067) and the October 2005 Update Rollup (KB908250).

LinkSys DVD player that is a Media Center Extender?

Thanks to listener of the show Mark Carline. He spotted a new Linksys network ready DVD player.

It can play DiVX, DVD, WMV9 (plus other formats). It has a great range of connections on it, wifi, lan, HDMI,Scart,composit etc but the most interesting thing about it is that it can be a Media Center Extender for Vista (code named "Pika")

It says the price will be around £200 and availably will be December, I would have thought it will be around some time after Vista launches, there is nothing on Linksys’s web site yet.

I hope it does come out because the market really wants a low cost Media Center Extender device other than the XBOX 360. In fact I hope we see a good selection of V2 extenders

Thanks for the tip Mark

[ Hardware.Info ] – Linksys announces network ready DiVX-DVD player

MCE Tunes

The team behind MyTVtoGo have developed a new application, MCE Tunes is a iTunes application for Media Center that enables you to play protected iTunes tracks, i.e. ones you bought from iTunes.

I don’t have any purchased tracks from iTunes but I set the free version up (which works at the full version expect for protected tracks) and downloaded some podcast and they appeared in Media Center with no problem. So it looks good

There is a free demo available, more info

Big Screen Headlines MCML Application

Ok this is one of the best Media Center Markup Language application I have seen so far.

Its an RSS reader for Media Center written in MCML for Vista. You can browse the feed setup by Niall Ginsbourg (the developer) or add your own feeds using IE7. It plays enclosed videos and audio files.

Niaill has made good use of MCML, and I hear more is on the way from Niall too

Download from HERE, more screen shots from HERE


Vidabox’s Dual HD-DVD & Blue-Ray Media Center PC

VidaBox LLC have announced a dual Blu-ray and HD-DVD Media Center PC. So you get the best of both words. Vidabox will be on the show in the future so I will find out more info then

From there Press Release:


VidaBox Introduces World’s First Dual HD-DVD & Blu-Ray Media Center

GARDEN CITY, NY – October 18 – VidaBox LLC, an innovator of media center systems, announced today the world’s first dual HD-DVD & Blu-Ray Media Center lines.  The Dual HD upgrade allows the rack-mountable, premium LUX™ and MAX™ systems to play both high definition disc formats.

“The Dual HD LUX™ & MAX™ systems are perfect for those who can appreciate convenience, high-fidelity audio, and high-quality video performance in a single, easy-to-use package,” says Steven Cheung, co-founder of VidaBox.  “High definition is the new video standard, and many customers want the ability to play both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs.  Combining that ability with the attractive, rich feature set of media center allows everyone to conveniently use the VidaBox as the center of all their digital entertainment needs.  There’s no need to buy two separate high definition disc players, nor is there a need to use a PVR/TiVo®, stereo, DVD player, etc. when everything – TV, movies, music, pictures, and more – can be easily accessed from a single remote at the touch of a button.”

In addition to being able to play both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs at their native 1080p high-definition resolution, the new LUX and MAX Dual HD systems will also feature HDCP-compliant outputs for stunning, high-quality video, dual analog & dual HDTV tuners to record up to four TV shows at once, up to AMD 4600+ dual core processors with 8GB of RAM and a 7950GT video card for maximum speed & power, and up to 3,000GB and 3,750 GB of massive, VidaSafe™-protected storage on the MAX™ and LUX™, respectively.

"We’re delighted to be the first manufacturer to offer both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD on one system," Steven continues.  "There’s still no clear winner in the high definition format war, but by having a LUX or MAX, you’re guaranteed to be a winner by being able to play either format, regardless of which one becomes the standard in the future.”

For more details and specifications on the VidaBox™ LUX™ and MAX™, please visit the company website at or call (516) 730-7500.

About VidaBox LLC
VidaBox LLC is an innovative systems integration company focused on manufacturing and engineering premium Media Center systems.  VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable, compact, and quiet Media Centers that work right out of the box.  For more information, visit or call 1-516-730-7500.

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