Pictures of my Samsung Q1 running Windows Media Center

As I blogged last week , I got hold of a Samsung Q1 and I installed Windows Vista on it. So here are some pictures of it running Windows Media Center. I found it works well over the playing content over the network or localy.

See more Media Center setup pictures on The Digital Lifestyle photo gallery



Missing Remote – Review: Showtime Interactive in Vista MCE

Yesterday I mentioned that there is a new service on Vista Media Center called Showtime and the fact that I couldn’t try it on the account of not being in the USA.

So its great to see ShadyMG has posted a full review on Missing Remote

As for the file-types, the quality is actually pretty healthy. They come in a variable bit-rate of around 1,200kbps, with resolution of 640×480 pixels for standard videos, and as high as 720×392 for widescreen.

The files are encoded in Windows Media Video format with some lovely DRM tied to it, and appears to vary in file size. As you’ll see later, a 2hr 35min boxing event it states is 735mb….where as a show I downloaded, the Chappelle stand-up event, was 58mins but was 592mb. Widescreen formats with the higher resolution do tend to be a little bigger as well, but I don’t have exact numbers for you.

Now let’s move on to how it works and how well.

Read on


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My new UMPC

Since the Ultra Mobile PCs were launched last year I have been dying to get my hands of one. At CES this year I got to play with some of the new ones so when I has the opportunity to get a Samsung Q1 I jumped at the chance. The Q1 is one of the first generation of UMPCs, its a great device with a Celeron 900MHz processor with 1gb of RAM its performance is very good with Vista. It came with XP Tablet Edition so I did a clean install with Windows Vista and a search around the web provided the necessary drivers.

I installed Windows Vista Home Premium on it which of course has Windows Media Center built in and the device works great playing recorded TV locally or over a network. The touch interface works very well with Media Center and I found that as good as the specially designed Origami Experience UI.

I have got Skype up and running on it so I will be recording the next podcast on it, it should make recording interviews on the go (like I was doing at CES) much easier. I have got Office 2007 running on it so I can do my blogging on there too.

Over all I think its a great device and I am sure the next generation of UMPCs ( like the Q1P) will be even better, but this will do for me for now 🙂


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The Media Center Show #101 – Orb’s Ian McCarthy

by Ian Dixon (MP3 – 20.8mb 1hour  33sec) – The RSS feed is HERE

Direct Download Link

This week on the show Orb’s Ian McCarthy returns to the show to talk about using Orb to get your Media Center content on to a Wii and other devices, what Orb is doing with Myspace and getting Divx video on to your Xbox 360. I have email and news items and I also introduce a new feature on the show called "Ask Charlie Owen"

Email the Show, visit the forums, watch the video shows, read the blogs and vote for the show!

The Media Center Show with Orb Networks

Show times

00:54 Coming up this week
01:23 Email on show 100
04:55 Email on Vongo
05:23 New feature "Ask Charlie Owen"
07:07 Charlie Owen on MCMLPad
09:38 How to get your Media Center content on to a Wii or PS3
10:15 Forum post winner of the week
10:20 A message from One Voice
11:24 Welcome to Ian
11:58 What’s new with Orb
12:15 Youtube on your mobile
14:50 Using Orb with a Wii
19:09 Orb to a Xbox 360 to play Divx and other formats
22:33 Gaming
25:00 Spinal Tap 🙂
26:05 Using Windows Vista Media Center book
28:15 Vista Media Center UI
29:05 Big Screen Headlines
29:24 Q Sample application
30:17 Mycasting to Myspace
35:50 Video on how it works
46:23 Live TV v watching in Media Center
48:08 MSN Soapbox
56:30 Thanks to Ian
57:28 See you next week

Music by Ian Dixon

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HP drops its Digital Entertainment Center (DEC) business

I read on CEpro (via a tip from listener Dave Snaith) that HP are pulling out of the Digital Entertainment Center business. CE Pro has the details but it looks like HP will not continue building there Media Center PC’s and instead focusing its own range of TVs with media adapters built in (not Microsoft Extender technology)

This looks bad news as HP have been strong backers of Media Center since day 1, but there are plenty of others offering great Media Center PCs


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New XBOX 360 Elite

As readers and listeners will know I love my Xbox 360. When I get chance I love to play Call of Duty 3 but my main use of it is an an Extender for Windows Media Center. One thing it does lack is a HDMI connection but Microsoft have addressed this with the new Xbox 360 Elite.

Microsoft Unveils Xbox 360 Elite
Xbox 360™ Elite is the premier Xbox 360 console package that includes a massive 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high-definition cable, and a premium black finish. The Xbox 360 Elite also includes a black wireless controller and black Xbox Live® headset.

I will not be changing mine over yet but it does look a nice package and apparently includes the code for IPTV


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New feature on the show “Ask Charlie Owen”

A new feature on The Media Center Show is a feature called "Ask Charlie Owen" where you can ask Microsoft’s Charlie Owen your burning Media Center questions. Charlie has recently started answering Windows Media Center questions on his blog and we will be running an audio version of this.

Send your questions in to I will pass them on to Charlie and he will recorded an answer to play on the show

The kind of question that Charlie has been answering has been things like "Can you clarify the relationship between Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center?" and Mailbag: When and where can we buy a CableCARD equipped Media Center PC?


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