CasaTools Integrates Media Center with Russound and NuVo

Looks like another step forward for Media Center to fit in with whole house audio. Casatools  bridges Windows Media Center with whole house music systems from Russound and Nuvo. Media Center will act as a multi-source server for the whole house.

In a month or so I will have an interview with Russound so we can find out more about using Media Center as a source for a whole house audio system

More details from CePro


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What Media Center Plug ins and addons do you use?

One of the great things about Windows Media Center is the ability to  extend it’s functionality above the basic specification with 3rd party applications, from Weather to RSS readers, from commercial skipping applications to movie management systems we all have our essential tools.

So this got me thinking, if you had to pick one addon that you couldn’t live with out, which one is it?  Is it an RSS reader or My Movies, it could be Orb or Webguide. Also what 3rd party application are you waiting for that isn’t around at the moment? One example of that would be a full featured software Media Center extender.

So here are my questions to you:

  1. What 3rd party application could you not live without?
  2. What 3rd party application is a nice to have?
  3. What 3rd party application do you want that is not out there yet?

Let me know what you think, I think it would make a great discussion on the show, post your thoughts in the comments on on the forum

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One Voice Wireless Home Voice Control

One Voice Technologies have a new wireless microphone solution for their Media Center Communicator software. The LTB Q-Bean Wireless 2.0 Audio link systems streams uncompressed audio through a link that allows duplex voice and data control.

One of the problems I have always had with Media Center Communicator is how to setup the Microphone, at the moment I have one on the desk but a wireless solution would be much better, plus you can use the Q-Bean with Skpye (all still in Media Center) so for me it’s an ideal solution. I can sit on the sofa use my voice to navigate Media Center and chat via Skype all without any remote or keyboard.

Lookout for a chance to win a copy of One Voice Communicator and LTB Audio link on the show next week!



Details from their press release:

One Voice Technologies and LTB Audio Partner to offer Wireless Voice Control for the Digital Home

La Jolla, CA—July 25, 2007—One Voice Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: ONEV), developer of 4th Generation voice solutions for the Telecom and Interactive Multimedia markets, and LTB Audio Systems, Inc., the leading manufacturer of true digital 5.1 headphone technology, announced today a strategic partnership to offer One Voice’s Media Center Communicator, voice recognition for Windows Vista Media Center, with LTB Audio’s new Q-Bean, a digital wireless device which offers everything from digital CD-quality steaming audio to a built-in microphone for voice control of Windows Vista Media Center and wireless Skype phone calling. One Voice’s Media Center Communicator, in combination with the LTB Q-Bean, enables users to move freely throughout their home and simply speak to play music, call to order a pizza using Skype, control Home Automation and much more using powerful voice commands. For more information, visit or

“LTB has found One Voice’s Media Center Communicator to be a perfect combination along with our wireless Q-Bean product,” said Jon Miller, vice president of sales for LTB Audio Systems, Inc. “People are amazed how the One Voice software instantly accesses music, movies, photos and much more without any voice training. We are excited about our partnership and look forward to a long and successful relationship with One Voice.”

“One Voice is pleased to announce our partnership with LTB Audio Systems, Inc.” said Dean Weber, president and CEO at One Voice Technologies. “The Q-Bean’s ability to deliver such robust CD-quality audio, at distances of 30 meters, enables users to use powerful voice commands to access their digital content from anywhere inside or outside the home. Imagine simply speaking into your Q-Bean to begin playing music, watch a movie, view photos, place a phone call and much more. Our partnership with LTB Audio delivers on this vision and is available today.”

About LTB Q-Bean

The LTB Q-Bean is a digital wireless device which offers everything from digital CD-quality audio to a built-in microphone for speech and remote control features for Windows Media Player and Media Center users as well as music and movie playback. The Q-Bean system consists of the USB Puck and receiver. The USB Puck is a 2.4GHz digital radio frequency transmitter that connects to a computer via its USB ports. The transmitter puck requires no software for Windows XP, Vista, Mac or Linux operating systems and provides non-compressed streaming audio to the receiver. The receiver, a wireless key fob-sized device, integrates a microphone for voice communication, Window Media Player remote functions and a powerful adaptive digital signal with GSFK modulation.

About Media Center Communicator

Imagine walking into your home and using your voice to tell your Media Center to play MP3 or iTunes music, call to order a pizza , set the thermostat or home theater lighting, play a photo slideshow, watch and record live TV, read and send E-mail or video chat with a friend. Media Center Communicator delivers on this vision today! For more information, please visit or for an online demonstration go to

About LTB Audio Systems, Inc.

LTB, which stands for Listen To Believe, represents a product line focused on providing leading edge audio and multimedia headphones designed to meet the optimal demands of the latest Digital Media in Games, and Movies as well as music and Hi Def Audio. LTB controls various key technology patents that have made them an upcoming leading manufacturer of true surround sound technology products. For more information visit LTB at or go to

About One Voice Technologies, Inc.

One Voice Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: ONEV) is the world’s first developer of 4th Generation voice solutions for the Telecom and Interactive Multimedia markets. Our Intelligent Voice™ solutions employ revolutionary, patented technology that allows people to send messages (E-mail, SMS, Instant Messaging and paging), purchase products, get information and control devices – all by using their voice. The company is headquartered in La Jolla, California. For more information, please visit


The Media Center Show #116 – Mike Garcen

By Ian Dixon (20.1mb 58mins 26sec)

Direct Download Link  – Subscribe via iTunes – Subscribe via RSS

This week Mike Garcen Microsoft MVP, contributor to and moderator at The Green Button joins me to talk about his community work with Media Center and his reviews of the various web streaming product for Windows Media Center.

I have email (please keep them coming!), forum posts and news items

The Media Center Show with Orb Networks, email the show: Show [at]

Show Times:
00:54 Coming up this week
01:46 Email – Windows Media Center cookbook
03:08 Trust 7 foot Media Center Remote (via eHomeUpgrade)
03:54 Chris Lanier’s guide to Codecs, also listen to this show
04:24 Download a getting started guide for Windows Home Server
04:50 Forum Thread – Customizing folders in Media Center
05:52 One Voice: Media Center CommunicatorDownload a free trial
07:07 Welcome to Mike
07:40 Getting started with Media Center
10:45 Where we are now with Vista
13:55 Sports Lounge in Vista Media Center
16:30 Mike’s favorite plug ins
20:00 Searching for solutions to problems
26:02 Mike’s streaming software reviews
31:00 Sage TV
33:48 Webguide
37:03 Orb
39:53 Cyberlink
44:39 Baseball and Sling
47:24 Problems caused by recordings going missing
54:49 Thanks to Mike
55:19 My book – Using Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center is still available

Music by Ian Dixon

Technorati tags: Windows Media Center, podcasts

The Media Center Show #115 Kevin Tofel on UMPCs

By Ian Dixon (20.6mb 59mins 56sec)

Direct Download Link  – Subscribe via iTunesSubscribe to the RSS feeds

This week podcaster and blogger Kevin Tofel joins me to talk about UMPCs (Ultra Mobile PC). We talk about the different devices available, what you can do with them and how you can use them with Windows Media Center

I have forum posts and news items

Media Center Show with Orb Networks, email the show: Show [at]

Show Times

00:58 Coming up this week
01:37 Send in your email
01:47 Windows Home Server RTMs, WHS Forums
02:27 mceiTVSilver , more on Silverlight with Sean Alexander
03:49 Update on Guide Data issues
05:25 Visit the forums
05:51 What to host your own Podcast?
06:16 A message from One Voice, download a free trial
07:25 Welcome to Kevin
08:00 Mobile Tech Roundup Podcast
09:24 What is a UMPC?
10:30 Video on using a UMPC with Media Center
11:50 Touch screens v Active Digesters
15:05 Samsung Q1 upgrading memory
18:21 Using a UMPC as a primary device
20:50 Using a UMPC as a Media Center server connected to a Xbox 360
21:30 Using Wifi
23:22 Device expectations
24:50 First generation devices
27:28 2nd generation devices
31:20 Connectivity
32:40 Using a UMPC with a mobile phone
36:14 Data tariffs
37:52 Getting the most out of a UMPC
39:19 Gaming on a UMPC
43:00 Samsung Q1 Ultra
45:20 Do you use a Manbag?
47:54 What would be Kevin’s ultimate UMPC
56:26 Thanks to Kevin

Music by Ian Dixon

Technorati tags: Windows Media Center, podcasts

Silverlight application for Media Center

Casey Chesnut has an interesting project on his site, mceItvSilver is a prototype Silverlight application for Windows Media Center. It looks like Casey is becoming a little disillusioned with MCML development and is targeting Silverlight as a way of delivering content to Media Center, Xbox 360 and Media Room.

The app is a Internet TV application for Media Center and shows that Silverlight can work as a platform for Media Center. As Casey points out there are some limitations with using Silverlight but it does work. Casey also writes about his frustrations developing MCML applications which I can understand, it’s not a platform you can quickly pick up and start writing (like you can with HTML applications)

The Media Center Show #114 – Steven Hughes

By Ian Dixon (22.8mb 66mins 28sec)

Direct Download Link  – Subscribe via iTunesSubscribe to the RSS Feed

This week Steven Hughes a Windows Mobile MVP joins me to talk about Windows Mobile devices. We talk about Windows Mobile 6, mobile devices and how to get your Media Center content on to your mobile device. I have email, news items and an opportunity to host your own Podcast.

The Media Center Show with Orb Networks, email the show: Show [at]

Show Times:
01:00 Coming up this week
01:18 Email – Question re my system
06:02 Update on guide data problems – log your problems here
07:09 Microsoft extend warranty for Xbox 360
07:54 Microsoft to launch a cheaper Xbox 360?
08:25 Sky in talks with Microsoft to deliver pay TV to Media Center
09:47 Windows Vista SP1 out soon?
10:28 Download "De-Dupe DVRMS" and delete duplicate Recorded TV files
11:12 Real World feature
11:48 Fancy running your own Podcast?
12:17 A Message from One VoiceDownload a free trial from the Downloads section
13:33 Welcome to Steven
15:51 Details on Windows Mobile 6
17:04 Windows Live everywhere
18:20 When will we see upgrades for Windows Mobile 5 devices?
19:12 The differences between the Windows Mobile platforms
21:21 Convergence between UMPC and mobile devices
25:17 The mobile market
28:09 Email on the go
31:00 Connectivity to Windows Vista
33:00 Syncing content
35:00 Storage cards
36:00 Memory
40:15 Steven’s devices
42:40 Using a mobile devices as a modem
44:00 Mobile data access speed
46:00 Mobile data costs
47:25 Can you send SMS messages directly from Media Center?
52:30 Battery life
54:00 Cameras
57:22 Webguide on your mobile device
58:11 Using your old Pocket PC as a Media Center receiver
1:01:00 DVD Changes, DVRMSToolbox
1:03:06 Thanks to Steven

Music by Ian Dixon

Technorati tags: Windows Media Center, podcasts

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