The Windows Experience Blog on Internet TV Beta

Yesterday I was commenting on the Internet TV Beta launch and asked readers for their thoughts on it. Brandon LeBlanc commented on the my blog that he had reviewed Internet TV on his Windows Experience Blog. He has a look at the new beta, and he details some of the content offered.

The beta should be coming online today, so look out for that and let me know your thoughts, ian at TheDigitalLifestyle.com

 

Streaming Internet Content with Internet TV Beta to Windows Media Center

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Roundup of the Extender News

Just finished watching Joe Belfiore keynote from DigitalLife and most of the news from that has been published already. It was good to see the hardware Extenders in use, but it seems like the price point may be an issue for some people

If you have a HP MediaSmart TV you should be happy, the TV set will have a free software upgrade to enable Media Center Extender functionality which I think was scheduled for early next year, but I may be wrong.

Niveus Media’s Extender looked great as you would expect. It’s called EDGE, no price yet but I expect it will not be cheap. The two Linksys extenders are the standalone DMA2100 at $300 and the DVD Player DMA2200 at $350. D-Link’s DSM-750 is $349.99 (no UK prices or even time frames yet)

Also shown was the new Internet TV Service

So now all the hardware pieces are there we need more developers to target Media Center, I hope we see more enthusiast developers working on Media Center projects

Internet TV for Media Center

Seeing as I won’t be getting Microsoft’s Internet TV anytime now as it’s US only I watched Joe Belfiore keynote with interest when he demonstrated the new service. It goes live for USA users tomorrow morning (Friday) and judging it by the demo it looks a nice service that adds some value to Media Center. The content comes from MSN Video and offers music videos, concerts and TV shows. MSN Video is starting to build up a good selection of content so it makes sense to offer a 10 foot Media Center interface for the content. The content is standard definition and as far as I could tell over a web stream looks good. The user interface looks like a standard Media Center design with galleys and pivots. So seeing as I am not going to be seeing this until I get to CES I would love to know how US readers are getting on with it.

Now to start a campaign to get the service in the UK!

Microsoft’s Windows Media Center Extender pages get updated

As Joe Belfiore, VP of the eHome Division at Microsoft starts his keynote about Windows Media Center Extenders (watch it HERE) Microsoft have updated their Media Center Extender page on Microsoft.com, the site now has details on how the Extenders can be used and features some of the partners bringing Extenders out. The site has links to the hardware manufactures.

Notice how they are calling them Extender for Windows Media Center, rather then Windows Media Center Extenders.

extender

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/mediacenterextender/default.mspx

Drop The Box! – Support the quest for CableCARD in Canada

Peter Near has started a campaign to get try and get CableCARD or something like that introduced in to Canada.If you have Tivo or Media Center and want to get rid of your Set Top Box and live in Canada you need take a look at Peter’s site Dropthebox.ca web site. Peter will be coming on to The Media Center Show soon to talk about his campaign. I think a campaign to get Sky to open up to Media Center in the UK should be next

Did you know that you don’t really need a set top box to get HDTV from your cable company?  In the U.S. and other countries, you can plug your digital cable directly into your television, Tivo, or computer and enjoy the HDTV that you’ve paid for – it’s simple and it’s convenient.  The only thing holding back Canadians from enjoying these same benefits is the will of the people and the action of our government.

Want to help me make this happen?  Here’s what you can do:

  1. See what you’ve been missing
    I’ve put together a quick sample of the cool things that people in other countries are doing with their digital cable.  From gadgets that are on the market now to innovative ideas that are on their way, opening up the digital cable market has started to produce some really innovative ideas.
  2. Read my letter
    I’ve written a letter to the CRTC to ask that this issue be considered at the upcoming hearing on digital cable distribution in Canada.  Give it a quick read so you can understand how this was enforced in the US, and how I suggest that the CRTC proceed in making this a reality here in Canada.
  3. Write your own letter
    I have a Microsoft Word template set up that will make it easy to write your own letter to the CRTC.  It’s quite simple to write down your own feelings and submit them online – the CRTC wants to hear comments from all Canadians and I encourage you to let them hear what you have to say.  All letters to the CRTC will be published and considered in the upcoming hearing.
  4. Spread the word
    Once people discover what they’re missing, our politicians may stand up and take notice.  Politicians are people too, and I’m sure that they don’t like paying extra to their cable company to buy or rent that terrible box any more than we do.

The Media Center Show #124 – Microsoft on V2 Extenders

By Ian Dixon (14.3mb 41mins 36sec) 
Vote for the show on Podcast Alley

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This week Hakan Olsson, Senior Marketing Manager for Windows Media Center joins me to talk about today’s launch of the version 2 extenders. We talk about what they are, who is making them and how they fit in with the digital lifestyle. We also talk about the new beta Internet TV feature in Media Center. I have email, news items and a chance to win a copy of One Voices’ Media Center Communicator and LTB’s L-Beam Wireless Microphone System.

This information is very hot off the press as all the details are being announced today as this show goes out

Welcome to the new show sponsor Tech.co.uk

Watch Joe Belfiore’s keynote address live HERE

Show times:

00:58 Coming up this week
02:37 Email – Vista TV Playback problem
04:35 Vista After Hours
06:15 Life|Ware’s quad core
06:40 Charlie Owen on Hanselminutes 82 podcast
07:27 Update for Cablecard tuners
07:40 Extender updates (x86/x64)
08:11 Windows Vista Service Pack 1 installation, with 6 reboots!
10:00 A Guide to converting DVR-MS files to mp3
10:48 Win Media Center Communicator and the L-Beam Wireless Microphone System (link to video)
11:44 Watch Joe Belfiore’s keynote address from Digital Life
11:59 A message from One Voice
13:11 Welcome to Hakan Olsson
14:20 What is a Media Center Extender?
17:20 Who are making Extenders?
18:20 HD Content on Extenders
20:30 How can you connect it?
22:40 How many Extenders can you connect?
24:45 The UI
28:11 Passing the WAF test
28:38 What is the difference between the Xbox 360 Extender and the new Extenders?
30:15 Support for Divx/Xdiv
32:29 3rd Party applications
33:45 Internet TV Beta
38:33 Connectivity
44:44 WindowsVista.com/Extender
45:30 See you next week

Music by Ian Dixon

Technorati tags: Windows Media Center, podcasts

HP to introduce Media Smart TV’s with Media Center Extender

Lots of news about Extenders out today, and one great announcement is that HP are joining the Media Center Extender party.

Microsoft announced that the Extender technology will be incorporated in HP’s current line of MediaSmart high-definition televisions, which means one less box to have and something I would defiantly be interested in.

The HP MediaSmart LCD HDTV, currently available in 42-inch and 47-inch sizes, will support Extender for Windows Media Center technology through a software download, expected to be available in early 2008. The MediaSmart TVs support 1080p video, 802.11n wireless, and DivX, XVid, WMV and other video formats – delivering all the compelling features of the Media Center Extender platform incorporated directly into a TV.

Also announced are D-link Extenders

The D-Link DSM-750 MediaLounge HD Media Center Extender is housed in a sleek 17-inch black aluminum chassis, and connects to the home network using Ethernet or dual-band draft Wireless-N networking to make it easy to enjoy the Windows Media Center experience with friends and family on a home entertainment center. The DSM-750 lets you enjoy HD videos with resolutions of up to 1080i, supports WMV, DivX, and XVid formats and includes a USB 2.0 port for instant access to music, photos and videos stored on removable USB flash drives or hard drives. Suggested retail price for the device is $349.99.

I noticed that Chris Lanier is upset about the price points, I will reserve my comments on that till I see a UK price, but I know he is upset that they will cost more than an Xbox 360, but I know people that would be happy to pay slightly more for a fan less Extender. If the price of a Extender is $300, which is £150 that would be a good price point for me, but as UK readers will know normally we don’t get the same prices so I expect to see that at £200+

Don’t forget this weeks show has more on extenders, and here are the official details from Microsoft:

 

Microsoft Unveils Extenders for Windows Media Center and Internet TV Beta – Connected Entertainment Comes Home for the Holidays

New devices from Cisco’s Linksys division, D-Link, HP and Niveus Media deliver new video formats, form factors and HD TV over wireless home networks; Internet TV Beta debuts with more than one hundred hours of free full-screen video

NEW YORK — Sept. 27, 2007, 12:01 AM EDT — Today at DigitalLife, Microsoft joined initial launch partners in revealing highly anticipated details on new Extenders for Windows® Media Center. These devices, which are expected to be available for purchase this holiday season, will allow easy access to premium cable, high-definition TV, popular video formats including DiVX, music, paid movies, photos and more from any TV in the house, with a wired or wireless network connection. People can even pause a recorded show in one room, and then resume it from the same moment in another room.

Microsoft also announced that the Extender technology will be incorporated in HP’s current line of MediaSmart high-definition televisions.

Adding to the wealth of content available on Windows Vista Media Center PCs, Microsoft also launched a beta test of Windows Media Center Internet TV, which will offer more than one hundred hours of ad-supported entertainment from MSN Video, including full-length shows, music concerts and movie trailers.

“We are excited to reveal the first series of totally quiet, cool, and sleek-looking Media Center Extender devices, designed to deliver the ultimate entertainment experience to every TV set in your home,” said Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Entertainment and Devices eHome Division. “These products are the initial third-party devices that can wirelessly connect a TV with your PC, with features including live high-definition TV, PVR, movies, pictures, music and online services.  In addition, the Internet TV beta allows Windows Media Center as well as Extender users to enjoy free high-quality, television from some of their favorite studios and networks in Media Center, directly over the Internet."

New devices build a wireless entertainment bridge throughout the home

The Media Center Extender with DVD Player (DMA2200) from Linksys®, a division of Cisco, is an elegant solution that combines an upscaling DVD player with a Dual-Band Wireless-N Extender for Windows Media Center. It allows consumers to enhance their entertainment systems by teaming Extender for Media Center functionality with DVD playback capabilities in a single device. For consumers seeking a smaller form factor, Linksys will also offer the Media Center Extender (DMA2100), which delivers all the appealing features of an Extender for Windows Media Center in a compact Dual-Band Wireless-N solution that is ideal for spaces, such as bedrooms, that call for a smaller device footprint. These new Linksys Media Center Extenders give consumers easy access to their HD television content, digital music, and digital photos using just one remote control, and feature both digital and optical audio outputs that enable consumers to utilize their existing custom audio systems. They will be available for consumers to purchase in the U.S. this November at estimated street prices of $349.99 and $299.99, respectively. More information is available at www.linksys.com/mce.

The D-Link DSM-750 MediaLounge HD Media Center Extender is housed in a sleek 17-inch black aluminum chassis, and connects to the home network using Ethernet or dual-band draft Wireless-N networking to make it easy to enjoy the Windows Media Center experience with friends and family on a home entertainment center. The DSM-750 lets you enjoy HD videos with resolutions of up to 1080i, supports WMV, DivX, and XVid formats and includes a USB 2.0 port for instant access to music, photos and videos stored on removable USB flash drives or hard drives. Suggested retail price for the device is $349.99.

The HP MediaSmart LCD HDTV, currently available in 42-inch and 47-inch sizes, will support Extender for Windows Media Center technology through a software download, expected to be available in early 2008. The MediaSmart TVs support 1080p video, 802.11n wireless, and DivX, XVid, WMV and other video formats – delivering all the compelling features of the Media Center Extender platform incorporated directly into a TV. Although existing MediaSmart users can already access photos, music, videos, and movies by simply connecting their TV to their wired or wireless home network, Media Extender functionality will provide them with a new set of enhanced features — such as controlling live TV and accessing Windows Media Center Internet TV — all easily accessible using their TV remote control. The HP MediaSmart TV is available in Best Buy stores nationwide, and through a wide range of audio/visual specialty stores throughout the country.

Designed for the high-end home theater enthusiast, the Niveus Media Extender – EDGE offers a high fidelity experience, uncompromised 1080p video, digital audio, and the same amazing 3D user interface found on the award-winning Niveus Media Center. Additionally, the Niveus Media Extender features the proprietary Niveus Glacier™ Passive Cooling system for cool and quiet performance and a sleek and stylish A/V form-factor. The Niveus Media Extender – EDGE is expected to be available in early November. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Windows Media Center Internet TV Beta Launches

On Friday morning, September 28, 2007, U.S. users of Windows Vista Home Premium Edition and Windows Vista Ultimate Edition will find a new feature inside Media Center – the beta release of Internet TV. This new feature will allow people to enjoy a range of television and video content on their PCs and TV sets, without the need of a TV tuner in their PC. This streaming video content will be supported by an advertising platform provided by YuMe, and will be available to viewers for free.*

The content available in Internet TV comes from MSN Video, with more than 100 hours available during the beta period, including:

· Full episodes of TV shows such as the critically acclaimed “Arrested Development”

· Full-length music concerts including Chris Cornell, Snoop Dogg, Elton John, Pink, John Mayer, The Pussycat Dolls and many more

· High quality movie trailers from major movie studios

· The latest news segments from MSNBC

· Sports clips from FOX Sports

Internet TV has been designed for both the TV and PC screen, and features high-quality video optimized for broadband streaming. Viewers can enjoy these high-quality videos on Media Center Extender devices, including Xbox 360, as well as Windows Vista Media Center PCs.

Extend Your Digital Entertainment to the Whole Home

Watching a recorded TV show in the living room, pausing it, and then quickly resuming it from the bedroom or kitchen will soon become even easier with these new low-heat, quiet, home-theater designed devices. Extenders for Windows Media Center support streaming live high-definition TV, including premium cable channels in the US, along with formats such as Windows Media HD. The D-Link and Linksys devices add built-in support for dual band Wireless-N networking and expanded support for popular video formats such as DivX, XVid and H.264. These devices allow people to almost instantly start enjoying their entertainment – there’s no need for a built-in hard-drive to cache the video before viewing.

New Extender devices are expected to be available this holiday season, and will unleash photos, music, videos, live and recorded TV from PCs with Windows Vista Media Center for viewing and listening on big-screen TV displays or standard definition TVs – delivering the ultimate entertainment solution with a wide range of flexibility – ready for today and the future.

These Extenders will lead the industry in supporting the ability to send protected HD content to additional rooms, including recorded TV from over-the-air Advanced Television Systems Committee or Digital Cable Tuners. Extenders also support on-demand broadband content from Media Center Online Media partners such as up-to-date sports reports from FOXSports.com, kids programming from Nickelodeon, downloadable TV episodes from Showtime Networks, and subscription movies on demand from Starz Vongo, along with support for a wealth of third party plug-in applications.

More information on new Extenders for Windows Media Center is available at http://www.windowsvista.com/extender

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Internet charges may apply

For more information, press only:

Amy Grenek, Edelman, (212) 768-0550, amy.grenek@edelman.com

Brian Kemp, Edelman, (206) 223-1606, brian.kemp@edelman.com

If your having problems with the Windows Home Server Connector

Yesterday I reported on an update for Windows Home Server and Richard Miller sent me an email about possible problems after installing the update.

Once the update has been installed you have to update the connector software and Richard points out that you can run into an issue when updating the connector, if you do try this:

Open the software folder on your Windows Home server (\HOME SERVER NAMESoftwareHome Server Connector Software)

You should find that there are two temporary (TMP) files which are similar in size to the WHSConnector and Setup file.

Delete the WHSConnector and Setup files and rename the smaller temp file as Setup.exe and the larger temp file as WHConnector.msi

Then reinstall the connector software from this folder.

Thanks for the tip Richard!

Pictures of the new Linksys Media Center Extenders

Plenty of Extender news out tomorrow, the official announcements of the v2 extenders, a live keynote from Digital Life and this weeks Media Center Show is all about Extenders.

EngadgetHD have pictures and details of the new Linksys Extenders. It looks like there are two models coming out (more details on the show tomorrow) and the picture is the DMA 2200 with built in DVD player.

No details on price yet

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