This weeks posts

Are you interested in a book on Media Center development?  Or having problems with XP Service Pack3 and Extenders? Check out this weeks post round up:

Would you like to see a Media Center Development book?

Steven Harding on The Digital Lifestyle Developer Blog is working on a Media Center development book and is asking would you like it in traditional book format or an inexpensive PDF copy. I think a PDF is a great idea as its a much cheaper way of distributing…

Consumer Electronics Installer Blog : In-room Extender Design Strategy

Previously Microsoft’s Consumer Electronics installer blog talked about using Media Center with a rack mounted solution for distributing content around the home. While this was a interesting solution the idea of having all the equipment in a rack didn’t appeal to me so I like the look of the in-room solution they are showing in….

AMEX RM-mp1 Media Center Remote

Engadget have a nice picture of AMEX’s RM-mp1 Media Center Remote. It has a touchpad, laser pointer, wireless USB receiver and it works with Media Center. It sure looks nice, shame there are no more details   AMEX offers up RM-mp1 media center remote…

Having problems setting up an Extender on XP SP3?

Microsoft’s Aaron Stebner details the issue that is causing Extender setup to fail on some XP SP3 installations and while the eHome team work on an update he has a manual workaround to resolve the issue Root cause of the issue I looked in the source code…

TeVeStream CaptionSeeker – New Software for Locating Recorded TV Scenes by Captions

Not sure if anybody has tried this but I just spotted a post about TeVeStream CaptionSeeker, an application for searching captions in TV shows and then you can seach for text in the show and jump to the scene in Media Center. Looks…

Don’t forget to Vote for The Ultimate Media Center Enthusiast Setup

There is still time to vote for your favourite Enthusiast Setup from our Flickr group and if you vote you get chance to win some great prizes, here are the nominations: jbworks mattingly47302 elootos fyiguy1 DWAnderson Take a look at their pictures send…

 

and finally don’t forget this weeks podcast:

 

The Media Center Show #158 – Fuze Media Systems

Listen Here Back at CES in January I came across FUZE Media Systems ( see this video ), they have a different approach to Media Center using a hybrid system of their own code and parts of Media Center to create a locked down whole home media solution…

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The Media Center Show #158 – Fuze Media Systems

Don’t forget I have moved my blog to TheDigitalLifestyle.com, please subscribe to the RSS feed 

Listen Here
Back at CES in January I came across FUZE Media Systems (see this video), they have a different approach to Media Center using a hybrid system of their own code and parts of Media Center to create a locked down whole home media solution and this week I talk to Bob Silver from FUZE about their system and it’s features.  I also have your email and news items, please keep the email coming!

Direct Download LinkSubscribe via iTunesSubscribe via RSS – Vote for the show on Podcast Alley – Join The Media Center Show Group on FacebookCatch me on Twitter

Thanks to the show sponsor Techradar.com

Show Times and all the links talked about in the show are on the show blog

Recent Post Roundup is back!

Don’t forget I have moved my blog to TheDigitalLifestyle.com

I haven’t done one of these for a while, so here is a round up of recent post on my blog.

How do you use Home Automation?

On The Media Center Show we talk about Home Automation frequently, with packages like mControl home automation is affordable and can scale from a single light switch all the way to full security systems and environmental control. I want to know how you…

 

Beta Test Windows Home Server Power Pack 1

In the coming weeks Microsoft are planning to put out the beta of Power Pack 1 for Windows Home Server on the connect beta site and as Philip Churchill says on his blog "with the primary focus on getting the Server Storage component tested". As Power…

 

FUZE Media Systems incorporates Blu-Ray capability

I met with FUZE Media Systems at CES back in January and they will be on the show in a couple weeks. Today they added Blu-Ray capabilities to their whole home media systems. They are partnering with ArcSoft to provide the Blu-ray support and Arcsoft seems…

 

CyberLink Live 2.0

Cyberlink have launched 2.0 of CyberLink Live a placeshifting application that looks to rival to Orb and Webguide.  With Cyberlink Live you can watch Live TV, browse your EPG and schedule recordings and as with Orb and Webguide you can also stream…

 

Fixing Windows Vista, Part 4: Get smart about services

Ed Bott continues writing about how to get the best out of Windows Vista and debunking many of the myths around the operating system. In part 4 Ed looks at services and counters the myth that you should disable many of the Windows services. Today’s…

 

MyNetflix developer heads to Netflix

Anthony Park the developer behind mceBrowser and recently MyNetflix has announced that he is going to work for Netflix. Anthony is a great developer of Media Center application and I am sure his skills will be very useful for Netflix and I hope this means…

The Media Center Show #157 – Microsoft’s Hakan Olsson

Listen Here
Continuing on from last weeks conversation about Extenders, Hakan Olsson from Microsoft returns to the show to talk about HP’s entry into the market and the other Extenders available. I also have an interview with the winner of the HP HDX Dragon Entertainment PC, Paul was very please to win the unit so I called him up to find out his plans for it. As ever I have your email and news items.

Direct Download LinkSubscribe via iTunesSubscribe via RSS – Vote for the show on Podcast Alley – Join The Media Center Show Group on FacebookCatch me on Twitter

Thanks to the show sponsor Techradar.com

Show Times, links and all the details in the show notes

The Media Center Show #156 – HP on the MediaSmart TV

Listen Here
A couple of weeks ago HP updated their MediaSmart TV to add Media Center Extender functionality making it the first TV with a built in Extender, so this week I am talking to Brian Burch, Director of HP Connected Entertainment about the MediaSmart TV and the soon to be available MediaSmart Receiver. I saw the TV in person at CES and it looks a great and having an Extender built in means less cables and boxes. I also have your email and news items.

Direct Download LinkSubscribe via iTunesSubscribe via RSS – Vote for the show on Podcast Alley – Join The Media Center Show Group on FacebookCatch me on Twitter

[mp3]http://thedigitallifestyle.com/audio/TDL_MediaCenter_20080515_156.mp3[/mp3]

Thanks to the show sponsor Techradar.com

For full details of the times and links talked about in the show go to the show Blog

Post Roundup

Don’t forget I have moved my blog to TheDigitalLifestyle.com

It’s been a busy week this week. I have been looking at the HP HDX Dragon Entertainment PC I am giving away, it’s a fantastic laptop the most powerful Vista machine I have ever used. I will be giving away the unit starting May 9th so keep an eye on the blog for details of how to win.

Other posts this week:

What Power Settings do you use on your Media Center system?

A question came up in the forums about power settings and sleep mode and how even with Vista some people don’t risk Sleep mode on their Media Center system. I have to admit I don’t use Sleep mode on my Media Center box as it now operates more like a server…

 

MyNetflix v2.2.1 – Instant Queue Feature

Anthony Park has updated MyNetflix to include new Instant Queue features This feature ties in well with what many people have been requesting for MyNetflix. So, this morning I added the code necessary in MyNetflix to use this new Instant Queue. Now in…

 

First Impressions of the HP Dragon

Last night I recorded an unboxing video of the HP Dragon that I will be giving away ( as part of the 31 Days of the Dragon ), I should have the video up in a couple of days so in the mean time I thought I would post my first thoughts. The first thing…

 

Video: Unboxing a HP HDX Dragon Entertainment PC

As part of the 31 days of Dragon I am giving away a HP HDX Entertainment PC and in this video I unbox the monster machine and take a quick look at the Vista performance rating and Windows Media Center. As I said in my first impressions post it is the…

 

Zune gets an update

Today when I fired up my Zune desktop software it prompted me to download the new version (2.5). It looks like the social elements got updated plus other new features. You can find out more details on the featues via Zunethoughts.com and it looks like…

 

D-link DSM-750 Now Shipping

Just got a press release from D-link saying the DSM-750 is now shipping. I actually thought the unit was already shipping but I must have been wrong 🙂 A lot of people have been impressed with the D-link Extender as it seems to have better performance…

 

Windows Media Center experience throughout the house with rack-mounted Extenders

Microsoft’s customer installer blog takes a look at how you can use Media Center Extenders to distribute audio and video around the home. They show how you can put all your AV equipment, PC and Extenders in the same rack and then each Extender’s video…

The Media Center Show #155 – Lagotek

Listen Here
This week I am talking Home Automation with Lagotek, they have an interesting software based approached to home automation and home entertainment. You can even control your home from mobile devices like an iPhone. I have a sneak preview on how to win the HP HDX Dragon Entertainment PC and software bundle worth around $5000 as part of the 31 Days of the Dragon (you can see me unboxing the laptop)
Plus I have news items and Email.

Direct Download LinkSubscribe via iTunesSubscribe via RSS – Vote for the show on Podcast Alley – Join The Media Center Show Group on FacebookCatch me on Twitter

Thanks to the show sponsor Techradar.com

Show times and all the links talked about in the show are on the show blog post

Zune gets an update

Today when I fired up my Zune desktop software it prompted me to download the new version (2.5). It looks like the social elements got updated plus other new features. You can find out more details on the featues via Zunethoughts.com and it looks like the video download service has been expanded 

Here are the details from Microsoft

 

REDMOND, Wash. — May 5, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Zune, the company’s all-in-one digital entertainment brand, is adding new software features and content to the Zune online store, music community and Zune Pass monthly subscription service. Zune is expanding its video store to include downloads of popular television shows from COMEDY CENTRAL, FUNimation® Entertainment, MTV, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, Starz Media (including Manga Entertainment), Turner Broadcasting, Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) and VH1 that consumers can sync to their device and enjoy on the go. In addition, by further integrating the Zune music community into the core experience, the new software makes it easier for people to find and listen to the music they want, share it with friends, and take it with them wherever they go — whether they choose a Zune Pass or a la carte MP3 downloads. Zune Pass subscribers can now set up automatic, real-time feeds of the music their friends are listening to and add those songs to their collection or Zune device.

Starting today, consumers can choose from more than 800 episodes of popular television series to download and watch on their computer or their Zune, including COMEDY CENTRAL’s “South Park,” FUNimation’s “Afro Samurai” and “Witchblade,” MTV’s “The Hills,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Heroes” and “30 Rock,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” SCI FI Channel’s “Battlestar Galactica” and “Eureka,” Starz’s “Ghost in the Shell” and “Street Fighter,” Turner Broadcasting’s “Metalocalypse” and “Robot Chicken,” UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter®” and “Fight Night™,” and VH1’s “Rock of Love” with Bret Michaels. Each television show will be priced at 160 Microsoft Points per episode (approximately $1.99) at launch. With more than 3.5 million tracks, two-thirds of which are available in pure MP3 format, 800 television shows, 4,800 music videos and 3,500 audio and video podcasts, the Zune online store is a great place for consumers to find the entertainment content they want. In addition, the bright, full-color screen on every Zune portable media player delivers a high-quality video experience on the go.

“Partnering with Zune will allow us to develop innovative content offerings for their customers, including flexible pricing and packaging options beginning this fall,” said JB Perrette, president of NBC Universal Digital Distribution. “NBC Universal is excited to offer our hit television shows to Zune customers.”

A Better Way to Experience Music

In a recent study commissioned by Zune, 54 percent of consumers surveyed said they were frustrated when trying to find new music, mostly because they said they didn’t have enough time, didn’t know where to look, or felt that they ended up wasting money on music they didn’t end up liking. At the same time, 89 percent said they would trust a friend or family member’s musical recommendation over a music critic’s.

The growing Zune online music community enables consumers to explore, discover and share music. Members get a free, customizable Zune Card: a snapshot of their favorite tracks and the music they’re playing on their Zune. Previously this personal snapshot resided only on the Web, but with the latest software updates Zune Cards have become much more portable. Now consumers with the Zune Pass subscription have the ability to take what their friends are listening to from the Zune music community on the go via Zune Card personal playlists for easy exploration and access, when and where they want it. The Zune Pass subscription allows consumers to explore millions of tracks with no commitment other than the monthly fee similar to the price of one CD — $14.99 per month.

“Consumers want more than the traditional transactional model of an online music store plus portable device,” said Chris Stephenson, general manager of Global Marketing for Zune at Microsoft. “Zune is putting the strong combination of an online music community together with subscription to deliver a new experience centered on music discovery that’s good for consumers, artists and the industry. This approach exposes consumers to music they might not have otherwise tried, keeps them coming back, and gives them purchasing options that suit their preferences.”

New updates to the Zune online music community include the following:

Syncing Zune Cards to a device. Consumers simply drag and drop Zune Cards from friends to a Zune device and get updates on what friends are listening to every time they sync. If the song is available with Zune Pass, subscribers automatically have the full tracks on their Zune while nonsubscribers have full album information and artwork. If consumers hear something they like, they can add it to their collection with one click. Next time the user syncs his or her Zune, he or she will be asked to confirm the purchase.

Enhanced friends search. Consumers now have the ability to add their name, location and bio to their Zune music community profile, making it easier than ever to find their friends.

Instant friends. The true power of the Zune online music community is unlocked when friends are added and consumers can follow the music they’re listening to. Now, when new Zune owners join the Zune online music community, they’ll find the top music editors from the Zune Marketplace team already added to their friends list, giving them a head start in finding new music.

Artist and album reviews. Inside the Zune music community, members have the ability to write and post their own reviews for artists and albums, providing another community-driven feature to support the exploration and discovery of music. The music community helps to find and recommend the best music.

Reputation badges. Now members of the Zune community can earn badges that are displayed on their Zune Card showing they’re passionate fans or active members.

Windows Live connections. Windows Live Messenger contacts will now be able to see what users are listening to via the Zune software. Clicking on the tracks displayed in the “Now Playing” feature will connect the Windows Live Messenger friend directly to that artist’s page on the Zune Social.

A More Integrated Way to Manage and Enjoy Entertainment

Responding directly to customer feedback, Zune has updated and added features and functionality to address better integration between the software, the online music community and the store. In addition, the updates include frequently requested features such as the ability to sync multiple Zune players at once. Specific feature updates include the following:

Auto playlists. Users can create an auto playlist that updates itself automatically as new music is added.

Browsing videos. Consumers can browse their video collection by genre and series, plus they can preview videos before they play them on full screen.

Editing album and track information. Users are able to edit track or album information (metadata) quickly via multi-select and drag-and-drop. The advanced metadata editing features make it easy to edit multiple tracks or survey albums and artist information.

Organizing collections. In addition to sorting by artist or album, consumers can now sort by genre. While browsing by genre they can further sort music by artist, album or release year.

Gapless playback. Consumers will now be able to listen to an album without the brief gap between tracks, both on their Zune and in the Zune software. This is a must-have for live-concert recordings and compilation albums.

Syncing groups. Zune software now syncs to multiple Zune players simultaneously. Users can prepare which content on their computer to sync even when their Zune isn’t connected. Consumers can create custom sync groups for music, pictures and videos.

Zune reminders. Experience is improved when a Zune player’s memory is nearing capacity, via an easy-to-use tool.

More information on Zune and related images are available at http://www.zune.net/press.

Video: Unboxing a HP HDX Dragon Entertainment PC

As part of the 31 days of Dragon I am giving away a HP HDX Entertainment PC and in this video I unbox the monster machine and take a quick look at the Vista performance rating and Windows Media Center. As I said in my first impressions post it is the most powerful machine I have ever used, and the screen and speakers are fantastic. Don’t forget I am giving this machine away

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