jump to navigation

Windows 7 Media Center gets Mediaroom support — Engadget January 7, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

During the Microsoft keynote, Ballmer mentioned that customers of IPTV providers like AT&T U-Verse will be able to watch TV on Windows 7 PCs, but he glazed over the how. The how is Windows 7 Media Center — according to the press release that is available after the jump — and there’s no special hardware like a tuner required. The when wasn’t mentioned because it is dependent on the provider, but when they do upgrade to Mediaroom 2.0, Media Center fans will have access to all the same content as a set-top like HD and on-demand, which is something pretty cool.

via Windows 7 Media Center gets Mediaroom support — Engadget.

Advertisements

The Windows Media Center CableCARD Update November 10, 2009

Posted by pannet in Multimedia.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Over the weekend, Microsoft released the CableCARD firmware update for Windows 7 Media Center which relaxes DRM for recordings in a big way and adds support for SDV. The package arrived as the “ATI Digital Cable Tuner 1.19.12.09050155 firmware” — available to all of those with the ATI CableCARD tuners via Windows Update. Next, Microsoft also pushed out the Digital Cable Advisor tool, which checks your computer to ensure it meets minimum hardware requirements for CableCARD viewing/recording. The Digital Cable Advisor, found in the Windows Media Center Extras Gallery, measures system CPU speed, RAM, graphics card support for hardware acceleration, and digital connection capabilities. If your PC meets the minimum requirements, it enables digital cable functionality on your PC. (CableCARD tuner and connection from your cable company required of course.) Once you have it all set up, you’ll be able to use your Windows 7 computer’s Media Center HTPC front-end to access cable TV, including premium content.

via The Windows Media Center CableCARD Update.

Media Center CableCARDs freed from OEM requirement September 10, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

This just in from our team at Microsoft’s MCE event at CEDIA — the OEM requirement on CableCARDs has been officially lifted, freeing Joe Six Packs all over from having to buy whole systems. The photo above pretty much says it all — enthusiasts (hey, that’s us!) can add CableCARD tuners to their PC. Even though a DIY workaround has been around for a while, it’s nice not to have to break/bend the rules to get your shows recorded, isn’t it?

via Media Center CableCARDs freed from OEM requirement.

Windows 7 includes support for Dolby Digital Plus August 18, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

In what is hopefully one of many new announcements about Windows 7 leading up to its launch, Microsoft has added support for Dolby Digital Plus in most versions of Windows 7. This is good news indeed, as the Plus version of Dolby Digital not only supports higher bit rates than the classic Dolby Digital, but it also offers better sound quality than its older brother at the same bit rate — it is not lossless like Dolby TrueHD though. The other key reason why this is essential to Windows 7 from the Media Center perspective is because premium content providers around the world use it. We do wonder if this support includes Extenders for Media Center though, we mean it’d have to right; otherwise what’s the point?

via Windows 7 includes support for Dolby Digital Plus.

Google’s Android Jumps to the Living Room – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com August 5, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

MIPS Technologies, a microprocessor design firm, is trying to push Google’s Android software beyond mobile phones into the living room.

Though Android was developed originally as an operating system for smartphones, computer makers quickly started toying with the idea of putting it onto the small laptops known as netbooks. Several manufacturers demonstrated such devices at the Computex conference in Taiwan in June.

Now, MIPS wants to put Android in home electronics devices.

“Android has gone viral,” said Art Swift, vice president of marketing at MIPS, in a phone interview.

Two months after announcing that it would the adopt Android for its chip architecture, MIPS said this week that it is making its computer code publicly available to customers.

“In my 25 years in the electronics industry, I have never seen a new technology take off as quickly as this one. It is moving very rapidly out the of mobile handset space,” Mr. Swift said.

via Google’s Android Jumps to the Living Room – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

Netflix Watch Instantly coming to Windows 7 Media Center August 1, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment
Netflix on Windows 7

In what is sure to be just the start of many announcements surrounding Windows 7 in the next few months leading up to the general release, Microsoft demoed Netflix on Windows7 Media Center at the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting. No hard release date yet or big surprises here as Vista owners got this access some time ago and Extenders still don’t support Silverlight. The good news though is that the app will be full touch screen capable, so for those with the right hardware you’ll have the same great improvements you have in the rest Windows 7. Media Center fans might also be happy to hear that more features were promissed in regards to “TV on the PC.” (Fast forward to 1 hour and 2 minutes in the video via the read link to see the demo)

via Netflix Watch Instantly coming to Windows 7 Media Center.

BSkyB link with Microsoft on X-Box May 27, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Rapid TV News understands that the long-awaited link up between BSkyB and Microsoft’s X-Box is at last going to happen. Full details will be announced tomorrow (Friday, May 29). […]

Some two years ago, in July 2007, BSkyB’s COO Mike Darcey confirmed that the broadcaster was talking to Microsoft about the possibility of using Microsoft’s Windows Media as another route to users.[…]

However, providing some sort of BSkyB functionality for Microsoft X-Box/360 users could potentially deliver millions more users in the UK and Ireland to BSkyB.

Within the past few days Microsoft has also provided updates to its Vista operating system (Service Pack 2) which enables users with Blu-ray Disc drives to burn programming directly to the disc (including HD) using internet Explorer. This move may be wholly unrelated to the upcoming Sky announcement, but indicates the convergence that’s increasingly seen between programming and console devices.

via BSkyB link with Microsoft on X-Box – Rapid TV News.

Is the future of Windows Media Center with Windows Home Server? May 24, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
Tags: ,
add a comment

With all the bad news around Windows Media Center this week, many enthusiasts are wondering about the future of Media Center. To say that the past few years have had a few disappointments is an understatement, especially when you think back to the way CableCARD support was implemented and how poorly the Extenders have been supported. Although things look pretty grim for our preferred DVR platform, we’re optimistic that things are actually about to get really good in the next year thanks to Windows 7 and some unannounced features and products. Part of the reason we think this is because over the years we’ve been watching Microsoft develop products that have taken years to catch on and gain dominance. But lets be honest, we’re not on the inside and most of what we think will happen is based on rumors and conjecture. With that being said, we’ve convinced ourselves that the future of Media Center, and the key to wider adoption that we think it deserves, is with Windows Home Server. […]
Windows Home Server has become one of the best laptop companion accessories available today. It makes it drop dead simple to backup all your computers — both individual files and the entire system — gives you an easy-to-use centralized repository for all your media and even remote access capabilities. The amazing thing is that the product is able to do all of this for a relatively low cost of about $500. We believe that the next version of WHS will also let you add tuner support and will not only let you record your shows and watch live TV on an Extender, but it will also let you watch TV on your Windows 7 laptop.[…]

Since the release of WHS there have been a few updates that shows that Microsoft is already working in this direction. Most notably was Power Pack 2 which included a Media Center connector (pictured above) that made it really easy to access all the media on the WHS from within WMC — this was possible before, but required some manual configuration including a few registry entries. The other trend out of Redmond that points us in this direction is the new BDA driver architecture. This allows hardware manufactures to develop their own hardware with less interaction from Microsoft and is kind of a standard like NDIS is for network adapters. Yet another indicator is the support of UPnP based tuners, as well as the “Shared TV” features of Windows 7. All of this combined with a little less DRM on CableCARD recordings and native satellite support starts to make this picture very clear to us.

via Is the future of Windows Media Center with Windows Home Server?.

IPTV news – Motorola to add telephony to STB remotes May 8, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Motorola is planning on adding telephony features to its rechargeable remote control for IPTV set-top boxes, the company has confirmed to IPTV News, and expects to start production in the fourth quarter of this year, with potential shipment in the first half of 2010.

The company introduced its Motorola R331 VIP remote control at the CES show last January, which includes a speaker and comes with a base station as well as a ‘find’ feature. Mostafa Reza, Product Line Manager at Motorola’s IP Video Solutions group, said voice-enabling the remote will require adding a microphone and Bluetooth wireless connectivity to let the base-station cradle communicate with the handset. “If I had to put VoIP into the set-top box, the cost would be so astronomical nobody would want to add that,” he said. “But I can add that into the remote pretty cost-effectively. Of course it adds cost, but the real question is, Is the customer willing to pay an extra XYZ dollars for this feature?”

A Motorola spokesperson confirmed to us today that the remote can be made compatible with any platform, not just the Microsoft Mediaroom platform which the company is working with to deliver caller ID on the TV screen: “We will work with each customer individually to give them a remote that fits their specific needs while utilising the protocol that is compatible with their specific set-tops,” added the spokesperson.

via IPTV news – Motorola to add telephony to STB remotes.

Plex » Netflix has never looked this good April 15, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

A lot of people have been asking for this, and now your wish has been granted: Netflix on Plex. Tens of thousands of instantly playable movies, and a gorgeous interface with fanart, high resolution posters and rich metadata.

Major props to Scott for doing a brilliant job with this plug-in. He’s already hard at work at the next version.

The Netflix plug-in requires the latest version of Plex.

via Plex » Netflix has never looked this good.