Category Archives: 2412

Microsoft Enhances the Digital Cable Experience and Names 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Winner

Customers get new capabilities, more
options, and a better digital cable experience in Windows Media Center.

ATLANTA, Sept. 9 — Today at CEDIA EXPO
2009, Microsoft Corp. discussed key Windows Media Center features for Windows 7
and announced a series of initiatives that enhance the digital cable experience
in Windows Media Center. With the addition of native support for additional
international broadcast TV standards, including QAM and ATSC, there will now be
support for switched digital video (SDV), a new tool that will make it possible
for end customers to add a digital cable tuner with CableCARD to their PC, and
for existing digital cable tuner with CableCARD customers to enjoy more
portability for digital cable TV that is marked as “copy freely”
(CF). In addition, Microsoft and the Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA)
announced the winner of the 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest,
showcasing the many ways Windows Media Center can be used in a whole-home
solution.

“We’re continuing to work on creating opportunities for
partners that will enable great entertainment experiences on the PC,” said
Craig Eisler, corporate vice president of entertainment client software for the
TV, Video & Music Business at Microsoft. “Consumers understand that
having access to content via the PC is critical when it comes to entertainment
experiences, and with these announcements, we’re underscoring our broader
commitment to deliver a rich experience with Windows Media Center.”

Switched Digital Video (SDV) Support Added for Windows
Media Center

In response to customer requests and cable providers’
deployment of SDV, Microsoft now supports SDV in Windows Media Center for
Windows 7. In conjunction with a device known as a tuning adapter, supplied by
a customer’s cable provider, Windows Media Center and a digital cable tuner
with CableCARD will be able to tune to SDV channels. Customers can enjoy SDV
broadcasts on PCs running Windows Media Center in Windows 7 and a digital cable
tuner with CableCARD.

End Customers Can Now Add Digital Cable Tuners With
CableCARD to Their PCs

Microsoft and CableLabs announced that customers will now be
able to add digital cable tuners with CableCARD to a Windows 7-based PC with
Windows Media Center. A new tool will be provided by Microsoft that assesses
the PC’s ability to support the solution. This tool will analyze the customer’s
PC and enable digital cable support if the PC meets requirements, opening
digital cable options to Windows Media Center customers across the country.
Microsoft also announced that, with Windows 7, it has increased the number of
TV tuners that can be connected to the PC from two to four per tuner type,
thereby allowing customers to simultaneously record or watch as many as four
digital cable TV channels.

“We are excited that digital cable customers will now
be able to take advantage of this new opportunity to bring great cable TV programming
to the PC,” said So Vang, vice president of OpenCable at CableLabs.
“We are dedicated to helping customers get the most from their cable
service, and this will be a great win for both the customer and the cable
operators.”

Digital Cable Customers Can Now Enjoy More TV Portability
in Windows Media Center

Microsoft and CableLabs also announced that they worked
together to enable digital cable tuner with CableCARD customers to enjoy more
portability for digital cable TV that is marked as “copy freely” (CF).
Customers will be able to play CF-marked digital cable recordings, such as
those from local channels, on other PCs, devices and portable media.

Windows Media Center Features in Windows 7 Highlighted

Using new Windows 7 features such as Windows Touch,
HomeGroup, Remote Media Streaming and PlayTo, sharing recorded TV, videos,
music and pictures throughout the home, while on the road and to remote
locations has never been easier. There is also support for the AVCHD format.
This allows customers to view HD video from many popular HD video cameras.

In addition, support for the international broadcast TV
standards that was released with the Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008 will
also be included in Windows Media Center in Windows 7. This includes native
support for both ATSC and QAM, the ability to remap channels, and support for
subchannels.

New Firmware for ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuners

In conjunction with the Microsoft and CableLabs
announcements, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) will be providing a new
firmware update that is available to all ATI TV Wonder digital cable tuners
being used with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. This firmware update will allow
existing digital cable tuner with CableCARD customers to enjoy more portability
for digital cable TV marked as CF. Customers will be able to play CF-marked
digital cable recordings, such as those from local channels, on other PCs,
devices, and portable media. In addition, the firmware will contain support for
SDV. When installed on a Windows 7-based PC with a digital cable tuner with
CableCARD and a tuning adapter from a cable provider, it enables access to
switched digital channels in locations where SDV has been deployed.

2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest Winner
Announced

Microsoft, in collaboration with the Media Center Integrator
Alliance (MCIA), announced the winner of the 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate
Install Contest. The winning installation was submitted by Dustin Anderson,
general manager at Vision Audio in Lubbock, Texas, who built a system with
Windows Media Center at the core of the entertainment experience in an
extensive whole-home installation for a customer in Odessa, Texas. The
installation integrates six Windows Media Center-based servers, one Windows
Home Server, five dedicated theater-style rooms, 12 media racks, 98 speakers,
and 30 zones of distributed audio. The home includes products from key MCIA
member companies such as Autonomic Controls Inc., Crestron Electronics Inc. and
Niveus Media Inc.

The Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest, now in
its third year, encourages integrators to show off their talents by presenting
their most unique and creative installations that leverage Windows Media Center
technologies. Vision Audio’s integration of the family’s music, movies, videos
and pictures, as well as the integration of Windows Media Center and Windows
Home Server with the Crestron home automation system, and the large scope of
the installation set it apart as the winner for 2009.

“We’re thrilled to receive this recognition from
Microsoft and the MCIA. The Windows Media Center platform has enabled us to be
on the cutting edge of technology, which has provided us with critical business
advantages during the economic downturn,” Anderson said.

More information on the contest and images from the install
can be found online at http://www.microsoft.com/ultimateinstall.

Also on Display at CEDIA EXPO 2009

At the Microsoft booth at CEDIA EXPO 2009, Microsoft will
show additional hardware and software installations that enhance the digital
cable experience. Demonstrations include these:

  • The new Zune HD portable media player using the Zune HD AV
    dock to display 720p content on an HDTV. The Zune HD and updated Zune PC
    software will launch on Sept. 15.
  • A home server powered by Windows Home Server software. The
    upcoming Windows Home Server Power Pack 3, currently in beta testing, will add
    enhancements for Windows Media Center. Power Pack 3 features include the option
    to move recorded TV content to the home server in a variety of resolutions, and
    the ability for users to see statistics about the home server through Windows
    Media Center.
  • A technology preview of the new Multi-Channel Cable TV
    Card from Ceton Corp., which enables PCs with Windows Media Center to play or
    record multiple live channels of premium HDTV at once, and stream live HD
    channels or recordings to multiple TV sets throughout the home, all with a
    single CableCARD.

Microsoft, Media Center Integrator Alliance Announce 2009 Ultimate Install Contest

Co-sponsoring this
year’s contest with Media Center Integrator Alliance, Microsoft again seeks
best residential project design based on Windows Media Center in custom
installation industry.

ORLANDO, Fla. — March 12, 2009 Today at the Electronic House Expo in
Orlando, Microsoft Corp., in cooperation with co-sponsor Media Center
Integrator Alliance, announced the 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install
Contest. This industry design contest, now in its third year, seeks to
recognize the residential integration business that best utilizes Windows Media
Center in a custom home installation project. With the support of the newly formed
Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA), a group dedicated to driving awareness
and adoption of Windows Media Center technologies in the custom channel, the
Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest will represent the best of the
best in the ecosystem.

Last year, the winner of the Windows Media Center Ultimate
Install Contest was a home installation designed and implemented by Los Gatos,
Calif.-based integration firm cyberManor. The system was created for a family
in Sunnyvale, Calif., that desired a centralized, user-friendly entertainment
and automation system. The result was a complete integration solution with
Windows Media Center at the helm.

“Once again, custom installers have the chance to
demonstrate how a connected home can be designed using the Windows Media Center
platform,” said Kevin Collins, director of the Custom Installer Channel in the
Connected TV Business, Entertainment and Devices Division, at Microsoft.
“Microsoft and MCIA are excited to give custom installers the opportunity to
showcase their creativity, execution and personalized solutions for their
customers using all the products that make up the Windows Media Center
ecosystem.”

Contest Eligibility

The goal of Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest is
to identify the best implementation of the Windows Media Center platform as
designed and installed in a residential electronics system:

Read
Full Press Release

VidaBox vAutomation adds Powerful, Semi-Automatic LiteTouch Lighting Integration

Westbury,
NY – March 11th

– VidaBox is proud to announce support for LiteTouch®, an innovator in
residential lighting controls, on their vAutomation™ control and integration
platform.  All of the standard lighting controls can be integrated onto a
single VidaBox TouchClient™ or vPad™, providing the convenience of whole house
lighting control from any location.

“Not only did we develop a driver for LiteTouch®,” says Steven
Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC, “but we’ve created a semi-automatic,
integrated solution where virtually no programming is needed.  First,
every lighting station and button can be configured within the LiteWare
software. Next, by running a special program we’ve developed, this
configuration is then exported for use by the CQC driver, and presented on our
vAutomation templates.  These custom templates automatically generate
scene keypads with LED status feedback, along with scene buttons for each
LiteTouch® station.  This solution makes it extremely easy to set up
LiteTouch® on vAutomation™ touch interfaces without any programming.”

“We are excited to work with VidaBox in providing an excellent whole home
automation solution,” says Kevin Davidson, Corporate Training Manager of
LiteTouch, Inc.  “VidaBox provides a simple interface and a powerful
platform which allows LiteTouch to maintain our focus in providing the very
best and the most reliable lighting control solutions in the world.”

“By choosing LiteTouch® and VidaBox vAutomation™,” Cheung continues,
“dealers can offer a tightly integrated solution that allows lighting
control to be added easily, without any complex programming.  This
tremendously minimizes installation time without sacrificing quality. 
Combined with integrated support for media centers, audio servers, and other
smart home technologies, the vAutomation™ platform provides a truly all-in-one,
complete solution.”

vAutomation support for LiteTouch® is available now.  For more details and
information on this innovative automation platform and VidaBox’s comprehensive
line of media servers, extenders, and complete entertainment and control
solutions, please visit their company website at http://www.vidabox.com, or contact them at
516-730-7500.  For more details on LiteTouch and their lighting solutions,
please visit their company website at http://www.litetouch.com.

About VidaBox LLC
VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls solutions company focused
on manufacturing premium media centers, audio servers, and integrated home
control & automation solutions.  VidaBox is on a mission to create
user-friendly, stable high-performance Media Center systems that work right out
of the box and integrate seamlessly with multizone audio and smart home
technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com
or call 1-516-730-7500.

About LiteTouch Inc.
LiteTouch lighting control products offer real-world benefits including
convenience, security, time-savings, safety, energy conservation and design
aesthetics. “Experience Lighting Control”, an online tour detailing
many of these benefits is available at LiteTouch.com LiteTouch, a lighting
control industry leader for more than two decades, is headquartered in Salt
Lake City, Utah.

VidaBox Unveils new Products at CES 2009

VidaBox Releases New
vPad8, an Enhanced Ultra-Mobile Tablet Designed for Automation

VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and
control solutions, is proud to present the vPad8™, a thin and light
ultra-mobile tablet PC.  Running on
Windows XP embedded, it features a full-color touch screen with 800×600
resolution and comes standard with WiFi connectivity, making it an ideal
control interface device.

“We’re excited to release the new vPad8™ panel,”
exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox. “This is a smaller, less
bulky version of our original vPad10™. 
We’ve also added some improvements like a brighter screen for easier
legibility in direct light, and optional protective rubber bumpers, making it
extremely durable.”

Read
Full Press Release

image

New VidaBox Touch3.6
Touch Pad Provides Truly Customizable Controls

VidaBox, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and control
solutions, is proud to debut the Touch3.6™, a full-color touchpad capable of
presenting an interactive, fully-customizable interface.  This 320×234 resolution screen will allow
control of any device via RS-232, TCP/IP, IR, and other control protocols
through the vAutomation™ platform.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to offer our dealers the new
Touch3.6 panel,” exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC.
“Integrators can finally install a double-gang sized panel to control
anything in the house – lighting, security, climate, shades, whole house AV, and
more.  This is all possible because of
vAutomation’s support for customizable interfaces.”

Read
Full Press Release

image

VidaBox Now Offers
Pre-packaged Whole House Audio Solutions with Multi-room Distribution Systems

VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and
control solutions, is proud to offer complete whole house audio packages.  Based on the VidaBox line of multiroom audio
servers, these packages include NuVo® multiroom distribution and amplification
equipment.

“These new packages are a natural progression of
delivering new features and better value for our dealer base,” states
Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC. “Most of our integrators are
already using NuVo® and Russound® in their multiroom audio installs.  However, many of them shy away from adding a
VidaBox audio server into the mix because of the learning curve, even if it
means having new features like internet radio, sleep/wake functions, or whole
house audio control from a single TouchClient™ or vPad™ touch panel.  By marrying the two as a complete solution,
dealers can get a single package that eliminates setup and installation
headaches, since VidaBox takes care of all of the configuration work at the
factory.”

Read
Full Press Release

image

VidaBox Releases new
TouchClient8 In-wall PC Touch Panel

VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and
control solutions, is excited to announce the availability of the
TouchClient8™, a full-color, 8.4″ in-wall touch panel with an XP embedded
computer.

“From the first day of offering the TouchClient12™, we
kept getting asked, ‘Do you have a smaller version?'” says Steven Cheung, President
of VidaBox LLC. “As always, we listen intently to our integrators, and
created this new, smaller version called TouchClient8™.  It has the same great features &
connectivity options of the original design without any sacrifices, just with a
smaller, 800×600 native resolution touch screen.”

Like its larger cousin, the TouchClient8™ runs on XP
embedded, and has stereo speakers, dual USB, dual Ethernet, and dual RS-232
ports – allowing the possibility of local automation directly from the
TouchClient8™.  It only requires a 12V
power source & a network connection, or a WiFi network using its built-in
802.11b/g wireless card.  There are no
moving parts like fans or hard drives, allowing every TouchClient8™ to enjoy
long life and high-reliability.

Read
Full Press Release

image

VidaBox Releases new TouchClient8 In-wall PC Touch Panel‏

Las Vegas, NV – CES 2009 – January 9-11 – Hilton Suite
H22-121
– VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and control
solutions, is excited to announce the availability of the TouchClient8™, a
full-color, 8.4″ in-wall touch panel with an XP embedded computer.

“From the first day of offering the TouchClient12™, we
kept getting asked, ‘Do you have a smaller version?'” says Steven Cheung,
President of VidaBox LLC. “As always, we listen intently to our
integrators, and created this new, smaller version called TouchClient8™.  It has the same great features &
connectivity options of the original design without any sacrifices, just with a
smaller, 800×600 native resolution touch screen.”

Like its larger cousin, the TouchClient8™ runs on XP
embedded, and has stereo speakers, dual USB, dual Ethernet, and dual RS-232
ports – allowing the possibility of local automation directly from the
TouchClient8™.  It only requires a 12V
power source & a network connection, or a WiFi network using its built-in
802.11b/g wireless card.  There are no
moving parts like fans or hard drives, allowing every TouchClient8™ to enjoy long
life and high-reliability.

“Installing the TouchClient8™ is quite simple,”
continues Cheung, “Every TouchClient8™ comes with its own pre-assembled
rough-in box that installs into the wall. 
From here, the screen assembly mounts in magnetically, allowing complete
installations to take minutes, not hours.”

Another feature carried over from the original design is
write-protection of the entire operating system.  When enabled, the solid state drive on the
TouchClient becomes impervious to viruses, spyware, and other malware.  Any program installed is automatically wiped
upon a restart.  Protection can be
disabled by an installer looking to add additional software or tweak the
panel’s configuration. Once complete, it can be re-enabled for full protection.

The TouchClient8™ in-wall panels are available now.  For more details and specifications on the
entire touch panel line from VidaBox™ and other digital entertainment and
control solutions, please visit the company website at http://www.vidabox.com, or see them at
International CES in the North Tower Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com or call 1-516-730-7500.

VidaBox Now Offers Pre-packaged Whole House Audio Solutions with Multi-room Distribution Systems‏

VidaBox now offers
pre-packaged whole house audio solutions complete with multi-room distribution
systems

Las Vegas, NV – CES
2009 – January 9-11 – Hilton Suite H22-121
– VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of
digital entertainment and control solutions, is proud to offer complete whole
house audio packages.  Based on the
VidaBox line of multiroom audio servers, these packages include NuVo® multiroom
distribution and amplification equipment.

“These new packages are a natural progression of
delivering new features and better value for our dealer base,” states
Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC. “Most of our integrators are
already using NuVo® and Russound® in their multiroom audio installs.  However, many of them shy away from adding a
VidaBox audio server into the mix because of the learning curve, even if it
means having new features like internet radio, sleep/wake functions, or whole
house audio control from a single TouchClient™ or vPad™ touch panel.  By marrying the two as a complete solution,
dealers can get a single package that eliminates setup and installation
headaches, since VidaBox takes care of all of the configuration work at the
factory.”

A typical package consists of a pre-configured RoomClient™
or SLIM™ VidaBox audio server, and a NuVo® Grand Concerto® with six
keypads.  Options for touch panel
controls, additional keypads, dual AM/FM/XM tuners, or using an Essentia® or
Simplese® in place of the Concerto® are available as well.  Working with an integrator, VidaBox can
custom design a complete audio package based on the number of sources, zones,
and the type of controls desired.

“By ordering everything from VidaBox,” continues
Cheung, “dealers enjoy a significant savings in time and effort, leading
to higher profit.  To make things even
easier, we’ll also configure, group, and add in the names of zones
appropriately, as requested by the dealer. 
With the entire configuration and proper pre-wire done ahead of time,
everything from the first touch panel to the last keypad is ready to go –
out-of-the-box.  Complete installations
with a VidaBox solution take a fraction of the time, plus all of the added
features and benefits not available elsewhere.”

Complete VidaBox audio packages are available now.  For more details and specifications on their
audio server solutions and other digital entertainment and control solutions,
please visit the company website at http://www.vidabox.com,
or see them at International CES in the North Tower Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com or call 1-516-730-7500.

New VidaBox Touch3.6 Touch Pad Provides Truly Customizable Controls

New VidaBox Touch3.6™
touch pad provides truly customizable controls in a full color double-gang
sized touch screen

Las Vegas, NV – CES
2009 – January 8-11 – Hilton Suite H22-121 –
VidaBox, a manufacturer of
digital entertainment and control solutions, is proud to debut the Touch3.6™, a
full-color touchpad capable of presenting an interactive, fully-customizable
interface.  This 320×234 resolution
screen will allow control of any device via RS-232, TCP/IP, IR, and other
control protocols through the vAutomation™ platform.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to offer our dealers the new
Touch3.6 panel,” exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC.
“Integrators can finally install a double-gang sized panel to control
anything in the house – lighting, security, climate, shades, whole house AV,
and more.  This is all possible because
of vAutomation’s support for customizable interfaces.”

Unlike traditional setups where there is one keypad for
lights, one for music, and another for climate control, integrators can install
a single control to replace them all. 
Only a single CAT cable & power-over-Ethernet is needed for connectivity,
making it extremely easy to install.  A
vController™, as the brains of the vAutomation platform, processes user
selections on each Touch3.6™ and changes its interface to present new options
and information.  For example, when
lighting is selected, on/off switches, dimmer controls, and current status for
that zone immediately pop up.  On the
same interface, clicking on ‘music’ will present album art of the song
currently playing, along with playback controls.

“Many customers enjoy the simplicity of having smaller,
neater controls that the Touch3.6™ offers,” continues Cheung.  “Combined with the interface
customization and control capabilities of vAutomation, ease of installation
into new or retrofit projects, and relative low cost, the Touch3.6™ becomes the
smart choice for in-room controls in any whole house AV and integration
project.

The Touch3.6™ will be available in February to dealers who
have attended and completed vAutomation training.  For more details and specifications on the
Touch3.6™ and other VidaBox digital entertainment and control solutions, please
visit the company website at http://www.vidabox.com,
or see them at International CES in the North Tower Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com or call 1-516-730-7500.

VidaBox Releases New vPad8, an Enhanced Ultra-Mobile Tablet Designed for Automation

VidaBox releases new
vPad8™, an enhanced ultra-mobile tablet designed for automation &
customizable controls

Las Vegas, NV – CES
2009 – January 8-11 – Hilton Suite H22-121 –
VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of
digital entertainment and control solutions, is proud to present the vPad8™, a
thin and light ultra-mobile tablet PC. 
Running on Windows XP embedded, it features a full-color touch screen with
800×600 resolution and comes standard with WiFi connectivity, making it an ideal
control interface device.

“We’re excited to release the new vPad8™ panel,”
exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox. “This is a smaller, less
bulky version of our original vPad10™. 
We’ve also added some improvements like a brighter screen for easier
legibility in direct light, and optional protective rubber bumpers, making it
extremely durable.”

vPad8™ still keeps many of its larger cousin’s features,
such as built-in 802.11b/g for wireless connectivity, a docking station that
doubles as a charging cradle, and solid state storage w. fanless operation,
providing long life and reliable performance. 
Running on XP embedded, integrators can install a myriad of automation
& control programs, such as CQC, which allows the vPad8™ to be used a
control interface.

“When combined with CQC & vAutomation, the vPad8™
becomes a great choice for mobile controls,” continues Cheung.  “The panel presents a customized
interface, allowing any user to tap buttons to control lights, monitor
security, change climate settings, choose AV sources, turn devices on or off in
each room – from any location.  CQC
processes the user’s selections, and sends out the appropriate commands via
RS-232, TCP/IP, IR, and other control protocols, making the vPad8™ an ultra
powerful, all-in-one remote.  The end
user control experience doesn’t get easier with this level of seamless
integration.”

The vPad8™ is available now. 
For more details and specifications on the vPad8™ and other VidaBox
digital entertainment and control solutions, please visit the company website
at http://www.vidabox.com, or see them at
International CES in Hilton Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com  or call 1-516-730-7500.

Embedded Automation Updates mPanel, Adds RadioRA Support

Embedded Automation keeps adding significant value to their
mControl home automation software.  Just
this month just have added support for Lutron RadioRA
and HACS AB8SS Speaker Switch Box
, released a new mControl
driver for remote control of their mPanel in-wall touchscreen
, updated
their mPanel Software
which includes new digital media and digital control
capabilities, and showed mPanel
running other HA software applications
.

RadioRA is a big addition to mControl and might represent
things to come for Embedded Automation. 
Up until now mControl has mainly been limited to control of lower end
lighting control systems.  These systems
(Z-Wave, INSTEON, X-10) are fine for the DIYer, but RadioRA joins CentraLite, LiteTouch,
and UPB which were released a few months ago on the big higher end side of
things.

Anyone using mControl with a higher end lighting control
system?  Is there an additional platform
you would like to see Embedded Automation support?

cyberManor Named 2008 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest Winner

With a stunning
implementation of Windows Media Center technologies in an eco-friendly Northern
California home, cyberManor captures this year’s title.

DENVER — Sept. 8,
2008 —
Microsoft Corp. announced the winner of the 2008 Windows Media
Center Ultimate Install Contest at CEDIA EXPO 2008 in Denver. CEDIA EXPO 2008
is an annual show for the residential electronic systems industry put on by the
Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association. The winning installation
for the design contest was submitted by Gordon Van Zuiden, president of
cyberManor and noted innovator in the custom installation channel.

Founded in 1999 and based in Los Gatos, Calif., cyberManor
specializes in the design, installation and integration of Internet-connected
home electronic solutions that enhance the entertainment, communications,
comfort and safety of their clients’ homes in the San Francisco Bay area. Its
contest-winning project was created for a family in Sunnyvale, Calif., that
desired a centralized, user-friendly entertainment and automation system. The
result was a complete integration solution with Windows Media Center at the
helm.

“We couldn’t be prouder of this accomplishment,” Van Zuiden
said. “Winning the Ultimate Install Contest is a testament to the phenomenal
efforts of the cyberManor employees who worked so diligently to make this
installation one of the greatest integration projects in our company’s 10-year
history.”

The Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest, now in
its second year, encourages integrators to show off their talents by presenting
their most unique and creative installations that leverage Windows Media Center
technologies. cyberManor’s solution uses numerous industry-renowned products
from the Windows Media Center ecosystem, including NiveusMedia Inc.’s n9 media
server with four CableCARD tuners, multiple Niveus EDGE and Xbox 360 extenders
that distribute live and prerecorded digital high-definition (HD) content, and
a Niveus Ice Vault, storing the family’s DVD movie collection. Also integrated
into the entertainment solution were the family’s music library and digital
photos.

The home features Exceptional Innovation’s Life|ware software
for whole home control of thermostats, lighting, audio distribution,
surveillance cameras and an Internet protocol (IP)-based door strike at the
front gate with the touch of a button. Deriving power from solar panels on the
roof, the family strived to make their home as environmentally friendly as
possible, using only LED and fluorescent lighting and settings on their Lutron
lighting system that automatically turned off power at certain times of day.

“The goal of this project was to centralize the digital
entertainment and automation of the home in a simple and effective system that
had one consistent user interface,” said Jim Kohl, project manager at
cyberManor. “Two of the homeowner’s main objectives were the distribution of
high-definition personal video recordings to multiple HD video zones throughout
the home simultaneously and the ability to centralize all A/V sources in a
single rack mount computer. The seamless integration of these Windows Media
Center products and technologies enabled us to accomplish those tasks while
staying consistent with the sleek and clean design the homeowner desired.”

The cyberManor team used Windows Media Center as the central
platform to control numerous aspects of the family’s digital lifestyle,
including 12 zones of Russound distributed audio, Lutron lighting and shade
control, individual room climate controls automated by time of day and air
temperature outside, and surveillance technology. All home automation is
provided by Life|ware software, including unique features such as fountain
control from all areas of the home. Via Life|ware, family members in various
rooms, including the outdoor patio and cabana, can dim the lights, lower the
shades, turn on the television, enjoy the distributed audio system or perform
numerous other tasks at the touch of a button.

“Microsoft is pleased to recognize cyberManor as the 2008
Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest winner,” said Kevin Collins,
director of the Custom Installer Channel in the Connected TV Business, Entertainment
and Devices Division at Microsoft. “Its use of Windows Media Center in this
home provided the homeowner with an easy-to-use solution for all of the
family’s digital needs and home automation. cyberManor’s incredible work is an
excellent example of how high-level integration combined with the Windows Media
Center scalable entertainment and automation platform can delight the most
discerning customer.”

This year’s edition of the contest saw an increase in both
the number of submissions and the overall quality of the technology design
projects. With more options from hardware manufacturers and the additional
support of Microsoft, Windows Media Center has seen enormous growth in the
custom integration channel over the past year.

In addition to cyberManor’s winning installation, Microsoft
named Wireless Home of Naples, Fla., and Simple Digital Home of Salem, Ore., as
this year’s finalists. Both installations featured Windows Media Center as the
basis of truly unique solutions, and both are recognized for their
achievements.

More information about the Ultimate Install Contest is
available at http://www.microsoft.com/ultimateinstall.
More information on cyberManor is available at http://www.cybermanor.com.

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

image