Category Archives: 3095

Going Beyond The Enthusiast Market

Charlie Owen, a former Media Center team member wrote a post this
week about Media Center expanding its marketplace, specifically
going from
the current enthusiast market to a more mainstream market
.  Charlie analysis comes to the pretty simple
answer of It’s
possible, but highly unlikely at this point.”

I had previously come to this conclusion, but to me
the real question is “
will Microsoft attempt to develop for the
enthusiast market?”  Lucky for me,
Charlie replied to my comment with exactly what I was expecting

Charlie: “No. That’s because they have never done so. The enthusiast market is
always a subset of the overall market any product targets. Put another way:
Where the goal is making a profit you wouldn’t sacrifice a broad market
opportunity of 100 for the narrow enthusiast market of 10. Making a
Microsoft-sized profit is different than making a profit if you were a much
smaller company.”

In other words the future for Media Center is one or two
options.  Option 1: Microsoft stops
development of Media Center (very unlikely).  Option 2:
Microsoft transitions Media Center to a market which has the possibility to
create a “Microsoft-sized profit.” (Hint: TV on your PC)  Re-quoting
myself
from early this year, the days of Media Center being billed as the
do-it-all center of your home are over.

My opinion continues to be that Microsoft will focus more
and more on the Xbox
360 as the center of the home
.  The
benefits of the Xbox 360 over Media Center are almost endless from a business
perspective.  The massive amount of end
users (an unquestionable 30 million, with 20 million of them being Xbox Live
subscribers) means content providers are going to flock to the platform.  Microsoft can sit back and rake in yearly
recurring revenue from these 20 million Xbox Live subscribers along with the
massive amounts of licensing accessories and the Xbox 360 brand.  Media Center on the other hard makes
Microsoft absolutely no money as it is a part of the standard Windows SKU (eg.
No one except members of The Green Button ever purchased a Windows license just
to get Media Center).

There are still people holding out hope for Media Center to
become a platform for the home.  The
recent announcement that Dish
Network will not be shipping
their tuner anytime soon didn’t
surprise me one bit
.  Why would Dish
bother to continue with Media Center when it is pretty clear Microsoft is
moving away from the consumer they thought they were buying into?  This same concept is at play with Media
Center Extender’s.  There is still some
hope that Toshiba
will be releasing an Extender, but I think the concept
that most people miss is that whether it gets released or not means little in
the grand scheme of things.  If
Microsoft’s heart is not in providing a platform for the home, you can really
know going into your purchase that you’re going to end up disappointed at some
point.

The biggest question mark might be Windows Home Server.  For years I have said the concept of
including Media Center in Windows Home Server is pointless
and does nothing to expand the current market
.  If HP ditched Extender’s and CableCARD due to
poor sales, why exactly would they have the least bit of interest in shipping a
Media Center+Home Server box?  If OEMs
are not interested, why is Microsoft going to develop it?

Most people underestimate the OEMs when talking about Media
Center.  OEMs are really responsible for
Media Center from start to finish from a customer’s perspective.  HP and Dell have shown they have little
interest in Media Center by either discounting CableCARD PCs, killing off
Extender’s, and even in HPs case killing off their HT-styled z-series Media
Centers.  Dish
Network
and DIRECTV
are just as important and have shown that they are increasing less interested.

Microsoft’s latest attempt to make a market for Media Center
has been the custom integrator channel, and some have big
expectations
for what Microsoft might have in store.  Sadly most of the possibilities have already
been proven false, and based on what I’ve been told from those in the industry
interest in Media Center in the custom channel is dropping fast.  I’m interest to see how much longer Microsoft
attempts to push into the market.  With
their partner OEMs such as HP, Linksys, Dish Network pulling out these leaves
the custom OEMs like Niveus Media and Life|ware to pick up the slack.  Unfortunately there is only such much they
can do.  If Microsoft’s commitment in the
channel falls it might be the end of the custom market experiment.

So once again the question is what’s next.  Recently there have been some great new
bloggers
show up in the Media Center community with some great
suggestions.  I’m done with
suggestions.  Microsoft knows exactly
what we want, let’s not pretend they don’t. 
The issue is it is no longer in their best interest to pursue most of
it.  What’s next?  Who knows. 
All I want at this point is for Microsoft to publicly provide a roadmap
for what Media Center is to become.

Does Home Server & Media Center Mean a Connected Future?

Preface: Before you read
this please try and get in the right mindset. 
Microsoft doesn’t care about what anyone reading this blog wants.  They don’t care what I want either.  It is a hard truth to take, but that’s a
fact.  They will say that they listen to
all requests, and that’s true, they do. 
What they don’t do is make any sort of business decision (translation,
features) based on my ramblings, The Green Button, Engadget, or anyone else.  They don’t make Media Center for “us”,
and before anyone can start to understand the points I try and make about
Windows Home Server you have to realize this. 
You also have to understand that Media Center has not taken the market
by storm, and that six years into it the vision simply isn’t working to achieve
the goal Microsoft originally set out achieve (hints shift in marketing).  Knowing this, please continue.

Note: I don’t work for
Microsoft, this post reflects my personal opinion.

Ben
Drawbaugh has an excellent post on what he perceives to be the future of
Windows Media Center
, and that’s its integration with Windows Home
Server.  Ben’s post is excellent, running
down a logical path of what Microsoft should do with the assets they currently
have.  You take Windows Media Center and
integrate it with Windows Home Server, sell it for $500 and users can add
tuners later.  Add in Live Mesh, Zune HD
syncing, and really connect the dots for a truly logical integrated product.

Now, maybe it is because I’ve been following Media Center a
bit longer than Ben, but why all the sudden is Microsoft going to “get it” and
integrate everything in the logical manor it should be?  Why does the introduction of Windows Home
Server mean everything will “just work?”

Here’s the deal.  It
is clear to me that Microsoft’s shift in customer marketing means the concept
of a whole home connected device with Media Center as its core isn’t
working.  Why else would Microsoft shift
to pushing “TV
on your PC?”
 It just doesn’t make
sense to me that Microsoft would shift the culture and marketing of Media
Center, and then turn around and integrate everything the way it should be.  You can see the shift in their marketing as well.

  • 2007/early 2008: “Windows Media Center turns the home PC into the ultimate connected entertainment hub and is available in every copy of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate.”
  • Today: “…builds on Microsoft’s goal to create a consistent experience on the PC for consumers to easily enjoy the entertainment of greatest interest to them.”

I’ve said for years that I
don’t see the market value in Home Server mixed with Media Center
.  I consistently get crap for this, but that’s
because everyone reading this wants exactly what I say doesn’t make sense to
produce, or rather what will not help Media Center in the marketplace. How many
people here are not using Media Center strictly because it requires them to run
two separate PCs in their home?  How many
sales are lost because of the current infrastructure?  How many sales do you gain by integrating the
two?  Have you opened up a significantly
new market by doing so?  I can’t come up
with any answers that benefit Media Center from these questions.

If Microsoft is having trouble pushing Media Center in homes
for whole home connected entertainment, the solution is not to integrate it
with a product that even fewer people understand (a “Home Server”).  The solution is actually to change paths and
try something completely different.  Sometimes
redefining a product is needed to keep it alive.

So does this mean I don’t think Microsoft will integrate
Media Center with Home Server?  No, I
think the opposite.  Last year I got a
tip that something
is coming as a “headless” device
, and I haven’t heard anything to say that
has gone away.  It would be perfectly
fine to suggest anything “headless” that comes out of Microsoft would be based
on Home Server.

So I’ve established that I think a Home Server with Media
Center integration will happen, and at the same time that the product will not
have a significant amount of mass market value over that of the current model.  Microsoft’s future for connected platforms
does include exactly what they say it will. 
The “3 screens,” which spans the PC, the phone, and the TV.  The way I see it PC = Windows 7, Phone =
Windows Phone (aka Windows Mobile), TV = Xbox 360.  I don’t see any need for Media Center as a
whole home device in their grand vision, which is why I’m questioning the concept of Microsoft getting things right just by the
inclusion of Media Center into Home Server
.

Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong.  I’m hoping I’m wrong, but given the way
things have been going, especially with Extenders (which in the case of a
headless device are key), I don’t see such a product making any impact in the
marketplace.  More so, I don’t see
Microsoft investing the time to use Media Center as the core for the home.  Media Center isn’t dying, it isn’t coming out
of Windows, but I continue to think the focus will shift.  Microsoft will still work with partners on
Extenders (I’ve been assured of this), but they will still release products and
features that forget these Extender’s even existed.  They will connect your life, but they will
not connect your life using Media Center.

What is your opinion?

Can DISH Network One-Up DIRECTV?

Now that we are fairly certain that DIRECTV
will not ship with Windows 7
, the big question remains to be will DISH
Network?  Around the time the TV Pack
started beta testing, I did
hear that some testers had been contacted about testing DISH Network Tuners
,
and that talk has popped back up in the past few weeks.

Going under my theory that Microsoft has all the plumbing
in-place for DIRECTV support, there is no reason that same framework can’t work
for DISH Network.  If DISH Network wants
to make a Media Center tuner, they can using this framework, and they might have already.

Looking around, their are some other hints about the possible DISH Network Tuner.  Ben’s photos of the eHome Lab show Windows 7
running with a branded Start Menu saying “TV with DISH Network.”  In addition to that, several people, including
Dave Zatz
have brought up the possibility that the unmarked white box in the photo below is a DISH Network tuner. 
Of course, the tuner being in Microsoft’s Lab means nothing as Microsoft as
evidenced by the suspended DIRECTV HDPC-20 tuners also present.

image
(Photos via Engadget
HD
)

Back to the framework which I believe is complete to ship
with Windows 7, here is something Microsoft showed at WinHEC.  That is premium Pay-Per-View TV being ordered via Media
Center.  We know that’s not from
a CableCARD as tru2way tuners don’t have any specs from CableLabs yet.  It chould be DIRECTV, but considering that Channel
510 happens to fall in the range of DISH Networks PPV
and most PPV content
on DISH Network happens to be $4.99, there is a good possibility you are looking
at working PPV via a native DISH Network Tuner.

image

So, should you jump and switch to DISH Network because of
this?  I wouldn’t suggest it.  Should you keep checking back to see when we
get more details?  I’d suggest it.  I’m a DIRECTV customer, so even if this DISH
Network tuner is real I likely wouldn’t be testing it.  That said, I’m looking forward to see what
happen with this.  Given DISH Networks TurboHD package for
$24.99
has every channel I’d ever watch, and the fact I can get ATSC HD
using an antenna in Media Center saving me from having to add HD Locals to the
package, DISH Network does look like a good deal if I could get a native Media
Center tuner.

Microsoft.com Forgets About Media Center

Long
Zheng just posted about a recently updated version of Microsoft.com
, so I went
to check out the changes and realized a few things.  First, I think it has been well over a year
since I actually felt the need to checkout Microsoft’s
homepage
.  Second, I realized that Media
Center is nowhere to be found on Microsoft’s homepage.  About the closest you get is Windows Media
Player or Media
Center Peripherals
which apparently is another wording for “mouse and
keyboard.”

Short Bits: Zune Mobile, Home Servers, TV Pack, More

Remember when I said you would hear more
about Zune on mobile phones before the years end
?  Well, now you
have
.  “Zune software will also be ported to and be more important not just
with the hardware but on the PC, on Windows Mobile devices, etc.,”
said
Steve Ballmer.

Missing Remote has had a few great articles over the past few
weeks including a Battle
of the Windows Home Server Systems
and a letter to Microsoft about what
is going on with Media Center
.  The
article ends with a note to Microsoft asking for them to “go back to the drawing board and re-think the Media Center product:
its future as a product, the viability of the strategy of having
it tossed into random Windows versions, and goals for
the technologies that make up Windows Media Center.”

Last month Ed Bott wrote the best article ever on the
Media Center platform
.  He covered
several issues but mainly focused on the TV Pack and all of the issues that
happened behind the scenes.  I didn’t get
to post about it when he first published it, but I have to get it out there
because Ed really did a fantastic
job with the article.

PC Mag has an “unofficial” Guide
to the TV Pack
including installation instructions just in case you happen
to find it online somewhere.

I’ll be a guest on The Media Center Show before year’s end,
but that shouldn’t stop you from waiting until then to listen to Ian’s other weekly
podcasts.  Hear about Open
Media Library (OML) from David Shulitz
and CEA
Mark Of Excellence Awards
with Roland Graham.

Microsoft Taking Media Center to Headless Appliances’

I’ve just gotten a tip from a very reliable source that
Microsoft is looking to take Media Center off the desktop and turn it into a CE
appliance.  The only information that I
have is that it is planned to be a headless device of some sort.  Other details are very scarce at this point
with no timeline to speak of, but I’ve been assured that Microsoft is actively
working on such a project.

Is
the Home Server “Media Center UI integration” that I just said wouldn’t happen
the start of this project
?  Does it
even have anything to do with Windows Home Server?  Might Softsled
be making an appearance in this all
? 
Maybe that technology they
got from WebGuide
?  I have no idea,
because clearly such a product would go against everything I’ve ever said about
Media Center.

So, I’m a bit shocked that Microsoft is looking to do
anything like this.  For years I have
been saying that such a device would fail in the market due to its un-doubtable
high cost in comparison to other CE devices like TiVo’s and the $10/month
cable/satellite DVR.

Media Center’s number one problem has been failing to define
itself in the market.  Enthusiasts and
power users want features not currently provided by Media Center, most of which
Microsoft has shown little interest in actually implementing, and they want it
at the smallest price possible.  The
high-end custom install channel wants the same things, but are willing to pay
as much as they need to in order to get the features.  Then the rest of the world doesn’t know that
Media Center exists, and even if they did they want it at a price lower than
what enthusiasts and power users are willing to spend.

Thoughts and
opinions?
  I’m not going to ask what
you would pay for such a device, rather
what do you think your Mom would pay?
 
I’ve established in the past that enthusiasts and power users want such a
device and therefore might be willing to pay for it, but what about your Mom or
other “average” users?  Keep in mind that
if this is a headless device, you have to factor in Extenders for each room you
actually want to watch content in.

Looking at this from the outside with no information on what
it planned, I still say such a product would fail to reach the mass
market.  Now for the enthusiasts, power
user, and custom-install channel this could be a great move.  That brings up another question, is Microsoft shifting their focus for Media
Center from developing for the “mass market”
to developing for enthusiasts,
power users, and the custom install channel (Remember
their presence at CEDIA
)?

Windows Home Server v2 Media Center Integration? Not So Fast

Long
Zheng spotted a good one last week
, finding
a job posting that implies several things
about Windows Home Server v2
including “Time Machine compete UI for backup and restore, Windows Media Center
integration UI, Live Mesh integration UI etc..”

Windows Media Center integration UI is clearly the part of
it that I’m going to focus on, however I think this might end up being the
opposite of what most people think (and want) it to be.  Mainly, “Windows Media Center integration UI”
doesn’t have to mean “Windows Media Center UI integration.”  The placement of UI in the sentence makes a huge
different.

For example “Windows Media Center integration UI” sounds
like a wizard from within Home Server to integrate sharing and backup of Media
Center content such as Recorded TV. 
“Windows Media Center UI integration” on the other hand would imply
Media Center functionality being built into Home Server.

The wording used by Microsoft is “Windows Media Center
integration UI” leading me to believe that Microsoft’s focus is not on
integrating Media Center directly into Home Server.

I’ve (poorly) argued in the past that while an integrated
Home Server+Media Center would be the killer scenario for hardcore Media Center
users and geeks, it would
do nothing to give Media Center the push it needs in the marketplace
.  I also question the backup functionality of
Home Server when more and more roles keep getting delegated to it.  Put Media Center functionality in and mix it
with backup and remote access and it is almost time for a Home Server to backup
my Home Server.

I’m I overanalyzing the “Windows Media Center integration UI” wording? 
You still holding out for your Home Sever with Media Center/Extender
functionality?

Microsoft Showcases Windows Media Center Momentum at CEDIA EXPO 2008

From distributed
HD entertainment to automation and control, Windows Media Center is at the
center of an ever-expanding ecosystem within the custom installation channel.

DENVER — Sept. 4, 2008 — At CEDIA EXPO 2008,
Microsoft Corp. announced expansive growth of the Windows Media Center
ecosystem, the formation of an exciting new industry alliance composed of some
of the custom channel’s top brands, the winner of the 2008 Windows Media Center
Ultimate Install Contest, and numerous partner innovations supporting the
Windows Media Center in the custom installation channel. CEDIA EXPO 2008 is an
annual show for the residential electronic systems industry put on by the
Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association.

“In the wake of Microsoft’s increased engagement with the
custom installation channel, a broader ecosystem has developed based on Windows
Media Center,” said Kevin Collins, director of the Custom Installer Channel in
the Connected TV Business, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We
are thrilled with the level of innovation on the Windows Media Center platform
that hardware and software companies are showcasing at CEDIA EXPO.”

Hardware Expansion

The merit of Windows Media Center as a custom installation
solution is stronger than ever, as illustrated through announcements from
multiple channel partners highlighting support for up to eight CableCARD tuners
and up to 10 Extender for Windows Media Center devices. This increased capacity
allows Windows Media Center technologies to address the demands of more
sophisticated projects. With the wide range of
products and custom configurations that use standard interfaces, integrators
can delight their customers with unique installations while using familiar
components and subsystems. Adding to the growing demand for centralized home
storage, multiple OEMs are previewing new hardware based on Windows Home Server
that provides integrators with a solid whole-house solution to store and access
their clients’ music, photos and videos from either an entertainment server
running Windows Media Center or Extender for Windows Media Center devices.

“Our channel partners are driving compelling new
entertainment and control solutions to maximize the success of custom
integrators,” Collins said. “The collaboration of some of the most
forward-thinking companies in the consumer electronics category and their
implementations of media center technologies are fulfilling the long-standing vision
of the connected home.”

Among this week’s significant partner announcements are
the following:

  • Autonomic Controls Inc. will introduce new control modules
    enabling two-way integration of Windows Media Center and iTunes into Remote
    Technologies Inc. T4 and K4 remote controls.
  • Fluid
    Digital will promote the integration of Microsoft’s Windows Media Center TV
    Pack to enable an enhanced TV viewing experience, native support for four
    digital cable tuners, an enhanced electronic program guide, and the ability to
    share nonprotected digital cable content across Microsoft PlayReady
    technology-enabled PCs and portable media devices.
  • Exceptional
    Innovation will preview its new High Density TV initiative that introduces
    exciting new ways to distribute entertainment and control around the home. The
    new Life|media 810 digital entertainment server features eight TV tuners and
    supports 10 extenders while providing 12 terabytes of hard disk storage to
    deliver consumers a robust solution for storing, managing and viewing
    high-definition (HD) content throughout their home. Exceptional Innovation will
    preview the new Life|ware Digital Media Manager for simple, seamless content
    sharing from one media center device to another. Exceptional Innovation will
    also announce support for the Windows Media Center TV Pack in several
    Life|media media servers; on-board digital amplification through Advanced Micro
    Devices Inc. (AMD) in the new LMS-170 series; and Blu-ray support on multiple
    LMS units.
  • NiveusMedia
    will unveil the Niveus Storage Server – Cargo Edition. Based on the Windows
    Home Server platform, it offers up to 16 terabytes of scalable storage. In
    addition, Niveus will announce support for up to 10 Extender for Windows Media
    Center devices and eight CableCARDs when using the most powerful Niveus media
    server, the Pro Series n9. Niveus will also introduce upgrades to both the
    Niveus media server line and the Niveus Movie Library movie management tool.
  • S1Digital
    LLC plans to launch its new P500 Media Centers, which include advanced features
    such as up to four digital cable tuners (for use with CableCARD) and a QAM/ATSC
    tuner to give customers the capability of watching and recording up to five
    simultaneous cable TV channels including HDTV and premium content, Blu-ray
    playback with Profile 2 capabilities, and up to 3 terabytes of internal
    storage. All S1Digital media center solutions include the Windows Media Center
    TV Pack to provide customers with an enhanced entertainment experience.
    S1Digital also plans to launch the WHS500, a one-rack Windows Home Server,
    designed specifically for the custom installation channel. The WHS500 is a
    powerful network storage device with 4-terabyte capacity for storing movies,
    music, photos, home videos and other media, providing centralized access of
    content.
  • Inteset
    LLC will unveil its new TeraRAID XV-NAS, which will offer 15 terabytes of
    enterprise-level, A/V-style storage and automatically replicate the Inteset
    Media Library across multiple homes with access from the Web. Inteset will also
    be demonstrating the addition of full Blu-ray to its popular, proprietary Movie
    Collection, which has the ability to store, search and play back movies
    seamlessly within the Windows Media Center interface. The system will scan the
    inserted DVD or Blu-ray disc to identify and retrieve full profile information
    from Inteset’s all-new movie database.
  • Samsung
    Electronics America Inc. will showcase the new Samsung MediaLive Extender for
    Windows Media Center, which delivers digital entertainment including HD
    content, photos, music, feature films, home movies, and live and recorded TV,
    from any hardware running Windows Media Center to the big screen of a Samsung
    HDTV via a wireless or wired home network. With distribution that includes the
    custom installation channel, MediaLive is a powerful solution in the offerings
    for Extender for Windows Media Center devices.
  • Cannon PC
    announced that it will begin shipping the Windows Media Center TV Pack, which
    adds native support for up to four TV tuners (including digital cable tuners),
    ClearQAM (unencrypted digital cable) tuners, sharing of unprotected digital
    content via Microsoft PlayReady technology-enabled PCs and more, with its line
    of Media Center PCs beginning in early September. Cannon PC also announced that
    it will offer integrators two form factors of the popular Windows Home Server
    to provide homeowners with a new solution for centralized storage, remote
    access and much more.

2008 Windows
Media Center Ultimate Install Contest

Microsoft will announce the 2008 Windows Media Center
Ultimate Install Contest winner at a special event on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008,
at 5:30 p.m. MDT. This year’s contest saw a significant increase in the number
of submissions as well as the design quality and level of integration delivered
through the Windows Media Center platform. Now in its second year, the Windows
Media Center Ultimate Install Contest encourages integrators to show off their
talents by presenting their most unique and creative installations that
leverage Windows Media Center technologies. More information on the winning
install will be available at http://www.microsoft.com/ultimateinstall.

Media Center Integrator
Alliance

Announced yesterday, Microsoft has joined Intel
Corporation, HP, Life|ware, NiveusMedia, AMD and Crestron Electronics Inc. in
the foundation of the Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA), a nonprofit
organization dedicated to driving the adoption and awareness of the media
center ecosystem in the custom installation channel. MCIA
members will share best practices, establish standards, and develop education
and certification tools
for technologies using Windows Media Center. The new alliance hopes to attract the interest,
acceptance and participation of many more companies
to contribute to a
unified industry-based voice within the ecosystem.

“We’re excited to see how channel awareness has grown and
the implementation of Windows Media Center technologies in product offerings
has expanded over the past 12 months,” Collins said. “We expect the momentum to
continue to drive adoption of the ecosystem and build a network of enthused,
satisfied consumers.”

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

Introducing The Niveus Storage Server – Cargo Edition, Powered By Windows Home Server

Store and protect
unlimited HD content with up to 16TB of scalable storage, remote accessibility,
and seamless integration with the Niveus Movie Library.

Denver, CO – CEDIA
Expo 2008 – September 4-7 – Booth #850 –
Niveus Media introduces the Niveus
Storage Server – Cargo Edition, a powerful storage device based on the
Microsoft Windows Home Server platform, designed for the custom install
channel. Featuring up to 16TB of scalable storage, Cargo provides a seamlessly
integrated and flexible storage solution for the perpetually growing HD digital
content market.

As Niveus continues to enhance movie integration with the
increasing functionality of the Niveus Movie Library movie management interface
and availability of VideoGiants Collections premium movie packages, it has
become essential to offer a robust storage solution that can house a user’s
expansive HD movie collection. Cargo is the ultimate add-on to the Niveus Movie
Library, enabling secure storage of thousands of movies, complete with expanded
metadata and high-resolution cover art.

“To support the massive amounts of content that the Niveus
Entertainment System accommodates, we needed to develop a larger storage
device,” states Tim Cutting, CEO and Co-Founder, Niveus Media. “With Cargo, our
customers will be able to store large collections of their favorite movies,
television, music, and photos. Additionally, with the host of data protection
features built into the Windows Home Server platform, these collections are now
protected from data corruption and personal loss.”

“At CES in 2002 I ran into this startup company off in the
corner named Niveus.  After chatting with
them, it was clear to me that before long they’d be more than a startup,” said
Charlie Kindel, General Manager of Windows Home Server at Microsoft Corp. “They
have proven me right with their success, and I’m extremely happy they are now
coming to market with a home server based on Windows Home Server.”

Cargo is housed in a custom-designed, 3U rack-mountable
chassis, measuring 18.5” in depth and representing the most compact storage
server in the custom electronics industry. Featuring a unique hinge-based front
panel that enables easy serviceability and storage upgrades without removing
the device from the rack, Cargo provides impressive scalability, allowing users
to expand their storage capacity from 4TB, to 8TB, to 16TB. If 16TB is simply
not enough, additional Cargo storage servers can be added, enabling a modular
upgrade path for limitless storage and straightforward management of all
content residing on the network.

Presenting improved remote capabilities, Cargo allows users
to easily access and monitor the server and stored content from virtually
anywhere (vacation home, office, relative’s home, etc.) through any
Internet-enabled computer, using a personalized web address.

Seamlessly working behind the scenes to protect valued
digital assets, Cargo provides an image-based, scheduled backup of the media
server (and other computers on the network, if desired), ensuring that files
and folders are duplicated across multiple hard drives. In the event that one
hard drive fails, data is easily recovered. 
With Cargo harnessing the bulk of the storage, the Niveus media server
remains optimized to deliver superior audio and video performance throughout
the home.

The high-capacity and superior performance of Cargo required
a hard drive that could provide reliable quality high-definition video and near
silent operation. To deliver on these expectations, Niveus has selected the
Seagate Pipeline HD™ hard drive as the storage solution of choice due to its
optimum HD performance and exceptionally well-rated acoustics. The Windows
Vista certified Seagate Pipeline HD™ hard drive is designed for the HD video
Niveus customers will enjoy.

“Seagate has designed the Pipeline HD product specifically
for the type of scenarios in which Niveus is using our drives. Seagate’s
Pipeline HD drives deliver the reliability, capacity and performance that
customers of media servers insist upon,” said Pat King, senior vice president
of Seagate’s Consumer Solutions Division. “Optimized for HD video and superior
acoustics, Seagate’s Pipeline HD drives are a good match for Niveus’ demands
for quiet and robust digital media solutions. Seagate is proud to be Niveus
primary hard drive supplier.”

Cargo can be easily integrated into any home network using
Universal Plug and Play for playback with any UPnP-compliant devices (audio
systems, TVs, etc).

Cargo will be available in Q4 2008.

For more information on Niveus Media, Inc., please visit www.niveusmedia.com.

Niveus Media @ CEDIA: Movie Library, 8 CableCARD, 10 Extenders, Home Server

Niveus Movie
Library Goes Primetime!

Version 1.5 is
enriched to offer high-res cover art (including Blu-ray) and support for a
wider catalogue of movie sources, such as disc-in-drive… and more!

Denver, CO – CEDIA
Expo 2008 – September 4-7 – Booth #850 –
Designed exclusively for Niveus Media customers, the Niveus Movie
Library is a robust movie management tool that aggregates an entire movie
collection into one distinct and intelligent interface. Upgraded to accommodate
a growing number of movie sources, Niveus Movie Library 1.5 now features:
disc-in-drive support; a 10’ interface for backing up movies to the Niveus
Media Server; and expanded metadata with high resolution cover art (including
Blu-ray!).

“Niveus Movie Library 1.5 represents the original vision of
this product,” states Tim Cutting, CEO and Co-Founder, Niveus Media. “Coupling
our new storage server, Cargo, with the enhanced Niveus Movie Library, our
customers can now back up, download, store, and access their entire movie
collection through the easy-to-use Niveus interface.”

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Full Press Release

Niveus Supports Ten
Extenders and Eight CableCARDs From One Niveus Media Server

Simultaneous HDTV
viewing, recording, and distribution in up to eleven zones!

Denver, CO – CEDIA
Expo 2008 – September 4-7 – Booth #850
Niveus Media is invigorating the
whole-home TV viewing experience by announcing that select Niveus media servers
will simultaneously support up to eight digital cable (CableCARD) tuners and
ten Media Center Extenders. Announcing availability concurrently with the
introduction of the 2009 Niveus media server line, boasting impressive
enhancements in processing and performance, Niveus now doubles the capabilities
of the Niveus Entertainment System.

“Niveus has nurtured the digital cable functionality and
compatibility since early 2007 and is proud to be one of the first to support
both eight CableCARDS and ten extenders,” states Tim Cutting, Niveus CEO and
Co-Founder. “By doubling the performance of the Niveus Media Server, we can now
support even the largest installations.” 

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Full Press Release

Niveus Media’s
2009 Media Servers Boast Progressive Processing Power and Enhanced Multi-Zone
Capabilities

Featuring HDMI 1.3,
next-generation Intel processing, specialized Seagate hard drives, and upgraded
cooling solutions for impressive multi-zone performance.

Denver, CO – CEDIA
Expo 2008 – September 4-7 – Booth #850 –
Niveus Media unveils its 2009 line of
media servers, enhanced to provide an incredibly robust entertainment
experience in as many as eleven independent zones. All Niveus media servers,
including the passively cooled Summit Series’ Rainier and Denali Limited
Edition and the rack mountable Pro Series, have been upgraded to incorporate
bleeding-edge technologies for the most powerful Media Center performance.

 “To accommodate the
variety of installation applications and performance demands, we’ve upgraded
all of our media servers to offer Niveus Authorized Dealers the preferred range
of configurations,” states Brian Paper, Vice President Operations and
Co-Founder of Niveus Media. “With a selection of form factors, processing
power, audio and video solutions, and storage capacities, Niveus has a superior
solution for today’s multi-zone scenarios.”

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Full Press Release

Introducing The
Niveus Storage Server – Cargo Edition,  
Powered By Windows Home Server

Store and protect
unlimited HD content with up to 16TB of scalable storage, remote accessibility,
and seamless integration with the Niveus Movie Library.

Denver, CO – CEDIA
Expo 2008 – September 4-7 – Booth #850 –
Niveus Media introduces the Niveus
Storage Server – Cargo Edition, a powerful storage device based on the
Microsoft Windows Home Server platform, designed for the custom install
channel. Featuring up to 16TB of scalable storage, Cargo provides a seamlessly
integrated and flexible storage solution for the perpetually growing HD digital
content market.

As Niveus continues to enhance movie integration with the
increasing functionality of the Niveus Movie Library movie management interface
and availability of VideoGiants Collections premium movie packages, it has
become essential to offer a robust storage solution that can house a user’s
expansive HD movie collection. Cargo is the ultimate add-on to the Niveus Movie
Library, enabling secure storage of thousands of movies, complete with expanded
metadata and high-resolution cover art.

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Full Press Release