WinHEC 2007 PowerPoint Presentations Up

Microsoft has posted the various PowerPoint Presentations from WinHEC 2007.  Tons of stuff including Media Center Extenders, Sideshow, and Windows TV.  I looked through the Extenders presentations and there isn’t too much interesting from an end-user standpoint.  No release dates, strange feature announcements, etc.  Still they are an interesting read if you are interested in the technical side of things. It was verified that OEMs will be able to support third party codec’s, and as I’ve said in the past the hardware platform already supports them. Other than that, I remember already seeing most of the information in the WinHEC … Continue reading WinHEC 2007 PowerPoint Presentations Up

VidaBox Now Shipping CableCARD Systems w. Blu-ray & HD DVD Support

WESTBURY, NY – June 8th – VidaBox, a manufacturer of premium media center systems, is proud to announce that it is shipping CableCARD-ready systems for customers looking to tune & record HD Cable directly on their media centers “We’re absolutely excited to finally ship systems with CableCARD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD support – everything in one box,” said Steven Cheung, a co-founder of VidaBox. “These systems answer the prayers of many of our customers who’ve been clamoring for a total, turn-key solution with the latest in HD technology. Now complete with life-like HD cable support, our customers can finally realize … Continue reading VidaBox Now Shipping CableCARD Systems w. Blu-ray & HD DVD Support

Updates on S1Digital CableCARD Enabled PCs

S1Digital was supposed to ship CableCARD PCs in May, but that got pushed back likely for the same reasons as everyone else (CableLabs and ATI). Their website has now been updated with the following… 1. We now have are now have a FX Edition with CableCARD on display in our showroom if you’d like to see a demo of how cool CableCARD is. 2. OK, so we underestimated how long it would take to get everything in order to start shipping CableCARD systems. So we’re now expecting to ship this month (June). If you had ordered a system, but were waiting for … Continue reading Updates on S1Digital CableCARD Enabled PCs

Chris Chats with Alienware; Hanger18 Redeems Itself

[Post has been reorganized into two sections; System Updates and Alienware’s Media Center Strategy.  System Updates include CableCARD and Blu-ray as options in the next month or so along with Alienware admitting their current Hanger18 has some issues.  Alienware’s Media Center Strategy includes what Alienware is trying to do to push Media Center and pick up where other large OEMs have failed] I talked with the guys at Alienware today discussing some of my disappointments with their new Hanger18 system.  I’m happy to say that not only is Alienware aware of the current issues with the Hanger 18, but they … Continue reading Chris Chats with Alienware; Hanger18 Redeems Itself

Okoro Media Systems Introduces the 2007 BX Series with Blu-ray & HD-DVD Support

Okoro Media Systems, manufacturer of digital entertainment systems for the high end audio video market, is pleased to introduce the 2007 BX100 & BX300 digital entertainment systems. The new 2007 BX series now support HD-DVD and Blu-ray play back from a single drive allowing customers more freedom in choosing their high definition disc format. Okoro Media will be one of the few dedicated media center manufacturers to sell and support systems based on both high definition disc standards. “We are very excited about the integration of both the Blu-ray and HDDVD Disc formats into our new digital entertainment systems. This … Continue reading Okoro Media Systems Introduces the 2007 BX Series with Blu-ray & HD-DVD Support

Microsoft Goes For Deeper (Non)Integration

I guess it’s about time for my monthly look into Microsoft ignoring their own platforms. Microsoft’s new “Ignition Program” will be help new and upcoming recording artists to reach tens of millions of consumers on Zune Marketplace,, MSN entertainment properties and the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.  But don’t expect Media Center to get first rate access to this great new program.  They include every platform outside of Media Center, but not even a single mention of content within Media Center.  That’s “Deeper Integration” at work right there! Mary Jo says Microsoft is about to enter the Kitchen.  Her sources say … Continue reading Microsoft Goes For Deeper (Non)Integration

Alienware Disappoints With Media Center Re-entry

Alienware got back into the Media Center game today after a few year hiatus.  The Hangar18 is what they decided to come back with, and in my opinion they should not have even bothered.  This machine is flawed is so many ways I can’t suggest that anyone look to purchase one.  According to Alienware is this supposed to be a “HD Entertainment Center.”  Maybe someone can explain to me how an HD Entertainment Center can only support a single HD source; OTA ATSC.  No CableCARD.  No HD DVD.  No Blu-ray.  It is HDCP Ready, though it’s not like that matters … Continue reading Alienware Disappoints With Media Center Re-entry

WebGuide 4.1 Beta Brings Xbox360 Streaming Support, "Prism" Interface

New WebGuide 4.1 beta brings Xbox360 streaming support, “Prism” multi-system interfaceIn addition to the capacity to stream DVDs, WebGuide 4.1 brings two new major features to the mix—a Media Center add-in and the “WebGuide Prism” multi-system interface. June 4, 2007 – In addition to the capacity to stream DVDs, which was featured in the previous beta of 4.1, WebGuide boasts two new features — a Media Center add-in and the “WebGuide Prism” multi-system interface. The new Media Center add-in connects to a WebGuide server and enables users to stream recorded TV, videos and DVDs within the Media Center interface – … Continue reading WebGuide 4.1 Beta Brings Xbox360 Streaming Support, "Prism" Interface

KMS Software Bites the Dust

KMS Software, makers of such products as Sudoku, World Trivia, Contacts, Calendar, and MoreTV has been sold and the Media Center unit discounted (Via The Green Button).  KMS Software had been doing Media Center plug-ins since 2004 and also published AndyC’s MoreTV application.  Sadly, it appears that any software issues or activation/registration issues with any of KMS Software’s product will not be addressed which pretty much means you are out of luck if you have any problems. No word yet from Andy on what might become of future versions of MoreTV.

MediaCenterFX Themes and Customizes Vista Media Center

MediaCenterFX is an upcoming product that will allow you to customize and theme Vista Media Center.  I have to say that this looks amazing.  You can change the fonts, colors, sounds, animations, and even things like backgrounds.  This looks to be a complete themeing package for Vista Media Center.  Serious testers are needed, and you can register to get access to the currnet alpha version at MediaCenterFX Forums.