DivX Connected: Semi-Good Idea Gone Bad

I can’t believe a company could make a product with worse file format support then v1 Media Center Extenders, but DivX seems to have taken the cake with DivX Connected. DivX Connected is DivX, Inc’s latest project to move into the living room.  It’s a standalone hardware STB that plays DivX and brings Stage 6 into your living room, and that’s about all it does. Note: The reviews below are based on a prototype device, which means it could change by the time it ships. Anyway, according to Gizmodo the box only supports decoding of DivX video and MP3 audio!  … Continue reading DivX Connected: Semi-Good Idea Gone Bad

Short Bits: Plug-ins!

Big Screen Headlines 2 is Niall’s latest upgrade to the Big Screen plug-in line.  This RSS Browser for Vista Media Center is an MCML plug-in that got a major facelift of v1.  Beta is coming soon and the final product will likely sale for $15-25. Webisode is an RSS video cast reader that will allow you to download torrents, Video Podcast, etc using your remote.  It supports both Vista Media Center and Media Center 2005 (oh, SageTV too).  Already in download, check out the download here.

The Media Center Show #120

The Media Center Show #120 | 22nd August 2007 (49mins 02sec) MP3 – 16.9MB (Download Here) This week Ian Dixon talked with Microsoft MVP and Media Center developer Andrew Cherry about his new application “TV Library” (free beta), an application that expands the TV library functions of Media Center.

Okoro Media Systems Now Shipping CableCARD Systems

Okoro Media Systems, manufacturer of digital entertainment systems for the high end audio video market, is pleased to announce the availability of CableCARD tuners in our high end Digital Entertainment Systems. Okoro Media Systems will be one of the few dedicated media center manufacturers selling and supporting systems with CableCARD, Blu-ray/HD-DVD formats and units with 4 terabytes of storage.   “CableCARD is another part of the solution we want to provide to our customers. So, we are very excited about the integration of  this technology into our Digital Entertainment Systems (DES) and we will soon make it available with our … Continue reading Okoro Media Systems Now Shipping CableCARD Systems

Short Bits: HD DVD, TV Toolbox, HDMI Audio

If you haven’t heard, Paramount has dropped Blu-ray support now opting for HD DVD only.  A great plus for HD DVD, but don’t think for a second that this is all over.  Content is king, and HD DVD needs more support to win.  It does say a lot that Paramount is switching it’s support to HD DVD only, and I think if MGM would do the same then it would speak even more for HD DVD.  Sony does own 20% of MGM though, and Sony will not switch for a long time from Blu-ray only. There is an update to … Continue reading Short Bits: HD DVD, TV Toolbox, HDMI Audio

Niveus Pocket Remote Takes Full Control of Media Center

Niveus Media has been updating their Pocket Remote software and added some really cool features in the process.  Among them is the ability to take the PocketPC/Windows Mobile device out-of-the picture and provide the same software application running Windows XP/Vista.  Pocket Remote 2.0 allows you to control your Media Center(s) and even browse for content without having to turn on your display. You can manage your whole home, and control every Media Center PC from the single UI.  Switching between PCs is simple and bi-directional media feedback is included. There is a free beta version up for download now, final … Continue reading Niveus Pocket Remote Takes Full Control of Media Center

Sony XL1 DVD Changer for $200 on Amazon

Amazon yet again has the Sony XL1B3 DVD/Media Changer for $200 with free shipping.  I have talked about these dozens of times, and I would purchase a few now if I could stream the DVDs to Extenders.  However, it is still a great deal for anyone who wants another one go for it.  Remember, you can daisy chain up to five of these together.

Dell Launches XPS 410 with CableCARD

I was out of town when Dell launched their first CableCARD PC, so here is a bit of catch-up on Dell’s first entry into the market. The XPS 410 was chosen as expected, and unlike HP and Sony they actually offer single or dual CableCARD tuners.  Even better, the Digital Cable Tuners will cost you $236 each, which is pretty good.  However, unlike HP it doesn’t include an ATSC tuner in the package (at least, not that I could tell.)  Another first for a top tier OEM is the option to upgrade to Vista Ultimate. The base specs include a … Continue reading Dell Launches XPS 410 with CableCARD

Windows Home Server to Launch August 27

According to Microsoft Support Lifecycle website, Windows Home Server is set to launch on August 27th.  Apparently it has already launched in other part of the world, based on comments on Long Zheng’s istartedsomething. This does not mean that OEMs will be shipping their hardware offerings, but you should be able to pickup and/or order to OS from various sources around the end of the month.  I’d watch your local Fry’s or online at Newegg. Update: Mary Jo says it will not launch on the 27th and that only tech support to System Builders to start on that date.  According … Continue reading Windows Home Server to Launch August 27

Alienware Preparing CableCARD Support for Hanger 18

A few months ago I told you that Alienware had plans to add CableCARD to their Hanger 18 offering, which was pretty dull without the option.  Today, CE Pro confirms this but with a twist.  Alienware will only be offering CableCARD through custom installs(CI)/retailers. I’m slighting confused by this approach when you mix it with the rest of their sales plans.  As I wrote about in June, Alienware is taking a more traditional CE approach to selling the Hanger 18.  They want to market it as a regular CE device like a set-top box (STB), not as a PC.  But, … Continue reading Alienware Preparing CableCARD Support for Hanger 18