Media Center Update (Fiji) Finally in 2008?

Mary Jo posted today with her predictions for Microsoft in ’08 and what do you know on the top of the list is Fiji.  I’ve talked about Fiji several times in the past, and ’08 should be the year it finally surfaces.  According to Mary Jo, it most likely has already received a new codename (she suggests Windows 6.5, or something stupid like it) and it looks like it will ship as part of a big Vista upgrade. I would guess this will resemble the so-called “XP Reloaded” push from a few years back when Microsoft shipped Windows XP Service … Continue reading Media Center Update (Fiji) Finally in 2008?

Dell XPS 420 CableCARD Q&A

Lots of questions have come up with the release of Dell’s XPS 420 so I thought I’d try and address as many as possible for anyone on the edge of purchasing a CableCARD PC.  For questions not answered below, be sure to check out my Vista CableCARD FAQ which has some more basic information covered in a Q&A format.  A special thanks to James Clardy at Dell for helping out here. Q: Are tuners internal or external?A: Dell is using external ATI Digital Cable Tuners, and it includes a Media Center remote/receiver so you have everything you need to get … Continue reading Dell XPS 420 CableCARD Q&A

Short Bits: New Plug-ins

Big Screen Photos is looking very nice with the final release coming soon.  For anyone sitting on the corner about upgrading to Vista, third party applications are really one of the top reasons to upgrade.  The user experience is so much nicer then anything on Media Center 2005. Ian Dixon has been working hard on a neat application, Media Center Health Monitor.  To me, this is something that you might not think you would want, but then realize it is something that should be built-in to start with.  I’m looking forward to trying this out later (I’m away with no … Continue reading Short Bits: New Plug-ins

Short Bits: Big Screen Weather, Omaura, SageTV

I’ve just finished up my finals for this semester (finally), so in the next week I hope to have some new posts.  I’ve got a Dell XPS 420 Q&A type post for everyone who is considering purchasing one.  What restrictions CableCARD has, what you change in the PC, how to make recommendations to Dell, and a whole lot more. Niall posted a preview of Big Screen Weather 2 a few days ago.  The big news is that it will support global weather, not just Aussie weather.  The UI looks great, and I look forward to having a nice MCML weather … Continue reading Short Bits: Big Screen Weather, Omaura, SageTV

Dell’s CableCARD Re-entry Is Huge In the Grand Scheme

There is no doubt that CableCARD has been a rollercoaster for most OEM’s.  HP has picked up and dropped support more times than I can count, Dell (until today) had appeared to be out of the market altogether after taking so long to get in the game, and other OEMs cater to higher end and specialty customers. Today, Dell came back with a splash introducing that all XPS 420’s would have CableCARD as an option.  Now only that, but the performance-to-price ratio is finally right where it should be.  A Quad-Core Q6600, 3GB of RAM, and ATI HD 2400 for … Continue reading Dell’s CableCARD Re-entry Is Huge In the Grand Scheme

Dell Launches CableCARD on XPS 420; Starting at $1079

Forget waiting for it to launch on “high end” Dell’s as a standard feature, they officially launched CableCARD on all XPS 420’s today.  According to James Clardy, Technical Strategist, Digital Home at Dell this will be a permanent functional upgrade to the platform (meaning it’s not going to disappear tomorrow). Apparently high end is considered the XPS 420, so that story from the other day now just means that they will offer it as a “standard option” on the XPS 420 series.  This is great news, as Dell officially has the price and features to beat for other top tier … Continue reading Dell Launches CableCARD on XPS 420; Starting at $1079

Dell Not Out of CableCARD Yet; Standard in the Future

Update (12/07): Dell Launches CableCARD on XPS 420; Starting at $899 ($1,079 with CableCARD) New PC Mag article today about Dell and CableCARD, and it looks like Dell is still interested in getting CableCARD PC’s out there.  Mark Hachman talked with Jim Clardy, a digital home technology strategist in Dell’s office of the CTO who said that Dell is interested in making CableCARD a standard feature in their “high-end PC’s” in 2008. Update: Dell has officially launched CableCARD on all XPS 420 models as of today (12/07).  “High end” doesn’t mean the “high end” I was thinking (eg. XPS 720), … Continue reading Dell Not Out of CableCARD Yet; Standard in the Future

Short Bits: Media Center Show Awards, My Movies

Ian put up the vote page for the Media Center Show Awards a few days ago.  Just for voting you can win yourself some cool stuff, like a Vidabox Keyboard, mControl 2.0, or One Voice Communicator.   Voting for me to win Best Media Center Enthusiast Blog isn’t required, but you know you want to.  I’m going for the Hat Trick this year, so it should be fun. My Movies 2.42 was released a few days ago as well.  On the major list of things, it now supports Vista x64.  It is also now broken up into a Client/Server architecture for … Continue reading Short Bits: Media Center Show Awards, My Movies

Media Center’s Newest Enemy

With the new Dashboard update offering a host of new video codecs and fixes, the Xbox 360 Dashboard has essentially become Media Center’s number one enemy.   More and more I’m reading comments online from would-be Media Center users and “more average” consumers who are basically content with video playback via the Dashboard instead of the Media Center Extender functions of the Xbox 360.  This is Microsoft’s latest issue, and the problem is yet again Microsoft not understanding the market. Those who really want a Media Center based solution can’t because Microsoft doesn’t understand what features to include, what formats should … Continue reading Media Center’s Newest Enemy