Two-Way CableCARD Appears in Windows 7

I’ve long talked about the addition of two-way CableCARD within Media Center, but so far no real timeline has been drawn.  Microsoft has kept their lips locked as has CableLabs about actually finishing (or announcing) the specs for the two-way tuners (called BOCRs).  All of this leaves us to fill in the blanks ourselves. Frankly, I don’t see full two-way CableCARD tuner support until Windows 7.  There are several reasoning’s behind this, but the first being CableLabs timeline for the actual specs.  At this point CableLabs has been focusing on the M-Card extension to OCURs.  I never got around to … Continue reading Two-Way CableCARD Appears in Windows 7

Short Bits: Plug-ins, Media Center Show, Prices

Plug-in News/Reviews DVRMSToolbox For Vista – Public Release (R4) MyNetflix v2.1 Beta NetflixMC beta posted Life With a Plugin, Episode 7: Remote Scheduling Ian Dixon will have Ed Bott on The Media Center Show today live at 12pm PST.  Click here for the live link. Speaking of The Media Center Show, Pasquale DeMaio & Terry Walsh are on this week (pre-recorded) show. Microsoft cut prices on some Vista SKUs which translates into no one is buying Vista at retail.  More here.

Linksys Extender Review Part 3: Wrap-up

I’ve previously stated that v2 Extenders are too expensive to really make a splash and I think that still stands.  While the Linksys DMA2100 and DMA2200 both are available online for less than their MSRP, when you consider that multiple purchases are needed in several occasions to make full advantage of the whole home Media Center experience it is a very pricey way to go when you add up all the issues. File format support, while greatly improved over previous Extender offers still isn’t where it needs to be.  The simple fact is that the majority of customers looking at … Continue reading Linksys Extender Review Part 3: Wrap-up

Linksys Extender Review Part 2: Extender Experience

Having the PC setup now on the Media Center side of things I moved onto the Extender.  The first step was connecting it to my display (or Receiver in my case).  I used HDMI to do this, but the DMA2200 has just about every output you could want if HDMI isn’t an option.  One of the first things I noticed about the DMA2200 is that it is rock solid in terms of design.  Cheap feeling plastic is nowhere to be found on the unit itself.  The remote however is a different story that I will get into later. My first … Continue reading Linksys Extender Review Part 2: Extender Experience

Short Bits: Xbox HD DVD, Stage6

Microsoft made it official that the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive is now dead.  If you wanted one, I hope you got it already.  You will likely find stock marked down all over the place, some retailers going as low as $50 now. DivX Inc has pulled the plug on their streaming service Stage6 mainly do to the high costs of keeping it running.  This will impact Media Center users that take advantage of Yougle to stream Stage6 content.  It also puts into question their DivX Connected STB concept that I’ve questioned in the past.  DivX does say “Products powered … Continue reading Short Bits: Xbox HD DVD, Stage6

ThinkRemote To Bring SideShow To Everyday Devices

As first spotted this morning on The Green Button, ThinkRemote is an upcoming application that aims to bring SideShow to “everyday devices” like your Windows Mobile phone, iPhone, Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP, web browser, and more. The application is Media Center ready, and also focuses on home control with the ability to support IR bridging, Z-Wave, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Check out the beta sign-up at controlthink’s website.

Linksys Extender Review Part 1: Media Center & PC Setup

Update: Skip to Extender Review Post Between Microsoft and Linksys I’ve received a whole package of Media Center related goodies to test.  Instead of this being just a review of the Linksys DMA2200 Extender, it will also cover the overall Media Center setup process from PC to wireless.  Most of the time when I review something Media Center related I use my own PC which has generally been configured exactly how I want, and for the most part how it should be.  This is not always the case with your standard OEM PC, so I’m taking a step back and … Continue reading Linksys Extender Review Part 1: Media Center & PC Setup

Fact or Fiction: Microsoft and Blu-ray

I’ve gotten a fair amount of reaction to the various articles I’ve posted on Microsoft and Blu-ray, and it still seems the overall consensus on the web is that Microsoft will fall head over heels for Blu-ray in their products. I want to preface this post by saying that I’m not advocating Microsoft not supporting Blu-ray.  The fact is that Blu-ray won, while I think HD DVD had its clear advantages those don’t matter anymore.  I want Blu-ray support in any product that markets itself as part of a digital home. Fiction: Microsoft should support Blu-ray on the Xbox 360 … Continue reading Fact or Fiction: Microsoft and Blu-ray

Short Bits: Media Center Show, On10, PowerDVD, more

Ian Dixon had Microsoft’s Steve Lindsay on the Media Center Show today talking about various including Windows Home Server, Extenders, Home automation and his new blog. Some other stuff that I have not talked about, On10 has videos with S1Digital, Inteset, and Niveus Media.  The Windows Mobile team is looking for feedback from users with Zune’s and Windows Mobile devices which is always good to see. Missing Remote has some tips on integrating PowerDVD Ultra with Media Center for a better Blu-ray/HD DVD playback experience. Lastly, Jeff Atwood has an interesting article on Tivoization and the GPL.

Blu-ray on Xbox 360 Not Going to Happen

Some websites are reporting “rumors” of Microsoft getting ready to add Blu-ray support to the Xbox 360.  I’m not going to link to the main website in question, because nothing on that site has ever been true (unless there is an Xbox 360 with HD DVD intergated out there, it was said to be true by this website on at least three different occasions.  There are several other false stories out of this site too). Jason Unger of CE Pro does have the basic rundown of the issue, but don’t believe that Blu-ray is on the way to the Xbox … Continue reading Blu-ray on Xbox 360 Not Going to Happen