Short Bits: HD PVR, mceShoutCast, My Movies

Brent Evans has confirmed that Hauppauge’s HD PVR has officially been delayed until at least mid-May.  Check out the full post for exact expected ship times based on order number. eHomeUpgrade points to a new ShoutCast plug-in for Vista Media Center (English translation).  It’s MCML that has several features including favorite streams, top 500 listing, and even recording! Brian has opened the backend services from My Movies to third parties.  This means that other plug-ins or applications can tap into Brian’s backend database as well as the My Movies Collection Management program.  Check out the full announcement here. Thanks Ryan!

ATI Digital Cable Tuner Firmware Update Posted

ATI/AMD has posted version 1.17.1 firmware for Digital Cable Tuners (OCUR/CableCARD).  The update is said to fix several issues including Multiple OCUR having the same IP address and “No TV Signal” errors when tuning twice on the same channel. You can download the 32-bit update here and 64-bit update here.  Release notes (PDF) are here. Also seen on Missing Remote.

mControl Gains iPhone/iPod Touch Control Interface

Embedded Automation is on the urge of releasing mControl v2.1 which already adds several new features and improvements, but it looks like one last feature it sneaking its way in, an iPhone/iPod Touch UI! I will have more about mControl later this week.  I have read several comments about people being interested in getting started with lighting control and home automation, so with the help of Embedded Automation’s mControl I’m going to see if we can help everyone get started. Thanks Dan!

Short Bits: Lifeware, 64-bit HD-PVR, Dragon

Audio Video Interiors has a great article on Life|ware, more specially the Life|ware install in Exceptional Innovation founder Seale Moorer.  If someone wanted a prime example of how MCML has impacted third party products then look no further then the UI for Life|ware. Hauppauge reps are now saying they will have 64-bit drivers for the HD-PVR upon release…in two days. The Green Button, Ian Dixon, jkOnTheRun, Barb Bowman and 27 other sites are set to give away HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook’s worth over $4,500.  I’d keep an eye on all the 31 sites for more. 

Must Have Media Center Plug-ins?

Everyday more people come over to the Media Center side of things, most recently Dave Zatz and Ben Drawbaugh have made the switch/addition to Media Center and have been wondering what are some of the must have plug-ins.  Well, I’ve been slacking on compiling a list but today I thought what’s “must have” for me might not be “must have” for them. So, I want to know (as do Dave and Ben), what are your must have plug-ins?  There are always the classics like My Movies, but what other plug-ins do you install before your Media Center is complete?

DVD Library Hacked to Run on Extenders

Not offical from Microsoft, but you are going to want to watch this space for more. Update: Click here for instructions This hack will enable Microsoft’s DVD Library that comes bundled with Vista Media Center to work on Media Center Extenders.  VIDEO_TS folders (VOB files) are playable by creating a symbolic link’s to the VOB files, and then a WVX playlist is used to link the separate VOB files into one.  A special DLL is used to enable the DVD Library to show over Extender sessions.  Enjoy!

Hauppauge HD-PVR Letdowns

The much hyped HD-PVR (Component capture device) from Hauppauge has hit its first snag. First of all, it ships with no 64-bit support, and worse only single tuner support! I wasn’t surprised by the 64-bit news, but I’m shocked at the single tuner.  I’m not exactly sure if the single tuner support is with the bundled application that they are shipping or if it will also apply to SageTV and BeyondTV.  If it does apply to all software, this product has lost all of its value.  Maybe SnapStream can add to this?  Update: Brent posted that the drivers are supposed … Continue reading Hauppauge HD-PVR Letdowns

Short Bits: FUZE, Omaura, Mesh, more

I’ve been really busy lately, but that doesn’t stop news from flowing in. Chris Morley posted an update on recent questions about the Omaura series of cases for those interested (you should be, they look amazing). CE Pro has an article about FUZE Media Systems taking their software to OEMs instead of just pushing their own hardware.  This is a great move consider FUZE has some really cool software for things like multi-zone audio, without the need for third party audio distribution hardware.  Look for the first OEMs to start shipping FUZE software mid-2008. Tons of news today about Microsoft’s … Continue reading Short Bits: FUZE, Omaura, Mesh, more

Getting Started with Lighting Control

X10 X10 is the oldest home automation technology out there, but it still works depending on your setup.  X10 is a power line carrier (PLC) technology, and thus sends commands over your existing power lines.  The advantages are simple, lots of modules that cost next to nothing.  Downsides exist with that however, mainly in reliability because of noise in the power lines and older crappy modules.  At this point it most likely isn’t a good idea to build your whole install around X10, but it still can be useful for inexpensive RF-based control options.  X10 modules go for $5 and … Continue reading Getting Started with Lighting Control

Short Bits: Niveus Movie Library, Avideus

Niveus Media released an updated build of their Movie Library plug-in.  You still need a Niveus PC, but major changes include support for MyMovies XML & Artwork files/folder structure and support for DVD Profiler XML structure. Missing Remote has the scoop on PCAlchemy’s new PC line; Avideus.   “The Avideus product line consists of a wide range of digital home products, from the small form factor MiniMCE Media Centers, to the affordable and beautifully engineered and crafted Avideus Media Centers. Additionally the Avideus HSE Home Server was just announced; the first Avideus product designed for Windows Home Server.” I’m pretty sure … Continue reading Short Bits: Niveus Movie Library, Avideus