HP MediaSmart Connect Review Part 1: Overview

The HP MediaSmart Connect x280n (formerly MediaSmart Receiver) is HPs latest entry into the Media Center Extender/Adaptor market.  Building on the success of their MediaSmart HDTV lineup, the MediaSmart Connect brings the same experience you get on the MediaSmart HDTV to any display via an elegant set-top box. Last week I got a review model to put through some rigorous testing to see how it stacks up against Linksys, D-Link, and the Xbox 360 Extender. The first thing you will notice about the MediaSmart Connect is the focus of the device is not necessarily the Media Center Extender functions.  Much … Continue reading HP MediaSmart Connect Review Part 1: Overview

Any HP MediaSmart Connect Questions?

Yesterday I received my HP MediaSmart Connect x280n review unit and will be taking a look at it this weekend.  I will likely mirror my review of the Linksys DMA series Extender minus all of the general Media Center setup content. If anyone has questions about the unit please let me know so I can either cover them in the review or reply directly in this post.

mControl 2.1 Goes Final

Embedded Automation has released the final build of mControl 2.1 for download.  The build is actually the same as the previous RCGOLD2 release, and as there were no significant issues reported Embedded Automation has now shifted their focus to the next mControl release. You can download mControl 2.1 here, and of course you get a 30 day trial if you don’t already use mControl.  All current mControl users can upgrade to 2.1 for free.  See the User Manual for more (PDF). Interested to know what other features mControl has?  Check out the updated mControl Feature Summery (PDF).

Microsoft Updates Extenders, Set-top Box Support in Media Center

Microsoft has just released two updates for Vista Media Center, fixing up STBs and Extenders.  KB950124 adds and fixes support for newer STBs connected to Media Center, and KB950125 which adds a few Extender issues including 50Hz output fixes for those of you outside the US (no additional codec support).  Grab the updates on Windows Update or download the standalone packages below. Description of an update that provides broader support in Media Center Extenders for Windows Vista for newer TV set-top boxes (KB950124) This update provides broader Media Center support for newer TV set-top boxes. Download: Windows Update | 32-bit … Continue reading Microsoft Updates Extenders, Set-top Box Support in Media Center

Has Media Center Been a “Miss” for Microsoft?

Dennis Morgan pointed to a recent MSNBC article on Bill Gates hits and misses during his time at Microsoft.  One of the first products in the miss category is Media Center, what do you think?  Based on the author’s semi-outdated understanding of Media Center, I’d agree with them 100%.  Media Center has been a miss when you consider their concept of Media Center being a product “aimed to move into the living room, tying the PC and the TV together for recording television shows on the computer…”  I think it would be hard to argue that Microsoft’s first plan for … Continue reading Has Media Center Been a “Miss” for Microsoft?

Media Center Nabs More Online Content: Olympics & Fight Network

NBC has teamed up with TVTonic to provide online coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics via Media Center.  Be sure to watch the ‘Explore’ section of Media Center for more, as well as TVTonic (requires install).  More information at TVTonic. In addition the Queensberry Fight Network has launched an online application available now in Media Center to get your fighting/boxing fix 24/7.  Considering the downfall that has been network TV, Microsoft needs to make sure they are making every effort to get more online content up and accessible via Media Center.  I’m dying for a Hulu plug-in.

More on Cannon PCs Six CableCARD PC

On Friday Cannon PC demoed a system recording from six CableCARDs all at once, while playing back a recording and the system didn’t skip a beat.  This was demoed in the YouTube video, but I got some higher resolution screenshots of Media Center showing the six streams at once. Given the system resources that they had to spare, what do people think the max number of tuners would be?  Considering local playback most likely added from 5-10% on ~35% of the CPU being used, I think this shows that processing speed is no longer a bottle neck for Media Center … Continue reading More on Cannon PCs Six CableCARD PC

mControl Adds Support for CentraLite JetStream

Embedded Automation has just added CentraLite JetStream to their growing list of supported home control systems.  CentraLite JetStream is a new standard for home control based on Zigbee, and as you will learn in the embedded video it was actually the first standard that Embedded Automation supported in mControl but delayed the launch due to a lack of devices on the market. [YouTube:4NFpODLB4yU]

Cannon PC Demos Media Center with 6 CableCARDs

June 18, 2008 – Cannon PC, LP demonstrated a capability of their Media Centers to accommodate 6 Digital Cable Cards and simultaneously record 6 different HD Digital Cable Channels. Cannon PC, the award winning Media Center specialty company, demonstrated to a select group of people the capability of their Media Centers to manage 6 Digital Card Cards. They have also posted a video on YouTube and on their web site demonstrating this capability. The video shows the actual ATI Digital tuners, the Recorded TV section showing the 6 current recordings, the Performance Monitor showing how little impact the process has … Continue reading Cannon PC Demos Media Center with 6 CableCARDs