Short Bits: SDV, HP TocuhSmart, Media Center Show

Missing Remote has had several great articles and review this week including an article on SDV and what it means to your CableCARD PC.  In addition to that Mike reviewed TVTonic for Media Center and D-Link’s DSM-330 DivX Connected Extender (non Media Center Extender). Ian Dixon got one of the new HP TouchSmart panels to play with and gives his first impressions and an unboxing video.  If you haven’t had a chance to use one of these new panels yet I’d run out and try and find one locally setup in-store.   It is a great PC and the fact that … Continue reading Short Bits: SDV, HP TocuhSmart, Media Center Show

mControl Adds Text to Speech Driver

Adding to the long list of mControl add-ins, drivers, and plug-ins is their text to speech beta driver that allows the Microsoft Speech API to make your Vista machine speak text as part of a macro.  The speech commands are specific to Windows Vista, so the client will not work on MCE 2005 (the controller part of the driver should work on MCE 2005 however). Source code and documentation are also included in the download.

Open Media Library Beta Released

No doubt one of my favorite Media Center plug-ins to watch has been Open Media Library.  The new MCML plug-in started as a clone of Niveus Media’s Movie Library and then shifted into a huge open source project with several developers behind the effort.  All of that hard work by those developers has resulted in the first beta release available for download now which looks great!  Downloads are available for 32 and 64-bit. Features include… My Movies XML support VIDEO_TS playback ISO using Daemon Tools Codec based playback support DVD Library Manager support Extender support UI based setup (importers, daemontools … Continue reading Open Media Library Beta Released

Samsung’s MediaLive: the Ultimate HDTV Accessory, Bringing Digital Content from the PC to the Big-Screen

Samsung Electronics America Inc., the leader in the U.S. digital television market, lets consumers view PC-content on a Samsung HDTV with the retail launch of the company‘s MediaLive adaptor. Samsung‘s MediaLive delivers digital content (including HD content) in real-time from Windows Media Center on a PC running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate operating systems to the big screen of a Samsung HDTV via a wireless or wired home network. From photos, music, feature films, home movies, and live and recorded TV programs, Samsung‘s MediaLive is the ideal plug-and-play complement to most 2008-model Samsung HDTVs. “The PC is … Continue reading Samsung’s MediaLive: the Ultimate HDTV Accessory, Bringing Digital Content from the PC to the Big-Screen

Short Bits: Batch DVD Rip, mControl ISY

So you have a Sony DVD Changer that doesn’t include the ability to stream to Extenders.  What do you do?  Forget keeping the discs in the changer and just batch rip them using Casey Chesnut newest project /dvdMassRip. Embedded Automation has just released a beta driver for Universal Device’s ISY-xx controllers.  Currently supported are the ISY-26 and ISY-99i INSTEON controllers, and the driver has been designed so that UPB and Z-Wave ISY controllers.

Heatwave Weather Plug-in Makes a Comeback

Years after developing the world’s first native Media Center plug-in (in MCE 2005 nonetheless, thus using unsupported methods), James at MCExtended is back with Heatwave for Vista.  Just about everything you would expect is included in the new weather plug-in, and it also includes some extras like overlaying a transparent version of the plug-in over the currently playing video just as Media Center does with the Guide. You can download it here.

Short Bits: Media Center U, Media Center Show, SideShow, More

I’ve been extra busy the past week and have kind of skipped covering everything that I wanted too, but now I’m back! Check out part 4 and part 4 of the Media Center University sessions at EHX.  In these two sessions Todd Rutherford from Microsoft covers everything from online streaming and downloading of content to controlling Media Center in a whole home environment. In last week Media Center Show Ian Dixon and Ted Singh covered Embedded Automations upcoming mPanel touchscreen.  I’ve got a post coming on SideShow later, but to get a glimpse of that you just have to see … Continue reading Short Bits: Media Center U, Media Center Show, SideShow, More

Microsoft Releases Home Server Power Pack 1

After what seems like an extremely long wait Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 has been released.  If you have automatic updates enabled on your server then Power Pack 1 will be downloaded directly, but if you can’t wait for that then the download is up here. Power Pack 1 includes several new features and fixes, most notable Vista x64 support and a fix to the nasty data corruption bug.  Other features include Home Server Shared Folder backup, improved remote access, and power consumption/performance improvements. Hot on the heels of Power Pack 1, HP has also released their MediaSmart Server … Continue reading Microsoft Releases Home Server Power Pack 1

CableCARD to Get Relaxed DRM

It has always been hard to stomach the DRM variations that CableLabs has set up between OCURs and UDCP devices like TiVo’s.  TiVo gets the ability to have non-DRM recordings if the content provider hasn’t flagged the broadcast at all whereas Media Center with CableCARD has to protect everything no matter what.  This discrepancy might is ready to change. CableLabs recently unwrapped an update to the OCUR specs in which they appeared to have removed the “Requirement to Protect Output of Content with No Protection Flags.” Hard to say whether you will need the Windows Media Center TV Pack to … Continue reading CableCARD to Get Relaxed DRM

More on Fiji/Media Center TV Pack

Lots of stuff going around on Fiji, and while I can’t say as much as I’d like too I can say that no single person has put all the pieces together yet.  Word is that Fiji final name is indeed Windows Media Center TV Pack, and useless a separate product pops up out of nowhere I’d consider that pretty concrete.  Microsoft let that bit slip themselves by releasing a few knowledge base articles specifically about the TV Pack. Engadget HD runs down what they expect to be in the update, and Brent Evans covers more of the news from a … Continue reading More on Fiji/Media Center TV Pack