Short Bits: Vongo, VistaView QAM

Last a few days ago I talked about the quickly depleting online streaming section in Media Center, and today we officially have another one to go.  Vongo was the Starz-owned subscription download service that will now be history at the end of September (Via Ian Dixon).  A new service called Starz Play appears to be taking its spot, but it is not clear how or if it will integrate with Media Center.  The marketing genius in me questions why Vongo was not branded Starz Play to start with, but I guess catchy names are all the rage these days. VistaView … Continue reading Short Bits: Vongo, VistaView QAM

Microsoft’s Interactive Online Streaming Dilemma

Microsoft’s partners seem to be having a hard time finding success in Media Center with interactive streaming plug-ins available through the ‘Explore’ (Online Spotlight) section of Media Center.   Several partners have seemingly dropped support for Media Center without notice over the past year and with the lack of a worldwide presence for the applications you have to wonder about the future of Media Center as a streaming platform. MTV Networks pulled their applications for MTV, MTVU, VH1, and Comedy Central months ago with no reason as to why.  Just last month the Queensberry Fight Network launched a Media Center application, … Continue reading Microsoft’s Interactive Online Streaming Dilemma

Microsoft Makes Fiji Official, TV Pack for OEMs Only

Today Microsoft made the Windows Media Center TV Pack official.  Formally codenamed Fiji, the TV Pack is meant to add support for various TV signal types within Vista Media Center.  News about the TV Pack has been leaking out for the past month, and instead of waiting for CEDIA as originally planned Microsoft let the cat out of the bag today so people will know exactly what to expect and not to expect within the TV Pack. First of all, yes the TV Pack is OEM only.  The official word for the OEM only release has basically centered around the … Continue reading Microsoft Makes Fiji Official, TV Pack for OEMs Only

Short Bits: Fiji, Media Center Show, Olympics

Mary Jo Foley covers the mess that has been Fiji.  I’ll have more soon, but Fiji will go down in history as one of the worst coordinated projects to come out of Microsoft in a long time. On this week’s Media Center Show Ian Dixon has Automated Home’s Mark McCall talking Home Sever, Media Center, and of course, home automation. This is the first time the Olympics is making a big splash online, and if you have followed any of the press around it there are a lot of players involved this year.  Microsoft is clearly one of the top … Continue reading Short Bits: Fiji, Media Center Show, Olympics

Music Plug-in Allows for Folder Based Browsing

While ID3 tags generally make the for the best music browsing and collection experience, the lack of ID3 tags in your tracks can do just the opposite.  Now you can get around the need for 100% perfect ID3 tagged tracks using the new Music Browser plug-in for Vista Media Center.  The simple plug-in allows for folder based navigation of your music, ditching the need to have the Artist and/or Album Artist tagged correctly in all of your files.

TV Pack Questions Answered by Charlie Owen

Charlie Owen will be answering questions about the Media Center TV Pack (Fiji) as soon as Microsoft makes the official announcements, so if you have any questions about things that may have been rumored now would be the time to submit them. I will also finally be able to talk in depth about stuff including what is in/out of Fiji, the possibility of a second Media Center release, and Windows 7 around this timeframe.  If you have questions or comments for me to get a non-Microsoft response let me know.

Engadget HD Shows Off TV Pack

Engadget HD has gone hands on with the Media Center TV Pack (Fiji) showing off its new features like native QAM support, heterogeneous tuner support (mix and match tuner types), subchannel support, and more. Their conclusion is that the TV Pack is a “pretty nice upgrade, but most definitely not everything we wish it was.”  This might have something to do with DIRECTV support being nowhere to be found, and maybe that there is no where you can actually get the TV Pack if you are willing to pay. The official announcement for the TV Pack is set to be … Continue reading Engadget HD Shows Off TV Pack

VidaBox Unveils the RACK24 Server – Supporting up to 22TB of Storage for Multizone AV Streaming

Westbury, NY – August 15th – VidaBox proudly announces the arrival of another ground-breaking product – the RACK24 server system. This super-high density storage device can store up to 22TB with RAID6 protection, and is ideal for a dedicated multimedia server for multizone distribution of massive music, pictures, Blu-ray, and DVD movie collections. “With up to 24 field-serviceable hard drives and quad-core processing, the RACK24 sets a new standard for rack-mountable Media Center-based servers,” states Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC. “Unlike our other RACK series servers, the RACK24 is designed solely as a centralized storage device, allowing the system’s … Continue reading VidaBox Unveils the RACK24 Server – Supporting up to 22TB of Storage for Multizone AV Streaming