Microsoft Showcases Windows Media Center Momentum at CEDIA EXPO 2008

From distributed
HD entertainment to automation and control, Windows Media Center is at the
center of an ever-expanding ecosystem within the custom installation channel.

DENVER — Sept. 4, 2008 — At CEDIA EXPO 2008,
Microsoft Corp. announced expansive growth of the Windows Media Center
ecosystem, the formation of an exciting new industry alliance composed of some
of the custom channel’s top brands, the winner of the 2008 Windows Media Center
Ultimate Install Contest, and numerous partner innovations supporting the
Windows Media Center in the custom installation channel. CEDIA EXPO 2008 is an
annual show for the residential electronic systems industry put on by the
Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association.

“In the wake of Microsoft’s increased engagement with the
custom installation channel, a broader ecosystem has developed based on Windows
Media Center,” said Kevin Collins, director of the Custom Installer Channel in
the Connected TV Business, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We
are thrilled with the level of innovation on the Windows Media Center platform
that hardware and software companies are showcasing at CEDIA EXPO.”

Hardware Expansion

The merit of Windows Media Center as a custom installation
solution is stronger than ever, as illustrated through announcements from
multiple channel partners highlighting support for up to eight CableCARD tuners
and up to 10 Extender for Windows Media Center devices. This increased capacity
allows Windows Media Center technologies to address the demands of more
sophisticated projects. With the wide range of
products and custom configurations that use standard interfaces, integrators
can delight their customers with unique installations while using familiar
components and subsystems. Adding to the growing demand for centralized home
storage, multiple OEMs are previewing new hardware based on Windows Home Server
that provides integrators with a solid whole-house solution to store and access
their clients’ music, photos and videos from either an entertainment server
running Windows Media Center or Extender for Windows Media Center devices.

“Our channel partners are driving compelling new
entertainment and control solutions to maximize the success of custom
integrators,” Collins said. “The collaboration of some of the most
forward-thinking companies in the consumer electronics category and their
implementations of media center technologies are fulfilling the long-standing vision
of the connected home.”

Among this week’s significant partner announcements are
the following:

  • Autonomic Controls Inc. will introduce new control modules
    enabling two-way integration of Windows Media Center and iTunes into Remote
    Technologies Inc. T4 and K4 remote controls.
  • Fluid
    Digital will promote the integration of Microsoft’s Windows Media Center TV
    Pack to enable an enhanced TV viewing experience, native support for four
    digital cable tuners, an enhanced electronic program guide, and the ability to
    share nonprotected digital cable content across Microsoft PlayReady
    technology-enabled PCs and portable media devices.
  • Exceptional
    Innovation will preview its new High Density TV initiative that introduces
    exciting new ways to distribute entertainment and control around the home. The
    new Life|media 810 digital entertainment server features eight TV tuners and
    supports 10 extenders while providing 12 terabytes of hard disk storage to
    deliver consumers a robust solution for storing, managing and viewing
    high-definition (HD) content throughout their home. Exceptional Innovation will
    preview the new Life|ware Digital Media Manager for simple, seamless content
    sharing from one media center device to another. Exceptional Innovation will
    also announce support for the Windows Media Center TV Pack in several
    Life|media media servers; on-board digital amplification through Advanced Micro
    Devices Inc. (AMD) in the new LMS-170 series; and Blu-ray support on multiple
    LMS units.
  • NiveusMedia
    will unveil the Niveus Storage Server – Cargo Edition. Based on the Windows
    Home Server platform, it offers up to 16 terabytes of scalable storage. In
    addition, Niveus will announce support for up to 10 Extender for Windows Media
    Center devices and eight CableCARDs when using the most powerful Niveus media
    server, the Pro Series n9. Niveus will also introduce upgrades to both the
    Niveus media server line and the Niveus Movie Library movie management tool.
  • S1Digital
    LLC plans to launch its new P500 Media Centers, which include advanced features
    such as up to four digital cable tuners (for use with CableCARD) and a QAM/ATSC
    tuner to give customers the capability of watching and recording up to five
    simultaneous cable TV channels including HDTV and premium content, Blu-ray
    playback with Profile 2 capabilities, and up to 3 terabytes of internal
    storage. All S1Digital media center solutions include the Windows Media Center
    TV Pack to provide customers with an enhanced entertainment experience.
    S1Digital also plans to launch the WHS500, a one-rack Windows Home Server,
    designed specifically for the custom installation channel. The WHS500 is a
    powerful network storage device with 4-terabyte capacity for storing movies,
    music, photos, home videos and other media, providing centralized access of
    content.
  • Inteset
    LLC will unveil its new TeraRAID XV-NAS, which will offer 15 terabytes of
    enterprise-level, A/V-style storage and automatically replicate the Inteset
    Media Library across multiple homes with access from the Web. Inteset will also
    be demonstrating the addition of full Blu-ray to its popular, proprietary Movie
    Collection, which has the ability to store, search and play back movies
    seamlessly within the Windows Media Center interface. The system will scan the
    inserted DVD or Blu-ray disc to identify and retrieve full profile information
    from Inteset’s all-new movie database.
  • Samsung
    Electronics America Inc. will showcase the new Samsung MediaLive Extender for
    Windows Media Center, which delivers digital entertainment including HD
    content, photos, music, feature films, home movies, and live and recorded TV,
    from any hardware running Windows Media Center to the big screen of a Samsung
    HDTV via a wireless or wired home network. With distribution that includes the
    custom installation channel, MediaLive is a powerful solution in the offerings
    for Extender for Windows Media Center devices.
  • Cannon PC
    announced that it will begin shipping the Windows Media Center TV Pack, which
    adds native support for up to four TV tuners (including digital cable tuners),
    ClearQAM (unencrypted digital cable) tuners, sharing of unprotected digital
    content via Microsoft PlayReady technology-enabled PCs and more, with its line
    of Media Center PCs beginning in early September. Cannon PC also announced that
    it will offer integrators two form factors of the popular Windows Home Server
    to provide homeowners with a new solution for centralized storage, remote
    access and much more.

2008 Windows
Media Center Ultimate Install Contest

Microsoft will announce the 2008 Windows Media Center
Ultimate Install Contest winner at a special event on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008,
at 5:30 p.m. MDT. This year’s contest saw a significant increase in the number
of submissions as well as the design quality and level of integration delivered
through the Windows Media Center platform. Now in its second year, the Windows
Media Center Ultimate Install Contest encourages integrators to show off their
talents by presenting their most unique and creative installations that
leverage Windows Media Center technologies. More information on the winning
install will be available at http://www.microsoft.com/ultimateinstall.

Media Center Integrator
Alliance

Announced yesterday, Microsoft has joined Intel
Corporation, HP, Life|ware, NiveusMedia, AMD and Crestron Electronics Inc. in
the foundation of the Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA), a nonprofit
organization dedicated to driving the adoption and awareness of the media
center ecosystem in the custom installation channel. MCIA
members will share best practices, establish standards, and develop education
and certification tools
for technologies using Windows Media Center. The new alliance hopes to attract the interest,
acceptance and participation of many more companies
to contribute to a
unified industry-based voice within the ecosystem.

“We’re excited to see how channel awareness has grown and
the implementation of Windows Media Center technologies in product offerings
has expanded over the past 12 months,” Collins said. “We expect the momentum to
continue to drive adoption of the ecosystem and build a network of enthused,
satisfied consumers.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the
worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and
businesses realize their full potential.

8 thoughts on “Microsoft Showcases Windows Media Center Momentum at CEDIA EXPO 2008

  1. No mention of DirecTV HDPC-20. This thing has to be dead, no?

    Hopefully this won’t be the only announcement by Microsoft at CEDIA.

  2. If there isn’t any support coming for the HDPC-20 in Vista, why would Microsoft announce it? Windows 7 is when we’ll see DirecTV support.

  3. Step 1: Use your enthusiast base to enhance your product.
    Step 2: Turn around and sell said product to rich people and ignore the enthusiasts.
    Step 3: Laugh. All the way to the bank.

  4. IMHO all of the momentum is away from VMC and towards products that are actually showing enhancements, like supporting the HD-PVR.

  5. Well… is everybody else as disgusted with no DirecTV HD as I am?

    If they would just announce what’s happening with it it would be so much better off for them and us. The CONTINUAL “expectation of announcement – no announcement – crushing disappointment” has taken a major toll on me. I’m ready to give up. Guess I’m just going to have to dump my dream of MC with DirecTV (which I’ve already invested a fair amount of $ in) and go with AT&T Uverse… they at least claim they will have a centralized storage unit for recorded TV. Guess that’ll just have to do. But if MS thinks I will switch back when they finally decide to get off their asses they are sorely mistaken.

    Does MS even have a clue what kind of customer relations nightmare they have created with this whole debacle???

    Disgusting.

  6. I’m in the same boat Poddie.
    The wife has been complaining for a year that we don’t get HD on our HDTV. Not to mention the constant greif on owning 2 Xbox360’s for extenders.
    I’ve given up. I’m selling 1 of the 360s and 2 PCs that were dedicated to the task.
    It’s a real shame, but after taking it in the rear for V1 extenders and then a useless Vista upgrade I’m done. I’m even thinking of switching to Dish Network because I’m so fed up with the situation.

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