Microsoft, Media Center Integrator Alliance Announce 2009 Ultimate Install Contest

Co-sponsoring this year’s contest with Media Center Integrator Alliance, Microsoft again seeks best residential project design based on Windows Media Center in custom installation industry. ORLANDO, Fla. — March 12, 2009 — Today at the Electronic House Expo in Orlando, Microsoft Corp., in cooperation with co-sponsor Media Center Integrator Alliance, announced the 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest. This industry design contest, now in its third year, seeks to recognize the residential integration business that best utilizes Windows Media Center in a custom home installation project. With the support of the newly formed Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA), a … Continue reading Microsoft, Media Center Integrator Alliance Announce 2009 Ultimate Install Contest

Media Center Gets More Web Marketing

Pete pointed to some excellent new marketing videos that were done for Microsoft and I noticed one thing that just keeps coming back to me.  None of them have anything to do with connected home entertainment!  What do they have to do with?  You guess it, watching TV on your PC. Media Center definitely needs more marketing like this, preferably I’d like to see this wrapped up with Zune, Xbox, and Windows 7 but this is a good start (I’ve said that before though).  The Key Moment video was good, as was the Singing Antenna but I’d like to see … Continue reading Media Center Gets More Web Marketing

VidaBox vAutomation adds Powerful, Semi-Automatic LiteTouch Lighting Integration

Westbury, NY – March 11th – VidaBox is proud to announce support for LiteTouch®, an innovator in residential lighting controls, on their vAutomation™ control and integration platform.  All of the standard lighting controls can be integrated onto a single VidaBox TouchClient™ or vPad™, providing the convenience of whole house lighting control from any location. “Not only did we develop a driver for LiteTouch®,” says Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC, “but we’ve created a semi-automatic, integrated solution where virtually no programming is needed.  First, every lighting station and button can be configured within the LiteWare software. Next, by running a … Continue reading VidaBox vAutomation adds Powerful, Semi-Automatic LiteTouch Lighting Integration

VidaBox Launches the Affordable RoomClient:SE Media Server

Westbury, NY – March 4th – VidaBox has launched the new RoomClient:SE system, an entry-level, Vista-based media server.  Starting at $2248, the RoomClient:SE stores movies, pictures, music, and more for on-demand access via an on-screen, remote controlled interface.  Cover art from movies and music titles are automatically downloaded along with every archival.  Complete with 1080p upscaling and full Dolby Digital and DTS support, it’s designed to deliver a stunning entertainment experience without compromising quality. “The RoomClient:SE is the perfect entry-level unit,” says Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC. “It has all the features and capabilities of our larger systems, such … Continue reading VidaBox Launches the Affordable RoomClient:SE Media Server

Short Bits: DivX, Links, News

You might have noticed I’ve been quiet for the past month, sadly that might continue for another month but I’ll be sure to try and fill the gaps (meanwhile tons of other Media Center blogs covering everything new out there). I’m not sure yet when it will be posted, but in a few weeks several of us in the Media Center community will have a big surprise that everyone will be interested in.  You’re going to want to watch here for that. On a completely separate side note, if anyone involved with Yahoo’s Connected TV Widgets please let me know … Continue reading Short Bits: DivX, Links, News

CableCARD Takes First (Unofficial) Step to DIY PCs

A fair amount of headroom has recently been made for CableCARD support on non-OEM machines.  CableLabs regulations have limited only Microsoft approved OEMs to build and sell CableCARD machines using well outlined stipulations including a special BIOS and additional product key. Smart thinking guy’s at The Green Button cracked open the public CableLabs specs to find out more.  As I’ve talked about before, the BIOS is actually a OSFR table which in theory can be put in any motherboard BIOS.  Turns out Asus might have shipped a revision of their P5K with the table present and populated.  Two fun threads … Continue reading CableCARD Takes First (Unofficial) Step to DIY PCs

Unlikely That Hulu is Holding Out for Microsoft

Julie Jacobson at CE Pro speculates that Hulu (who has been all over the news for killing third party apps) is holding out for Windows 7 Media Center support. As great as this would be, don’t get your hopes up.  Hulu has very few reasons to even look at Microsoft here.  All Microsoft really brings to the table is a very small number of users (none of which are really going to add new pageviews that Hulu isn’t already getting).  Microsoft internal numbers are actually quoting a good amount of users, but I’m not really convinced that the numbers represent … Continue reading Unlikely That Hulu is Holding Out for Microsoft

Short Bits: Power DVD, Sage TV, Updates

Engadget HD got some shots of PowerDVD 9, or rather what we now know is the extent of the “native” Media Center Blu-ray integration announced CES.  Native is a bit of a stretch as I figured it might be.  Instead of native playback we now have a native MCML UI that launches PowerDVD (a la Play Movie, TotalMedia, etc).  It’s a start, I guess.  I’m not really that impressed with what is being offered.  On the plus side, word is video decoding is pretty top notch which is good to hear. If I can ever find time I’ve got to … Continue reading Short Bits: Power DVD, Sage TV, Updates