Microsoft Patches Restricted Content Errors on MCE 2005

Microsoft patched the Restricted Content errors in Windows Vista a few months back, and today lonely old Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is getting its fix.  The patch (KB956148) is used to resolve “an issue in which a Windows Media Center configuration that uses an analog TV broadcast without a set-top box, displays a protected content message when recording television shows.” You should be able to grab the patch from Windows Update, or if you want it directly go here.

Microsoft Launches New Worldwide Platform for Broadcast TV on the PC

Leading tuner and chipset providers announce support for new Microsoft platform. AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Sept. 12, 2008 — Today at IBC2008, Microsoft Corp. announced it has delivered in the marketplace Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA), Microsoft’s new worldwide platform for broadcast TV on the PC. Made possible by the recent release of Windows Media Center TV Pack, the platform for the first time enables the PC-TV hardware ecosystem to integrate virtually any free or premium TV service into Windows Media Center, while satisfying the TV industry’s requirements for strong content protection in the case of pay TV. Among the leading … Continue reading Microsoft Launches New Worldwide Platform for Broadcast TV on the PC

Microsoft Patches “Broadcast Flag”/CGMS-A Issues

Today Microsoft is will a patch to correct the issues seen in last month’s reported “Broadcast Flag” issues.  In reality, the fix is for CGMS-A and the official word is still that Media Center doesn’t support the Broadcast Flag.  Last month’s issue propagated from CGMS-A being on the analog source data that was broadcast by NBC. The patch changes functionality in Media Center for CGMS-A on antenna and non-STB configurations where CGMS-A CopyNever (1:1) will be recorded as CopyOnce (1:0) effectively ending the “Recording Prohibited” messages seen last month.  This means if CGMS-A finds its way onto an OTA broadcast … Continue reading Microsoft Patches “Broadcast Flag”/CGMS-A Issues

Short Bits: Digital Copy, tru2way, Big Media

Remember just last month when I said “I’d like to see companies embrace the fact that DVD is still the mainstream format?”  Based on a story in CED from this past week studios are starting to realize that’s the key, with one Warner exec saying “….64 percent of consumers said having a digital file gives better value.”  This story was about including protected digital copies of films on DVDs (Example) which I think is a great idea and needs to happen much more often (on all DVDs).  Now let’s also see it work the opposite way too, if I buy … Continue reading Short Bits: Digital Copy, tru2way, Big Media

Short Bits: Media Center University, Broadcast Flag

Microsoft’s CE Installer blog posted today about the Broadcast Flag issue that I previously talked about proclaiming that “Windows Media Center does not enable or utilize the Broadcast Flag.”  They clearly want to make sure that the CE installers and integrators using Media Center know this isn’t an issue, or is it…. Just hours later the CE Installer blog posted a link to part one of the Media Center University that Microsoft and Life|ware did a few months ago at EHX.  In the presentation (A must watch for technical types, CE installers, etc), Mike Seamons (ex-Life|ware, current Microsoft) went over … Continue reading Short Bits: Media Center University, Broadcast Flag

Broadcast Flag Follow-up

I’ve been attempting to learn about the Broadcast Flag over the past few days, and instead of focusing on what it can/can’t do I decided to look at a few other things. First of all, I want to say that I believe the issue early this month with NBC was a total fluke.  I think a lot of people are getting bent out of shape considering this has been and continues to be a onetime bug not reproducible by anyone at Microsoft, NBC, EFF, etc.  This is compounded with the lack of understanding between different technologies, mainly Copy Generation Management … Continue reading Broadcast Flag Follow-up

Short Bits: Broadcast Flag

Broadcast Flag issues?   I’d like to write a nice article about the Broadcast Flag and what it is and isn’t.  Only problem, there is no good source of factual information at all on the web.  The Wikipedia entry doesn’t cite a single source [citation needed] about the technical aspect or implementation.  In fact, that 1000+ word entry only cited five sources, all of which are related to the votes and riders in the Senate. My basic understanding of the Broadcast Flag (or most current concept) is that it does not limit recording.  The idea is to protect recordings.  Thus, the … Continue reading Short Bits: Broadcast Flag

Zune Community Brings New Shared Experience to Music

Spring release adds features that inspire people to explore, discover and discuss their favorite music. REDMOND, Wash. — May 5, 2008 — Last November Zune launched “Zune Social,” a music community Web site where music fans can discover new music, browse each others’ playlists, and comment on their discoveries and tastes. In just its first five months, more than two million users have joined the community. With enough members to populate a major city, the community is almost as diverse as the world of music itself, from hardcore audiophiles and passionate music fans to people who are just crazy about … Continue reading Zune Community Brings New Shared Experience to Music

Fact or Fiction: Microsoft and Blu-ray

I’ve gotten a fair amount of reaction to the various articles I’ve posted on Microsoft and Blu-ray, and it still seems the overall consensus on the web is that Microsoft will fall head over heels for Blu-ray in their products. I want to preface this post by saying that I’m not advocating Microsoft not supporting Blu-ray.  The fact is that Blu-ray won, while I think HD DVD had its clear advantages those don’t matter anymore.  I want Blu-ray support in any product that markets itself as part of a digital home. Fiction: Microsoft should support Blu-ray on the Xbox 360 … Continue reading Fact or Fiction: Microsoft and Blu-ray

Short Bits: DRM, Vista SP1, Xbox 360, More

Hard to think people are just now getting around to talking about the DRM crap made by Peter Gutmann and Bruce Schneier.  I went after Schneier in Feburary, but it’s hard to imagine that these “professionals” up into the ring without knowledge of any of the real issues.  Oh well, they might be incredibility smart individuals, but maybe they should stick to cryptography.  Too bad cryptography has so many useful purpose, since it is the basis of digital rights to start with.  Ed Bott also covers this story nicely. Vista SP1 hit the web in the form of a leaked … Continue reading Short Bits: DRM, Vista SP1, Xbox 360, More