Going Beyond The Enthusiast Market

Charlie Owen, a former Media Center team member wrote a post this week about Media Center expanding its marketplace, specifically going from the current enthusiast market to a more mainstream market.  Charlie analysis comes to the pretty simple answer of “It’s possible, but highly unlikely at this point.” I had previously come to this conclusion, but to me the real question is “will Microsoft attempt to develop for the enthusiast market?”  Lucky for me, Charlie replied to my comment with exactly what I was expecting Charlie: “No. That’s because they have never done so. The enthusiast market is always a … Continue reading Going Beyond The Enthusiast Market

Microsoft Focuses Media Center Marketing, Platform to Follow

The first sign of a business in trouble is when you must reinvent yourself to stay alive.  Microsoft might not actually be reinventing Media Center, mostly becasue you can’t reinvent something that you never actually defined a market for in the first place, but they are finally attempting to delineate where they see Media Center competing in such a growing marketplace (and that’s not a good thing for most reading this). Media Center started as a method to watch TV on the PC.  Essentially it was marketed to college students to cut down the number of devices in their dorm.  … Continue reading Microsoft Focuses Media Center Marketing, Platform to Follow

Vista SP2 Doesn’t Support Blu-ray Playback

Due to a poorly worded article over at CNET I’ve seen a few dozen people getting excited about Vista SP2 bringing “support for Blu-ray drives,” but everyone should take a quick step back and realize Vista SP2 will add “support for burning Blu-ray data discs” but nothing involving Blu-ray Disc movie playback. So far Vista SP2 is basically a collection of previously planned “Feature Packs” including the Storage Feature Pack (where Blu-ray burning comes from), and the Wireless Feature Pack.  My guess is that Microsoft is worried the press behind Windows 7 is going to kick Vista sales to the … Continue reading Vista SP2 Doesn’t Support Blu-ray Playback

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.

Microsoft Quietly Plans “Windows Media Center TV Pack”

Microsoft made plans public on Friday in Japan (late Thursday in US) for the release of a product called “Windows Media Center TV Pack” as a part of their increased TV signal support in the country. (Image via Masaru Kamikura’s tumblr) What is the Windows Media Center TV Pack?  Well, that’s up to the translated press release to tell us (Original press release). Google Translation: TV Pack….“Provide PC manufacturers, PC manufacturers from terrestrial digital broadcasting is PC compatible with Windows Vista(1)”     (1) Note: and provide the package, Windows Update, and by extension will not only provide. Yahoo Babelfish Translation: … Continue reading Microsoft Quietly Plans “Windows Media Center TV Pack”

Introducing Media Center Week!

I’m proud to introduce this week as my randomly designated Media Center Week!  Get those F5 keys ready, because I’ve complied story after story, post after post and you’re not going to want to close your web browser for this one. Already today we have news that Dish Network might be on its way to Media Center, and coming up tonight you might just learn that Media Center is about to increase it’s TV signal presence outside the US (no, really!) If you have any specific questions that you would like answered as a part of Media Center Week, please … Continue reading Introducing Media Center Week!

Fiji Media Center Beta Inches Closer

We have been waiting for Microsoft to open the beta for Fiji, the suspected codename for the next version of Media Center for well over a year now.  I first posted about it in March of last year, with invites first opening just a month after that, and now it appears we may finally have taken a step forward. Users (who shall remain nameless, because I edited them out) at The Green Button are reporting that they have received e-mails from Microsoft Connect.  If true, this would be the first step to finally getting something in our hands to play … Continue reading Fiji Media Center Beta Inches Closer

Microsoft Introduces $10,000 Digital Home Makeover Contest

To celebrate the consumer availability of new Extenders for Windows Media Center, the Windows Media Center team is today unveiling a Digital Home Makeover Contest.  For one lucky winner, the makeover team will transform their disconnected digital lifestyle into a home entertainment dream with a prize package totaling up to $10,000. The Digital Home Makeover Contest is designed to address the real challenges people face when adopting today’s digital lifestyle. Today’s consumers have a wide variety of digital content in their homes—thousands of digital pictures, MP3’s, TV shows and movies— and homes may have dozens of devices which allow people … Continue reading Microsoft Introduces $10,000 Digital Home Makeover Contest

HomeSeer Gets Vista Sidebar Gadget

tenWare Software has developed a HomeSeer Sidebar Gadget to display information about Devices that also allows running of Events (macros) from a HomeSeer server.  For those who don’t know, HomeSeer is PC-based home automation software that also has a Media Center plug-in available. While the UI leaves a bit to be desired, the basic functionality is there.  If you are running Vista on multiple machines in your home, this Gadget will give you control over your home without opening Media Center or a web-based UI.

Short Bits: Advertising, MAINGEAR, Ultimate PC

Microsoft has started another round of Media Center/Extender online advertising on sites like The Green Button, AVS Forum, and more.  It is nice to see Microsoft advertising more, but the point still stands that the people who need to know about these technologies are not being informed.  Microsoft needs to wrap up Xbox 360, Zune, Media Center, Extenders, and Vista into a huge advertising campaign directed at people who are not already visiting informed web sources. I posted last night about MAINGEAR’s new Media Center PC that uses the beautiful Omaura TF8 chassis.  What is interesting about this is that … Continue reading Short Bits: Advertising, MAINGEAR, Ultimate PC