Short Bits: DVD Steaming, Media Center U, CEDIA

Charlie Owen wants to know why you think that Microsoft hasn’t hit on DVD streaming yet.  My reasoning?  Because Microsoft has no idea what market to develop for.  Are they focused on their average consumer market?  Because they don’t use Media Center at all.  Are they focused on the market found at The Green Button?  Sure doesn’t seem like it.  Are they focused on the custom installer market?  Partly, but they hardly have the features needed to make a dent on the overall market. Speaking of the custom market, Microsoft announced that will be holding various training sessions focused on … Continue reading Short Bits: DVD Steaming, Media Center U, CEDIA

Microsoft Starts Media Center SideShow Gadget Beta

Microsoft has finally unwrapped a beta of the long rumored Vista Media Center SideShow control gadget.  First spotted by Stuart, you can apply for the beta on Microsoft Connect and get started starting, but so far it looks pretty much like basic in terms of functionality. The key component currently missing is Media Center Extender control, something we knew Microsoft has said it will be able to do.  Current features include the ability to browse the Guide and schedule recordings, list recorded TV and start playback, browse the music, picture and video libraries, and show “Now Playing” information. Read more … Continue reading Microsoft Starts Media Center SideShow Gadget Beta

mControl 2.1 Goes Final

Embedded Automation has released the final build of mControl 2.1 for download.  The build is actually the same as the previous RCGOLD2 release, and as there were no significant issues reported Embedded Automation has now shifted their focus to the next mControl release. You can download mControl 2.1 here, and of course you get a 30 day trial if you don’t already use mControl.  All current mControl users can upgrade to 2.1 for free.  See the User Manual for more (PDF). Interested to know what other features mControl has?  Check out the updated mControl Feature Summery (PDF).

mControl Adds Support for CentraLite JetStream

Embedded Automation has just added CentraLite JetStream to their growing list of supported home control systems.  CentraLite JetStream is a new standard for home control based on Zigbee, and as you will learn in the embedded video it was actually the first standard that Embedded Automation supported in mControl but delayed the launch due to a lack of devices on the market. [YouTube:4NFpODLB4yU]

Short Bits: Extenders, Dream Home

The Windows Experience Blog took a look at the HP MediaSmart Connect.  At some point I’ll also have a review of the unit and compare it directly to the Linksys Extenders (and D-Link which is pretty much the same). Speaking of Extenders, Ben at Engadget HD did a great shootout of the Linksys, D-Link, and Xbox 360 Extenders head-to-head. eHomeUpgrade has had several posts about the Disney Innovations Dream Home.  Alexander took a look at Life|ware, Surface, HP’s TouchSmart PC, and much more.

mPanel Preview Videos, Price Point, and More

No doubt Embedded Automation’s mPanel has been high on my list, and over the past week Ted has posted up some great videos on the company’s website and YouTube page.  Check out the mPanel overview, mPanel installation, mPanel Media Center control, and mPanel music control/playback. [YouTube:cj-tuIDUhII] In addition to seeing the functionality, Ted confirmed the target price is in the $1,500 range and for those who already own touchscreens you will most likely be able to purchase the mPanel software at a later date for WinCE and other platforms. Lastly, Embedded Automation now has a forum for users to post … Continue reading mPanel Preview Videos, Price Point, and More

Short Bits: Excalibur, mPanel, Fiji, SideShow, more

Fiji is old news, Excalibur seems to be the new thing (Via ActiveWin).  I’ve never seen so much made of a codename!  I follow what Stephen Chapman is saying, but knowing how eHome works inside of Microsoft I wouldn’t try and put together what they are doing with a five year old codename. Embedded Automation has another sneak peak up of their upcoming mPanel touchscreen, this time showing local music playback. Back to Fiji, Ars Technica has posted leaked screenshots of what is said to be Fiji with the name of “Windows Vista Media Center Feature Pack 2008” attached to … Continue reading Short Bits: Excalibur, mPanel, Fiji, SideShow, more

Embedded Automation’s mPanel Sneak Preview

I was very excited a few months ago when Embedded Automation announced mPanel, their upcoming in-wall touchpanel for mControl.  Of course, when they announced it mControl wasn’t as feature rich as it is now so I figured it would just provide access to mControl and simple media (music) access.  But then came things like native Media Center control and an iPod touch UI which is wrapping mControl into a much more powerful package (especially for the price). Now Embedded Automation has put up a really good example of things mPanel will bring, check out the animated gif below that has … Continue reading Embedded Automation’s mPanel Sneak Preview

VidaBox Releases New TouchClient12 – an Affordable In-wall Flush-mount Touch Panel

WESTBURY, NY – May 15th – VidaBox LLC is excited to announce the new TouchClient12 in-wall touch panel computer.  Featuring a 12.1” color touchscreen and XP embedded computer, it is selling at an affordable retail price of $2499. “The TouchClient12 is the flush-mount touch panel computer solution that integrators have been asking for,” comments Steven Cheung, President of the company.  “The only connections needed are 12V low voltage power and a network connection with CAT5 cable!  Once installed, integrators can point its internet browser to web-controllable resources like CasaTunes, or install any program that runs on XP embedded, such as … Continue reading VidaBox Releases New TouchClient12 – an Affordable In-wall Flush-mount Touch Panel

Getting Started with Lighting Control and Home Automation

This will be the first post in what I hope to make a series about using mControl to automate your home, control your thermostat, control your lighting, secure your home, and more.  Home automation and lighting control is a very in-depth subject, so I’ve found it difficult to group everything into these posts.  Choosing a lighting control or home automation system is not an easy task and several variable play into the technology purchasing decision.  If you are interested, I’d highly recommend checking out other website and forums to get a more in-depth understanding.  I’m trying to write to the … Continue reading Getting Started with Lighting Control and Home Automation