Microsoft Announces the Expansion of the Zune Entertainment Service to New Platform and Markets; Confirms New Zune HD Portable Media Player

Premium Zune digital entertainment service to be available internationally on Xbox LIVE. REDMOND, Wash. — May 26, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the evolution of Zune, the company’s end-to-end music and entertainment service, to a new platform and new markets. Zune will extend its video service to Xbox LIVE internationally this fall. This marks an important development in the Zune strategy and brings the Zune brand to more than 17 million international Xbox LIVE subscribers. In addition, Microsoft confirmed the next generation of the Zune portable media player, Zune HD. Available in the U.S. this fall, Zune HD is … Continue reading Microsoft Announces the Expansion of the Zune Entertainment Service to New Platform and Markets; Confirms New Zune HD Portable Media Player

Does Home Server & Media Center Mean a Connected Future?

Preface: Before you read this please try and get in the right mindset.  Microsoft doesn’t care about what anyone reading this blog wants.  They don’t care what I want either.  It is a hard truth to take, but that’s a fact.  They will say that they listen to all requests, and that’s true, they do.  What they don’t do is make any sort of business decision (translation, features) based on my ramblings, The Green Button, Engadget, or anyone else.  They don’t make Media Center for “us”, and before anyone can start to understand the points I try and make about … Continue reading Does Home Server & Media Center Mean a Connected Future?

The Story Behind Netflix for Windows Media Center

Today Microsoft released their native Netflix application for Windows Media Center to much fanfare.  The release comes with a catch, but let’s back up a bit before we get to that. I’ve talked about the need for Microsoft to get Netflix within the Media Center ecosystem, and ever since Reed Hastings joined Microsoft’s board I knew it was coming.  A year ago Microsoft announced Netflix would be coming to the Xbox 360 Dashboard and that rekindled my thoughts about the Xbox 360 being Media Center biggest enemy in the marketplace.  Today those thoughts are confirmed once again by the Netflix … Continue reading The Story Behind Netflix for Windows Media Center

Microsoft and Netflix Enhance Movie and TV Watching on the PC

Latest content addition offers more than 12,000 choices of movies and TV episodes that can be watched instantly on a PC with Windows. REDMOND, Wash. — May 19, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix Inc., the world’s largest online movie rental service, are now available to watch instantly on the PC using Windows Media Center on PCs with Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate. This newest content addition builds on Microsoft’s goal to create a consistent experience on the PC for consumers to easily enjoy the entertainment of greatest interest … Continue reading Microsoft and Netflix Enhance Movie and TV Watching on the PC

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