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

Niveus Media Gearing up for DIRECTV Support?

It wouldn’t surprise me if Niveus Media was the first OEM to offer DIRECTV support, and judging by the following graphic it looks like they might already be planning for such features. Niveus’ website now lists “HD Satellite” as a “TBD” (To be determined) option on all of their Media Center’s.  Given this, one might think Niveus has already been talking with Microsoft and DIRECTV trying to get advanced support in their products. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me.  I’m willing to bet that the first time the DIRECTV tuner is demoed at a trade show … Continue reading Niveus Media Gearing up for DIRECTV Support?

CNET Doesn’t Read Other Blogs; Asks Where DIRECTV and CableCARD Support Is

Clearly CNET doesn’t read any blogs relating to the stuff they are talking about.  They just asked why nothing has come of the DIRECTV support in Media Center.  And to top it off they also say “Microsoft has been working even longer to try to get CableCard support into Vista PCs.”  Did I miss something, because Vista PCs have been shipping with CableCARD for over a year now! Of course, those who keep up with technology related to the topic might have seen a few posts about this online.  For example, here and here?  These posts also made it on … Continue reading CNET Doesn’t Read Other Blogs; Asks Where DIRECTV and CableCARD Support Is

CES Wrap-up Part 2

So it looks like CES provided us with a little bit more excitement in the form of Extenders and DIRECTV. Starting with Extenders, Niveus Media made their EDGE official at the price of $1,500.  I know a lot of people will complain about that, but when you look at Niveus’ market it is really a steal.  Instead of purchasing a number of $3000 Rainer PC’s, you now just need one and then stock up on the EDGE to cover your home.  The Niveus EDGE is basically supposed to be an Xbox 360 that has been repacked, gaming disabled, and made … Continue reading CES Wrap-up Part 2

Update: DIRECTV Tuner Confirmed Again

I’ve said that the DIRECTV tuner for Media Center is coming along with such features as H.264 HD access, in-band EPG data and PPV access all crammed into a dual tuner. Today, DBSTalk is reporting that the tuner, internally named HDPC20 will indeed be an external USB dual tuner solution.  It is will with your regular DIRECTV Access Card and it works independently of a standalone STB. Small bits of information seems to keep coming in from Earl at DBSTalk and I’ll update this post accordingly. Update:  TGB @ CES blogger Jerold says that Microsoft might be making an announcement … Continue reading Update: DIRECTV Tuner Confirmed Again

First DIRECTV Tuner Details?

DIRECTV and even Sky TV support appear to be picking up speed.  Like many of you, I’ve been awaiting the DIRECTV tuner for Media Center since it was announced.  Microsoft and DIRECTV have been quiet on the subject which has made it hard to find out any details on the upcoming product. Lucky for us, Microsoft happens to be looking for a few employees to work near the project.  Feel free to apply, but for the rest of us who just want the shipping product here are the first small tidbits of information. According to the job posting, Microsoft is … Continue reading First DIRECTV Tuner Details?

Short Bits: Distributors, BSkyB, Vista SP1, Sony XL3/TP1

CE Pro says that “distributors believe Media Center Edition whole-house controls will be the most important trend” in 2007.  This is a very important step in the wide-spread adoption of Media Center and PCs in general for living room use.  People often forget that while you might not be personally interested in purchasing from a custom installer, when the CI market picks up on a platform it can mean very good things.  The hardware and third party software markets will benefit from the wide-spread adoption such as this. Ian points to BSkyB officially pointing to the fact that they are … Continue reading Short Bits: Distributors, BSkyB, Vista SP1, Sony XL3/TP1

Dish Network Also Developing Media Center Add-In Card?

Last month we all noticed that nothing was said about DIRECTV and Microsoft at CES, but DBSTalk.com got a Q&A with DIRECTV and they said HTPC Cards were “Still in progress, internal beta testing.” Somehow it got overlooked that Dish Network said the exact same thing!  DBSTalk.com also had a Q&A with Dish at CES and they said “Working with Microsoft, no timeline as yet. Microsoft has to work out DRM issues to satisfy the copyright holders.” While this answer is odd since Microsoft has said nothing about working with Dish, it does open a whole another door of hope … Continue reading Dish Network Also Developing Media Center Add-In Card?

Updated: Microsoft and DIRECTV Cut a Deal (370 Days Ago)

At CES 2006 (370-some days ago) Microsoft and DIRECTV cut a deal to “enable the flow of digital content among Windows-based PCs, DIRECTV’s set-top boxes, PlaysForSure-compatible devices and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, which will allow customers to experience DIRECTV programming and digital content stored on their Windows-based PCs in a variety of new ways.” Everyone thought this was perfect, an alterative to Cable when we knew that CableCARD would mean buying a new PC.  The hope was that the DIRECTV deal would come along and save those who wished to build their own PCs. Sean Alexander … Continue reading Updated: Microsoft and DIRECTV Cut a Deal (370 Days Ago)

DirecTV Outlines Digital Home Plans for 2006/2007

DirecTV Investor Meeting 2006 | On February 22, 2006 DirecTV outlined their plans to cover the digital home in 2006 and into 2007.  I have yet to listen to the Investor Meeting in order to find out more details, however the Windows Media Webcast can be found here. An overview of DirecTV in the Digital Home is also mapped out man includes PlaysForSure to portable devices and Windows PC’s, a DirecTV Tuner of some sort to enable content within Media Center and on Viiv-PC’s, and also it appears support for DLNA! DirecTV Broadband Video will launch in Q4 of 2006 … Continue reading DirecTV Outlines Digital Home Plans for 2006/2007