‘08 Disappointments: Xbox IPTV

2008 was going to be the year of IPTV, and while AT&T and Verizon (actually QAM) have made great strides in the IPTV marketplace, Microsoft hasn’t done much to push what was promised on their end (Note: Microsoft powers AT&Ts IPTV DVRs).  Of course the prime example here is the concept of using your Xbox 360 as an IPTV DVR. The concept had been thrown around online for some time, but at CES 2008 Microsoft made it official and announced they were working with BT in the UK to bring the functionality to life.  That’s about the last time I … Continue reading ‘08 Disappointments: Xbox IPTV

Niveus Media And HDGIANTS Team Up To Deliver Premium Movie Collections

Niveus dealers and consumers can now purchase HDGIANTS’ movie collections for playback on any Niveus Media Server. Milpitas, CA – December 22, 2008 – Niveus Media is teaming up with HDGIANTS to bring collections of the industry’s best movies to Niveus customers. HDGIANTS is committed to offering premium digital content that maximizes the capabilities of the Niveus Media Server and new Niveus Storage Server – Cargo Edition, to deliver an unparalleled entertainment experience. The collections are available in packages of 50 or 100 titles and include top-rated films from major movie studios. “HDGIANTS gives customers easy access to large collections … Continue reading Niveus Media And HDGIANTS Team Up To Deliver Premium Movie Collections

Microsoft Announces New Zune Pass Music Subscription Model

Consumers can now keep the tracks they love. REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 19, 2008 — Zune, Microsoft Corp.’s digital music and entertainment service, today announced landmark agreements with major and independent music labels to bring significant new value to the subscription music model. The Zune Pass subscription service currently gives consumers on-demand access to millions of tracks for $14.99 per month. Starting today subscribers will also get to select 10 tracks per month to keep and add them to their permanent collection (an estimated $10 value). Agreements have been signed between Microsoft and EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal … Continue reading Microsoft Announces New Zune Pass Music Subscription Model

Upcoming Windows 7 Media Center Feature: Broadband TV Services

By now you have most likely seen what some of the new features of Media Center in Windows 7 are, but don’t think it stops there.  In this series I will go over some of the upcoming features of Media Center in Windows 7.  These features should start appearing in later builds, although some of them will be limited to specific testers. I’ve been saying for some time now that Media Center needs to get serious about Internet and Web TV.  Microsoft will be taking another step toward this in Windows 7 by integrating online services in the standard EPG … Continue reading Upcoming Windows 7 Media Center Feature: Broadband TV Services

Short Bits: Zune Mobile, Home Servers, TV Pack, More

Remember when I said you would hear more about Zune on mobile phones before the years end?  Well, now you have.  “Zune software will also be ported to and be more important not just with the hardware but on the PC, on Windows Mobile devices, etc.,” said Steve Ballmer. Missing Remote has had a few great articles over the past few weeks including a Battle of the Windows Home Server Systems and a letter to Microsoft about what is going on with Media Center.  The article ends with a note to Microsoft asking for them to “go back to the … Continue reading Short Bits: Zune Mobile, Home Servers, TV Pack, More

Microsoft Launches MSNBC News Beta

Today Microsoft officially launched their MSNBC News beta in Media Center to the world (err, I mean US and Canada).  This was actually something that popped up on one of my beta machines a few months ago, but when I asked about it Microsoft said I wasn’t even supposed to have it, and thus I didn’t blog about it.  Much like the Internet TV Beta, access the new application can be found on the TV + Movies strip. Ian Dixon and Brandon LeBlanc have some screenshots up on their respective blogs.  These out-of-band “feature” plug-ins might be Microsoft’s hope to … Continue reading Microsoft Launches MSNBC News Beta

Short Bits: Vongo, VistaView QAM

Last a few days ago I talked about the quickly depleting online streaming section in Media Center, and today we officially have another one to go.  Vongo was the Starz-owned subscription download service that will now be history at the end of September (Via Ian Dixon).  A new service called Starz Play appears to be taking its spot, but it is not clear how or if it will integrate with Media Center.  The marketing genius in me questions why Vongo was not branded Starz Play to start with, but I guess catchy names are all the rage these days. VistaView … Continue reading Short Bits: Vongo, VistaView QAM

Microsoft’s Interactive Online Streaming Dilemma

Microsoft’s partners seem to be having a hard time finding success in Media Center with interactive streaming plug-ins available through the ‘Explore’ (Online Spotlight) section of Media Center.   Several partners have seemingly dropped support for Media Center without notice over the past year and with the lack of a worldwide presence for the applications you have to wonder about the future of Media Center as a streaming platform. MTV Networks pulled their applications for MTV, MTVU, VH1, and Comedy Central months ago with no reason as to why.  Just last month the Queensberry Fight Network launched a Media Center application, … Continue reading Microsoft’s Interactive Online Streaming Dilemma

Short Bits: Fiji, Media Center Show, Olympics

Mary Jo Foley covers the mess that has been Fiji.  I’ll have more soon, but Fiji will go down in history as one of the worst coordinated projects to come out of Microsoft in a long time. On this week’s Media Center Show Ian Dixon has Automated Home’s Mark McCall talking Home Sever, Media Center, and of course, home automation. This is the first time the Olympics is making a big splash online, and if you have followed any of the press around it there are a lot of players involved this year.  Microsoft is clearly one of the top … Continue reading Short Bits: Fiji, Media Center Show, Olympics

My Twelfth Post on Xbox 360 Not Getting Blu-ray

I never thought I would get a dozen posts out of this topic, but what do you know!  Some said I was dead wrong when I predicted that Microsoft wasn’t planning on adding Blu-ray to the Xbox 360.  After covering the issue from every different angle possible (Here,  Here,  Here, Here,  Here, Here, Here,  Here, Here, Here, Here) I still couldn’t come up with a good reason why it was in Microsoft’s best interest to add Blu-ray to the Xbox.  It isn’t hard to come up with reasons why potential or existing Xbox 360 buyers want Blu-ray, but taking a … Continue reading My Twelfth Post on Xbox 360 Not Getting Blu-ray