Contents tagged with Windows Media Center

  • Microsoft Unites Software and Cloud Services to Power New TV Experiences

    Posted by bink on January 7 2010, 2:01 PM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Version 2.0 of award-winning Mediaroom TV platform enables subscription TV providers to deliver more entertainment content to more types of screens, using a single cloud-based infrastructure.

    Today at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Corp. is announcing Microsoft Mediaroom 2.0, the next version of the world’s most deployed Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) platform. Mediaroom 2.0 will enable television service operators to provide their TV services to more subscribers than ever before, delivering more content to more screens than the previous version of Mediaroom — both inside and outside the home.

    “Mediaroom 2.0 operators will be able to deliver their live, recorded and on-demand TV service through Windows Media Center on Windows 7-based PCs.”

    “Mediaroom 2.0 operators will be able to deliver their live, recorded and on-demand TV service through Windows Media Center on Windows 7-based PCs.”

    Mediaroom 2.0 is scheduled to be available for operators to start testing beginning next month. Mediaroom 2.0 can be deployed by operators as their entertainment cloud powering the delivery of a complete television service, including cloud digital video recording (DVR), on-demand features, interactive applications, and access to both operator-hosted content and externally hosted content such as Internet TV. The operators’ service can be enjoyed by their subscribers on multiple screens including the TV (with Mediaroom set-top box), Windows Media Center, Web browsers (for Windows-based PCs and Macs), Xbox 360 and compatible smartphones.

    Also new with Mediaroom 2.0, service providers will now be able to offer their existing on-demand TV service to their entire broadband customer base using their existing set-top box inventory, thereby expanding their service footprint beyond the reach of their IPTV network. The same on-demand service can also be enjoyed on Windows 7-based PCs using Windows Media Center,* as well as on Xbox 360. Service providers also can offer subscribers access to their on-demand programming remotely using a range of Web browsers running on Windows-based PCs and Macs and, in the near future, on compatible smartphones.

    Mediaroom 2.0 also adds support for Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming for the access and delivery of on-demand content. This enables viewers to enjoy an exceptionally high-quality playback experience, because IIS Smooth Streaming adapts the video stream to the user’s network connection to enable optimum video quality. In addition, support for Microsoft PlayReady preserves the service providers’ ability to secure their content libraries and monetize consumer experiences.

    “Our strategy with Mediaroom is to combine the power of client software and cloud-based services to greatly enhance the way consumers experience digital entertainment. We want to make it easier for consumers to find and discover great content, to watch, listen and engage in new ways, and to do so anywhere and on any screen,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president for the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft. “Mediaroom 2.0 is a key milestone in our strategy, providing the software platform to power operators’ service clouds to reach more screens, and more people, with more content than ever before.”

    Continue at source: Microsoft Unites Software and Cloud Services to Power New TV Experiences Version 2.0 of award-wi

  • Microsoft Enhances the Digital Cable Experience(OCUR for everyone)

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 10 2009, 9:05 PM. Posted in Windows Media Center, Windows "7", Windows 7.

    End Customers Can Now Add Digital Cable Tuners With CableCARD to Their PCs

    Microsoft and CableLabs announced that customers will now be able to add digital cable tuners with CableCARD to a Windows 7-based PC with Windows Media Center. A new tool will be provided by Microsoft that assesses the PC’s ability to support the solution. This tool will analyze the customer’s PC and enable digital cable support if the PC meets requirements, opening digital cable options to Windows Media Center customers across the country. Microsoft also announced that, with Windows 7, it has increased the number of TV tuners that can be connected to the PC from two to four per tuner type, thereby allowing customers to simultaneously record or watch as many as four digital cable TV channels.

    “We are excited that digital cable customers will now be able to take advantage of this new opportunity to bring great cable TV programming to the PC,” said So Vang, vice president of OpenCable at CableLabs. “We are dedicated to helping customers get the most from their cable service, and this will be a great win for both the customer and the cable operators.”

    Full announcement here (thanks to johlos for the tip)

    ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuners

  • Microsoft and Netflix Enhance Movie and TV Watching on the PC

    Posted by sumeethevans on May 21 2009, 9:09 AM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Microsoft 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 to them.

    With Windows Media Center, consumers no longer need to jump from Web site to Web site to find the TV shows, movies, sports and news they want to watch. Windows Vista customers who are also Netflix members can simply start Windows Media Center on their PC and then select the new Netflix tile under TV+Movies to begin streaming movies and TV episodes instantly. People can also search the entire Netflix library, manage both their instant and DVD Queues, and even filter searches by titles that are available to watch instantly. Windows Media Center takes advantage of the Netflix recommended category lists to make it even easier to quickly find the movies and TV shows that consumers want to watch. Conveniently, Netflix in Windows Media Center is also designed to work with any Windows Media Center-compatible remote control.

    The availability of Netflix in Windows Media Center marks the second recent content milestone for Windows, following the March 2009 launch of the Sports Channel, which offers a variety of interactive sports content from CBSSports.com, FOX Sports, MSNBC.com and more.

    “Netflix is excited that the majority of the Windows Vista users in the U.S. can now access a vast array of movies and TV episodes from Netflix through Windows Media Center,” said Steve Swasey, vice president of corporate communications. “There’s no better way to enjoy movies than with Netflix, and this latest offering is another milestone that gives Windows Media Center customers a great experience using the Netflix service.”

    The Netflix instant watching in Windows Media Center is powered by Microsoft Silverlight, one of the industry’s most comprehensive and powerful solutions for the creation and delivery of applications and media experiences. The use of Silverlight means that customers will have more accessible, more discoverable and more secure experiences. Windows Media Center is available on Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate.

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  • DISH Network's Draco project brings programming to Windows Media Center

    Posted by sumeethevans on January 17 2009, 6:13 AM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Just over a month after DirecTV went and killed its totally promising HDPC-20 tuner, in flies this. DISH Network is apparently gearing up to unveil some sort of HD-capable DISH-to-Windows Media Center liaison, with current test setups involving a modified ViP 211K receiver attached via Ethernet to a PC.

    The initiative is being coined Draco, and we're even told that dual tuner setups (most likely using dual boxes for now) are in action and working beautifully.

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  • Media Center Beta Survey #2

    Posted by sumeethevans on December 2 2008, 11:48 AM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    You may remember a post from a few weeks back about a new upcoming Media Center beta.  This survey was to provide Microsoft hardware information of your computer to determine if it would meet the requirements needed to test the new beta.

    Last weekend I went to the Iowa-Minnesota football game in Minneapolis.  My wife and I go there do enjoy the game, gamble a bit, and just have some fun.  Iowa decimated Minnesota.  While not a necessity, it does make the trip more enjoyable.

    When I returned home, I had to check my emails, of course.  I had an email from Microsoft.  I needed to complete another Media Center survey.  I am quite interested in this beta, so off to Microsoft Connect I went.  The email I received from Microsoft is as follows (minus the invitation code):

    Continue At Source

  • Mary-Jo: Microsoft confirms TV pack released to OEM partners (only?)

    Posted by MBrant on August 11 2008, 3:22 AM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Mary-Jo Foley has posted on her weblog that Microsoft has confirmed the OEM-status of the Windows Vista Media Center TV Pack 2008 update:

    Statement from Ben Reed, Product Marketing Manager, Windows Media Center:

    On July 16th, 2008, Microsoft released an update to the version of Windows Media Center included with Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate to our OEM partners - this update is referred to as the “Windows Media Center TV Pack”. In order to ensure that users get the best experience possible, this update will only be available from OEMs, as they are best positioned to provide the testing and hardware configurations for a great customer experience. This is due to the fact that in some geographies there are specific technical and hardware requirements for the Windows Media Center TV Pack that are best handled by the OEMs. We are working closely with our OEM partners as they finalize their decisions on Windows Media Center TV Pack products.

    Read all about it at the source... I personally hope the team is still considering public release (altough no one actually ruled that out). Hopefull we'll see this appearing on Windows Update very soon!

  • Microsoft Fiji beta over; final ‘Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008’ due soon

    Posted by bink on July 18 2008, 9:31 PM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Microsoft is done testing “Fiji,” its update to Windows Media Center and is preparing to release the product — officially known as “Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008.”

    Microsoft notified testers that it had RTM’d (released to manufacturing) Fiji on July 17, according to testers who requested anonymity. From the alleged release note:

    “Fiji, officially known as Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008, has Released! The input from Self Host testers has been invaluable to this product and the team would like to thank each of you for your bug reports and feedback.

    “As the release team is taking a much needed break, our next focus will be to post the final build onto the Products servers. Please check the newsgroups for updates. Once the build is live, we will notify you.

    “-Windows Media Center-”

     

    Continue At Source

  • Microsoft Announces 2008 Ultimate Install Contest

    Posted by sumeethevans on March 13 2008, 8:08 PM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Today at the Electronic House Expo (EHX) in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft Corp. announced the 2008 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest. This exciting design contest, now in its second year, seeks to recognize the residential integration business that best utilizes Windows Media Center in a custom home installation project.

    Last year’s winner, Imperium Smart Systems LLC, showcased a home that used Windows Media Center as the main platform and interface that controlled all the family’s entertainment and many of the home’s subsystems. Microsoft has seen the use of Windows Media Center accelerate in the custom integration market this year through increased participation by installers in events and training at Media Center Boot Camp and Electronic House Expo’s Media Center University. This contest encourages installers to show off their talents and present their unique and most creative installations using Windows Media Center technology.

    “Once again, custom installers have the chance to show the amazing things that can be done with our Windows Media Center platform,” said Scott Evans, group manager in the Entertainment and Devices eHome Division at Microsoft. “Professionals in the custom home electronics channel have always been distinguished by their creativity, execution and personalized solutions for their customers. This contest gives them a chance to showcase the great work they are doing with Windows Media Center, the latest and greatest tool in their efforts to build the most functional and exciting digital homes yet.”

    Contest Eligibility Overview

    The goal of Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest is to identify the finest implementation of the Windows Media Center platform as designed and installed in a residential electronics system:

    • A company may submit up to two unique entries to the contest. • Entry form and detailed submission process can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/mediacenter/ceinstaller/ultimateinstallcontest.mspx.  • Each entry must contain information regarding the project cost and engineering details of the installation, a minimum of five photos of the project (maximum of 10) and an installation overview with highlights and a list of integrated components used. • The installation must be completed before the close of the contest entry period. “We’re looking for custom installers who have succeeded in making Windows Media Center the heartbeat of a digital home,” Evans said. “This has been an exciting year for Windows Media Center. We’ve seen new Extenders for Windows Media Center, new storage devices, new server hardware, and even new entertainment services and content options. We expect that this year’s winning install capitalizes on all these offerings and that the installer will have utilized Media Center’s capabilities to the fullest.”

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  • Microsoft Announces Winner of Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest

    Posted by bink on November 8 2007, 5:05 AM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Microsoft selects Imperium Smart Systems of Herriman, Utah, as the winner of the Ultimate Install Contest for its unique deployment of Windows Media Center in a custom home installation.

    Windows Media Center in the kitchen and living room
    Windows Media Center in the kitchen and living room
    Click for high-res version

    Microsoft Corp. today named the winner of its Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest. The announcement was made at a Microsoft-sponsored luncheon at the Electronic House Expo in Long Beach. The winning entry, submitted by Tyler Jennings of Imperium Smart Systems LLC, was for a family that was looking for a solution to integrate all their pictures, music, home videos, TV and DVDs into one simple interface. Based in Herriman, Utah, Imperium Smart Systems is a custom electronics design and installation firm specializing in whole-home services and solutions.

     

    “We are honored to be named the winner in this contest,” said Tyler Jennings, president of Imperium Smart Systems. “Windows Media Center is a terrific platform for custom installations, and we worked hard to create a unique, functional and successful deployment to provide our customer with a whole-house entertainment solution that benefits their life.”

    A unique opportunity for custom installers, this design contest sought to find the residential custom electronics systems installation business that best utilized Windows Media Center in a custom installation solution. The contest was announced at CEDIA EXPO 2007 to challenge industry professionals to present their most unique and creative installations using media center technology.

    Each entry submitted to the contest was judged based on the following criteria:

    Use of Windows Media Center as primary user interface (UI) for media consumption in room or system (depending on scope of install)

    Use of Windows Media Center experiences (for example, television, music, video, pictures and DVD library)

    Integration with other, non-PC consumer electronics devices

    Ability to create a seamless user experience

    Creativity and originality

    Judged by a panel of Microsoft Media Center experts, the winning entry best captured each of the five criteria. With 12 distributed audio zones and multiple entertainment access points ranging from in-wall touch panels, Xbox360 consoles, televisions and even an Ultra-Mobile PC, the project featured Windows Media Center at the heart of the installation. The homeowner’s experiences embraced numerous categories including management of family’s music, pictures, recorded programming and DVD movie library. In addition, Life|ware home automation software, an add-on to Windows Media Center, enabled the installation to go beyond entertainment to include the family’s management of all of their home systems including lighting, security and surveillance, heating and cooling.

    Jennings said, “The homeowners love the technology and love how easy it is to use. The husband has always loved technology, but this is the first time the wife actually feels confident in controlling the technology in her home — thanks to Media Center.”

     

    “We’re extremely pleased to recognize and celebrate the winner of our first annual Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest,” said Scott Evans, group manager in the Entertainment and Devices eHome Division at Microsoft. “Imperium Smart Systems’ incredible result serves as a great example of how the creativity and integration capability of professional installers combines with the platform power of Windows Media Center to create the ultimate connected home experience. We’re excited to enable superior home system designers like Imperium to implement and achieve their customers’ visions.”

  • First Look: Internet TV Plug-in for Media Center

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 29 2007, 9:37 AM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Microsoft will be releasing a beta of their new Internet TV plug-in today (US only), it should be automatically downloaded to your PC and will show in the TV+Movies strip.  The video content will come from MSN Video, so you might have seen links to some of the content off your Hotmail account or after a search on MSN.  Over 100 hours of content is supposed to be up, and I assume more will come as time goes on.

    Since I have been playing with it over the past week, I must say that it is the most impressive Internet TV application I have used so far.  The main reason I feel that way is because it is one of the few that actually have a UI that provides easy navigation, especially with a remote.

    Video quality seems to depend on the specific content, some of which looks very nice and some of which is so bad I wouldn’t bother attempting to watch.  There are a few Halo 3 trailers that looks pretty good (silently above SD), but I watched the premiere of Journeyman and it looked like it was about 320x240 at 400kbps.  That is clearly not something that I wanted to watch through a Media Center Extender on an HDTV.

    Content is actually pretty good for only having 100 hours up.  Full seasons of Arrested Development are up, content from other joint-MSN properties like MSNBC and FOX Sports, a number of concerts from bands/groups like John Mayer, the Pussycat Dolls, Oasis, Elton John, and more.  There is also select content from National Geographic, History, HGTV, bio, A&E, and more.

    All of the content is ad supported with the help of YuMe Networks, which actually works nicely from what I have seen so far.  Now, I’m not sure how much of the advertising was live but basically after the video is done streaming I got a quick ad.  90% of the time in my testing, it was a Xbox 360 ad or some sort.  I except more to show up, and I really don't think it will be bad at all.

    Overall, I’m impressed with the Internet TV plug-in just as I’m impressed with the Sports Lounge that was launched at the beginning of the year.  As long as Microsoft continues to add content, I can see myself using this often.  For a platform that gets very few feature updates on a regular basis, these plug-ins do a pretty good job filling the void.

    Continue At Source (Screenshots and Pictures)

  • Microsoft Unveils Extenders for Windows Media Center and Internet TV Beta

    Posted by vasudev on September 27 2007, 9:38 PM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

    Today at DigitalLife, Microsoft Corp. joined initial launch partners in revealing highly anticipated details about new Extenders for Microsoft® Windows Media® Center. These devices, which are expected to be available for purchase this holiday season, will allow easy access to premium cable, high-definition TV, popular video formats including DivX, music, paid movies, photos and more from any TV in the house, with a wired or wireless network connection. People can even pause a recorded show in one room, and then resume it from the same moment in another room. Microsoft also announced that the Extender technology will be incorporated in HP’s current line of MediaSmart high-definition televisions.

    Adding to the wealth of content available on PCs running Windows Media Center in Windows Vista® (available in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate), Microsoft also launched a beta test of Windows Media Center Internet TV, which will offer more than 100 hours of ad-supported entertainment from MSN® Video, including full-length shows, music concerts and movie trailers.

    The Media Center Extender with DVD Player (DMA2200) from Linksys, a division of Cisco, is an elegant solution that combines an upscaling DVD player with a dual-band Wireless-N Extender for Windows Media Center. It allows consumers to enhance their entertainment systems by teaming Extender for Media Center functionality with DVD playback capabilities in a single device. For consumers seeking a smaller form factor, Linksys will also offer the Media Center Extender (DMA2100), which delivers all the appealing features of Extender for Windows Media Center in a compact dual-band Wireless-N solution that is ideal for spaces, such as bedrooms, that call for a smaller device footprint. These new Linksys Media Center Extenders give consumers easy access to their HD television content, digital music and digital photos using just one remote control, and feature both digital and optical audio outputs that enable consumers to utilize their existing custom audio systems.

    On the morning of Sept. 28, 2007, U.S. users of Windows Vista Home Premium edition and Windows Vista Ultimate edition will find a new feature inside Media Center: the beta release of Internet TV. This new feature will allow people to enjoy a range of television and video content on their PCs and TV sets without a TV tuner in their PC. This streaming video content will be supported by an advertising platform provided by YuMe and will be available to viewers for free.*

    * Internet service charges may apply. A broadband connection is necessary to view Internet TV. The feature will not work with a dial-up connection or offline.

    Please read the Full article here