Media Center Programs

Aug 19 2009

News - Windows 7 includes support for Dolby Digital Plus

I noticed this the other day as I migrated my main HTPC over to Windows 7, and shame on me for not even thinking twice about it. Part of the reason is that I prefer to just use 7.1 LPCM instead of passing through the bitstream, but unfortunately with HDMI and Windows 7, I have yet to figure out how to do this. Argh.

{joomsay link=http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/08/18/windows-7-includes-support-for-dolby-digital-plus/ [EngadgetHD]}This is good news indeed, as the Plus version of Dolby Digital not only supports higher bit rates than the classic Dolby Digital, but it also offers better sound quality than its older brother at the same bit rate -- it is not lossless like Dolby TrueHD though. The other key reason why this is essential to Windows 7 from the Media Center perspective is because premium content providers around the world use it (like France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom).{/joomsay} 

Aug 17 2009

News - Interview with boxee Investors Bijan Sabet and Neil Sequeira

Quite an insightful and seemingly open Q&A discussion with two investors who recently caused some news by investing $6 million in Boxee. Great to get their thoughts on a number of topics, including Hulu and Netflix, as well as traditional content. I think they have the perfect attitude to go along with Boxee for success.

{joomsay link=http://www.videonuze.com/blogs/?2009-08-17/Interview-with-boxee-Investors-Bijan-Sabet-and-Neil-Sequeira/&id=2266 [Video Nuze]}We believe Roku should be partners with boxee. Hardware companies have core competencies and typically those don't include open source media platforms. So boxee can help devices like Roku be even better. We'll have a number of device deals to announce soon.{/joomsay} 

Aug 16 2009

News - Best of Boxee: 5 Apps for Killer Entertainment

Sorry folks, no Hulu or Netflix in this top 5 list...yet. I know the Boxee folks have been hard at work, and great plugins are just going to make it easier for people to migrate over. Some great apps on this list, some more useful than others IMO, but all pretty high quality.

 pandora-boxee.jpg

{joomsay link=http://mashable.com/2009/08/15/best-of-boxee/ [Mashable]}With the Pandora app for Boxee, you can log into your account and experience everything you love about streaming music from the shiny entertainment dashboard. The app is visually very impressive, feature-rich, and pretty easy to manipulate. You’ll find your saved stations on the right-hand side, which you can close and open, and a history of your streamed music is clearly highlighted across your screen. You can still create stations and bookmark songs or artists as usual.{/joomsay} 

Aug 13 2009

News - DLNA Media Server Software Comparison

Here's a great little compilation of DLNA-compatible software titles and some brief comparison items for each of them.

 dlna_media_servers.jpg

{joomsay link=http://tubecentric.tv/msc/media_server_comparison.aspx [Tube Centric]}The list contains objective and subjective information on the these Media Servers as compiled by tubeCentric.tv staff. The Ease of Setup column attempts to give a "scale of 1 to 10" rating of how easy the Media Server was to install and setup by someone who is unfamiliar with the software. We make no representations whatsoever about the quality of any of this software.{/joomsay} 

Aug 12 2009

News - Boxee gets a $6M catalyst

Some FANTASTIC news for Boxee fans all around, as they have quickly closed a Series B round of funding. The funding is impressive in this climate, but no doubt the investors saw the immense growth that Boxee has accomplished with such a small budget. This should guarantee the continuation and improvement for quite some time--which hopefully will result in more content deals for you the viewer to enjoy.

{joomsay link=http://blog.boxee.tv/2009/08/12/boxee-gets-a-6m-catalyst/ [Boxee]}We are happy to announce that Boxee closed a $6M round of financing led by Boston-based General Catalyst with participation by prior investors Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. Neil Sequeira from General Catalyst will join our board. We closed our Series A late last year, but given the momentum and opportunities we’ve seen over the past few months, we thought it made sense to bring in a new partner and additional funds.{/joomsay} 

Aug 10 2009

News - Backup Your SageTV Setup with Useful SageTV Batch Scripts

Backing up is critical in every situation where it's possible, but especially in your HTPC-app where you spend so much time configuring, tweaking, adjusting and in this case obtaining and setting up all your television recordings. Here's a nice little guide on how to cover yourself if you're a SageTV user.

{joomsay link=http://www.geektonic.com/2009/08/backup-your-sagetv-setup-with-useful.html [GeekTonic]}If you use SageTV as your home media solution, you probably rely on SageTV for TV, movies and music in the home. So you don’t like downtime and don’t want to deal with setting up everything again in the unfortunate case when something goes wrong. A SageTV user who goes by “robogeek” posted some extremely helpful scripts to help you out with your backup process.{/joomsay} 

Aug 10 2009

News - Plex 0.8.2: Silky Smooth

We recently saw some newly released plugins for the Apple HTPC-application Plex, and today comes the announcement of a new version. Still not version 1.0, but a lot of fixes in this build from 0.8.1. to 0.8.2. Head on over to the Plex blog for the full list.

 plex-3.jpg

{joomsay link=http://elan.plexapp.com/2009/08/09/plex-082-silky-smooth/ [Plex Blog]}We’ve targeted two major causes of user interface delay (beach balling) in this release (starting streams and browsing through directories) and the results should make your experience much better than it used to be. As always, many thanks to the talented group of plug-in developers who keep expanding the content tree, as well as help us track down bugs!{/joomsay} 

Aug 09 2009

News - Plex Shows off some New Plug-in Releases

Anyone out there using Plex? It looks pretty slick from what I've seen, unfortunately I don't have a Mac and I doubt a netbook with Hackintosh would do it much justice. Anyhow I digress, for those who ARE using the software for Mac, there are some new plugins to make your life easy. A lot are designed by the same guy, as you can tell by the similar style and layout, but they're still nice IMO.

 hdtrailers.png

{joomsay link=http://elan.plexapp.com/2009/08/08/new-plug-in-releases-5/ [Plex]}Holy Cow, Batman, we have such a great group of plug-in developers, it’s hard to keep up with them. Here’s a new batch to keep you entertained. The next release of Plex will be out shortly, especially since my little island is about to be ravaged by a tropical storm. Also, many thanks to Jay for providing the artwork for many of these plug-ins!{/joomsay} 

Aug 06 2009

News - Windows 7 RTM Available Today for MSDN & TechNet Subscribers

Well, the wait is over at least for those of you with MSDN or Technet access. The rest of the world still has to wait until the end of October, but this is good news. I was finally able to activate my RTM build :-)

{joomsay link=http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/08/06/windows-7-rtm-available-today-for-msdn-amp-technet-subscribers.aspx [Windows Team Blog]}And tomorrow, our Volume License (VL) customers with an existing Software Assurance (SA) license will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). In a few weeks, the remaining languages will become available to them. If you are a VL customer without a SA license, you will be able to purchase Windows 7 through Volume Licensing on September 1st.{/joomsay} 

Aug 04 2009

News - There's no place like HomeGroup...There's no place like HomeGroup...

Continuing on the Windows 7 news and articles, there's a nice writeup over at TheGreenButton for what exactly is Home Group and how it can benefit you. Unfortunately us cable card owners are not as lucky since DRM'd recordings won't work via this, but everything else does and it should make sharing content all that easier.

{joomsay link=http://thegreenbutton.com/blogs/windows_media_center_team_blog/archive/2009/08/03/there-s-noplace-like-homegroup-there-s-no-place-like-homegroup.aspx [TheGreenButton]}HomeGroup is a new feature in Windows 7 that allows multiple computers running Windows 7 to seamlessly share documents, pictures, music, media and printers. Windows 7 Media Center (7MC) has tapped into this new feature to provide a smoother experience for sharing media between Windows 7 computers. While users can access pictures and music through W7MC within the HomeGroup, I am going to focus on sharing recorded television content.{/joomsay} 

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