Windows Media Center

Jan 17 2013

Review - Ceton - My Media Center

Ceton My Media Center

Earlier today a new Windows 8 "Metro" version of Ceton's suite of applications for managing Windows Media Center joined the existing lineup of Andriod, Windows Phone and iOS companion apps priced at $4.99. As part of this effort they were rebranded from "Ceton Companion Apps" to "My Media Center". All the great functionality for browsing recordings, managing series and scheduling, and browsing the guide is still there, but this time Windows 8 tablet and desktop "Metro" users can also join the party. We had a chance to take an early spin through the updated UI, let's dig in.

Jul 12 2011

Review - First Look: Remote Potato HD for the iPad

ImageToday, the folks over at Remote Potato have released their latest application: Remote Potato HD for the iPad. Last night, I was given the chance to do an early review of the latest product. For over a year now, I have been using Remote Potato to do remote scheduling and managing of my series recordings. Prior to the release of Remote Potato HD, I have been using the and Android client on my phone and tablet. Being that I also have an iPad, I took up the opportunity to put this new application through its paces. Since I already had Remote Potato installed and my ports on my router already forwarded correctly to support the use of Remote Potato on my Android phone, there was nothing I needed to do to get connected to the server from my iPad.

Setup was simple, all I had to do was input the URL for my server (in my case, my dynamic DNS name), the port number, enabled the security, input my credentials and off I went. When the Remote Potato application first connected, it had to pull down and cache the guide data which took a few minutes. Once that was complete, I had full access to my EGP grid, was able to browse per channel, pull up my scheduled recordings and setup new recordings all from my iPad while away from my home no where near my HTPC.

The application itself is clean looking and well put together. It reminds me a lot of another application I use quite regularly, Air Video. I like the simple feel to the home screen, it gives me all the information I want in an easy to use interface. Pulling up each menu is fluid and scrolling is really smooth.

Apr 27 2011

Review - ESPN3WMC - Watch ESPN3 Broadcasts on your HDTV via Media Center Remote, Kind Of

If you have an HTPC and are a sports fan, and your cable company supports it, then you most likely have heard of ESPN3.com. This fantastic website from ESPN provides a lot of the content that is available on the cable channel to be streamed live to your system for free. Editorial shows like SportsCenter and Around the Horn are not streamed, but live sporting events like Tennis, Soccer and even Baseball and Basketball games that are on an ESPN channel are often made available both live and for replay. Those familiar will also be aware that the current interface for ESPN3.com is very keyboard and mouse demanding. Unless you use something like PlayOn, which we'll look at in the future, the normal way to get ESPN3.com on your HDTV via your HTPC is by pulling out that keyboard and mouse, opening a browser, and launching its application from there. Luckily ESPN3WMC has been developed to assist with this exact situation!

ESPN3WMC

Above and Beyond

The way ESPN3WMC works is fantastic. It loads very fast inside both Vista and Windows 7 Media Center and has pivot menus for every sport. If you're using Internet Explorer to connect to ESPN3, you'll just have to make sure your ActiveX controls are installed and working correctly.The first pivot it shows is what's On Now, which makes life a lot easier than try to figure out all the sport's time and day. As you can see from the screenshot below, this not only gives you access to the live events, but it also shows you past events that are still available to be replayed.

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