Microsoft

Dec 12 2017

News - Axiim announces Link HD - 7.1 WiSA USB dongle for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC

It isn't very often when a new product leaves me speechless, but the Axiim Link HD did exactly that when I discovered its existance. It is fantastic in its simplicity (as a product) because it essentially turns your Windows 10 HTPC or Xbox One into a multi-channel wireless audio (via WiSA) "AVR". Based on the PR it looks like audio CODECs will be decoded on the PC/Xbox and output over PCM, but I will ask about this and whether power is supplied via the USB 2.0 connection to the PC/Xbox (awesome) or if a separate power supply is required (slightly less awesome).

UPDATE:

1) Link HD is USB powered!

2) Source device does need to handle decoding chores and provide PCM to the Link HD.

Dec 13 2016

News - Microsoft adds HBR bit streaming support to XBox One & XBox One S to Insider build

While it's pretty shameful that the XBox One didn't ship with HBR bit stream support, it wasn't that big of an issue until the next-gen formats found on UltraHD Blu-ray came out, because to get all that spatial goodness they must be decoded in the AVR. Microsoft promised to deliver exactly that a while back, and it looks like the feature is rolling out to the Insider (read Beta) XBox group now. When this feature hits stable, it will solidify the XBox One S as the UltraHD Blu-ray player to get - and if I had a UHD display I would certainly be asking Santa for one.

Thanks to Curt Wilber for the heads up.

Aug 16 2016

News - HDHR DVR comes to XBoxOne

I've never had a reason to regret opting for a PS4 over an Xbox One, but there is now one thing that I really wish that it could do - that the Xbox can now do. Work with the HDHR DVR.

Hopefully, PS4 is next Smile. If you have an Xbox, head over to the Microsoft store and let us know how it works.

Nov 06 2015

News - Windows 10 Video Player Adds SRT Support

As you could probably notice from the image above, the first time I opened the Windows 10 Movies & TV app was to take this screenshot. Frankly there are better [free] apps for watching local content, and I'm not convinced by Microsoft's content ecosystem (yet). That said, SRT support is a great step forward. Hopefuly the player continues to get better.

Sep 03 2013

News - Xbox One Isn't A Native Media Center Extender

I honestly don't quite know how to feel about this finally officially confirmed news that the new XBox One won't include the Media Center Extender infrastructure. I always suspected that this was the case, but officially hearing it is a sad ending to this journey. Windows Media Center is clearly not in the company's plans in the future. Sad day.

Will Xbox One work as a Windows Media Center Extender? For those that use a PC with TV tuner to record and watch TV, we use the 360 as an extender to stream this content to TVs. Will this continue with Xbox One?

 

 

WHITTEN: Xbox One isn’t a native Media Center Extender. We’ll continue to work to enable more ways for everyone to get the television they want over the life of the program.

via IGN

 

Feb 18 2013

News - How to Banish Live Tiles from Windows 8 and Bring Back the Desktop

Windows 8In my opinion Windows 8 is faster then Windows 7, and I don't mind using it, but when you are on a remote desktop of Windows 8 or running it in Hyper-V, it is less then pleasent when it comes to moving the mouse to the corners to do anything. I came across this article in PCWorld Magazine and then found it on thier site for easier click through. I have done this for mine and I am enjoying it, if I can keep it as Windows 7ish feel then I am more happier. Goodbye "Live Tiles" and hello desktop again.

In a world exploding with tablets and touchscreens, Microsoft's decision to saddle Windows 8 with the finger-friendly Modern interface formerly known as Metro makes a lot of sense—for Microsoft. But if you're among the majority of Windows users who aren't using a tablet or a touchscreen, the focus on Live Tiles and mobile-centric apps is more of a frustration than a feature. Vexingly, Windows 8 is riddled with sneaky ways to drag you out of the desktop and dump you on that shifting, shiny Start screen.

PCWorld

 

 

Dec 11 2012

News - Xbox 360 Gains 10 New Apps, 40 More by Spring 2013

Microsoft has announced the arrival of 10 new entertainment and content apps for the Xbox 360 as part of their plan to take over the living room via the game console. The new SkyDrive app, which serves up photos and videos stored on a user's SkyDrive account, is the only app that will be available across all regions. The other nine apps, which include access to content providers such as Maxim, VEVO, CinemaNow, and CNET, are either launching in or expanding into specific territories. Today's new apps are just beginning, as Microsoft has also announced that they have another 40 apps on tap for early 2013 that will add content from providers such as PBS, Flixster, CW, and Slacker Radio. To date, no media streamer has offered the breadth of providers and feeds that Roku has been able to put together, but it would seem that Microsoft has plans to change things.

The Xbox 360 is being overrun by apps, following the model established by Windows 8and Windows Phone. Today, Microsoft announced 10 new apps. And over 40 more are coming in early 2013.

Supersite for Windows

Nov 22 2012

News - Xbox TV coming from Microsoft Holidays 2013

Running a compressed version of Windows 8, Microsoft has a few different sku's coming in 2013 based on the news release. One of them will be called Xbox TV and it is going to be a set-top box. It will be an always on box. Based off the news it may be around the same as we are seeing Ceton working on with the Echo. It will be an interesting story to follow, maybe some more will be reviled during CES.

 

Microsoft's Xbox set-top box work is said to be part of a broader effort to ensure its core architecture for the next-generation Xbox is scalable enough to be put together to run on a number of devices

The Verge

Oct 31 2012

News - Windows Media Center Free for Windows 8 Pro Until January 31st

Metro WMCMicrosoft broke a lot of hearts when they announced that Windows Media Center was not going to be included with Windows 8. It was frustrating enough that WMC development was languishing, but turning it into an optional add-on, and only for Windows 8 Pro at that, seemed to be Microsoft's passive-aggressive way of letting HTPC fans know that WMC was well and truly dead. Fortunately, Microsoft has decided to throw us a bone, if only temporarily. Until January 31, 2013, Microsoft is giving the Windows Media Center Pack away for free. All one needs to do is visit Microsoft's "Add Features" website and supply an email address to receive a product code. Folks running the standard version of Windows 8 will still need to pony up for the Windows Pro Upgrade Pack for $59.99 which includes WMC. After January 31st, the WMC Pack will presumably return to the regular $9.99 price tag. On a side note, the WMC Pack product code apparently only works on retail versions of Windows 8 Pro. MSDN subscribers are reporting issues using the product key and I should find out about Technet copies this weekend.

Of course, Windows Media Center is still widely available for Windows 8 users, but it doesn’t come with the OS itself. Users must purchase it as an add-on in the Windows Store for $10. Granted, that’s not a lot of money at all, especially for all the features that you get, but considering that it was once a free feature that came with Windows, we can see how HTPC enthusiasts would be upset.

SlashGear

Oct 26 2012

News - NBA League Pass Broadband Comes to Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 has added yet another streaming sports service to its repertoire with the introduction this week of the NBA Game Time app. With the Game Time app, folks who subscribe to both Xbox Live Gold and NBA League Pass Broadband will be able stream regular season NBA games through their Xbox, complete with integrated Kinect-powered voice and gesture controls. The app and service allow for streaming at 720p. There are two levels of NBA League Pass Broadband. The $199.99 "Choice" package provides live streaming and on-demand archives for 5 teams, whereas the $179.99 "Premium" package provides complete access to any regular season game for all 30 teams.

 NBA League Pass on Xbox 360

You'll be able to watch live games, highlights and replays in HD, set a specific favorite team to follow and monitor team schedules and stats all through the app. Game Time also features the ability to watch up to two games at once, or watch a live game and catch up on highlights in a split-screen view.

Joystiq

 

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