Media Center Programs

Nov 09 2010

News - New Windows Home Server Product Announced

This announcement came as a complete shock to me, but it would seem to be a great move by MS, pulling in the great "home" aspects of Windows Home Server, but building in some of the more enterprise-oriented features of Aurora (Windows Small Business Server 2011), like being able to join an Active Directory domain.  This could turn out to be the "power user's" WHS version, if they keep the feature set right by not taking away the media features or drive extender.  Now, if they would just add some RAID support... 

Domain Join

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is positioned squarely between Aurora and Vail and will include the following feature set:

  • Server and PC backup, including file, folder and image based restore
  • Centralized storage for file data and easier sharing
  • Console driven administration for easier management
  • Access to your data from virtually anywhere through Remote Web Access
  • Network health monitoring for both Windows and Mac PC’s
  • Active Directory Domain join
  • Support for up to 25 users


Oct 26 2010

News - October 2010 Cumulative Update for Windows Media Center in Windows 7

It's that time for a new Cumulative Update for your Win7 MCE systems. Just a couple major items fixed here, but major nonetheless. As always, proceed at your own risk and always make sure to take a system snapshot before doing the update just in case.
The October 2010 Cumulative Update for Windows Media Center in Windows 7 resolves the following issues:
  • Resolves a scheduling performance issue in which over time or start time for scheduled recordings may decrease.
  • Resolves a significant Watson issue in some upgrade scenarios. In these scenarios, the Windows Media Center directory is missing or has incorrect permissions that result in a crash when you try to open Windows Media Center.
  • Resolves a significant Watson issue during the typical database maintenance process. If a user uses Windows Media Center and causes a new type to be added to the database, Mcupdate.exe may crash.


Oct 20 2010

News - MythTV .24 Release Candidate 1 Now Available

Tim passed along this new release from the MythTV folks for those of you enjoying this free HTPC software on Linux. Looks like some big strides.
MythTV .24 will include exciting new features such as a completely rewritten and themeable OSD (On Screen Display), support for 24 bit audio and HD audio formats, initial Blu-ray disc support, experimental support for CrystalHD hardware accelerated video decoding, and many other improvements. Technical users should feel welcome to make the plunge and help us stamp out the remaining bugs.


Sep 01 2010

News - Plex and XBMC See New Releases

Today must be the day of pairs. Ok, maybe I'm a day late on this news, but great news for you free HTPC software fans as XBMC and Plex (for Mac) have released new builds. Looks like Plex ran into some issues with theirs, but appear to be actively working on fixing it. Either way it's great to see both groups continuing development.


Our mirrors (a big thanks to them!) were hammered badly as tens of thousands of downloaders tried to get the latest release, so in the morning we moved the main download site to S3 to ease of the pressure on the mirrors and get the app into people’s hands faster.
    [Plex Blog]

The improvements are too many to name, but head over to the milestone page  to get an idea. By far the biggest new feature is the Add-ons system. Our community is full of talented script-writers, skinners, and designers; we wanted XBMC to display their full potential. The result is a powerful and flexible system that allows for complete customization of the XBMC experience. Gone are the days of digging for the latest version of buggy plugins, or incomplete skins in our forums. Most of our users probably never even made it that far.




Aug 26 2010

News - Boxee Gets a Movie Library, Actually A Few Of Them

I was surprised nobody else posted this, but our friends at Boxee continue churning out nice improvements, this time with some nice Movie Libraries. Still awesome, and still FREEEEE

So just to recap:

  • Boxee now has a movie library
  • it has thousands of movies from multiple sources
  • the movie library has titles available for users around the globe
  • we’re still making tweaks (images, film count, etc.)
  • we’ll be adding more movies and services soon.


Aug 04 2010

News - SageTV V7.0.13

SageTV's *.13 rev of the V7 beta just arrived.  They fixed a whole bunch of issues and adding a few new features.  Go get it!


New features:

-Category view in the Video Browser, with options to edit categories and also parental ratings for imported videos
-Merged SageTVTranscoder with latest public version; should resolve many transcoding issues; we also added transcoding profiles for H264 MKVs
-DVD/BluRay Watched tracking (STV update is needed for UI functionality, will be available soon)



Jul 23 2010

News - MediaPortal 1.1.0 Final Released

If you've been looking to get your feet wet in the HTPC world but don't want to pay a dime for your software, you should probably give Media Portal a shot. Great project that have been improving over time. I haven't used it in a while, but looks like they've made a ton of improvements.
The development of MediaPortal was a long and bumpy road, but the destination was well worth it. Thanks to our great community, who submitted many bug reports and code patches to fix bugs, we now are able to present you MediaPortal 1.1.0 - the best release in our six year history.


Jul 03 2010

News - Arcsoft SIM3D plug-in for Total Media Theater

Pretty cool first look at Arcsoft's 3D plugin if you're interested. Not surprisingly, it costs extra, but only $20. Probably not much value in this since there's only a few 3D Blu-rays available today, but I'd imagine that list to grow soon.

The 3D simulation is what I have tested and I have beeen remarkably impresed with. The extra depth it added to my holiday movies was almost magical - as a programmer i haven't go the first idea how you would work out an algorithm to choose what is in the foreground or the background. In fact the only other product I have seen do such a good job are the vastly expensive Cell TV's.


Jun 22 2010

News - Update for Windows 7 Media Center (KB981078) is now available

My main man Schreck from Microsoft's Media Center team has posted word of a new Windows Update specially for Media Center. Grab it today if you're experiencing any of the following issues. If your MCE is running flawless, I would not risk it...but that's just my opinion.
  • Addresses an issue where, if DRM is revoked, an overly directs customers to Microsoft Update for appropriate update.
  • Addresses a significant Watson issue.  If the Windows Media Center database is corrupt, the backup database is referenced.  In this scenario, if setting up a manual recording with an invalid channel (per backup database), a crash can occur.
  • Addresses an issue where schedule data can disappear in regions that utilized in-band guide data.  For instance, this issue can affect DVB regions.
  • Addresses a significant Watson issue where an invalid path for recorded TV location can result in a crash.


Jun 22 2010

News - VLC 1.1.0 adds Windows and Linux GPU decoding

I don't use VLC on a regular basis, but it has never failed me when it comes to playing virtually any filetype. I know a lot of you use it here, so you'll be happy to know there's a new version.
If so then you’ll already know that it has been updated to version 1.1.0. The biggest feature in this version is the addition of GPU decoding for Windows (Vista and 7 only) and Linux users. That is, you can use that fancy GPU of yours to help decode that 1080p MKV you’ve got there, leaving your CPU with enough room to breathe, or whatever. Fair warning: if you’re on Windows, hope you’ve got an nVidia GPU…

That’s right: on Windows, the new feature only supports nVidia GPUs. The release notes say this is because ATI’s Windows drivers don’t work properly.


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