The Pre Release of My Movies 4 is now available

Posted in HTPC,News,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the March 1st, 2011

If you are lucky to have 2500 points in your My Movies account, you can download and try the next major release of My Movies 4.

Below are a few highlights from the Release Notes.

TV Series support

My Movies 4 brings extended TV Series support to My Movies for Windows Media Center and My Movies Collection Management. You have with My Movies 3 always been able to add TV Series on DVD, Blu-ray or HD DVD to your collection, and users of TV series in online single file structures have been able to have their TV series supported to some extend by using the Series/Box set functionality along with the option to add multiple discs to a disc title profile.

With My Movies 4, we are extending this functionality to what some will refer to as proper TV series import, monitoring, management and browsing. The pre release is intended for users who would like to participate in reviewing, testing and giving us feedback for My Movies 4. The pre release requires 2,500 points or a licensed installer license file to participate – this is done to limit the amount of participating users to a level that we are able to handle support wise.

The functionality implemented for TV series is similar in requirements to what was originally created in XBMC, and today is used in various projects.

Media Center Start Menu Changes

My Movies 4 menu strip

Both Windows Vista and Windows 7 is currently supported by My Movies 4, however some functionalities are only available in Windows 7, such as the extended configuration options for the start menu.

There are changes in the Windows 7 SDK for Windows Media Center that we currently do not make use of, but consider making use of. Due to this, we are also considering if we whould make My Movies 4 a product exclusively for Windows 7, and deprecate support for Windows Vista.

This is something we would like to hear your thoughts of on our forums. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Deal alert: Windows7 family pack is on SALE!

Posted in Deals,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the September 29th, 2010

Win7 Home Premium Family PackIf you wanted to upgrade your household PCs to Windows 7, now would be a good time to do that.

The Microsoft Store is excited to announce the Windows 7 Family Pack will be on sale for $149! That is only $149 for 3 licenses of Windows 7!

Offer is valid while supplies last, so get the Windows 7 Family Pack from The Microsoft Store while you can and save more than $200.

Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack provides you with three licenses of Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade, in either 32- or 64-bit.

Take a look at these highlighted features in Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack:

  • Upgrade three PCs, save more than $200
  • Package contains one disc with a license key that can be entered on as many as three machines
  • Enjoy a PC that works the way you want it to with better support for today’s technologies, like 64-bit PC hardware and memory
  • Use HomeGroup to connect all your PCs running Windows 7 to a single printer
  • Find something instantly, compare documents side-by-side, or open your favorite file in just two clicks
  • Watch Internet TV, pause, rewind, and record TV, or use Touch to interact with your PC in new ways
  • Watch movies in your Netflix queue
  • Use Windows Media Player to stream music files on any network-connected device
  • Easily change backgrounds, window colors, and sounds to reflect your personal style
  • Use Windows Search from the Start menu to instantly locate and open virtually any file on your PC—from documents to emails to songs—just by typing a word or two
  • Pin any program to the taskbar and rearrange the icons on the taskbar just by clicking and dragging
  • 90 days of Microsoft Support Services included

For more details head on to The Microsoft Store.

Google TV news round-up

Posted in News by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 25th, 2010

The recent announcement by Mountain View giant caused the news waves going around the globe.

google_tv Yes, I’m talking about Google TV, the latest attempt of the company to get into, and potentially dominate, yet another (and arguably the largest) AD medium – your TV.

So what is Google TV and how is it different from other solutions, such as Boxee or Roku?

Google TV is primarily a software application running either on a set-top box or directly inside specifically-designed TVs.

The software will run on Android platform and will include Google’s Chrome browser that will allow you to browse the entire world wide web and get access to multitude of online video services including, but not limited to, Youtube, Netflix and Hulu (provided Hulu would not block it, like it did for Boxee and Kylo). The platform will be powered by some custom version of Intel’s Atom processor and will feature the upcoming version of Flash (v10.1) which is specifically optimized for hardware video processing.

Google TV will feature some unique capabilities, such as using your cell phone as a remote allowing you to speak your commands to Google TV. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

MyMovies for iPhone released

Posted in Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the March 21st, 2010

Here’s a piece of news I was waiting for…

My Movies for iPhone Light is now available in the iPhone App Store, and to support it, My Movies Collection Management and My Movies for Windows Home Server 3.13 have been released in final versions.

30 iPhone Apps for your Home Theater

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the March 11th, 2010

Mike Flacy of Audio|Video Revolution came up with a list of 30 “must have” iPhone applications for Home Theater buffs.

The categories of apps reviewed range from Movie Management to Universal remotes, to TV Guides and from Audio/Video Calibration helpers to Reference materials. Most apps are available from the AppStore for free, but then there are those that could cost you as much as $150 (Ouch!).

Some of the apps were new to me, while others I use on a daily basis. In any case the article is definitely worth checking out. So head on to Audio|Video Revolution website for details.

Here’s the complete list of apps mentioned in the review:

  1. Pocketflicks
  2. Now Playing
  3. RunPee
  4. IMDB
  5. Redbox
  6. HippoRemote Pro
  7. Flpr
  8. iMastercontrol Pro
  9. Remote (Apple)
  10. BoxeeRemote (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

My new gadgetry overview

Posted in Hardware,M@H,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 24th, 2010

It appears I landed on Santa’s “Good Kids” list last year. He was quite generous this past holiday season and — with a little help from my friends and family — brought me some really nice gadgets. Dust has settled since and I had to spend some quality time with my new gear, so I decided to give them a quick rundown in this post, saving the juicy details for the future.

The luxury of touch

Touch Screen

Touch Screen

The idea of controlling Windows Media Center through touch interface was hunting me since I played with one of the first HP TouchSmart systems on the shelves of Costco. I already had HTPC, so I didn’t want to buy a new system. The obvious solution was to just add touch-capable display to my own HTPC. Searching high and low, I was soon discouraged, since all available touch screens were way too expensive – a 12″ displays are sold for over $500. But I managed to find one that fit my budget and works quite well with Windows 7 Media Center. Beware that in many cases drivers for Vista or Win7 could be hard to find or even unavailable, so check driver availability BEFORE you invest in a touch screen.

Movies on the go

DVD headrests

DVD headrests

For some time now I’ve been looking to upgrade my car’s headrests with nice LCD ones to entertain little passengers during long trips. Paying over $2000 for a DVD package on a new car doesn’t make any sense to me. For that much money these days you can buy a TV, a blu-ray player and a truckload of movies. Unfortunatelly none of those portable DVD players I saw in stores met all my requirements. Partly due to the lack of support for the multitude of media formats available today, partly because many kid’s movies I have are from a different DVD region, so none of the players sold in US could play them. But now I have headrests that could do all that and then some (like playing games with 4 included joysticks or reading media from all major flash cards).

Being able to watch a good movie in the car, on your netbook or other mobile device, like iPod Touch, while you travel is nice. Watching movies on a big HDTV screen is way better. So you have two options: 1) use a cable to connect your mobile device to a TV and jump from the couch every time you want to pause, rewind or skip or 2) buy a tiny HDD Media Player that can hold hundreds of HD movies and could be controlled with an infrared remote. What’s your choice? #2. I thought so. That’s exactly what I did. And at $25 for the HDD enclosure with IR remote control this deal is hard to beat. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Deal alert: 50% off PlayOn software

Posted in Deals by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 24th, 2010

Yugster has done it again! This time you can get PlayOn streaming software for half off the sticker price.

Don’t delay though, the deal is only for one day (2/24/10), so head on to Yugster and push that “I Want One” button now!

PlayOn unlocks the power of your Wii, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3 to watch your favorite movies, shows and videos from Hulu, CBS, Netflix, YouTube, CNN, ESPN and more streamed right to your TV. It’s wireless. And, there is no need to purchase a new device, connect messy cables, or worry about your cable bill. It’s no wonder we were named one of The Top 100 New Innovations of 2009 by Popular Science Magazine.

PlayOn runs on your Windows PC and streams to your gaming console, giving you access to a wide range of Internet content on your TV — Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon VOD, and many others.

PlayOn is Simple to Set-Up and Easy to Use
To enjoy PlayOn, you need a networked PC, and a Wii, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3. PlayOn also enables you to stream your personal videos, photos and music from your PC to your Home Entertainment Center. It takes less than 3 minutes to set up – and we’ll show you how.

Take a Look at What You Can Watch With PlayOn! (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Deal alert: TwonkyMedia apps are on Sale

Posted in Deals by Ruslan Ulanov on the January 8th, 2010

PacketVideo (PV), the creator of the most popular premium media server available today** is running a promotion till the end of this month.

You can get the TwonkyMedia server and TwonkyMedia manager at 50% of their retail prices.

Coupon code TWONKYMEDIA-2XX9-A for the 50% off discount expires on 1/31/2010. 50% discount cannot be applied to previous purchases.

(continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Windows 7 – the day has come

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the October 22nd, 2009
Win7 Home Premium

Win7 Home Premium

Yes, it has. It’s October 22, 2009 – the official release date of “the best Windows ever released” (a.k.a. Windows 7).

It’s also a release date of the best Media Center application ever released. No, it’s not a coincedence. Media Center is an integral part of Windows 7 (well, at least of its Home Premium and Ultimate editions).

A lot of Media Center funboys were waiting for this day to come. And Microsoft has spared no effort to polish the GUI and to support all the media and hardware you might have. They even let the DIY crowd to install cable card tuners (but that’s a different story altogether).

If you aren’t planning on byuing a new PC with Windows 7 pre-installed on it, you can head over to Microsoft Store to get the upgrade version from your current OS. I bet it’ll be worth it.

Microsoft Store

Hulu pulls the plug on third-party providers

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 24th, 2009

Hulu.com, the website that provides legal, full-length TV shows, movies and other video content on demand, today updated their APIs, so that third-party developers like Boxee, Re-Quest and others can no longer use Hulu’s video content in their products. 

They (Hulu) explained that studios (i.e. content providers) requested that step to be taken, “and we are respecting their wishes”, said Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)