SecondRun.tv website has launched…

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 11th, 2009

If you have ever envied the owners of a $500 gadget called ZeeVee and wondered if there would be any way to watch all that great TV content available online inside your Windows Media Center, rejoice, soon there will be! (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Windows Media Center is the Best DVR

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the January 16th, 2009

green button Windows Media Center is the Best DVR application according to survey conducted by LifeHacker with 31% of votes. The other contestans were MythTV (28% of votes), TiVo (20%), SageTV (10%), GB-PVR (6%) and BeyondTV (5%).

I totally agree with the outcome (by the way I voted for WMC as well), though I have to admit — I never tried TiVo DVR.

Read the full story at LifeHacker.

Windows 7 Beta released

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the January 13th, 2009

Windows 7 Beta was released to public testing last week. It seems that demand was so high that MS servers were overwhelmed with download requests. The web page showed “Server is too busy” error most of the time and later in the day the download link was removed from MS servers. This week the download link seems to work more stable. 

Microsoft doesn’t recommend installing the Beta on your primary work or home PC. So if you have an available system go download and try it for yourself. The Beta release is time-limited and will stop working in August 2009, at which point you will have to uninstall it and return to a previous version of Windows installed on that system.

As with any Beta software there are certain issues that you should know about. That’s why Microsoft urges you to thoroughly read through Release Notes before installing Windows 7 Beta on your computer. Some of the issues are severe and might corrupt your media files, so please DO read the Release Notes BEFORE you install the Beta.

(continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Media Center updates in Windows 7

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the December 15th, 2008

green buttonMedia Center in Vista OS was greatly updated from its XP counterpart. Especially the EPG (electronic program guide) and ability to watch online content (IPTV).

By the way, this was the major factor for me in decision to upgrade my HTPC to Vista (that particular PC runs 99% of the time as a Media Center console, with occasional web browsing and email applications).

Luckily, this trend will continue in the next Microsoft’s OS, codenamed Windows 7. So, what’s new in the next Media Center (MC7)? (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

The Ultimate List of Home Automation Software for iPhone

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the November 17th, 2008

The Home Automation DIY blog has posted The Ultimate List of Home Automation Software for iPhone. There’s lots of links to applications for managing your media collections (MP3 music, videos, etc.). Go check it out.

Media Center Gadgets for SideShow Released

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the October 23rd, 2008

green buttonThe Windows SideShow Team has announced that the final version of the Windows Media Center Gadgets for Windows SideShow is now available for download on Windows Live Gallery!

Windows Media Center Gadgets for Windows SideShow includes four gadgets—TV, Music, Pictures and Video, and Now Playing—that you can use to control most Media Center functions from a SideShow-compatible device.

I wrote about these cool gadgets a while back. And now you can get the official release. Yeay! If you are a lucky owner of SideShow-ready device and you have Media Center, it’s a must have download. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Lifeware Media Centers go mainstream

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the October 20th, 2008

Life|ware logoExceptional Innovation LLC today stroke a deal with AVAD on exclusive distribution of its Life|ware software through 37 AVAD branches nationwide. Each branch will provide training and demo facilities for dealers.

Life|ware is a software for controlling home automation devices such as: Lighting, Thermostats, Security alarms, Cameras, Window Shades, Audio Devices. Life|ware is seamlessly integrated into a Windows Media Center PC, converging home control with digital entertainment via a simple remote control interface.

AVAD is one of the largest US distributors for custom installation industry. They have tried other Media Center based solutions in the past, namely Niveus products, “but few of the boxes were sold and the two companies parted ways”. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

i.TV hits App Store

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the October 11th, 2008

Just 3 days after its release the i.TV becomes #1 in the App Store! And rightfully so — i.TV is one of the most beautiful, well thought through and feature rich applications I’ve seen in the App Store. And on top of it — it’s free, yes, FREE!

So, what is i.TV? (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Niveus Search BETA released for public testing

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the September 24th, 2008

Niveus Software Labs today released a new free Beta software called Niveus Search for limited testing by general public. Niveus Search is a plug-in for Windows Vista Media Center application that allows you to search across all your local media (including Music, Photo, Video, Recorded TV and even TV Guide) as well as few on-line sources such as Flickr, NetFlix and Live365.com.

The distribution consists of two components – the Niveus Control Server that allows remote access to Media Center and the actual Niveus Search plug-in, which after installation will show up in the main Media Center strip alongside TV+Movies, Sports, Music, etc.

The search process is very simple – select New Search from Niveus Search strip and type a few characters on your remote control or select keypad button to show “a-la iPhone” on-screen keypad (it has specific “.com” and “@” buttons, though I’m not quite sure why would you need them for searching your media files).

The Niveus Search strip also provides a Resent menu for quick access to your previous searches.

All in all Niveus Search could be a very useful little gadget especially for people with large media libraries.

The Niveus Search is available for 60 day trial download from Niveus Software Labs Forum. Free registration on the forum is required to download the file.

See the gallery for screen shots after the jump.
(continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Control Windows Media Center with New Windows SideShow Gadgets

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the July 9th, 2008

 The Windows SideShow Team has announced the availability of 4 BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets that let you control Windows Media Center from a Windows Sideshow device. You can sign-up via Microsoft Connect to gain access to Beta Test these new Windows SideShow Gadgets.

Sign-up

I believe this link works 1 time per Windows Live ID (You must sign-in with your Windows Live ID to access Beta Programs on Microsoft Connect). You can submit feedback to the team working on these Gadgets on Microsoft Connect.

Here is the breakdown of the 4 Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets and what they do:

  • Now Playing: View what is currently playing in Windows Media Center (includes playback controls)
  • Pictures + Video: Browse your Photos and Videos folders
  • Music: Browse your Music folder and play any song
  • TV: Look at what is on TV via the Windows Media Center Guide, Schedule Recordings, and View Recordings (in a Thumbnail view)

I downloaded and installed the Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets on my Dell XPS 420 which has a built in Windows SideShow device on the top front of the system (the XPS MiniView). It’s pretty slick to be able to control Windows Media Center from a Windows SideShow device. I’m quite fond of the Now Playing Gadget myself and the TV Gadget. I utilize Windows Media Center as my primary DVR for recording TV. If you have a Windows SideShow device – definitely give these Windows SideShow Gadgets a try!

NOTE: These 4 Windows Media Center Windows SideShow Gadgets *are* currently in BETA.

Source: http://windowsvistablog.com