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Permalink to this day Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Engadget, HOW-TO: Turn your Mac mini into a media center.

You know my thoughts on my subject so I won't reiterate them, but:

  • What's the total cost?
  • When I read the first 50 comments this morning none were very positive

(I really wish our product had a better name than '(Windows XP Media Center (Edition 2005)' because my 'media center' pub sub keyword search returns a lot of irrelevant results now :) ).
9:06:44 PM  Permalink to this item []

Watch your DVDs on a Pocket PC or Portable Media Center.:
This software will allow you to convert standard DVD content into files suitable for your Pocket PC. You can fit over 90 minutes of content on a single 128mb memory card!
Very cool but this is illegal in the United States.
8:59:07 PM  Permalink to this item []

PBS, Frontline episodes fully available (via Kottke).

It would be great if PBS had an Online Spotlight application so that you could view these from within Symphony (Media Center 2005).
8:43:33 PM  Permalink to this item []

Furrygoat, Are Codecs the Next DLL Hell?

His conclusions:

  • Sharing between the laptop and MCE is easy
  • UPNP is a myth. I just don't believe it any more.
  • Codecs are the next DLL hell

(Click through to read why/how he reached his conclusions).

Glad to see that your MCE+laptop scenario works. Though with your 'UPNP is a myth', is UPNP the myth or is the problem with the transcoding? Transcoding is not a a UPNP problem at all because UPNP is simply about device connectivity.

And yes, I totally agree that codecs are the next DLL hell. Our users are already hitting this problem when firstly they try and watch a DIVX/XVID video on MCE and realize that they need to install the proper codec. Now after they install the codec everything works until they then try and watch the video on their Extender and then discover that the Extender only has WMV 9 decoding and won't do DIVX/XVID (uh, and it also doesn't do WMV 8).

From all the reports I read from CES this year it sounds like there is a movement towards DIVX from CE companies, which is great, but nowadays the majority of my video content is XVID and so it's not so great. DVIX/XVID/QT/WMV.. We (the users) need a winner which everyone will adopt and put an end to codec hell.

See also: Codec's = New Age DLL Hell? Hell Yes
8:33:16 PM  Permalink to this item []

I have been having a debate with some co-workers about standby scenarios. So this post from Meg about her A sleepy DISH Network receiver is very timely:
Soon we discovered that more often than not, when we went to watch a taped program, all that TiVo had recorded was a floating DISH Network logo. It appeared that the DISH receiver had (unbeknownst to TiVo) turned off.

I called DISH to report the problem with the receiver, only to find out that the DISH receiver is programmed to go into "sleep mode" after four hours of inactivity. Which means that every night it turns off (and most times it does so during the day as well), making it nearly impossible for TiVo to tape anything. T

Firstly, have any Media Center users encountered this problem?

Secondly, does anyone have any comments on standby? Is it great that your device goes to sleep and saves the environment (and your pocketbook)? Or are you of the mindset that your PC should always be available, 24/7, power savings be damned? When you setup your Media Center Extender did you also instruct it to change your standby settings?
6:55:56 PM  Permalink to this item []

© Copyright 2005 Matt Goyer.
I work at Microsoft in the eHome division on the Windows XP Media Center Edition team as a Program Manager.

Disclaimer: The posts on this weblog are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confer no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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Updated: 4/11/2005; 10:31:50 PM.