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||Tuesday, February 22, 2005
mmmBlog, HP Entertainment Center z545 Long Gone...:
My honeymoon with the unit didn't last very long and I decided to return about 3 weeks after getting it. It wasn't worth the money. It had tons and tons of little problems that added up.
Keith, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with your z545. While, I'm glad you haven't completely foresaken Media Center technologies, know that we are listening to customer feedback and are working hard to fix these issues.
I do want to note for everyone else that the problem that Keith is experiencing with DVD playback over his custom resolution has to do with Macrovision copy protection prohibiting playback of DVD content over component connections with non-standard resolutions (we'll have an article coming out soon explaining this problem and how to fix it). It is not a Windows Media Center software issue. My recommendation is to use any other type of video connection.
Now the reason you can't control the volume is because you have connected your Media Center to your audio receiver using a digital audio SPDIF connection meaning (I think :) ) you're sending the raw digital audio stream to your receiver and your receiver is doing the decoding and amplification which is a good thing because for the majority of setups this provides the best sound. How I have my home theater setup is that my Media Center outputs over SPDIF to my receiver and my remote control has it's volume up and down buttons mapped to control not the Media Center volume but the receiver volume.
11:47:54 PM 
Lots of interesting news while I was gone. Here are a collection of links I'll read once I get some free time:
- NY Times, Does the Kid [Netflix] Stay in the Picture? - 'Ultimately, video on demand poses the greatest threat to Netflix - a fact Mr. Hastings is inclined to acknowledge.'
- AVS Forum, Will HD DVD or Blu-Ray have HD component outputs? Maybe not. - 'Wonder it at some point, the cost of securing content will exceed the value of the content...'
- Channel 9 video with Charlie and John from the Media Center team
- Opera for Home Media - Opera builds software for set top boxes..
- Tivo 3 Million strong - Several months ago we had sold ~1.4 million units of MCE.
- TiVo: Making Show Recommendations Using a Distributed Collaborative Filtering Architecture
- Mediabolic Unveils Network Media Player
- Silicon Valley.com, Plugging into your home - A look at where Silicon Valley's venture capitalists are investing, hoping to get a piece of latest revolution in consumer technology
- Rollup 1 for Xbox Media Center Extender - Watch HBO on your XBox
- Microsoft signs on Alcatel for IPTV
- Media Center 2005 Reviewers Guide - Charlie has more on his new blog
- Intel Barebones HTPC - Intel, please make your box pretty and/or sexy.
- Beyond Media/TV Getting an MSN Messenger Plug-in
- Designed for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Logo Partner List (recently updated)
- eBay Java Tivo Demo - Okay, who wants to write an MCE version?
- Flicr Tivo app - Okay, who wants to write an MCE version?
- Tivo Evite theme - MCE Marketing folks, it would be great to get an MCE one.
- Ben has a MCL for his blog - At one point I tried to redo my website using CSS so I could have a Media Center skin. Unfortunately the job proved to be too time consuming.
- Looks like someone is building an MCE vonage app
- [Self installing] Media Center is intricate but worth the effort
- Comics for Media Center shutdown
Thanks to ChrisL, PVR Blog and all the other blogs I poached those links from.
8:10:18 PM 
Reuters, FCC Overstepped Authority on Digital TV:
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday said that regulators had overstepped their authority by imposing a rule designed to limit the copying of digital television programs.
On a related note, Mark Cuban says (Mark's the guy who owns the Mavs and a bunch of HDNet):
So if one of the networks threatens to pull their HD signal because of the broadcast flag… call their bluff.
And if you have no idea what I'm talking about in this post read Engadget's, Demystifying the Broadcast Flag:
In November of 2003, bowing to pressure from the MPAA and hoping to speed the nation’s transition to digital television, the FCC approved a system (the Broadcast Flag) designed to curb Internet distribution of digitally-broadcasted TV shows. The FCC’s rationale, as twisted as it may be, was that content owners would be more likely to put “the good stuff” on the air if they didn’t fear that perfect digital copies of their content would be spread over the Internet. In turn, consumers would rush to the stores and buy digital televisions.
3:17:10 PM 
© Copyright 2005 Matt Goyer.
I work at Microsoft in the eHome division on the Windows XP Media Center Edition team as a Program Manager.
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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