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Ceton unveils pair of media center PC CableCARD tuners

05/13, 8:48pm

New devices capture up to six QAM broadcasts simultaneously

Ceton Corp has announced the new InfiniTV 6 product line of CableCARD multi-tuner devices for Media Center PCs. InfiniTV 6 is available in two models, which each incorporate six QAM tuners and require only a single CableCARD. InfiniTV 6 ETH is a powerful Ethernet-based network tuner that plugs into a router or wired home network. InfiniTV 6 PCIe connects to a PC via a PCI-E slot for configurations where all six tuners are available on a single PC.

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Windows 8 to require Media Center for DVD movie playback

05/04, 11:57am

Cdec costs, decline in habits reasons for no DVD playback in Win 8

On its Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft revealed that its Windows 8 operating system won't play back DVD movies, unless the optional Media Center pack is purchased. The reason is the added royalties needed to pay for the specialized decoders and the cost of hardware to enable this. Microsoft also justified the decision by throwing out numbers that showed a sharp decline in DVD movie sales and broadcast TV consumption. Last year, Microsoft revealed only about 6 percent of users utilized Media Center.

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Microsoft: only 6% of Windows users ever tried Media Center

09/02, 5:50pm

Sinofsky promises Media Center for Windows 8

In a post on the Windows 8 blog, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky admitted that users of the Media Center functionality runs at only 6% of users. Sinofsky made the remarks in response to feedback from customers who had emailed him regarding the future of Media Center in Windows 8, given its absence from pre-release builds of its next OS. While he wanted to assure users that Microsoft remained committed to the platform and that it would eventually make it into pre-release builds eventually, he revealed telemetry showing that regular use of Media Center is actually quite low.

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Windows Phone 7 to control Media Center set-top-boxes

01/09, 3:25am

CES 2011 used to demo new tech

Reycom, a Swiss-based tech company has used CES 2011 to debut its upcoming Windows Media Center ‘REC 7’ set-top-box that can be controlled by Windows Phone 7 mobile phones. The new Windows Media Center STB is running Windows Embedded Standard, a less system resource hungry version of Windows 7. The Reycom STB also incorporates a TV tuner, Internet connectivity and a built-in Blu-ray player, the functions of which can be remote controlled by a WP7 phone.

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WD TV Live Hub leaked out early

10/17, 6:00am

Media streaming and NAS, 1TB HDD, for Mac & PC

The WD TV Live Hub media center has been leaked ahead of its formal product launch. The new STB comes with 1TB of storage, 1080p video playback over HDMI 1.4, component and composite video out, and optical S/PDIF. It supports streaming media services including Netflix, Blockbuster, Pandora, and YouTube. Mac and PC compatible, it connects to networks via its gigabit Ethernet and can act as an iTunes server. It is also DLNA compliant and stream media to compatible devices.

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Ceton ships InfiniTV quad-CableCARD tuner

08/11, 9:25pm

Card streams four simultaneous TV streams

Ceton has finally begun shipping its InfiniTV quad-CableCARD tuner to customers who placed pre-orders. The multi-tuner PC card allows users to watch digital cable TV from their computers or dedicated media centers.

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Boxee marries media player to social networking

06/30, 1:10pm

Front Row meets Twitter

For the past six years, a group of developers scattered across the globe has been quietly working to reinvent the way we watch movies and listen to music. The result is Boxee -- a media player based on the XBMC Open Source platform -- released in alpha form this month initially on the Mac. The developers says Boxee was born of frustration over what they saw as the somewhat clunky way computers gather and display content. Separate applications are needed to display photos or play music and movies, and content is often delivered in formats requiring proprietary media players. The ambitious end game for Boxee is to become the “one-size-fits-all” media center that works with any kind of content on any platform.

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Sony updates VAIO TP1 media PC

06/25, 1:00pm

Sony VAIO TP1 update

Sony has updated the VAIO TP1, a Media Center PC based on an unusual puck-shaped chassis. The VGX-TP1DQ/B and VGX-TP1D are both equipped with two land-based digital TV tuners, HDMI output, and new video recording software. The DQ/B however is considered the top model, and is equipped with a Blu-ray drive, along with a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of system RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a GeForce 8400M GT video card with 256MB of memory.

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HP MediaSmart Connect shares networked media

06/17, 12:55am

HP MediaSmart Connect

HP on Tuesday unveiled the MediaSmart Connect, a new digital media receiver that can obtain images, music, and movie files from a home network to display on an HDTV. The piano black-finished device also includes connectivity with online media services like Snapfish, CinemaNow, Live365, and several others, as well as Windows Media Center Extender functionality. HP is expected to sell the MediaSmart Connect unit for $350, and will be available later on this year.

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Windows Vista MC prevents users from recording shows

05/16, 12:35am

Vista MC halts recordings

Users of Microsoft Vista's Media Center were unable to record prime-time NBC TV shows on Monday night. Reports maintain the problem was caused by a broadcast flag which activated Media Center's DRM copy protection measures, stopping recordings of over-the-air and cable broadcasts. Neither NBC nor Microsoft have an explanation for the issue, but are looking into it. No other reports of such problems came from users of either DirecTV or TiVo DVR services.

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Mvix launches portable HDD-based Hi-Def media center

05/01, 9:55pm

Hi-Def media center

Mvix on Thursday launched an ultra-compact HDD-based, portable media player: the new high-definition Mvix MV-2500U media decoder supports the small 2.5-inch hard drive, while including key features of its predecessors like MX-780HD or MX-760. The black device, which can support HDDs as large as 250GB, measures under 5x3x0.5 inches; it uses a 2.5-inch PATA / IDE HDD and when connected to the PC, it works like a standard external USB 2.0 hard drive; however, it ships with an IR remote control to allow playback of standard or high definition digital video (480p, 720p, 1080i) in over a dozen file formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4, DVD (VOB, IFO), DivX (3/4/5/6), Xvid, BivX, VCD (DAT) for both PAL and NTSC systems.

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Macs better than PCs at Vista

04/17, 3:35pm

Macs better at Vista

Popular Mechanics says that Macs run Windows Vista better than PCs designed to run the operating system. The magazine published an analysis based on user feedback and performance benchmarks for similarly equipped machines, using a number of 'real world' tests to evaluate the machines. Testers were asked to set up the computers right out of the box and "explore the machines through everyday tasks such as Web surfing, document creation, uploading photos, downloading Adobe Acrobat files and playing music and movies through Media Center and Front Row." The magazine said that in both the laptop and desktop showdowns, Apple's computers were the winners. Results found that both Apple computers ran Vista faster than the PCs did.

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Zepto intros HDTVs with built-in Windows Media hooks

12/21, 4:15pm

Zepto A32 and A40

Danish luxury HDTV maker Zepto has wrapped up its year by releasing its new Helios LCD sets. Both the 32-inch A32 and 40-inch A40 have the option of a built-in wireless media center that picks up nearby Windows XP Media Center or Vista Home Premium computers on the local network, allowing the TV to stream video or other content without a separate set-top box. The bundled TV remote switches over to browsing the networked content, Zepto notes.

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