website hit counter September 2006 - Posts - Chris Lanier

September 2006 - Posts

Pcalchemy Introduces MiniMCE Mini Media Centers

Pcalchemy introduces their new line of MiniMCE™ Media Centers! Pcalchemy has combined the power of Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 with the latest mobile on the desktop technology (MODT) to provide a full featured digital entertainment experience in an extremely small package.

September 25, 2006 — Pcalchemy introduces their new line of MiniMCE™ Media Centers! Pcalchemy has combined the power of Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 with the latest mobile on the desktop technology (MODT) to provide a full featured digital entertainment experience in an extremely small package.

The line currently consists of 3 models, M1B, M1S and M2B, all under the size of your typical dictionary. The smallest one is a mere 6.5″square and 2″ high and literally fits in the palm of your hand! With such a tiny footprint, and a great combination of built-in and bundled components and capabilities, this unit is ready to slide into entertainment centers anywhere.

Pcalchemy’s CEO, Greg Messner, said,” Our goal was to design an extremely small line of media centers without giving up the performance of your typical full sized media center. This was accomplished by utilizing the latest mobile on the desktop technologies, such as, the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo mobile processor and Hitachi’s notebook hard drives designed for 24/7 use. The end result surpassed our expectations.”

“You can put a MiniMCE media center in places limited only by your imagination, in the bedroom, on the bookshelf next to the TV, strapped on to the back of your plasma TV, the list is virtually endless”, said Messner.

The MiniMCE™ Mini Media Centers are available now. Pcalchemy ships each MiniMCE™ system within 2 business days of order. This is extremely fast compared to the industry norm of 5-10 business days.

About Pcalchemy, Inc.
Pcalchemy is a leading retailer and system builder specializing in multimedia systems and hardware components and is dedicated to bringing quality media center and HTPC products to the consumer. To learn more, please visit

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Microsoft to Put Zune Experience in Consumers’ Hands on Nov. 14

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 28, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. is putting the social into digital music, starting this holiday. Today the company announced that the Zune™ digital media player and online service will be available to consumers in the U.S. on Nov. 14, 2006, just in time for the holidays. The Zune device will retail for $249.99 U.S. (ERP) and will create new ways for entertainment fans to connect and share media experiences device-to-device through the use of wireless technology and new software scenarios.

For $249.99, consumers will get an incredible entertainment experience right out of the box:

  • 30GB digital media player will come equipped with wireless functionality for Zune-to-Zune sharing of music, pictures and home recordings; a bright, three-inch LCD video screen that works in portrait or landscape mode to view pictures and videos; and a built-in FM tuner. The device will be available in three colors: black, brown and white.
  • A selection of preloaded content including songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device’s hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment.

Zune makes it easy to find music you love — whether it’s songs in your existing library or new music from the Zune Marketplace:

  • Its dynamic music service will be continually updated with new content and experiences so there is always something to discover. The Zune Marketplace lets users browse and purchase songs individually.
  • A Zune Pass subscription gives consumers access to millions of songs for $14.99 per month.
  • Users can purchase songs individually using Microsoft® Points for 79 points per track. Similar to a pre-paid phone card, Microsoft Points is a stored value system that can be redeemed at a growing number of online stores, including the Xbox Live® Marketplace.

Read Full Press Release

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Media Center 2005 Walkthrough

William George over at Puget Custom Computers has written a nice Windows Media Center 2005 Walkthough. (Via PVR Wire)  It’s a nice nine page article that goes through just about everything including different hardware recommendations, a basic look at the feature of Media Center including My Videos, My Music, etc.  Includes nice high quality photos also.  Take a look at it if you are new to Media Center.

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The Media Center Show #76

The Media Center Show #76 | 28th September 2006 (53mins 40secs) MP3 - 18.4MB (Download Here)

This week Ian Dixon talked with Isidore Okoro, President of Okoro Media Systems manufactures of some great Media Center systems about the philosophy of media center designs and issues like Blu-ray, HD DVD and HDMI.

The Green Button Down

Yes, I know.  The problem for me is that our e-mail seems to have some issues too.  Trying to get in contact with admin's.  Sorry.

Update: We are back up! 

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Deal Of The Day: HP Digital Entertainment Center $435 (Refurb)

HP Debranded P4 3.0GHz 200GB Digital Entertainment Center ( | Just got an e-mail about selling Refurbished and "Debranded" Digital Entertainment Centers (z Series) for just $435.50!  Not a bad deal at all.  It doesn’t include the OS, but does have nice specs.

  • Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz (530) w/Hyper Threading
  • 512 MB DDR RAM (PC3200)
  • 200 GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Dual Layer DVD+/-R/RW Drive with LightScribe
  • Memory Card Reader
  • ATI Radeon X370 SE PCI-E Video Card
  • TV Tuner Card with FM tuner (NTSC and ATSC)
  • Integrated Intel High Definition audio
  • Realtek ALC 880 chipset
  • Wireless LAN 802.11b/g
  • Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
  • Media Center Remote

They are rated pretty high on Reseller Ratings, so if you are looking for a very cheap Media Center PC this might be your ticket.

Thanks Douglas!

Microsoft Showcases 110 High-Definition Xbox 360 Games; Xbox 360 HD DVD Player and 1080p Support

TOKYO — Sept. 20, 2006 — Today at the Tokyo Game Show 2006, Microsoft Corp. delivered information on new and improved entertainment experiences for Japanese gamers, including details of the Xbox 360™ library of nearly 110 high-definition games available this holiday season in Japan, which will include the highly anticipated “Blue Dragon” from Microsoft Game Studios. Microsoft also paid tribute to NAMCO BANDAI Games and “Pac-Man,” announcing that the first “Pac-Man” World Championship will be held in early 2007 using Xbox 360 and Xbox Live® Arcade. Microsoft also revealed details of other entertainment offerings enabled through Xbox 360, with availability date and pricing provided for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player in Japan, as well as news of an update that will allow the Xbox 360 console to output full 1080p games and video.

At the best-attended gaming convention in the world, Microsoft showcased games that will boost the Xbox 360 software library in Japan to nearly 110 titles by holiday season 2006 as well as more titles coming well into 2007. The Xbox 360 games showcased include “Blue Dragon” (Microsoft Game Studios), “Lost Planet: Extreme Condition” (Capcom), “Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2” (Tecmo Inc.) and the newly announced “Trusty Bell” (NAMCO BANDAI Games), and a host of anticipated Xbox Live Arcade titles. For 2007, Microsoft also announced a pipeline of great games that include the epic role-playing game (RPG) “Infinite Undiscovery” (Microsoft Game Studios).

“The key to winning the hearts and minds of the Japanese market is great games, and this great lineup demonstrates that Xbox 360 has those games in spades,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “Our lineup of role-playing games from the acknowledged masters of the genre is proof positive that there has never been a better time for Japanese gamers to jump in and pick up an Xbox 360 system.”

Many game titles, including the much-anticipated epic RPG “Blue Dragon,” will be playable for the first time in the Microsoft® booth at the Tokyo Game Show. Other playable titles include “Lost Odyssey™” (Microsoft Game Studios) and “Viva Piñata™” (Microsoft Game Studios).

Xbox Live Arcade and the “Pac-Man” World Championship

With the creator of “Pac-Man,” Toru Iwatani, onstage, Peter Moore announced that Microsoft and NAMCO BANDAI Games will host the first “Pac-Man” World Championship in early 2007. The top 10 players in the world for “Pac-Man” on Xbox Live Arcade will compete for the title in New York City. More details, including how to qualify for the championship, will be made available in the coming months.

Continuing its tremendous momentum, Xbox Live Arcade has also announced in Tokyo a host of exciting new games, including some that will be exclusive to the Japanese market. Gamers will have the opportunity to try a host of new games on the show floor, including the classic side-scroller “Contra” (Konami Corp.), the space-shooter “Gyruss” (Konami), the enemy-popping classic “Dig Dug” (NAMCO BANDAI Games), arcade favorite “Track & Field” (Konami), “New Rally-X” (NAMCO BANDAI Games) “Rush’n Attack” (Konami), a favorite 1980s side-scroller, and the inimitable “Ms. Pac-Man” (NAMCO BANDAI Games). In addition, the Japan-exclusive Xbox Live Arcade game “Yie Ar Kung Fu” (Konami), one of the very first fighting games, was announced for release in 2007.

Xbox 360 HD DVD Player and 1080p Support

Microsoft announced pricing and availability details for the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player in Japan. The accessory will launch on Nov. 17, 2006, priced at ¥19,800 (estimated retail price), and will come with an Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.

“Xbox 360 and the HD DVD Player together deliver the most powerful and affordable games and movie system for Japanese consumers,” Moore said. “The freedom to choose their entertainment experiences is extremely important for consumers as they enter the next generation.”

In addition, Microsoft announced that its fall software update, scheduled for release later this year, will allow all Xbox 360 consoles around the world to output game and movie content in 1080p resolution.


Demonstrating its pledge to democratize game development for tomorrow’s game developers, Microsoft announced that four Japanese universities will use its XNA™ Game Studio Express software in educational material and research within their course offerings. The XNA software allows hobbyists, students and independent game developers to create games for Windows® and, for the first time, Xbox 360 with the goal that user-generated games made with XNA will arrive on Xbox Live Marketplace. Tokyo University, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Ritsumeikan University and Osaka Electro-Communication University join the dozens of universities worldwide that have pledged support for Microsoft’s XNA vision and are recognizing the potential of XNA Game Studio Express as an educational tool. As a result, these four schools will integrate XNA software into their game development curricula, labs and games-related research.

“As I turn my attention and passion toward teaching the next generation of game developers, I am thrilled with XNA Game Studio Express and related products,” said Toru Iwatani, a lecturer at Tokyo Polytechnic University and original creator of “Pac-Man.” “I believe that these products are attractive and effective because they create a development environment that matches the skill level and area of expertise, widening the entry of future developers into game development.”

XNA Game Studio Express beta was made available to users worldwide on Aug. 30, 2006. The final version of XNA Game Studio Express will be made available this holiday season.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in nearly 40 countries by the end of 2007. More information can be found online at

Posted by chrisl | 3 comment(s)

/mobileRecord - MSN Messenger Scheduling Bot

/mobileRecord from Casey Chestnut is a new plug-in that I have been playing with and meant to blog about over a week ago and then got tied up.  /mobileRecord uses Messenger to allow you to browse both what you have set to record currently on your Media Center PC and will actually allow you to search, browse, and schedule recordings too from any device that has access to Messenger (examples: MSN Mobile on a SmartPhone, MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, etc)

Casey helped me get it setup and going when he was still working a few major bugs out, and it has turned out to be yet another great program and concept from Casey.

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Give Plug-In Developers Some Feedback!!

So, here’s the deal.  Media Center developers are often looking for comments and bug reports for their programs.  For whatever reason, this doesn’t always happen and it can lead to a few things.  The largest being that developers of great Media Center plug-ins just stop developing when their contributions are ignored!  I’m not saying that you have to be an active user of every plug-in released, but I encourage everyone reading this to check out The Green Button at least once-a-week and just read through what’s new in the 3rd Party Applications Forum.  Developers need feedback.

The Green Button forum member and Media Center plug-in developer, IgnoranceIsBliss, has released several plug-in over the past few weeks.  The most notable being Yougle, a 10 foot Google Video/YouTube plug-in.  But check out what else is cookin

My Games 0.2.0 Alpha Released (The Green Button Community)

GrooveThang 0.2.0 Alpha Released (The Green Button Community)

Check them out.  If you are interested, leave some feedback so the developer knows it’s worth spending time on.

This goes for all developers.  I’ve watched several Media Center plug-in developers basically get fed up with the market and stop developing.  This isn’t good for the community, and someone doesn’t always pick up where the first dev left off.

What would we be doing if Brian Binnerup had not picked up where Bill left off with DVD Jukebox?

Spend just a few minutes on the 3rd Party Applications Forum and provide some feedback!

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Web Media Plug-In Updated for Vista Media Center

Web Media for Windows Vista Media Center (mcesoft) | Danee has updated Web Media to now work with Vista Media Center.  In case the name “Web Media” doesn’t tip you off on what this plug-in does, here is Danee’s desription; “Add your favorite Internet Radio stations and you favorite Internet TV stations and put them in the categories you like.”

Also, be sure to check out the rest of Danee’s plug-in at mcesoft.  More will be updated for use in Vista as the launch gets closer.

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VidaBox Launches ZERO - 100% Silent HDTV Media Center with CableCARD Support

GARDEN CITY, NY – September 21 – VidaBox LLC, the innovator of Media Center and home theater PC systems, today announced the introduction of its first completely silent Media Center system called ZERO™. ZERO™ utilizes advanced thermal management technology, resulting in a fanless system that is completely silent. Its stunning design will be admired by even the most discerning home theater enthusiast.

“Many of our customers were looking for a completely silent Media Center solution that would not be an eye sore in their living room,” says Sergio DeAlbuquerque, co-founder of VidaBox. “They have spent a lot of time and money into building a perfect acoustic environment for their home theater and can’t tolerate noisy equipment. ZERO™ fulfills that requirement, and it does so in style.”

At about the size of an audio receiver, ZERO™ stands a mere 5 ¾” tall.  Featuring an AMD X2 dual core processor, 800MHz DDR2 RAM, up to 1.5 TB of VidaSafe™ protected storage, dual ISF certified standard definition tuners, optional dual HDTV tuners (for a total of four tuners), up to nVidia Geforce 7950GX2 dedicated graphics card with HDCP compliance, and optional Blue Ray and HD-DVD upgrades.

All existing ZERO™ systems will be upgradeable to CableCARD support in 2007, in conjunction with the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system release and other VidaBox high definition CableCARD systems. Sergio continues, “Many of our customers are worried that their investment will be lost due to the new upcoming CableCARD release and high definition DVD formats. We responded by creating a high definition upgrade program to address those concerns.”

Like all VidaBox Media Center systems, ZERO™ features rock solid stability (99%+ up time), complete system pre-configuration at the factory, complete Media Center software package, and quick easy installation.

For more details and specifications on the new VidaBox™ ZERO™, please visit the company website at

About VidaBox LLC
VidaBox LLC is a systems integration company focused on manufacturing premium Media Center systems.  VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable, compact, and quiet Media Center systems that work right out of the box.  For more information, visit or call 1-516-730-7500.

Exceptional Innovation Premiers Life|Ware 1.0.2 Home Control Software At CEDIA Expo 2006

Denver, CO – CEDIA EXPO 2006 – September 13 - 17, 2006 – Booth # 540 and Home of Electronic Lifestyles® – Exceptional Innovation announces the launch of their Life|ware™ 1.0.2 home control software for seamless integration with Media Center based installations. New features, learning options, flexible menus and more subsystem devices expand the functionality and features of Life|ware 1.0.2.

When integrated with the Media Center platform, Life|ware creates a digital entertainment experience that allows consumers to control how they enjoy their digital content, wherever and whenever they want, as well as manage their lighting, HVAC, security and other subsystems through a single interface.

Life|ware 1.0.2 adds key subsystem support for products like the Russound UNO-S2 Keypad, which will allow the user to manage Media Center content playing in a zone through the UNO-S2 keypads. Users will now be able to view the current playing metadata on their keypads as well as navigate and select new Media Center content to play using album, artist, and genre on the UNO-S2 keypad. The UNO-S2 is used in conjunction with a Life|link Web Service for Devices (WSD) bridge and a Russound CAV 6.6 distributed audio system. Life|link Devices embedded with WSD can be automatically recognized and controlled on a Life|ware network, eliminating time-consuming programming and ensuring that the two “speak the same language” at all times.

“Electronics and appliances are being designed to be more intelligent, but what’s been missing is a way to connect them all together effectively in a single network. That is how Life|ware 1.0.2 is changing the face of home control —by bringing a powerful solution to seamlessly integrate intelligent devices together and implementing them so homeowners can live a truly digital lifestyle,” said Mike Seamons, Exceptional Innovation’s vice president of marketing.

 In addition to Russound UNO-S2 Keypad product support, Life|ware 1.0.2 adds support for the following devices:


  • StarLite lighting module

OnQ LeGrand

  • Greyfox camera server


  • Axis Camera Server

Channel Vision

  • W4000 device has been certified as a valid camera device


  • Dimmer – RZ106
  • Lamp Module - RZP03
  • Appliance Module - RZP15


  • The NuVo Simplese distributed audio system


  • ST2-XM Tuner (includes AM/FM tuner)
  • CAA 6.6 distributed audio system
  • CAM 6.6 distributed audio system
  • CAS 4.4 distributed audio system


  • The CLO X-Arm motorized TV mount

Life|ware 1.0.2 also adds other exciting new features such as the ability to set a room’s lighting, temperature, audio pre-sets to a desired setting and then have Life|ware learn these settings for a programmed Life|scene™. Life|scenes can also be triggered by control system events such as pressing “play” and having room shades and lights lowered simultaneously.

The ability to Schedule by Astronomical Time has also been added, allowing the configuration of daily, weekly, monthly and one-time schedules to execute under events such as sunrise or sunset.

A number of enhancements are aimed at making installer’s lives easier – such as a more flexible menu structure, the ability to easily group devices within the same component together as needed, and the ability to print a report for a given configuration. Dealers can also configure the My Home text that appears on Media Center’s main menu, and add in their own business information on Life|ware’s About page.

Life|ware 1.0.2 is an automatic software upgrade to existing Life|ware customers. Pricing for Life|ware 1.0.2 will vary based on installation and scale. A list of all of the new Life|ware 1.0.2 features is included on the following pages.


For more information on Exceptional Innovation, please visit


Okoro Media Systems Launches SX Series Ultra Low Profile DES

Okoro Media Systems, manufacturer of digital entertainment systems for the high end audio video market, is pleased to announce the availability of the 'Ultra Low Profile" SX Series. The SX Series is based on the Intel Core Duo mobile processor with Viiv technology. The SX Series features cool and quiet operation, a 2.7 inch low profile height and HDMI Technology.

"Our customers want media management in a nice small package. We feel that the SX series will give them a feature packed Digital Entertainment System in a thin and elegant form factor. With Intel Viiv technology, HD audio and HDMI output, the SX series is a perfect fit for our customers " said Christopher Curry, VP of Sales & Operations.

The SX series will launch with the SX100 model. This model is based on the Intel Core Duo T2300 processor with 1 GB of RAM and 250GB hard drive. All SX models feature the following:

8-channel HD audio with Dolby Digital Live technology
ISF Certified TV Analog Tuner
667Mhz Memory
Upgradeability to 500GB of HD Space
Dual Layer DVD Burner
HDMI and VGA output
Intel Viiv Technology

For more information about the SX series, please visit

Sony VGP-XL1B2 DVD Changer Drops to $300

Sony VGP-XL1B2 Media Changer ( | Looks like Amazon is pushing out the Sony VGP-XL1B2 DVD Changer.  Price is currently $299.99 after a $100 rebate.  Not a bad deal at all.  However, since I still can’t stream them to an Extender I see no reason to buy one.

However, for $299.99 a lot of ya’ll might want to jump on the deal.  At this point you are looking at prices much cheaper then hard drives.

Also, for new Media Center users this product can be used to batch rip your audio CD’s to your hard drive.  I think it’s worth $299 if you have a collection of 200+ CD’s you need to rip.

HP Introduces Two New Digital Entertainment Centers, Boosts Support for Custom Integrators

HP today launched two new digital entertainment centers that combine the best of PC and advanced audio/visual technologies to offer consumers a superb home entertainment experience.

In addition, the company introduced a dedicated call center and training program to help custom installers integrate HP’s full range of digital entertainment offerings into home management solutions.

Showcased at the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) tradeshow, the new HP Digital Entertainment Centers (DEC) – the HP z565 and HP z560 – can be used as high-definition digital video recorders, allowing users to pause, rewind and record favorite shows.(1) The DEC’s progressive scan DVD player creates an immersive home theater experience, and users can easily manage their music collections and create slideshows of their digital photos via a 9-in-1-card reader.

HP’s new DECs include features, such as HDMI connectivity, fixed-line audio out and streamlined software build, that help custom integrators provide digital entertainment and digital automation solutions to a variety of residential developments.

The DECs also come with a large hard disk capacity, storing up to 800 gigabytes(2) of recorded TV, movies, photos and more. In addition to using dual-core(3) Intel® processors and being Intel Viiv™ compliant, they are designed with the power and features needed to upgrade and run Microsoft Windows® Vista™ Premium.

To further aid custom integrators, the new DECs will be Life|ware Ready™, the first such hardware to be given this status by Exceptional Innovation. Life|ware is a simple to use but sophisticated software program that gives users one-touch control of their homes’ entertainment, audio, climate, lighting and security systems.

“CEDIA dealers have told us that they want products and solutions that help them grow their businesses,” said Jan-Luc Blakborn, director, Digital Entertainment – North America, HP. “Industry-standard solutions such as the new HP Digital Entertainment Centers with Life|ware use the Media Center operating system to scale up or down for installations from the modestly priced to the very high-end.”

HP chosen as preferred vendor by custom integrators

South Florida-based integrator, Criteria Inc., has standardized on the HP DEC to use in both single-family and multi-dwelling applications.

“HP offers our clients a wide array of entertainment solutions with the Media Center operating system used as the hub of digital content,” said Dave Tovissi, president, Criteria. “We have been introducing many of our preferred developers to an HP solution for building maintenance and virtual concierge solutions. Developers are looking at technology to give them a competitive edge in the luxury high-rise condominium market. HP offers both technology and an open architecture that gives these developers a lot for their money.”

The Momentum Group, a technology integration firm specializing in custom residential and multi-dwelling units, also has selected HP as its preferred technology supplier for an 800-unit, five-star development in Miami. HP will supply HD TVs, printers and Media Center-based PCs and DECs.

“This project represents the future of home technology and how it will be integrated into everyday lifestyles,” said Daniel Kippycash, president and chief executive officer, The Momentum Group. “Residents of this project are very excited when they learn that HP products are being featured because of its reputation for innovation and quality.”

Custom integrator support initiative
To meet the needs of custom integrators, HP has launched a dedicated call center that assists them with the installation of HP digital entertainment products, including HP DECs, MediaSmart TVs and standard LCDs and plasmas. In addition to in-depth training on these products, the support agents are trained on Life|ware software.

The specialist support agents can be reached on +1 877 309 9212 from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Saturday. The support center will work with dealers and installers to ensure easy access to high-quality technical support and in-depth product information.

HP also is conducting a series of online and open house training events on Media Center and HP DECs. The training is being run through local Digital Delivery Group members, a national consortium of regional value-added consumer electronics specialty distributors. The training is designed to help custom integrators understand how HP DECs complement and consolidate entertainment throughout the home. Further information on upcoming courses is available at

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2006, HP revenue totaled $90.0 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at

Niveus Media Launches The 2007 Summit Series Media Centers

The 2007 Summit Series line will include the re-introduction of the Rainier Edition featuring HD DVD and upgraded components for the Denali Edition line including Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia GeForce 7 Series graphics, and HDMI.

Denver, CO – CEDIA EXPO 2006 – September 13 - 17, 2006 – Booth # 710 – Niveus Media, Inc., an award-winning manufacturer of digital entertainment solutions for the connected home, showcases two new media centers at CEDIA 2006 – the Rainier and Denali Editions. Combining Niveus’ unique design elements and technology with the industry’s latest hardware and software advancements, the 2007 Summit Series delivers the highest level of media center performance for home theaters available at various price points.

Building upon the company’s acclaimed 2006 Denali, the virtually silent media centers feature Niveus’ Glacier Passive Cooling technology, as well as the patent-pending Niveus ConvergencePanel. Providing faster frame rates, higher quality television, faster music encoding, rich graphics, and quicker response time, Niveus’ 2007 editions are amongst the first Windows Media Center systems to incorporate Intel’s Viiv technology, Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors, HD DVD and HDMI output; all in an audio/video component form factor.

Based on Windows Media Center 2005 software, the new Rainier includes: HDMI (carrying both audio and video), an integrated IR Receiver/Blaster, Serial (RS-232), Wireless 80211.b/g, an integrated flash card reader (SD, MMC), and Niveus’ unique industrial design with an all new front panel and the signature extruded aluminum heat sinks. With Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) Video Quality Certification on track to be received by the time the product ships, Niveus’ Summit Series continues to provide custom installation integrators with only the highest quality video experience.

As Niveus’ first entry-level media center priced for mid-to-high end home theaters, the 2007 Rainier measures half the size of the Denali at just over 4 inches tall. The Rainier boasts an Intel Core Duo processor, up to 3 television tuners (2x NTSC, 1x ATSC), 750GB of Storage, 2GB of Memory, ATI X1600 Pro graphics, and 8-channel audio. Additionally, the Rainier will become one of the first Windows Media Center based products to offer stunning 1080p playback via the HD DVD platform.

For the ultimate in power, performance, and graphics, the 2007 Denali incorporates HDMI video output, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 television tuners (2x NTSC, 2x ATSC), 1TB of Storage, 4GB of Memory, Nvidia’s GeForce Series 7 graphics, and 8-channel audio and Serial (RS-232). The Denali measures just over 8 inches tall.

In addition, the Windows Vista Capable 2007 Summit Series is eligible to receive the highly anticipated Windows Vista upgrade offered by Niveus. Windows Vista, including the addition of CableCARD technology, will allow consumers to enjoy one-way cable programming and enable them to view and record premium digital HD content without the use of a set-top box, while protecting cable operators’ investments in high value content.

Reconfirming the company’s commitment to providing its valued dealers with the tools needed to easily integrate and control a Niveus Media Center, Niveus announced its participation in the following programs: AMX’s InConcert manufacturer partner program, Crestron’s Integration Partner program and Exceptional Innovation’s Life|ware Ready program. The company will also continue to work with Netstreams, Universal Electronics and Vantage to ensure compatibility.

Niveus Media’s 2007 Summit Series – Rainier and Denali Editions have an MSRP starting at $3,499 and $6,999, respectively. Both are expected to ship September 30, 2006.

For more information on Niveus Media, Inc., please visit

Niveus Media Introduces A New Line Of Professional-Quality Rack-Mount Media Servers

Niveus’ new 2007 Pro Series media servers bring state-of-the-art hardware, software, and design elements direct to the custom install market.

Denver, CO – CEDIA EXPO 2006 – September 13 - 17, 2006 – Booth # 710 – Niveus Media, award-winning manufacturers of high-end digital media server solutions, proudly introduces the 2007 Pro Series media centers, n7 and n9. Designed with the custom installer in mind, the new Pro Series incorporates cutting-edge technology to deliver one of the fastest, most powerful media server solutions on the market, in a convenient rack-mount form factor.

Packed with the industry’s most advanced hardware and software, the HD DVD enabled Pro Series includes the highly-anticipated Intel Viiv technology and Core 2 Duo Extreme processor, Nvidia’s GeForce Series 7 Graphics and HDMI output. Engineered to provide faster frame rates and exceptional images, as well as broad 3rd party control and enough horsepower to distribute audio and video throughout a multi-zone home, the n7 and n9 are packed with the compatibility and functionality, to perform as a central media distribution hub for the digital home.

“Recognizing the growing number of dealers seeking high performance media centers specific to rack installations, we are excited to fulfill their needs with the n7 and n9; as well as introducing the Pro Series to Niveus’ expanding product portfolio,” states Tim Cutting, CEO of Niveus Media.

Based on Windows Media Center 2005 and Niveus’ award-winning Summit Series platform, the n7 and n9 feature the best in class audio/video performance. Including Niveus’ proprietary Glacier Passive Cooling™ technology (active & passive cooling) and patent-pending Niveus ConvergencePanel™, as well as new features including HDMI, RS-232, an integrated flash card reader (SD, MMC), and RAID 5 Hard Drive Data Protection, the new Pro Series is highly- compatible to meet the needs of varying installation challenges.

Specially designed and manufactured by Niveus and sporting a sleek, compact chassis (measuring 3U), the Pro Series is complete with ears for fast and easy rack mount installation. Available in multiple installation configurations, Niveus offers varying hard drive storage options in the n7 and n9 (1TB to 3TB HDD, respectively), boasts up to 4 television tuners (2x NTSC, 2x ATSC), up to 4GB of Memory, and 8-channel audio.

Reconfirming the company’s commitment to providing its valued dealers with the tools needed to easily integrate and control a Niveus Media Center, Niveus announced its participation in the following programs: AMX’s InConcert manufacturer partner program, Crestron’s Integration Partner program and Exceptional Innovation’s Life|ware Ready program. The company will also continue to work with Netstreams, Universal Electronics and Vantage to ensure compatibility.

Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) certification (pending) will allow the Pro Series to join the Niveus’ Summit Series as one of the few media centers to achieve the highest quality video available resulting in a high fidelity experience for custom install professionals. Niveus Media’s Professional Series n7 and n9 MSRP start at of $6,999 and $14,999, respectively, and is expected to ship September 30, 2006.

For more information on Niveus Media, Inc., please visit

New Line Of Niveus Media Centers Are Amongst The First To Feature Playback Capability Of The HD DVD Format

Dealers now have a premium option for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition-based installations to offer three different high-end media centers that can deliver exceptional reproduction, as well as management and control, of high-definition movies

Denver, CO – CEDIA EXPO 2006 – September 13 - 17, 2006 – Booth # 710 – Niveus Media, Inc., an award-winning manufacturer of digital entertainment solutions for the connected home, will be one of the first dedicated media center manufacturers to support the HD DVD format and playback of native resolution 1080p (1920 x 1080) movies. Niveus will begin shipping its newest line of Niveus Media Centers, which also utilize the Intel® Viiv™ technology platform, at the end of the month.

HD DVD will be offered in both of the recently announced additions to the Niveus Media Center line; the Pro Series – n7 & n9, a high performance rack-mount form-factor and the Summit Series – Rainier Edition, a living room form-factor system in a proprietary Niveus aluminum chassis. Both products are designed on the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center platform and include Niveus Glacier Passive Cooling™ and the proprietary Niveus ConvergencePanel™, making for installer-friendly integration.

"We are delighted that Niveus Media, the leading developer of award winning media servers, has announced the release of a media center solution with HD DVD,” said Scott Maccabe, vice president and general manager, Toshiba America Information Systems, Storage Device Division. “This announcement shows that yet another key industry leader has recognized the advantages offered by HD DVD’s backward compatibility, product feasibility and marketability. We welcome Niveus and look forward to its contributions to a winning format.”

“Niveus Media's incorporation of a HD DVD player into their Intel® Viiv™ technology-based platform demonstrates how the PC continues to evolve and provide consumers with compelling home entertainment experiences, including breathtaking High Definition video playback and new levels of interactivity through HD DVD," said Brendan Traw, Intel Fellow & Chief Technology Officer Digital Home Group.

“We see HD DVD as the natural successor to the DVD format, with its superb high-resolution video quality powered by the VC-1 video compression standard, great audio quality and innovative interactivity powered by HDi™. We are very pleased to see Niveus bring together the power of HD DVD and Media Center together in such an attractive way,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Consumer Media Technology Group at Microsoft Corp.

Niveus Media’s Rainier Edition and Pro Series start at $3,499 and $6,999, respectively, and both are expected to ship September 30, 2006. For more information on Niveus Media, Inc., please visit

About Niveus Media, Inc.
Since 2002, Niveus Media, Inc. has engineered and manufactured high-performance media solutions that take whole-home digital entertainment to an entirely new level. Niveus is an award-winning manufacturer of high-end Media Centers, storage servers, and advanced control software designed specifically for the consumer electronics market. Committed to providing innovative, integrated digital entertainment devices for the networked home, Niveus has simplified the management and enjoyment of digital media at home.

Microsoft’s Zune Delivers Connected Music and Entertainment Experience

Marking the next big milestone for its Connected Entertainment vision, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled details of the first products to be released under its Zune™ brand. Designed around the principles of sharing, discovery and community, Zune will create new ways for consumers to connect and share entertainment experiences. The Zune experience centers around connection — connection to your library, connection to friends, connection to community and connection to other devices.

“The digital music entertainment revolution is just beginning,” said J Allard, vice president, design and development, at Microsoft, who is leading the charge for building the family of Zune products. “With Zune, we are not simply delivering a portable device, we are introducing a new platform that helps bring artists closer to their audiences and helps people find new music and develop new social connections.”

The Zune Experience

Available this holiday season in the United States, Zune includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. The Zune device features wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a bright, 3-inch screen that allows users to not only show off music, pictures and video, but also to customize the experience with personal pictures or themes to truly make the device their own. Zune comes in three colors: black, brown and white.

Every Zune device creates an opportunity for connection. Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.

Zune makes it easy to find music you love — whether it’s songs in your existing library or new music from the Zune Marketplace. Easily import your existing music, pictures and videos in many popular formats and browse millions of songs on Zune Marketplace, where you can choose to purchase tracks individually or to buy a Zune Pass subscription to download as many songs as you want for a flat fee.

To get started with great music and videos out of the box, every Zune device is preloaded with content from record labels such as DTS, EMI Music’s Astralwerks Records and Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, Playlouderecordings, Quango Music Group, Sub Pop Records, and V2/Artemis Records.

Zune Accessories

To enhance the Zune experience, three accessory packs help Zune users enjoy their music where they want to, at home or on the road. The packs and the individual accessories, all designed exclusively for Zune, will be available at launch:

  • The Zune Car Pack includes everything needed to hit the road with a Zune device, such as the built-in FM tuner with AutoSeek and the Zune Car Charger.
  • The Zune Home A/V Pack enhances your experience in the home through five products that integrate Zune with the TV and music speakers: Zune AV Output Cable, Zune Dock, Zune Sync Cable, Zune AC Adapter and the Zune Wireless Remote for Zune Dock.
  • Zune Travel Pack is a set of five products designed to keep friends and family entertained on the road: Zune Premium Earphones, Zune Dual Connect Remote, Zune Gear Bag, Zune Sync Cable and the Zune AC Adapter.Providing consumers with additional options to customize and personalize their Zune experience, Microsoft is also working with leading accessory manufacturers Altec Lansing, Belkin Corp., Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), Dual Electronics, Griffin Technology, Harman Kardon and JBL, Integrated Mobile Electronics, Jamo International, Klipsch Audio Technologies, Logitech, Monster Cable Products Inc., Speck, Targus Group International Inc. and VAF Research

The Future is Bright

In addition to the features available at launch, built-in wireless technology and powerful software provide a strong foundation to continue to build new shared experiences around music and video. As Zune evolves, the device can be easily updated. The Zune software on your PC will let you know when these updates are available for download.

About Zune
Zune is Microsoft’s music and entertainment platform that provides an end-to-end solution for Connected Entertainment. The Zune experience includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service, and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. Inspired by the vast and varied community of music fans, Zune focuses on helping emerging artists shape the digital canvas. Zune is part of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division and supports the company’s software-based services vision to help drive innovation in the digital entertainment space. More information can be found online at

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