website hit counter December 2006 - Posts - Chris Lanier

December 2006 - Posts

Yeah, TGB Down Again

Need I say more?

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The Media Center Show Extra #5

The Media Center Show Extra #5 Music, mceBackup and RSS | This week on Ian’s show he looks at the his new mceBackup 2.0 backup tool for Media Center, Big Screen Headlines a RSS reader for Vista Media Center and a look at Music in Vista Media Center.

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No, AACS Was Not Cracked

All that happened was the method Cyberlink to decrypt AACS used was semi-compromised.  Their implemention kept the key in memory, a key which is needed to legally decrypt the content protection.  What is likely going to happen is that specific key will be revoked, and Cyberlink will have to issue an update in order to play newer titles.  CSS didn't have a good way to revoke the keys, AACS does.

Waiting to see what Cyberlink and AACS said happened, but I don't see that AACS was cracked.

Read below for more.....

Update (1/1/07): Cyberlink Responds to Alleged AACS Crack

Edit 2:  Roundup

From various other sources, here is a basic roundup of what most people believed has happened.   The software released will decrypt AACS when presented with the Title Key from the specific HD DVD title.  The tool doesn't find the Title Key for you, however PowerDVD leaves the Title Key unencrypted in key.  DO a memory dump and you should (I guess, yet to really be proved) find the Title Key.  At this point the tool does exactly what is printed in the AACS documents.  Cyberlink will likely release an update to stop the key from being kept in memory unencrypted.  After that update has been published, I think their device key could be revoked.  This would mean newer releases would not play without an additional update.  Problem solved.

Anyway you look at it, AACS was not hacked or cracked.  AACS is still intact, what's not intact is Cyberlink's method for decrypting AACS.  I don't see Cyberlink being allowed to leave this unpatched.

Update (1/1/07): Cyberlink Responds to Alleged AACS Crack

Digg Edit: Hey guys,

I didn't expect this to get dugg, not like it's really backed up by anything (I guess shows the power of Digg to pick up random stories). I wouldn't classify myself as a great source of information on this, it's just my thoughts.  Feel free to digg it down or whatever, just quick thoughts of mine after I watched the video.

I'm sure AACS and Cyberlink will be out with more information in the next week or so.  Until then, there isn't going to be that much "real" news about it.

Happy New Year and watch the comments and Digg for more. 

Chris

Update (1/1/07): Cyberlink Responds to Alleged AACS Crack

$99 Refurb Linksys WMCE54AG Extenders Today (12/27) on Woot

Linksys WMCE54AG Wireless Media Center Extender (Woot) | Woot has got $99 Refurbished Linksys WMCE54AG Wireless Media Center Extender’s today.  If you are interested in something that can handle SD playback and only works with Media Center 2005 this is your product.  This will not work with Vista Media Center, just FYI before your purchase.
 

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Best Buy and Exceptional Innovation Go Mainstream With Life|ware!

Exclusive Details: Best Buy, Exceptional Innovation and ConnectedLife.Home (CE Pro) | Julie has been lurking with the details of a new package from Best Buy, Exceptional Innovation and ConnectedLife.Home.  For $15,000 you can walk into Best Buy and pick up a package everything you need to connect your home with Media Center and Life|ware as the core.

  • One z560 Digital Entertainment Center
  • Life|ware home automation software from Exceptional Innovation,
  • One Xbox 360 (which doubles as a Media Center Extender)
  • Two Panasonic wireless cameras
  • One communicating thermostat from Residential Control systems
  • Ethernet/powerline adapters from Corinex
  • Other assorted devices—five dimmers, five switches, two keypads--that communicate over the powerline via Insteon technology.

Read the full story here.  Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.

CyberLink Launches PowerDVD Ultra for Playback of HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

Taipei, Taiwan----December 22, 2006----CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW), a world leader in digital home solutions, today launched the HD DVD and Blu-ray version of its industry-defining movie player software, PowerDVD. Featuring optimized hardware acceleration for graphics processors, and compatibility with leading HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc drives, PowerDVD Ultra delivers the ultimate high-definition movie experience on both desktop and notebook computers.

New features for PowerDVD Ultra include:

  • Support for HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc playback on leading drives, including the Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD external drive
  • Playback of high-definition Hollywood movie content
  • Optimized performance for playback of high-definition video content on graphics cards featuring NVIDIA PureVideo, ATI Avivo, and Intel Clear Video technology
  • Support for new next-generation disc features, like Picture-in-Picture movie mode, networking, interactive BD-J and iHD features, bookmarks, and advanced disc navigation
  • High-definition audio with support for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD technologies
  • 6.1-channel surround sound, ensuring compatibility with home theater audio systems, and audio expansion of up to 8 channels
  • Support for double-layer HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs
  • Conformance to the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) specifications for the playback of premium content through DVI and HDMI connectors
  • Support for BUS Protection ensures premium content protection via VGA systems.

PowerDVD Ultra also offers leading player features:

  • Say-it-Again – one-click DVD dialog looping
  • Read-it-Clearly – moveable DVD subtitles
  • See-it-All – automatically activated DVD time stretching for when mobile PCs run low on power
  • Power-saving settings for notebooks and an onscreen battery meter
  • Five control modes, a choice of skins and interface colors
  • UPnP media player support.

"CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra prepares consumers for the huge next wave of PC-based entertainment: high-definition content delivered on HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs," said Alice H. Chang, CEO of CyberLink. "In doing so CyberLink is offering a totally new experience, with even more ways to access and interact with movie content, as well as new support for audio technologies that help users maximize use of their home theater audio hardware."

Product Availability
CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra English version is available online, and the following languages: Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), German, French, Italian, Korean, and Spanish, will be launched next week.

  • CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra USD 99.95/Euro 99,95

For more information, please visit: http://www.cyberlink.com/multi/products/main_112_ENU.html

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The Media Center Show #88

The Media Center Show #88 | 21nd December 2006 (67mins 07secs) MP3 - 23.0MB (Download Here)

This week Ian Dixon talked with Mark Newell, Program Manager from the eHome team at Microsoft about the history of Media Center, the new look and feel of Vista Media Center and what happens when you submit an error report in Windows.

The Vote page is up for The Media Center Show Awards, so get voting now and enter the prize draw.

Have you watched The Media Center Show Extra yet? It’s the new video accompaniment to the show.

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Philips Does Vista Media Center Remotes

Windows Vista Remote Overview (Philips) | Philips has a page up with various remote designs that they will be producing for Windows Vista and Media Center.  (Via Bink)
      

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Slow Posting

Christmas Break!
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The Media Center Show #87

The Media Center Show #87 | 14th December 2006 (67mins 07secs) MP3 - 23.0MB (Download Here)

This week Ian Dixon talked with Tim Cutting CEO and founder of Niveus Media about Niveus’ latest products including their CableCARD, HD DVD and rack products.

The Vote page is up for The Media Center Show Awards, so get voting now and enter the prize draw.

Have you watched The Media Center Show Extra yet? It’s the new video accompaniment to the show.

Another Day, Another Unsupported Product | v2 Extenders To Be Vista Only

Jason points to the documentation that v2 Extenders will not be supported in MCE 2005.  This is just what we all needed, for those are not ready to move to Vista will be to stuck using the Xbox 360 as the only HD-compatible Extender.

“The Media Center Extender Platform Adaptation Kit enables partners to build Extenders for use with Windows Vista. Because Extender technology is a superset of the PlaysForSure device program, these devices will also be able to connect to Windows Media Connect/Windows Media Player Network Sharing running on Media Center 2005 PCs. They will not, however, connect to Media Center 2005 as Extenders.”

So now that new Extender HDTV that so many of you like will only able to connect to Vista.  Will this change your purchase, or are you moving to Vista once released?  CableCARD driving anyone?

So many questions, so many upgrades with unsupported products afterwards.  When will Microsoft get the point?  I’ll gladly beta test this hardware that is likely be to garbage two years after, but at least send it to me for free instead of having me drop hundreds of dollars on all of it.  If you want me to purchase the hardware, and build me home around it (which I want to) then make it worth my investment.

My Movies 2.20 to Support Barcode Scanning

My Movies - Home | Brian pushed out a new pre-release of My Movies 2.20 today, and among the features are barcode scanning support from your webcam.  You can also just type in the UPC code from the back of your DVD and My Movies will search for the title too.

I tried the barcode scanning with my LifeCam VX-3000, but couldn’t get it to work.  No problems through, it’s a pre-release which means you should only install it if you’re an advanced user and don’t mind the potential of something getting messed up on your machine.

Download it here, and standard disclaimers apply.  When you can’t watch Joe Dirt tonight because you didn’t backup your My Movies database you will understand what I mean.  Also, "You cannot roll back your database version to a previous release, so be sure to manually backup your database before installing pre-releases."

Thanks to Richard for the tip.

Update: I’ve made some progress in barcode scanning thanks to Brian’s comment on manual focus.  Now all I have to deal with is a data lookup problem.  I’ve started a thread in the My Movies forums about it.

This is going to be amazing when it gets released.  The scanning takes less than a second, and so far it’s been 100% accurate.  And yes, if you must know that is “Mean Girls” and no I don’t know why I have it.  It was in the Game Room and contains “Sexual content, language, and some teen partying” so you know it’s good.

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Video Blog: Vidabox Blu-ray/HD DVD Media Center PC

Video Blog: Dual-Format Blu-ray/HD DVD Vidabox Media Center | Jason e-mailed me the other day pointing to his new video blog about Vidabox’s dual-format BD/HD DVD Media Center PC.

It’s interesting to see how it all worked out. 

Thanks for the code tip Susan!
 

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Would You Buy a Media Center Extender TV?

Pika, the next generation of Media Center Extenders (MCX) are due out next year, and one of Microsoft’s goals for some time has been to integrate Media Center Extender technology into LCD/Plasma HDTV’s.

Since it looks like Pika will actually be introducing this years after the initial concept, I’m wondering how many of you would be interested in purchasing one of these?  If there were HDTV’s with Media Center Extender’s built-in, would you rather purchase one over an HDTV without it?  Any features it must have before you would purchase? 

Anyone else thinking an Extender TV at this point is a little late to the market?

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The Media Center Show #86

The Media Center Show #86 | 7th December 2006 (50mins 00secs) MP3 - 17.1MB (Download Here)

This week Ian Dixon talked with Brian Frost about how to get the best out of your existing Media Center investment including looking at how to connect Media Center to your existing HiFi, plus how to connect Media Center to your 5.1 surround sound systems.

The Vote page is up for The Media Center Show Awards, so get voting now and enter the prize draw.

Have you watched The Media Center Show Extra yet? It’s the new video accompaniment to the show.

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Charlie Owen On Look & Feel In Third Party Applications

Charlie Owen is out with a new post about Why Our Look & Feel Isn't Available To Applications.  It’s always interesting to see the thought that goes into decisions like this, however I don’t agree at all that people think it’s “boring” for third party to flow with the rest of Media Center.  From everyone I have talked with, they would rather see third party applications have UI’s that resemble the rest of Media Center.

Anyway, be sure to check it out.

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The Media Center Show #85

The Media Center Show #85 | 30th November 2006 (55mins 01secs) MP3 - 18.9MB (Download Here)

This week Ian Dixon talked with Gregg Cannon of Cannon PC about their range of Media Center PC’s and building Media Center Servers.

The Vote page is up for The Media Center Show Awards, so get voting now and enter the prize draw.

Have you watched The Media Center Show Extra yet? It’s the new video accompaniment to the show.

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