website hit counter January 2007 - Posts - Chris Lanier

January 2007 - Posts

Niveus Media Brings The Future of High End Home Entertainment To The NYC Market Through Harvey

Coinciding with the launch of Windows Vista on January 30th, Niveus, together with Harvey Home Entertainment, is launching its new line of Windows Vista-based Media Servers.

New York, NY – January 30, 2007– Niveus Media, Inc., an award-winning manufacturer of digital entertainment solutions for the connected home, will showcase four new media centers including the Rainier and Denali Editions as well as the Pro Series n7 and n9 at the roll out of their Windows Vista-based Media Servers on January 30th at Harvey Home Entertainment in Manhattan.

The 2007 Niveus Media Server line delivers a high level of Windows Vista Media Center-based performance for home theaters. Providing faster frame rates, higher quality television, faster music encoding, rich graphics, and quicker response time, Niveus’ 2007 editions are amongst the first Windows Vista Media Center-based systems to incorporate Intel’s Viiv™ technology including Core 2 Duo processors, HD DVD and HDMI output; all in an audio/video component form factor. Windows Vista, on a digital cable compatible system from Niveus, can support CableCARDs™ from local cable providers. This technology allows consumers to enjoy one-way cable programming and enables them to view and record premium digital HD content without the use of a set-top box.. Niveus Media Centers will also be amongst the first Windows Vista Media Center-based products to offer stunning 1080p HD DVD playback.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to bring our distinguished clientele what we see as the future of high-end home entertainment,” said Harvey CEO Martin McClanan. “This is the first time that a Harvey store has even considered carrying a Windows-based server for the home. But as technology changes so must retailers and we see extensive opportunities for our customers to integrate a Niveus Media Server into their digital lifestyle. The convergence of high-end audio video and Windows Vista Media Center-based products for the ultimate management of uncompressed music, video, digital photos, and HDTV has arrived. This isn’t just the future, this is now!”

“Niveus is excited to launch our Windows Vista-based Media Centers with Harvey Home Entertainment,” said Tim Cutting, CEO and co-Founder, Niveus Media. “With the arrival of premium HD television support in the Windows Vista-based Niveus Media Center, Harvey will be well positioned to deliver a feature packed, whole-home entertainment system for managing their customers’ growing collection of digital content and television recordings.”

Also available through Harvey is the Niveus Digital Cable Receiver which supports up to two CableCARDs for viewing and recording multiple, premium HD television programs simultaneously. Niveus’ external design of the Niveus Digital Cable Receiver ensures the ultimate in performance and flexibility when storing, managing, and accessing, all digital media via a powerful Windows Vista Ultimate-based media center interface.

All of the Windows Vista-based Niveus Media Servers as well as the Niveus Digital Cable Receiver will be available following the January 30, 2007 launch of Windows Vista. Harvey has nine stores located in the metro NY, NJ and CT area.

For more information on Niveus Media, Inc., please visit www.niveusmedia.com

Velocity Micro Revolutionizes Home Entertainment: Unleashes Bold New Vista Media Center PCs

New media center computers with Vista deliver never-before-seen performance for audio, video, and gaming.

Richmond, VA – January 30, 2007 – Velocity Micro, the premier independent builder of custom, high performance computers and workstations, announced today the availability of their groundbreaking Vista media center PCs, the CineMagix Grand Theater and the CineMagix Pro Cinema. The CineMagix Grand Theater, which was unveiled at Digital Experience earlier this month, is Intel-based with up to 2.25 terabytes of storage, while the CineMagix Pro Cinema features AMD products. Both PCs feature premium a/v components and the same sleek design.

“We’re bringing to market something very special. The audio/video quality is second to none in the consumer electronic market with Dolby Master Studio certification and a near perfect home theater benchmark score. We also took a radically different approach to the whole out of box experience—including the cables and documentation that consumers have come to expect from their home theater A/V equipment, available for the first time with a PC-based media center, and only from Velocity Micro,” said Chris Morley, Velocity Micro’s Director of Product Development.

The new media center PCs with Vista deliver a whole new level of media management and playback. The CineMagix Grand Theater and Pro Cinema feature the groundbreaking internal AMD TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner, allowing users to watch and record HD digital cable content on their PCs for the first time. The new media centers also feature Blue-ray and HD-DVD playback for the highest resolution, home cinema quality playback available. Gamers can enjoy first class DirectX 10 graphics from NVIDIA and AMD, setting the stage for the next generation of games, and play games on HDTVs from the comfort of their couch.

“The CineMagix Grand Theater and Pro Cinema are powerful PCs in disguise. They’re loaded with the industry’s most advanced technology, but their low-profile design makes them look like stereo components. They fit right in with your living room set-up,” said Morley.


About Velocity Micro, Inc.
Velocity Micro, Inc. is the premier high-performance personal computer provider in North America. Founded in 1992, Richmond, Va.-based Velocity Micro custom builds award winning gaming, mobile, multimedia, home office, and small business solutions. Velocity Micro systems are now available at select Best Buy retail stores and www.bestbuy.com. For more information on Velocity Micro, please visit www.velocitymicro.com or call (800) 303-7866.

Velocity Micro has earned over 30 industry awards, including nine PC Magazine Editor's Choice awards. CNET, Maximum PC, Mobile PC, PC World, Computer Gaming World, Computer Shopper, and PC Gamer editors have all chosen Velocity Micro systems as some of the industry’s best-performing, highest-quality, and most reliable PCs.

Fixing Commercial Skip within Vista

How to Fix Commercial Skip within Vista | Users of DVRMSToolbox might fine that Commercial Skip doesn’t work right in Vista, which could mean a no go on the upgrade.  Fear not through, Missing Remote has a great write-up on how to get it working again.  It’s kind of a roundabout way to get it working, but it seems to do the job.

Posted by chrisl | with no comments

Windows Vista Beta Testers Get Extra Special Treat (3 Copies of Vista, $100 Total)

Update: Those who purchased and got invalid keys should now have an e-mail with valid keys.  All keys handed out now are valid.  Buy away!

Remember that Family Discount Reward that Microsoft is pushing out with Vista?  The one that lets you purchase two additional copies of Vista Home Premium for $49.99 each after you buy a retail copy of Vista Ultimate?  Well, it turns out that the free copy of Windows Vista that active beta testers got is a retail copy, so you can purchase two copies of Home Premium for $100, making it three copies of Windows Vista overall for the wallet friendly price of, you guessed it, $100!  That’s a deal!

Click Here to Bring Home More "Wow" for $100

Thanks pippen (via The Green Button)

Update: I just tried mine.  The first time it rejected it (copied the key wrong??).  The second time, well look below. 

image
 
Digg it!  Spread the word before, and remember it expires on June 30.
Posted by chrisl | 8 comment(s)

Microsoft Gets a Jump on Vista Pre-SP1 Hotfixes

Business Microsoft Premier Support  got a started on the Windows Vista hotfix party today (Via The Green Button).  Hotfixes not yet available to the general population (Edit: Please read Susan's comment below), only through Microsoft Premier Support, and only if you have the exact issues in the KB articles

Posted by chrisl | 6 comment(s)

Vista PMP Already Cracked?

Update on Driver Signing Bypass (Alex Ionescu's Blog) (Via Engadget)| Alex Ionescu appears to have takin the first step to defeat that evil DRM that prevents everyone from doing everything (or something like that).  He goes through the different ways that Microsoft could patch Vista to disable his work, but ends with the conclusion that it’s unlikely Microsoft can fix it.

Thoughts?  Could he really have broken PMP on today, Vista’s golden day?

I doubt, but now it’s time to play the waiting game.  While playing, why not send some nasty mail to random content owners to express your dislike with the content protection systems they keep dreaming up,

Okoro Media Systems Unleashes Quad Core GX300 Digital Entertainment System

Okoro Media Systems, manufacturer of digital entertainment systems for the high end audio video market, is pleased to announce the availability of the new GX300 for 2007. The new GX300 is based on the Intel® Core™2 Extreme Quad core and Nvidia 8800 GTX technology. This model will deliver unprecedented 3-D gaming performance and will provide better performance for intense multimedia applications, streaming movies, and music

“Our customers continue to hunger for a system that can provide the greatest performance when they are playing the latest video games on their HDTV while recording and streaming multimedia content. With Quad Core technology and the NVIDIA 8800GTX video card, the GX300 will continue to be one of the fastest media centers available,” said Christopher Curry, VP of Sales & Operations.

The 2007 OMS-GX300 now ships with Windows Vista Ultimate Edition and comes with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core™2 Extreme QX6700 Kentsfield Quad Core Processor
  • 2 Gigabytes of high-speed Kingston HyperX memory
  • NVIDIA 8800GTX HDCP video card
  • 1 Terabyte (1000 Gigabytes) of storage
  • Two Dual-Layer DVD burners
  • 7 inch Touch screen display
  • DTS Connect and Dolby Digital Live Technology
  • Windows Vista Ultimate or other Operating System Packages available

The GX300 is currently available for purchase at www.okoromedia.com/model.asp?model=GX300

 For more information please visit www.okoromedia.com.

Open Source DVRBox Edits and Converts DVR-MS

DVRBox (SourceForge) | If you are looking for a free program to edit and convert your DVR-MS recordings, you might want to stop by SourceForge and check out the new open source DVRBox project.  DVRBox allows for editing of DVR-MS, batch processing, automatic crop detection, scheduled compression, and more.  DVRBox also easily outputs to several flavors of MPEG-4 including XviD, x264, and more.

Give it a try.

Posted by chrisl | 4 comment(s)

DefectiveByDesign's Anti-DRM Campaign Gets Trashed by Digg Readers

Something that I personally find hilarious is that DefectiveByDesign, the Anti-DRM Group that was formed last year, is getting trashed by the growing user base that actually understands some of the problems behind content protection and DRM.  This is a very good day in the world of DRM and Digg.

Here’s a few example comments from Digg about DefectiveByDesign’s upcoming Vista Launch Events in NYC.

  • So, the guys at defectivebydesign.org are going toi be the jackasses that pretend to be cool and nonconformist by going to a windows party and making fools out of themselves? Thanks, we reaaally needed to know that, couldn't have survived without it on the front page. P.S. all the info in the article is old news, no reason to digg it.”
  • “Wait wait, people are pissed off because Vista supports HDCP? If I'm not mistaken, Vista has to support it in case Studio's enable the god damn feature”
  • “I'll say this loudly:IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH DRM, DON'T USE MEDIA THAT USES DRM.
    At least with Windows you have the FREEDOM to decide for yourselves, unlike some operating systems I could think of.”
  • “Pathetic. Apple will also include the DRM required to playback all new content that's produced and requires the ***.”
  • “So what happens when media starts coming out that needs the DRM systems, either others OS will have to implement it in some way or hack a way round it which would probably be illegal.”

I’m a big fan of Digg in general, buy generally don’t spend more then five minutes reading the ignorant comments left by the users.  I’m a fan of targeted websites and blogs that can cover a subject without their user base being subjected to incorrect information and endless FUD about certain features, mainly relating to DRM.

I’m all for ending DRM that restricts fair use; however I do believe that content owners should have the right to protect their content if they want to.  The problem is that we need to get to the point where this can happen.  AACS in HD DVD and Blu-ray is a good first step, with the concept of Managed Copy.  It’s not perfect by any means (I shouldn’t have to pay for a copy of the media I already purchased) but it’s a good first step.

DefectiveByDesign needs to understand that if they want to help, they need to actually go after the people that matter.  Microsoft is not who they should be going after.  Stage your foolishness at the MPAA, collectivity “Hollywood.”  They are the reason that Microsoft has to waste millions of dollars developing the framework to allow users to actually play this media.  Feel free to attack Microsoft for the stupid things they do, like locking their Zune DRM out from PlaysForSure.  Attack Apple for not licensing FairPlay.  Attack the record labels (RIAA) for requiring Microsoft, Apple, and others to develop their sort of protection framework.  Actually attack the companies that are the problem, attack the root of the problem.

Of course, there are still loads of users that comment the other way, but they seem to be increasing getting corrected by those who get it.

DefectiveByDesign is not helping anything, all they are doing to making fools of themselves.

Related:

What Content Will Be Crippled When Output in Vista?

The Green Button Forums Get An Upgrade

The Green Button Community Forums have undergone an update with Windows Vista set to be released next week.  We now have subforums dedicated to Windows Vista and Windows XP Media Center Edition.  This should help everyone get help and find the information you are looking for quicker and easier.

The Green Button is also going International!  Very fun.

Posted by chrisl | 1 comment(s)
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Vista Media Center Sports Lounge Review

Windows Vista Sports Lounge Quick Review (Missing Remote) | Mike put together a great review of the new Sports Lounge at Missing Remote.  This is one of the most interesting new features to come with Vista Media Center, and it really works well (both my personal opinion, and the basic conclusion of Mike’s article).

Check out the full review at Missing Remote

The Media Center Show #92

The Media Center Show #92 | 25th January 2007 (33mins 27secs) MP3 - 11.5MB (Download Here)

This week Ian Dixon has his final set of interviews from CES.  Steven Cheung from Vidabox talking HD-DVD.  Christoph Buenger author of mceWeather explains what he was doing at CES, Ted Singh from Embedded Automation talks home automation and about the winner of their Digital Home contest and finally Jonathan Sass from Simplifi Digital talks about their digital audio solutions.

New The Media Center Show Extra this week too.  It’s the new video accompaniment to the show and this week Ian shows got a look at the Gyration Remote Control that was on show at CES.   Then Ted Singh from Embedded Automation showed Ian around his booth at the show, including a demo of the Vista version of mControl, the home automation software for Windows Media Center.
 

What Content Will Be Crippled When Output in Vista?

There are tons of people out there not understanding all of this “Vista DRM”, mainly because of less than accurate media reporting.  That’s completely understandable, but lets run down a quick list here of some of the popular content out there.

DVD Rip (DivX, XivD, etc) downloaded from Bit Torrent/IRC/etc:  Output at whatever resolution you want.  No restrictions.  Works the same as Windows XP. Don’t pirate stuff!

DVD Rip (VIDEO_TS, ISO) download from Bit Torrent/IRC/etc:  Output at whatever resolution you want.  No restrictions. Works the same as Windows XP.  Don’t pirate stuff!

WMV HD Downloads (MariposaHD, etc): Output at whatever resolution you want. No restrictions. Works the same as Windows XP.

Apple/Quicktime HD Downloads: Output at whatever resolution you want.  No restrictions.  Works the same as Windows XP.

Videocasts/blogcasts/Internet TV/IPTV: Output at whatever resolution you want.  No restrictions.  Works the same as Windows XP.

DVR-MS (SD) Recordings: Output at whatever resolution you want.  You can still edit recordings, convert recordings, etc unless they are CGMS-A protected. Works the same as Windows XP.

DVR-MS (HD) Recordings: Output at whatever resolution you want.  You can still edit recordings, convert recordings, etc. Works the same as Windows XP.

MPEG-2/DivX/etc Recordings from 3rd Party PVRs: Output at whatever resolution you want.  You can still edit recordings, convert recordings, etc. Works the same as Windows XP.

CableCARD: Content recorded from CableCARDs will follow the same sort of output regulations as HD DVD and Blu-ray.  Not available in Windows XP.

DVD: Output at whatever resolution you want.  If using Component, output is limited because of Macrovision.  Use AnyDVD or like to output at whatever you want.  Works the same as Windows XP.

HD DVD: If ICT* is set; output at 540p if you are not using HDCP.  If using a digital connection (DVI, HDMI) with HDCP, output will be whatever you want always (ICT set or not).  If ICT is not set, you can output at 1080p with VGA and 1080i with Component.  Works the same as Windows XP.** CE (consumer electronics) HD DVD players (regular set-top boxes) must follow the same rules, not specific to Microsoft or Windows.

Blu-ray Disc (BD): If ICT* is set; output at 540p if you are not using HDCP.  If using a digital connection (DVI, HDMI) with HDCP, output will be whatever you want always (ICT set or not).  If ICT is not set, you can output at 1080p with VGA and 1080i with Component.  Works the same as Windows XP.**  CE (consumer electronics) BD players (regular set-top boxes) must follow the same rules, not specific to Microsoft or Windows.

Additions:

DVD Ripping:  No restrictions.  Works the same as Windows XP

Tools like BackupHDDVD/BackupBluray:  No restrictions.  Works the same as Windows XP***

*AACS requires titles with ICT set be marked, so check the package before you purchase the movie.  Currently, no titles have ICT set.

** The content protection framework in Vista will also allow for a more traditional DirectShow filter model of playback.  Right now, playback is limited to within PowerDVD or WinDVD. 

***Though, I have not tested them under Vista, there is nothing to stop or prevent them from specifically working.

Spread the word, digg it!

Where Does the Media Center PC (or HTPC) Belong?

A common discussion with Media Center is where does the PC actually belong in the home?  It has been thought by some that people in general don’t want a PC in the Living Room, they would rather have a Set-top Box (STB).  Then, there are some people who think that a PC needs to be in the Living Room.  It is after called an “HTPC” for a reason.  This, of course ignores the fact that the majority of people don’t have a true “Home Theater” to speak of.

As I’ve said in the past a major advantage of Media Center PC’s + Media Center Extenders is that it can fit into just about everyone’s setup.  You can take your standard PC in your Home Office and connect Media Center Extenders in the rest of your home.  You can take the Media Center PC (HTPC) that is designed to hit in with the rest of your components and put it in your Living Room, and then you can connect Media Center Extenders in the other rooms of your home.  Or, you can put Media Center PC’s everywhere.  There are also several other configurations that can happen.

What does your setup look like?  Is it what you ideally want, or would you change it based around hardware that might not be released yet (ex. v2 Extenders).

Don't Bother With Vista x64

There is little reason for Media Center users to upgrade or install Vista x64.  Microsoft has shown that it’s still not ready for primetime with several of their applications not working correctly on x64.  For Media Center users and most consumers in general, installing x86 will serve you a lot better.

Not only Microsoft’s own applications (such as Internet Explorer, which has several issues), but drivers are another huge problem.  With several companies lacking in the x64 driver department, it’s going to take a while for them to really get where driver support should be.

Just install x86, maybe look at x64 sometime next year.  Right now, x64 is just going to give you more headaches that aren’t needed.

Embedded Automation Announces Winner of the First Annual mControl “Digital Home” Contest

Embedded Automation Announces Winner of the First Annual mControl “Digital Home” Contest (Pictures Included) | Today, Embedded Automation announced Link Your House as the winner of the first annual mControl “Digital Home” Contest.

The mControl “Digital Home” Contest was open to all Embedded Automation’s mControl digital home software users. Users were encouraged to present original or innovative ways that mControl is being deployed within their digital home. Link Your House’s pioneering work to provide a standardized digital home package for new home construction was a stand out from other entries.

Link Your House is a Georgia, US-based home automation company which offers installation and design of high quality home systems in both new construction and existing homes. Their entry was based on their work on the new Carter Grove Plantation housing development in Cartersville, Georgia. At Carter Grove, Link Your House is providing a standardized package as an upgrade to the existing structured wiring system.

The standard package is built around mControl digital home software and an AOpen Intel Viiv® compliant, Microsoft Windows® XP Media Center Edition computer. Included with the upgrade are six Z-Wave enabled light switches, two Z-Wave thermostats and integration with a DSC security system. IP surveillance cameras are also available as an option. With the installed package customers are provided with a state-of-the-art digital media system and full control of their house – control can be done via an attached TV or Internet Browser. Link Your House also provides a standard method of accessing the digital home system remotely.

“We are honored to win the first inaugural mControl “Digital Home” Contest,” said Frank DeFilippis, system designer from Link Your House. “mControl plays a critical part in the Digital Home upgrade at Carter Grove. With sales now underway at Carter Grove, early reports from the agents are extremely positive.”

“Link Your House’s work at the Carter Grove project is proving that digital home technology is reaching mainstream. We feel that their leadership in building a standardized system with breakthrough performance and affordability will become a model for future projects,” said Ted Singh, Business Development Manager of Embedded Automation.

Pictures and schematics from the winning solution can be viewed on Embedded Automation’s community forum.

About Link Your House

Link Your House, Inc. is a Georgia-based systems integrator, serving home builders and homeowners since 1999. With over 20 years of industry experience, Link Your House is a proud member of the ConnectHome national dealer program – a premier network for professional sales and installation of residential automation, entertainment, security and networking systems. Link Your House is the proud recipient of the 2006 DigiConn Award for Excellence in Home Integration and was selected among hundreds of other companies across the USA. Link Your House is an active member of the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA), the Home Automation & Networking Association (HANA), Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Professional Audio and Video Retailers Association (PARA) and sits on the Advisory Board for ConnectHome. For more information, visit: www.linkyourhouse.com.

About mControl

Thousands of customers worldwide use mControl software to view, manage and secure their “digital homes”. mControl integrates lighting systems, security panels, cameras, climate control and audio/visual components into a unified interface which is accessible through televisions using a remote control, via an Internet browser, through touch screens and even by voice. mControl meshes seamlessly within a Media Center environment to provide an integrated home control and media management solution.

About Embedded Automation

Founded in 1998, Embedded Automation designs, manufactures, and markets solutions for “Digital Home” under the mHome product family. mHome products allow consumers to easily and affordably add control and media management capabilities to their homes. mHome products are available from Embedded Automation and through the mHome Authorized Dealer Network.

Posted by chrisl | with no comments

Microsoft Announces Extended Support for Windows XP Home and Media Center Edition

Microsoft Announces Extended Support for Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Media Center Edition | Microsoft Announces Extended Support for Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Media Center Edition

Microsoft adds the Extended Support phase to two consumer products, providing customers with an additional five years of support.

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 24, 2007

Who: Microsoft Corp.

What: Today, Microsoft is announcing the addition of an Extended Support phase for the Windows® XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition operating systems, providing consumers with an additional phase of support.

With the addition of Extended Support, the support life cycle for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition will include a total of five years of Mainstream Support (until April 2009) and five years of Extended Support, matching the support policy provided for Windows XP Professional.

The Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy standardizes Microsoft® product support policies for business and developer products as well as for consumer, hardware, multimedia and Microsoft Dynamics™ products.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007, 6 a.m. EST

Posted by chrisl | 1 comment(s)
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VidaBox to Offer All-In-One Systems with CableCARD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD

VidaBox to offer all-in-one systems with CableCARD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD |GARDEN CITY, NY – January 23rd – VidaBox, a manufacturer of premium media center systems, is delighted to announce that it will be offering a new CableCARD option to its line of media center products.  With dual internal digital cable receivers, VidaBox CableCARD systems will not only feature integrated tuning for premium high definition digital content, but users can also add Blu-ray, HD DVD, and more than 3TB of RAID-5 protected storage.

"We're thrilled to be the only manufacturer to offer the latest in high definition - CableCARD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD - all in one box," said Steven Cheung, a co-founder of VidaBox.  "Integrated dual CableCARD systems are one step closer to having a true 'one box' entertainment solution.  Anyone can obtain a CableCARD from their cable television provider, insert it into their VidaBox, then start watching and recording dozens of premium HD digital channels (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, ESPN, Discovery, etc.)  All of our users can now experience up to 1080p playback, whether it be from their TV provider or a high-def video disc."

Continuing to be at the forefront of crystal clear and life-like video/audio playback, VidaBox CableCARD systems are engineered to allow a user to record two HD shows while playing back a third pre-recorded show, Blu-ray, HD DVD, high fidelity music, upscaled DVD, or digital picture slideshows.  High definition content recorded from CableCARD can also be streamed and played back on connected XBox 360 systems.

The new line of VidaBox media center systems with CableCARD are slated to ship March 2007.

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

Microsoft Replies to Vista Content Protection

Windows Vista Content Protection - Twenty Questions (and Answers) | In case you missed it, Microsoft replied to that great Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection with a good piece that summarized all of the information that has been out for the better part of a year.

It’s important to remember that everything talked about relates to copy protection systems that are already on the said media.  Your general HD content will not play at a reduced resolution, your SPDIF connection will not disabled while playing your favorite DVDs, etc.

What will happen is when you are playing a HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc with ICT set, your video will playback at a reduced resolution of 540p if you are not using a digital connection with HDCP.  Remember, this happens when you playback on Windows XP or on a standalone set-top player.  If is not specific to Windows Vista!  Everyone online is writing with a spin that it only relate to Windows Vista and Microsoft just wants to limit your viewing of content.  This couldn’t be more wrong, AACS (eg. The Hollywood studios) are what limit’s it.

Everything that happens in Windows Vista can/will also happen in your standalone player.  If you read someone trying to spin it the other way, they are flat out wrong.  Everything is about spinning it to support one side of the argument.  These people really want to attack the studios, I guess they haven’t figured that out yet.

MCE Tunes 2.0 Brings iTunes Music to Media Center Extenders (Xbox 360)

Since I’m already taking about Proxure, I thought now would be a good time to bring up that January is the month MCE Tunes will get Media Center Extender support!  I wrote a quick review of MCE Tunes a bit ago, and just checked out the new version (public release in a little bit).

MCE Tunes Pro supports playback of purchased iTunes Store tracks (and video).  They have been doing this for months, however Media Center Extender support is new in version 2.0 and I just walked downstairs to an Extender to give it a try and it works great.  I just ran the MCE Tunes Extender Configuration on the PC, and then my iTunes tracks works on the Extender.  Great stuff, and completely integrated into Media Center.  You never leave the My Music UI for it to work, and there are no additional steps that you have to take.  Just select whatever you are looking to play, and it works.  It's all legal, appears to be recording it via the mixer.  Sound pretty good too.

Watch for it here.

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