5 useful tips for Vista Media Center

Video: The Top 5 Things YOU didn't know you could do with your Vista Media Center PC

Here is a video which might help you to use your Vista Media Center more efficient. It covers following topics:

  1. Advanced Scheduling.
  2. Internet TV (powered by MSN Video).
  3. Sports (specifically scores/stats/programming).
  4. Using Windows Home Server with Media Center.
  5. Extending Your Media Center Experience (specifically using Windows Media Center Extenders).

We have a Vista Media Center on my wife’s laptop but we didn’t have a chance to play with it. Because we have a dedicated media center with LinuxMCE and VDR.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

Do More with Life|media


Exceptional Innovation is startingt to ship its first 50 CableCard-ready LifeMedia Media Center PCs. Life|media is a powerful media server optimized for complete digital entertainment and comprehensive home automation. It’s based on Microsoft® Windows Vistaâ„¢ Ultimate Operating System. So, you won’t be able problems with drivers for your hardware. The stylish case hides Intel® Coreâ„¢ 2 Duo Processor, up to 3 TB RAID5 storage, up to 4 GB RAM and nVidia 8XXX graphic card.

Since Life|media is entertainment system is features DVD, HD-DVDâ„¢ or Blu-rayâ„¢ drive, 28-in-1 flash drive, choice of digital CableCARD, ATSC and NTSC tuner, HDMI, DVI, S-Video, Composite Video and 7.1 channel analog and optical audio with Dolby Master Studio decoding.

But according to producer’s worlds Life|media is also situated for home automation. For that purpose it includes two RS-232 ports for integrating with third-party systems, rear IR control input/output (in addition to an IR receiver on the front panel), and two ports for 12V trigger relays and contact closure devices.

To see more details about new Life|media media server have a look exclusive photoset from CePro.

Customize Vista MCE with MediaCenterFX


If you’re Windows MCE user you might be interested in customization of its interface. The new project – MediaCenterFX (it’s in beta stage as usual) gives you the ability to customize background images, sounds, animations, hotkeys and whole bunch more.

If you’d like to test the MediaCenterFX don’t hesitate to be a beta tester.

Personally I prefer Linux-based media software such MythTV or VDR. They are free but power and flexible.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

Automate your home with Vista


Lagotek demonstrated the first home automation gadgets which use SideShow. SideShow is a new feature of Windows Vista that allows small bits of PC-based data to be displayed on and controlled through auxiliary displays like remote controls and digital picture frames and doesn’t affect PC’s desktop at all.

Lagotek is planning to release its new version of its Home Intelligence Platform (HIP) specifically for Vista Media Center Edition. Users will be able to control their home through the MCE interface, and naturally control their MCE-based A/V system as well. A/V control has been missing in the earlier versions of the HIP system. HIP works with wireless music systems like the Squeezebox, IP-enabled video cameras, and Z-wave lights and thermostats, while Z-wave RF mesh networking and 802.11g keep it all connected.

Well, it sounds very attractive but let’s see the first release at least.

[via Engadget]