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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Windows 7 update KB963660 - will replace certain audio and video codecs

My Windows 7 PC just picked up this update via Windows Updates. KB963660

"In prerelease versions of Windows 7, certain audio and video codecs expire after 90 days. When you try to perform certain operations in this situation, such as DVD playback, TV playback, and some device sync operations, the operation fails with an error message such as "Decoder not found." The affected codecs include MPGG-2, H.264, and AAC. Additionally, Dolby Digital-related media may not play successfully. In this situation, you also receive the "Decoder not found" error message.

This problem occurs because the trial period of the components expires on March 15, 2009. After you apply this update, certain audio and video codecs will not expire on this date."


Is anyone else having problems installing this update? On my machine it says failure configuring updates, then, reverting changes.

I have FFDShow Tryouts Beta 6 and Haali Media Splitter installed.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Exclusive - Hulu in TunerFree MCE

I've been running a beta version of TunerFree MCE all day today and I can access Hulu content from within this MCE add-in ! Big Smile

Martin Millmore the talented developer behind TunerFree MCE is currently working on Hulu integration and possibly other US based IPTV content as well!

It seems Hulu in MCE are like buses they all arrive at the same time. My preference is not to have one add-in that only allows you access to one type of online content. So I will be backing TunerFree MCE in this race, as ideally we all want to have one MCE UI that we can use to access as much IPTV content as possible.

There is nothing worse than having to use this 3rd party add-in for X content and another add-in for Y content. And untill MS wake up and do something decent natively then its 3rd party developers like Martin and Yaggs that are really moving things forward for the entire MCE community in this area and I solute you both!

You can download the TunerFree MCE - Hulu beta here. The remote control doesn't work yet with Hulu so use your mouse.

Oh and obviously if you are not located in the US you need to use a USA VPN connection, proxy support should be added in later builds.

You will see this if you are not located in the US and are not using a VPN / Proxy connection.

Another look at Boxee - BBC iPlayer & Hulu

Well things are certainly hotting up and getting more exciting recently with all this talk of these different applications for IPTV content on your HTPC. I can't wait to try out the new Hulu MCE add-in and I've really been getting in to TunerFree MCE as well lately.

I decided to have another quick look at Boxee today, whilst this is not an application that run's within the MCE UI, it is still a very promising option. The guys at Boxee seem to be taking a different approach to the integration for the online content sources. I'm a layman when it comes to application development, but it seems to me like they are not just displaying the BBC iPlayer and Hulu websites for example within their application.

The integration seems to go further and certainly looks more seamless to me, than some of our already favourite MCE add-ins. Some welcome news is there are also some inbuilt options and settings for HTTP proxies which will come in handy no doubt!

I've said it before and will say it again Microsoft we need something like Boxee native to our beloved Media Center, please please please!

BBC iPlayer in Boxee

Hulu in Boxee

Proxy Options

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

You wanted it, you've been waiting for it, it's finally coming? Hulu for MCE

I've been looking at the Hulu related threads lately on The Green Button as I've recently started watching some of the great content on the Hulu website.

It seems there were a few attempts at add-ins for Hulu, but they never got off the ground and delivering the goods. Then I saw this thread a few days ago and my hopes for Hulu within Media Center were instantly raised.

A new Media Center developer called Yaggs has posted screen shots and a video of a very promising looking add-in for playing Hulu, it's not clear if extenders will be supported at this stage as Hulu uses flash like the BBC iPlayer and I believe the BBC channels in TunerFree MCE don't work on extenders as a result, so maybe this new add-in might have similar limitations as both add-ins use a method of displaying the HTTP WebPages in MCE rather than actually tapping in to the video streams proper.

None the less it's welcome news when Microsoft really seem to be dragging their heals in this area of Media Center development and as a result are likely to be left behind in the IPTV content race by the likes of Boxee and co.

View the video here add-in home page:

Monday, 9 February 2009

Media Center MVP nomination

I received an email the other day from Microsoft, informing me I've been nominated for a Media Center MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award.

Another existing MVP has nominated me apparently, not sure who that was, but I guess thanks are in order. It's nice just to be nominated, I don't expect for a moment I would win such an award however, but I guess my passion for Media Center is being noticed in certain circles.

But I enjoy blogging and using the community discussion websites and giving something back to the community if I can, as when I first got in to Media Center which was not that long ago really, it was those guys on The Green Button that got me started and answered my newbie questions and since then I have been hooked on Windows Media Center and the connected digital home dream.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

First look at Boxee

I took a quick first look at a new Media Center application called Boxee. This software is currently in private Alpha for the Windows Platform but you might get lucky and be accepted for the beta if you register on their website or you could look else where on the net for a copy as I did.

The reason I installed Boxee was because I was interested in the online media content and the fact I'm very tired of the lack of it in Windows Media Center ! Plus I found this MCE / Boxee integration guide, so you can launch Boxee from within MCE.

First impressions? It's buggy it crashes but it's got lots of potential!

Internet Video Sources:

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Internet Pictures:

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Internet Music:

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