RICAVISION Windows Vista Remote Controls January 13, 2007Posted by flung in : Windows Media Center, Hardware, DIY HTPC , add a comment
One of the booths that I really wanted to check out at CES 2007 was the RICAVISION booth where they were showing off a full lineup of Windows Vista enabled remote controls.
RICAVISION Windows Vista SideShow Media Center Remote Control
Of course the main attraction was the Microsoft Windows SideShow Media Center Remote Control that made the waves on the net a few weeks back. Unfortunately I didn’t take a good picture of the device but I do have tons of information about the remote.
Features of the RICAVISION Microsoft Windows Vista SideShow Media Center Remote Control include:
- 2.5 inch QVGA color LCD display
- Class 1 (100 meter) Bluetooth capability
- Provides a set of four Vista Gadgets that will be an extension of the Media Center for Windows Vista
- Pictures and Videos
- Now Playing
- The Gadgets will extract data from Media Center in Windows SideShow XML format and send it through Windows SideShow to the remote control.
Here’s a breakdown of the above Gadgets and what you’ll be able to do with them. (The information was courtesy of RICAVISION)
- Browse TV and schedule recordings: You can browse the TV program guide, view metadata on upcoming or current shows, and pick shows to watch and record without interrupting the current TV viewing experience
- Recorded TV - For previously recorded TV programs, a list of programs by name and by date will be available along with details such as:
- Program name
- Channel number of ID
- Episode title if there is one
- Program summary
- Date Recorded
- Program Length
- Program picture snapshot
- Play Music - browse the media library, control music playback on the PC by using the remote instead of the TV
- Play radio presets - browse your radio presets and playback that station
- Add to Queue capability - add tracks to the Now Playing List
Pictures and Videos:
- Browse the pictures and video libraries - Make a selection on the remote, and the specified media will show on the TV
- Provides “now playing” information - the remote control device shows the information about the current playing medium
- Album name
- Artist name
- Track title
- Elapsed time and total track time
- Album art
Of course that’s not all with the Windows Vista SideShow Remote Control. You can select other Gadgets to be viewed on the remote - such as email, calendar, and RSS feeds. You can also receive calendar reminders and notifications of when your friends sign on to Windows Live Messenger.
Some notes on the GUI display on the remote. The options are laid out in a similar fashion as the Media Center UI. The menu will always be “center locked” which means the selected menu option or category is always in the center of the device.
With the RICAVISION Windows Vista SideShow Remote Control, you get the remote and an external USB RC6 receiver. Finally - availability - the RICAVISION Vista SideShow Remote Control and Receiver Kit will be available for an MSRP of $199 in April of 2007.
RICAVISION Microsoft Windows Vista Remote Controls
The SideShow remote control wasn’t the only remote control from RICAVISION. They actually have a family of three Windows Vista Remote Controls - the Standard Vista Remote Control, the Multifunction Remote Control and the Universal Remote Control.
General features of the RICAVISION Vista Remote Controls include:
- Conveniently access your digital entertainment from a single remote
- Remote control designed to work with Media Center application
The three remotes are for slightly different purposes of course.
The standard Vista Remote Control is designed for PCs only with an RC6 signal. The Multifunction Remote Control is designed for PCs and TVs - with an RC6 signal and a TV signal from the remote. Finally, the Universal Remote Control is designed for PCs, TVs, DVD players, VCRs, and an Auxiliary device with an RC6 and IR signal.
One other sidenote - RICAVISION also has a SideShow enabled Keyboard design for Windows Media Center. Unfortunately, I do not have a scanner with me so I can’t provide the pics that I have on the keyboard from their press releases. Nothing on their website about the keyboard either but I can provide some info.
The keyboard comes with a charging plate which also works with their SideShow remote control and mouse. The keyboard itself has a LCD display at the top of the keyboard and comes with hot keys for:
- My Music
- My Videos
- My Photos
- My TV
- My Radio
Media keys on the keyboard include:
- Volume + and -
There are also Internet shortcut keys and optional backlighting for the display. That’s all the info I have on it thus far.
[Check it out] (republished from Krunker.com)
ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner January 12, 2007Posted by flung in : Windows Media Center, TV Tuners, HDTV , add a comment
I was checking to see if ATI released updated drivers for their graphics hardware when I came across this announcement about their new ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner device. This is the long awaited CableCARD supporting tuner for Windows Vista..
However, there appears to be one catch thus far. The press release mentions the following:
The ATI TV Wonder™ Digital Cable Tuner is scheduled for release Q1 2007 shipping with new Digital Cable Ready PCs running Windows Vista™. Hardware requirements include HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support on digital displays, providing a robust and premium HD viewing experience.
Notice - nowhere does it say that it will be available for purchase in retail stores - only that it’s going to be shipping with new Digital Cable Ready PCs… Hmm.. that’s a bit suspicious - Could it be that ATI won’t sell this tuner directly to consumers? That would be a bummer.
Well let’s get back to the description of the device - this is the world’s first PC TV tuner offering CableCARD support for receiving premium HD content. What does this mean for you if you have a Windows Vista system with Windows Media Center? You’ll be able to use your digital cable service (assuming you have that) and be able to finally tune into the premium channels without the need of a set top box. You just need a CableCARD from your cable company and you’ll be in business. Of course you still need to have the service enabled on your line!
The ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner also supports over-the-air ATSC digital TV, NTSC analog TV, and satellite set top box connectivity. Inside the new ATI device is the OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver (or OCUR) which was looked at by Anandtech last year. Other features found on the ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner include:
- Advanced 3D comb filtering
- Support for ClearQAM, OTA ATSC, and NTSC analog
Pretty exciting folks.. but here’s hoping ATI will do the right thing and sell the unit direct to consumers.
Hauppauge introduces WinTV-HVR-950 Hybrid TV Receiver January 7, 2007Posted by flung in : Windows Media Center, TV Tuners , 1 comment so far
Looking for a portable TV tuner product? Consider the new Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950 Hybrid TV Receiver which was announced earlier this week. This TV tuner on a “stick” allows you to watch and record analog cable TV or ATSC HD digital TV whether at home or on the road. You simply plug the WinTV-HVR-950 Hybrid TV Receiver into your USB port, connect the appropriate cables, and laod the software.. and BAM! You’ll be enjoy TV right on your computer - whether it’s a home desktop system or a portable laptop system.
Features of the WinTV-HVR-950 Hybrid TV Receiver include (taken from the Hauppauge website):
- Watch analog cable TV or the new ATSC HD digital TV
- USB 2.0 support - Note: will not work with USB 1.1
- Includes Hauppauge’s WinTV2000 application to watch and record TV, in a window or full screen. If you live in an area where you can receive both digital and analog TV, you can switch between analog and digital channels automatically.
- Includes WinTV-Scheduler, so you can record your favorite TV programs on a daily, weekly or once only schedule.
- ATSC over-the-air digital TV receiver built-in. Supports all ATSC formats, up to the high definition 1080i format
- Record ATSC digital TV to your PC’s hard disk using high quality MPEG-2. ATSC digital TV recordings will typically consume from 1 to 5 Gb of disk space per hour, depending upon the TV broadcasters ATSC format.
- Analog cable TV receiver built-in. Will also work with TV antenna
- Record analog TV shows to your PC’s hard disk using our SoftPVR™ MPEG-2 encoder. Analog TV recordings will typically consume 1.5 Gb of disk space per hour
Hauppauge claims the device also works with Windows Media Center too. One final note - remember - this is a single tuner. You can either tune to analog channels or digital channels - not both at the same time.
Dell Inspiron E1405 Review January 5, 2007Posted by flung in : Windows Media Center, HTPC Laptops , add a comment
Those of you looking for a Windows Media Center capable laptop may want to consider the Dell Inspiron E1405. Sure it’s boring looking but you get a good feature set for an inexpensive price. Features include:
- Intel Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors
- Windows XP Media Center Edition OS
- 14.1 inch widescreen display with 1280 x 800 resolution
- WiFi support (802.11 b/g)
- Optional Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth module
- Supports RoadReady design technology for dealing with everyday bumps and bruises
- Dell MediaDirect for instant on access to calendar, contacts, presentations, videos, music, photo slideshows
- Up to 2GB of memory
- Measures 12.99″ x 1.52″ x 9.56″ and weighs only 5.3 lbs
LaptopMag recently reviewed the notebook and found the following:
While the design is getting a bit stale, the Dell Inspiron E1405 delivers the performance users on the go are looking for, along with lots of endurance. The MediaDirect functionality and multimedia controls are icing on the cake.
SHOWTIME and ExtendMedia to preview video download to own service for Windows Vista January 3, 2007Posted by flung in : Windows Media Center , add a comment
Here’s an interesting piece of news for Windows Vista owners - SHOWTIME Networks and ExtendMedia will be showing off a new consumer video download to own service designed exclusively for Windows Vista systems at CES 2007 next week. The new service will launch in late January and will allow consumers to download episodes of Showtime Original Series shows like Sleeper Cell, The L Word, and Weeds and play them back on their PCs. They’ll also be able to transfer the videos to a portable player for viewing on the go.
Consumers will use ExtendMedia’s OpenCASE software to download the video content directly onto their Windows Vista systems. You’ll then be able to play back the content from within Windows Media Player or through Windows Media Center.
You’ll be able to see all this in action at the Microsoft Windows Vista Booth # CP9.
[Check it out]
Leadtek introduces WinFast PVR3000 Deluxe December 26, 2006Posted by flung in : Windows Media Center, TV Tuners , add a comment
Leadtek Research has announced a new TV tuner solution called the WinFast PVR3000 Deluxe. The PVR3000 Deluxe is compatible with Windows Media Center Edition and features:
- 10bit ADCs and New 3D Y/C Separator for NTSC/PAL
- 3D Noise Reduction for NTSC (except for using the PAL 3D Y/C)
- Support picture quality enhancement functions
- Support Component Y/Pb/Pr, S-Video, Composite signal capture
- Hardware MPEG-II Encoder
- Watch high-quality TV with stereo in full screen or a scalable window.
- Support Stereo audio, enjoy high quality Entertainment.
- Live TV and Personal Video Recording: Take full control of your TV viewing experience.
- Industrial fastest - 23* seconds full-channel scan
- Multiple channel preview with “Channel Surfing in a Snap”
- 3 changeable favorite control panel skins
- Continuous snapshots of live video into still images
- Supports “Scheduled-Recording”
- Supports “Time-shifting”
- Supports EPG (Electronic Programs Guide)
- Supports PIP(Picture-in-Picture) with play back
- Supports DirectBurn to VCD, DVD.
- Supports TV hardware recording in MPEG I / II format
The new Leadtek WinFast PVR3000 Deluxe comes with the PVR3000 PCI card, a 7 in 1 A/V cable, IR sensor cable, FM antenna, remote control and batteries, software package, and a quick installation guide.
We’re still waiting on pictures so stay tunedTV Tuners , add a comment
Hauppauge Digital in the UK has announced the new WinTV HVR-3000 hybrid video recorder. The WinTV HVR-3000 is billed as an all-in-one tri-mode TV tuner offering DVB-S digital satellite, DVB-T digital terrestrial, and analog cable TV support. You’ll also be able to tune into FM Radio via the tuner card.
Features of the WinTV HVR-3000 include:
- Triple mode free-to-air TV receiver
- Digital satellite DVB-S
- Digital terrestrial DVB-T Freeview
- Analog PAL cable or TV aerial TV
- Record digital TV and digital radio in high quality MPEG
- Record analog cable TV in MPEG-1 or MPEG-2
- Pause and rewind digital or analog TV
- Listen to DVB-T, DVB-S, and FM radio
- Schedule using WinTV-Scheduler
- Includes Hauppauge IR remote control
Leadtek introduces WinFast DTV1800 H hybrid TV tuner card December 16, 2006Posted by flung in : Windows Media Center, TV Tuners , add a comment
Leadtek Research has announced a new hybrid TV tuner card called the WinFast DTV1800 H which includes support for DVB-T, analog TV, and FM Radio.
The WinFast DTV1800 H is a low profile expansion card equipped with the Xceive tuner chipset with version 2.0 firmware. Leadtek also packages a PVR software application called WinFast PVR2 in case you don’t have Windows Media Center.
Features of the WinFast DTV1800 H include (taken from the Leadtek website):
- Enjoy digital terrestrial TV and digital radio with HDTV/AC3 support in full screen or a scalable window for your high quality entertainment
- Fully-functional Remote Control with user -friendly interface : With use of a single Power up/off button users can now switch on/ off PC at ease..
- Supports EPG (Electronic Programs Guide) for easily gather daily or weekly TV program information
- Industrial fastest - 23 sec full-channel scan
- Picture-In-Picture (PIP), Picture-On-Picture (POP), Picture-And-Picture(PAP)
- 2 channel programs processing at same time and master video can be alternative. The slave video can be displayed with any size and anywhere
you can pause, rewind live television and instant replays. Take your breaks during a TV show or movie and never have to miss a scene again.
let you easy to make your own high quality DVD/VCD directly
- Exclusive M.V.P mode (Multiple-Video-Processing):
Enable 2 video cards; 4 channel programs processing simultaneously)
- Capture format profile:
- Support friendly setting for MPEG-1/2/4*3, WMV/VCD/DVD video and MP3/WMA audio encoding format from analog capturing, digital TV recording in MPEG 2 format
- NTSC/PAL analog reception from Composite and S-video
- Powerful schedule:
You can schedule your digital TV recordings on a daily, weekly or once only according info from EPG. You can select Stand by/Hibernate (S3/S4) mode for scheduling power saving.
The WinFast DTV1800 H is also compatible with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
NXP introduces two new TV tuner chipsetsPosted by flung in : TV Tuners , add a comment
NXP Semiconductors announced the introduction of two new PC TV processors - the SAA7164E and the SAA7163E. The SAA7164E features dual channel TV processors, radio capture, and streaming capabilities coupled with hardware based audio/video compression. All of these features are rolled up into a 90nm device - NICE. The SAA7163E is a cost effective version of the SAA7164E featuring a single channel instead.
Let’s dig into the SAA7164E a bit more deeply. Features include:
- two high quality AV decoders supporting NTSC, PAL, SECAM
- TV Serio sound (BTSC, NICAM, Dual FM, EIAJ)
- FM Radio and RDS decoding
- Adaptive 3D comb filtering including 3D noise reduction for each channel
- Two separate hardware compression engines
- Supports MPEG1/2/4, WMV VC-1, DivX
- Supports AAC, MPG1L2, MP3, WMA, AC-3
- Includes two high quality IF demodulators
- includes PCI-e 1.1 interface
- and tons more..
Both TV processors are designed to support a vast array of multimedia applications and solutions such as Intervideo’s WinCinema, Microsoft’s Windows Media Center PC, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Samples are now available for companies looking to build TV tuner products out of these chips Pricing is sub $40 dollars per chip in quantities of less than 10,000 pieces.
Siano announces the SuwonExpress December 13, 2006Posted by flung in : TV Tuners , 1 comment so far
An Israeli company called Siano Mobile Silicon announced the launch of the SuwonExpress on Monday - an ExpressCard accessory designed to bring mobile digital television (MDTV) to notebook systems. The SuwonExpress card was developed in combination with Samsung and Cyberlink and will feature reception for global digital television standards including: DVB-H, DVB-T, DAB, DAB-IP, and T-DMB. You won’t need to attach an external antenna either - the SuwonExpress features a built in antenna that are embedded within the ExpressCard slot.
The SuwonExpress card utilizes the Siano SMS1000 MDTV receiper chipset and comes bundled with a multi-standard software suite from Cyberlink including an EPG, TV player, and DVR.
For those of you visiting CES in January, the SuwonExpress will be demoed at Siano’s meeting room (#68544, Sands Meeting Place).