Home Automation

Doran Barton fozz at iodynamics.com
Wed Feb 21 01:17:51 MST 2007

Jesse Stay wrote:
> I know I'm going to get bashed for this, but one of the best Media
> servers I've ever used is Vista Media Center (through Vista Ultimate).
> They're about to release a Home Server that will do the same and
> serve as centralized storage.
> If you have an Xbox 360 or soon they will be releasing Media Center
> Extenders for Vista, all you need is a network connection to where
> each of your TVs will be and you can stream all your TV through your
> home network.  I currently watch all my TV over my home network.
> It serves as a PVR, as all shows can be scheduled to record on the
> main Media Center machine, paused, fast-forwarded, etc.  They have
> some other really cool features such as a sports section that will
> tell you all the games currently playing, let you watch them, and view
> all the current scores at the same time.  There are also many online
> services they provide as well, such as one that lets you download
> movies for a monthly fee and also watch them on any Media Center
> Extender-based TV.  You also have access to all your music, photos,
> home videos (or downloaded videos), etc.

I really can't speak with any authority about this since I know barely 
anything at all anymore when it comes to Microsoft products- especially 
console gaming products, but a guy in my neighborhood was showing off 
his XBox 360 to me a couple months ago. He was using it to play some HD 
video content stored on his XP machine down the hall (to which he had a 
Cat-5 cable strung across the carpet) on his projector screen in his 
home theater.

Yeah, it looked pretty cool and I have to admit the interface guys at 
Microsoft made a very pretty, candy-coated user interface for this 
feature of the XBox 360... if you're into that sort of thing.

One GLARING problem with the XBox 360 was its painful lack of support 
for common media formats. Again, I don't know if there are ways to get 
around this or even if it is true, but my neighbor said the XBox would 
only play WMV media (which wouldn't surprise me, considering who made 
the dang thing). No DiVX/xvid AVIs. No Quicktime files. No MPEGs. Only 
WMV. The word "sucks" went through my mind a few times.

fozz at iodynamics.com is Doran L. Barton, president, Iodynamics LLC
Iodynamics: Linux solutions - Web development - Business connectivity
  "For Sale. Three canaries of undermined sex."
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