Thursday, June 16, 2005

Interested in integrating Media Servers with whole house systems?

According to a survey of the CE Pro Top 100 integrators Media Servers are where they expect their biggest growth this year, up from number 4 last year. However last year it was not called a Media Server then is was categorized as an audio or video server. So what is a “Media Server” and how will it impact your business over the years to come.

Media Servers typically go beyond just serving up audio and video content. The best examples out there now seamlessly integrate multi tuner PVR functionality with interactive TV guides, off air HDTV, multi format music recognition, ripping, cataloging and playback. Digital photo import and playback, DVD playback and playback of subscription and non-subscription streaming media. The best of class media servers blend this into a seamless user interface and allow for third party control and add ons.

A best of breed example of a Meda Server would be a specialized PC running Microsoft Windows Media Center 2005 on something that like this Niveus Media Denali hardware platform. The Niveus Media Center Denali is a one of the few high performance boxes that has a completely silent, fan-less design, looks like a piece of high end AV gear and is ISF approved. For those of you unfamiliar with the MCE platform you can check out this interactive demo. I have been living a dual tuner MCE box since October of last year and it has really transformed the way my family uses media in our home.

At first glance it looks like a Windows MCE based Media Server will replace system integration with a single box. Well… Yes and No. Media Centers can perform a lot of the functions that we currently spend a lot of time designing and installing but they still need to be installed and extended into the rest of the home system. Since Media Centers are here to stay the real question we need to as is how are we as an industry going to extend, enhance and leverage this new platform? I think the answer is the same way we have been doing it for more than a decade, integration.

I see a huge potential for integrating Media Centers with the rest of a whole house system. The simple addition of a Media Center box can replace many other stand alone boxes with redundant features and greatly reduce the installation complexity and price. However Microsoft MCE does not come with any type of third party integration platform. How would an installation company integrate a MCE box with say a Crestron type of touch screen system? I guess one answer could be IR but at that point the Crestron is just a sophisticated remote without any two way interaction. For complete integration we would need to leverage the entire MCE functionality so a Crestron type system could interact with a MCE box beyond what is offered by the MCE UI.

To accomplish this type of MCE integration D-Tools has created the Media Center Integration Toolset (MCIT). MCIT is a server application that resides on the Media Center PC and exposes both control capabilities and access to Media Center’s library of digital media content through a XML API. Communication occurs over a TCP socket which may be opened and closed per command or maintained consistently for receipt of state events as they occur within Media Center.

MCIT goes way beyond simple button emulation and system navigation. MCIT can browse and search media libraries stored on the MCE including album art. Browse and select recorded TV content. Browse, select and push digital photos stored on the MCE. Keep track of the current state of the MCE and many more useful and needed functions. All of this is done in a text based, XML interface.

MCIT is in advanced beta with a final release in the fall. We are looking for some forward thinking system integrators with Crestron or other control system experience to help us test this software. If you are interested please sign up on the D-Tools user forum under the Meda Center Integration Tool Set topic and I will get you the latest software plus all the documentation.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, This tv on pc thing is great... I have found this really cool site that offers over 200 channels for a really low price recording tv on your pc

5:41 PM  
Blogger George said...

custom business softwareThe Quick And Easy Way To Build Your Websitecustom business software

10:04 PM  
Blogger TadaDiscounts said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a cd It pretty much covers cd related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

6:14 AM  
Blogger TadaDiscounts said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a Household It pretty much covers Household related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

1:09 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hi. I came across your post and found it very interesting. I was wondering whether you can help me in finding more information on "auto ebook delivery". I came across auto ebook delivery. What do you think?

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info » »

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! Benefits online 401k merrill lynch How long does ultram stay in a body Commercial lease insurance celebrex+and+vioxx Home detention curfew running board Backpack for camcorder 1270 e fax machine instructions

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[b] Search engines try it [/b]

[url=http://casino.myeasyseek.info]Casino[/url]
[url=http://viagra.themysearch.info]viagra[/url]
[url=http://myownlook.info]tramadol[/url]
[url=http://cialis.workfinda.info]cialis[/url]

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest news. Viagra, cialis

[url=http://viagra.rxworlddata.info]viagra[/url]
[url=http://cialis.rxtvinfo.info]cialis[/url]
[url=http://tramadol.rxplusinfo.info]tramadol[/url]

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

**pc tv**
www.thedesktv.com is the place to get your program to watch tv anywere at any time,never miss a movie or sports game again.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

free instant home values

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site... Dangerous products law education Aum nursing school Many pairs forex trading online http://www.1999-pontiac-grand-am.info/326-pontiac-engine-remanufactered.html dentist dental insurance plans info Latina tranny fucks Infiniti light lens Milano blouses com Porsche parts online catalog buy generic tenuate discount Area rug and pinnicle florida business insurance cheap zyrtec syrup chevrolet dealerships in dallas fort worth Jute rope rattan sofa Ecstasy mdma impotence erectile dysfunction bmw 745 car cover Seo software keywords seo web promotion submitpro Cheapest 180 count phendimetrazine

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

**pc tv**

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.adquity.com

Classifieds for our community. Buy, sell, trade, date, events... post anything. Adquity Classifieds.

http://www.adquity.com

7:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home