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Live from the Microsoft Windows Media Center event

Ben Drawbaugh

It is almost time as we wait for the event to start and find out if all or any of our Windows Media Center CEDIA predictions come true. We had to travel a long way from the show floor to get here, but so far Microsoft is doing it right. They have us setup with free WiFi and a table right up front, so now we just wait for the show to begin.

7:06PM Ben Reed just came by and said they'd be starting in another 5 to ten minutes.

7:10PM Well 7pm has come and gone and we still haven't started yet, people are starting to enjoy the free food and beverages yet, lucky for you we plan on eating afterwards so it won't get in the way of our coverage.

7:12PM Ben Reed takes the mic and welcomes us to the Media Center and MC Integrators alliance event. He explains how he is also an enthusiast and uses Media Center at home.

The Agenda is
  • Windows 7
  • Digital CAble Evolution
  • MS at CEDIA Expo 09
  • Ultimate Install Contest Winner

7:15PM Ben explains that a number of new features in Windows 7 will help the enthusiast and integrators. And then he goes through the new Windows 7 tuner features, that we are all too familiar with.

7:20PM We are announcing support for SDV, yeah! And the new DRM that will no longer lock down every single show.

7:21PM No more OEM CableCARD requirement for Media center!

7:30pm Kevin Collins takes the stage and gives some back ground on himself, including the fact that he has 13 tuners and 6 extenders at his house, must be nice. It is the center of his home system.

7:32PM Now Kevin is going through all the ways that these new features will benefit integrators and customers, like the fact that there is less DRM. He's also talking about AP2.0 that allows integrators to go beyond the 5 extender limit of Media Center -- wish we could access it.

7:34PM Todd Rutherford takes the stage. He was an integrator for 12 years before he came to work for Microsoft, but is also an enthusiast.

7:36PM Todd talks about the history of the Ultimate Install contest and the winner of last year.

7:37PM This year's winner is a 17k square foot home, with 32 zones of audio, 13 zones of video, 6 media servers running WMC and is fully integrated with Crestron.

7:38PM Dustin Anderson of Odessa Texas is the winner of the contest. The winner gets cash and a pro photographer to the site to help publicize the vent and a full case study. The home owner gets a bunch of Xboxes and games.

7:39 Ben Reed takes the stage to close things up. And says thanks and have a great show.

So most of our predictions didn't come true, just the firmware so far. We totally missed the lack of OEM requirement one, but at this point it isn't just academic as it was easy to bypass. We still think there might be other announcements before the show is done, but a few of the items in the predictions post are dead in the water.

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