Archive for February 2010
This blog post is to announce that Big Screen EPG ‘by Remote’ Tech Preview (for Windows 7 Media Center) is now available – and can be downloaded on the Big Screen Global website (on the Big Screen EPG download page).
Big Screen EPG – ‘by Remote’ is an application for accessing your Media Center EPG over a web browser – and allows you to View the complete EPG as well as scheduling Series and One Time Recordings.
With ‘by Remote’ users are able to access their entire EPG including (as it appears in Media Center complete with Channel Logo’s) – including EPG Data from MS Supplied Web Servers, EIT/Inband Schedule Data as well as MXF Imported Listings (via Big Screen EPG).
As EPG data, Channel Information/Logo’s are all accessed and carried out natively against the Media Center system with ‘By Remote’– there is almost no configuration required – and you don’t need to worry about downloading any XMLTV (or other) EPG’s separately (NB: If you are using Big Screen EPG to import custom guides – this will not replace that process of course). Similarly – Scheduled Series and Program Recordings are done natively against Media Center – so unlike other 3rd party tools – there’s no messy/buggy ‘click 2 record’ based recording functionality (and instead replicates the scheduling you get inside Media Center when you press record inside the EPG).
The end user experience is delivered by a feature rich Silverlight v3 based UI – which allows you to access your Media Center from a range of browsers and platforms (even including Mac OS/X).
By Remote Tech Preview includes these great features :
- Provides a Web Based access to your Media Center EPG PC
- Schedule and Manage your Series/Program Recordings from anywhere
- Works with any type of EPG listings/sources in Media Center
- Delivered with stunning Silverlight based User Interface
- Quick, Easy and Simple Configuration and Setup
- Includes Inbuilt Web Server for Local and Remote Access
- Optimized for low Bandwidth Conditions
(Click to view full size screenshots)
The Windows HTTP Server (which can be reduced to the system tray). Configuration is quick and simple :
Browse the Full EPG complete with Channel Logo’s :
Click on Shows to view full Details (complete with Series and Movie Artwork) – and quickly locate additional Episodes/Airings of Programs :
View all your Scheduled Recordings by Timeslot or by Series (left) – and use the Series Guide to find what series are showing (right) :
Downloading Big Screen EPG ‘by Remote’
This product download is made available via the same page as Big Screen EPG. As per Big Screen EPG – if you aren’t already registered – you will need to sign up for an account on bigscreenglobal.com. Then login to your account – and via the ‘my account’ page – click on the tab ‘Big Screen EPG’. You will then be able to register for the Public Beta and download of both Big Screen EPG and ‘By Remote’.
For full instructions on how to register – please see this blog post.
Note that while you will need to register for ‘Big Screen EPG’ in order to access ‘by Remote’ download – however you don’t actually need to install Big Screen EPG (or use Serial Number) to install and use ‘By Remote’.
Please note - This is a limited ‘test release’ with a hardcoded expiry date of 1st April 2010 – and has been set as such to enable a very ‘controlled’ initial beta. (in case there are any major showstoppers in this initial release). In future releases – this product will inherit the same registration/activation system found inside Big Screen EPG (and you will be able to extend the trial / registration period by server based activation). As per other beta/preview software – ‘Use this purely at your own risk’….
v0.5D Release Notes
The current download is as mentioned a ‘tech preview’ and a number of intended features are missing – such as Mobile Phone support – and the Silverlight UI is still pretty limited. The main focus of the v0.5x release is to test the EPG ‘tab’ and click through functionality for Recording – wheras the other tabs are only partially enabled (and major UI work is still to occur with those areas of the UI).
Also – the current release is done purely as a Windows Desktop/Traybar App – and future releases will definitely be moved accross to be a pure Windows Service (so usage is possible while you are not logged in).
This product does not require you to import data with Big Screen EPG – and will work with any type of EPG Source in Windows 7 Media Center (ie. MS Downloaded, EIT/Inband, MXF Imported etc). However – it’s currently not recommended you use this in conjunction with IceTV Interactive App as issues will likely occur (and future versions will actively prevent this scenario). If you require Mobile Access (while it is not yet supported) – it’s recommended you instead use Remote Potato in tandem (as they utilize different default ports).
Know Issues in this Release (v0.5D)
The following ‘known’ issues exist in this current release (so please check this list before reporting any bugs).
- When using Authenticated Mode – the browser may keep asking for Login Details
- Channel Ordering May not reflect same order in 7MC EPG
- Mobile Phone Support not Available (Silverlight Only)
- Not all Recording Functions enabled as yet
- Keyword/Manual Recordings not supported or Shown in current Release (Only Proper Series and OneTime Program recordings will be shown)
Discussion and Feedback
As this entire blog system has been overrun with spam – comments have been disabled – so instead – please use the discussion thread/forum at xpmediacenter.com.au to discuss and provide feedback for this product….
I’m pleased to announce that Big Screen EPG has taken won the “Best Commercial Application for Windows Media Center” category in The Digital Lifestyle.com 2009 Awards (Click link for podcast).
A huge thanks to everyone who voted for this product (I’m humbled)– and even bigger thanks to all the beta testers out there who have helped shape this product into what it is today (by providing your feedback, bug reports). As many of you know – the actual paid version of this product is not yet actually available – however the beta is available for everyone to try (with current expiry of 1-May-2010) – so click here for more information on how to get registered.
I won’t put any spoilers on this blog post – but you can see the full list of winners/runners up for all the TDL 2009 Awards on this blog post (if you don’t want to listen to the podcast) – congratulations to all the other winners (and nominees).
It’s been a while since my last
confession blog post – but I aim to do some over the next couple of weeks regarding latest news around the Big Screen Products.
Unfortunately – as you might have noticed – the Microsoft Live Spaces team appear to have all but given up on trying to sort out the problem of spam on Live Spaces – so rather deal with the daily onslaught of spam comments (and spam trackbacks) – I’ve decided to simply disable user comments and trackbacks. This is really disappointing for me – as a blog is supposed to be a 2-way conversation – and not just about me standing upon my soapbox. As such – you’ll notice that previous posts on here have a huge (60+) spam comments against each entry (making it impossible to locate any legitimate user comments) – and while I will try to slowly get rid of the spam buildup – the chunkiness/slowness of the live spaces admin pages make that a really painful process. (and hence not a priority).
As many of you have discovered – there’s a couple of quite active forums on www.xpmediacentre.com.au (the Australian Media Center community site) – where end users are able to post questions/feedback etc about the Big Screen products (and where I have been making announcements over past few months) – and I highly recommend that you participate via these as an alternative to posting on here.
There’s currently two sub-forums on the xpmediacentre.com.au site – depending on what you want to discuss :
- for Big Screen EPG related discussions – please visit the subforum at http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/big-screen-epg/
- for all other Big Screen products – please visit the subforum at http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/big-screen-software/
… and as before – you can also visit http://bigscreenglobal.com to actually sign-up, download and purchase the Big Screen Products themselves.
In the meantime – I will just use this blog in future to make product announcements and as before share some (1-way) ramblings on other technologies coming out and miscellaneous other stuff I feel the urge to post about.
And since this is (sort-of) a blog here’s my token rant….
Oh – and if you do actually work for the Microsoft Live Spaces team – please give yourself a very big ‘kick up the arse’ (or find someone in the office to do it for you). I think somewhere along the way your team has just completely lost their way – and failing to address the spam issue (which so many other blog systems have sorted) – is a real disappointment to me and many others who invested so much time and effort maintaining blogs on live spaces. It’s also a real negative for me with regards to investing time/effort in any social networking site Microsoft starts up in the future – as there is now that big dark cloud hanging overhead that at any point MS could decide to cut budgets and abandon ‘<insert social networking site>’ – as seems to have happened with spaces. As before – with great big social networking sites comes great big responsibilities (or a
puppy blog system is for life) – and it’s again a real pity what happened here – because there was just so many different ways these problems could have been countered (and seemingly no proactive steps were taken to tackle it full on – nor was there any way to even provide this feedback to someone who would read it).