Big Screen Blog

Media Center, Windows Phone7 + Silverlight Goodness..

New MCPL Online Spotlight Apps

with 5 comments

Some new Online Spotlight Apps have appeared on my Vista MediaCenter (x64) machine since last night. My other x86 Vista machine isn’t showing any of this new content yet – and its entirely possible my x64 machine is showing me things not meant for Australians (as I also have the Sports Lounge coming up too for some time now).
The new Tiles include –
Turbo Nick : One of the Addins demonstrated at CES from Nickelodean – and its written with MCPL (yay!). This looks absolutely fantastic – and the designers/developers have written a very original looking UI. It’s a very slow for me to load initially (I think up to 1 minute initialization time) – however this could be due to where I am in the world (and that its meant for US users) – but once you are in – the streaming video is really fast and the UI very responsive (no long buffering times etc).
Vongo :  Another addin demonstrated at CES. This one actually won’t load for me (and throws an MCML error) – and Im not sure if it’s a deployment problem – or that the Vongo service is intentionally blocked for non US users (I know I can’t get past the homepage if I visit their site in a browser due to me being outside US). The video of the UI I saw (from CES) actually showed it had a very similar UI design to Turbo Nick (with different colors/branding of course).
Fox Sports : This is the same as the MCPL Web Application side of the Sports Lounge (when you click through the View Online links inside the Lounge) – and takes you directly to the helix menu which displays all the available sports.
The Vongo and Turbo Nick tiles appear multiple times (with different Images/Descriptions) and I think the idea is so you can launch their Spotlight experience directly into a particular page (ie so you can be taken directly to the featured movie on Vongo etc).
Anyhow – It’s brilliant to finally see some MCPL based Spotlight apps – and this really shows off what Vista Media Center is all about.
Also of note is that since they are all written with MCPL – there’s no longer the ’32 bit only’ restrictions we have with the other legacy spotlight apps (forced by partners using the old style ActiveX/Flash HTML based addins).
I think (might be wrong on this) – but every MCPL app we have seen thus far in Online Spotlight was developed by the same US company – Schematic (who I think also did the MCE2005 MTV/VHTV/ComedyCentral etc flash based addins) – so hopefully some other companies will also get into this too. (or contract me to do one! 8) )
I’m looking forward to checking out Vongo (when and if its viewable by me) – and the other new things I hope will come.

Written by mobilewares

February 1, 2007 at 4:32 am

Posted in Vista MediaCenter

5 Responses

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  1. Give’s some hope to those of us not living in the US then, have you heard of anyone else outside of the US getting these apps? I thought it might have being checking the IP’s but that doesnt seem to be the case if your getting it. At the moment any regional settings on my home premium 32bit are set to english (united states) , hopefully I see something over the next few weeks. The fox sports app looks great in the screenshots i have seen so far. I never used xp mce, just wondering was it the same case with that, with only the US getting the online spotlight addons?
    btw have you made any more progress with your tv show app or have you being too busy with your other projects?


    February 1, 2007 at 10:14 am

  2. Hi – I know of a few people getting this US content – but noone knows for sure what setting is responsible for this (i’ve heard people having success by setting the language to en-us in the IE properties – but can’t get this to work on my x86 machine).
    Everyone actually gets spotlight apps (on both Vista MC and MCE2005) – but what comes up is done purely by your region – with some apps being available globally – and others available in specific countries. You can also go to windows marketplace and download installers for the MCE2005 versions of some of the US addins (like MTV, Comedy Central etc) – which means they don’t need it to come up in spotlight to use them.
    With Big Screen TV Series – work continues (and I actually managed to get some quality time last week – after being flat out with other projects over the past 6 weeks). I don’t have any public announcements/news to make on it as yet – but please watch this blog for more info.


    February 2, 2007 at 12:54 am

  3. even though all the regional settings i could find in vista are set to english (united states), vista mce asks me do I want to keep Ireland as my region for the tv guide setup. So either it know’s this from my IP or theres another regional setting somewhere that i havent found


    February 2, 2007 at 10:26 pm

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