Top Microsoft Exec Shows Off Media Center-Based Home
December 29, 2008 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Senior Microsoft official uses Windows Media Centers, Lifeware automation and mostly off-the-shelf technologies for 11,000-square-foot home.
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Posted by Martin Ludwig  on  01/01  at  12:22 PM

He lives in Seattle Washington and didn’t have Definitive Audio do his system!?!

Posted by Ray Casey  on  01/01  at  06:26 PM

Ok.  where do I start?  so much to say so here is the litany form….
1.  MSFT fires the first executive shot across the bow of the cedia world.  Watch out folks the commoditization of digital entertainment/automation services is be promoted via best buy! (or msft is just trying to get on their good side again ;)
2. that best buy needs to IMMEDIATELY create a craig’s list like portal (job brokering and crm/dispatch) for regional PC guys and MSFT solution providers that are getting into this space (home and sms&b;automation/entertainment/it services).  No way and hell will geek squad biz be able to handle this (failed once) AND for get about the a/v guys as they are the Neanderthals of early evolution re computing/software
3. That the number on anti FUD campaign going on is A. convince the market that woman can use these systems (ah, don’t get me started on the rampant sexism in the existing A/V industry, just look at their marketing materials) and B. that Windows 7.0/Xbox 360 rev 2 is the ecosystem of choice vs. Vista
4. That LifeWare is the BOMB BABY despite all the FUD out there and their infighting re marketing/sales and partnering, LifeWare is the darling/golden child and at it’s core is good software, engineering insight and leadership
5. That the gloves are off re fighting over the highend of Microsoft vs. the others
6. That Microsoft IS the new TOYOTA of Innovative Digitial Entertainment and Automation solutions as their middle tier solution the “Camary” (Core VMC and xbox 360) sold by best Buy scales up to their “lexus” (High end VMC’s from Nievus and Lifeware) delivered by the solution provider market that Seal Moore envisioned (just like Microsoft Solution partners)
7. That once again the TTL (time to live) for cedia and it army of obfuscators is measure is months (12/24/36) and not years (4/6/8)
8. Finally, that the down economy means you buy Microsoft solutions (the lexus) vs. the Lamborghini (the other guys) and this is good for us MSFT people (the same thing happens (ed) in enterprise computing, e.g. go Microsoft vs. IBM for instance.;)

Posted by Ray Casey  on  01/01  at  06:49 PM

And re IP distribution for communictions… nothing new there, just not utilized… there in lives the short coming of a decoupled distributed sound systesm. (though I must admit I feel for and respect Russound) distributed communications is already inherent in the PC/game console ecosystem.  The core OS and xbox support ip based streaming protocols for audio/video communications for YEARS.  Nothing new there.  Heck you can even do network based video projection (not streaming, stuff like high def art scapes).  IP communications is so under utilized in the home digital ecosystems (and corporate).  Each VMC device is a video conferencing system, as is each XBOX.  The only challenge to adoption is the decoupling of the distributed sound system.  With the advancements of wifi provisioning and the developments of actively amplified speakers, why decouple the two?  Have a receded light socket surrounded by an active speaker with wifi (power communications in the same fixture) and heck why not add ambiance lighting and make it LED to boot.  Use that all in one device for distribute sound and just pair it adhoc to the media center device powered by VMC…  the art of the possible with software and PC’s at the core….  Imagine that….

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  01/01  at  09:56 PM

Martin, I asked him that very thing since Definitive is such a powerhouse out there (and I respect them greatly).

The homeowner says he looked at Definitive but he was dead set on this product combo, which is not supported by Definitive.

Posted by Dave Helland  on  01/05  at  06:45 PM

Just to clarify things a bit - The installation described here was designed, engineered and installed by the staff of Magnolia Audio/Video Design Center (eCIS) in Seattle.  BestBuy/MHT was not involved in this project.

Posted by Karl  on  01/06  at  11:29 PM

Also look at the software for this stuff. The media center communicator 3.1 is awesome. Website

Posted by Dunks517  on  01/07  at  01:37 PM

Whats wrong with using 3rd party apps like transcode and My movies? 

Why does he need a Russound system?  Oh I forgot MCE doesn’t do multiroom - but it would be good if it did! imagine a whole house party mode or follow me mode using extenders!!

Posted by Ray Casey  on  01/13  at  01:36 PM

To Dave Helland…  Great job re Magnolia A/V in this project!  It is nice to know that ya folks have it in ya it is just really frustrating to see computers at Best Buy and almost NOTHING PC based in the Magnolia boutique within the same store.  When I go to the PC folks at Best But about HTPCs they send me to Magnolia, when I go to Magnolia re HTPCs they send me to the computer department.  They do not have a referral program in place (like Home Depot) and as a customer I end up walking out.  The irony is that something like a WHS or VMC could do both and bridge the gap between the computer (geek squad) folks and a/v (magnolia)... I guess the consumers will have to wait for a fix.  i would love to help close that gap   Again, great job, I overly passionate about this and thus my new year’s day rant…  Ping me on facebook or if you want to connect to discuss more….  Thanks for the clarifications and A++ job.

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