Posts filed under ‘Wireless Streaming’

Airplay for Windows Media Center

It had to happen, and I’m glad it did. Thomas Pleasance has produced a nifty add-on for Windows Media Center that allows AirPlay from an iPad to Windows Media Center. It is currently at beta 1 stage and is documented to work only with videos (and YouTube) on the IOS device.

You’ll need to install Dot NET 3.5 if it isn’t already present, Bonjour from http://support.apple.com/kb/DL999 and finally the app from his home page.

After running the install (it is a little quirky, see the comments posted on his page), I was indeed able to stream from my iPad to Windows Media Center. I fired up Videos on my iPad and selected Avatar (which I ripped from my owned BD Ray movie).

I touched the AirPlay icon to display AirPlay enabled devices

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and sure enough, I could select Windows Media Center!

 

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Both the iPad and the WMC machine were on 802.11n 5GHz wireless and it didn’t take long at all for the movie to start to stream on WMC.

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Interestingly enough, I could drag the timeline with a mouse and playback started instantly from that point. I didn’t have any video or audio issues at all.

 

Even though the app is not currently supposed to work with Photos on the iPad, I tried a slide show, as I see that as a more important application for me than videos. I was able to manually move between 5 or 6 photos before WMC froze, but the potential is there.

 

I’m all for a universal ecosystem of smart, connected devices, and I love seeing apps like this one. I’m not seeing the app show up in the Extra Libraries (it IS registered) so I don’t know if the app can send content FROM MCE to an iPad (but I would really like to see that since that would have more real world use for me).

 

Kudos to Thomas Pleasance for these first steps!

May 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm

OneShot App Automates & Organizes Screen Captures for W7 PlayTo

One of the great things about “community” is that you meet talented people virtually who come up with neat ways to enhance Windows features.

Jensigner has developed just such an add-on called OneShot which I see all kinds of interesting uses for, such as real time presentation work, education, and more. Basically this app takes screen captures of whatever is on your desktop and sends them to a folder named PlayTo, to enable you to quickly take advantage of a neat feature built into Windows 7. Open the folder, range select the images you’ve just captured and send to your PlayTo DLNA enabled TV.

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To demo this, I opened my photo blog in IE9 and captured the desktop. Then, I opened the PlayTo folder and sent it to my DLNA enabled Samsung TV. Cool!

April 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Xfinity for iPad VOD Streaming Launches

Quality Video on Demand content (as opposed to live streaming of on air shows which may be coming down the road), including HBO, Cinemax, Stars, and a few other networks is now available for Comcast customers. It’s really a ton of content, and it looks incredible and works perfectly. To get the premium content, you need to subscribe to those channels, obviously.

Comcast promised this was coming, and they’ve done a great job. This really rounds out my options for viewing content wherever I am.  Does it replace Netflix on my iPad? Not yet. But the two complement each other nicely. Comcast promised more and better “TV Everywhere” and they are delivering on that promise.

I fired up the updated Xfinity app that showed as an update and here is a walk through:

First, iPad users will see a new Play Now button. This is the key to streaming to the iPad.

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After selecting Play Now, you can filter by Network, Genres, Titles, Movies, Series.

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Parental Controls are available (but you can elect to not show again)

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Once an asset is selected, it is fairly quick to load (about 37 seconds over my home 802.11n WiFi)

 

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I’ve selected a Harry Potter movie available on HBO. Note the HBO GO logo

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And here is a shot showing the movies running on my iPad. Slick.

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I now have multiple sources for entertainment on my iPad and a larger choice of content. I’m hoping that Live TV streaming is next.

February 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

Connecting an IP Camera to WMC, iPhones and iPads

Motivated by the upcoming yearly Halloween onslaught of youngsters and the not so young about to come through my condo complex, I started thinking about how to integrate an Internet capable surveillance camera with my connected home and devices. I’m not a “real” developer, but I’m a pretty smart geek (IMO) and I started looking around for ideas that  I could borrow and customize.

My goals were to be able to check activity in my parking lot/walkway on demand from Windows Media Center, my iPhone, and my iPad. The web is a wonderful wealth of information, and putting this together was not really difficult. And definitely worth sharing with others.

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October 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Sonos S5 Music Players, Connected, Converged, Fantastic

I’m not easily impressed, but my jaw is hanging open today after installing two Sonos S5 Music Players to cover my home with end to end music. I’ve used computers, Media Center Extenders and all kinds of hardware and software in the past to move music around my home, but I always had to cobble together pieces and use separate devices and controllers to get what I wanted.  What did I want? Well, everything imaginable. The list below is not in any particular order:

1. The ability to stream from ANY of my computers (using Play To or anything else) to more than one music player/renderer simultaneously.

2. To be able to control the volume above individually or together.

3. Play Pandora Radio and other Internet sourced digital music

4. Use existing/create new playlists

5. Use iPhones, iPads and  iPxxx whatever to control and manage the device as a remote control (including graphical menus).

6. Use the system as an alarm clock with choices to wake from alarm, music, Internet music, whatever

7. Wireless connectivity in my Living Room

8. A system that was upgradeable.

9. Quality sound

10. Expandability

I’m still stunned that I found a system that does ALL of the above. (And I’m betting I discover more features – I’ve only had a few hours experience with this all, so my exploration and discovery has only just begun).

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October 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Intel Wireless Display is a Happy HTPC Experience

Intel’s Wireless Display fills the big gap in my Windows Media Center home theater experience.
This technology, first demo’d at CES 2010, may be one of the bigger successes in the HTPC and networking arenas as new computers (currently only laptops) hit the market with the Intel 2010 i3/i5/i7 processors. In a nutshell, I can use a laptop computer with an Intel i5 processor, Intel’s embedded graphics chip, Intel’s 6200 WiFi adapter, and a Netgear Push to TV bridge.

So why is this such a big gap filler for me? My current home theater setup includes V2 Media Center extenders connected to the three HD TV’s in my home, with the Media Center desktop residing in my loft home office. What I can’t get with this set up (without buying a PC and connecting one to every television) are all the Internet based Media Center extra’s such as Internet TV and Netflix.  Problem solved. With WiDi, I’ve got a nice, light (4.2 pound) 13.3 inch widescreen laptop to use anywhere in my home, around town, or on the road AND I’m able to display all of these Media Center extras. I gain the ability to browse the web and display anything I want on my TV’s.

The technology is nearly idiot proof. Connect the Netgear device via the included HDMI cable. Hit the special button on the laptop keyboard and enter a 4 digit code after your device is found. All the networking setup is handled without user intervention. WPA2security is configured via WPS (wireless provisioning services) behind the scenes to secure the Personal Area Network (PAN) connection between the laptop and the PTV device. An ICS connection to the Intel internal WiFi is also established behind the scenes. You won’t see this in any of Windows 7’s GUI’s or discover it with netsh, but it is present. In fact, while the 6200 Intel NIC is a/b/g/n capable, when using WiDi with the Netgear device, it is not possible to connect to the 5GHz radio in a dual band router. An error message is returned stating only 2.4 GHz is supported. Some additional good news, even in my overly saturated 2.4 GHz environment of 19 different SSID’s, I had absolutely no interference.

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My 52 inch TV, Netgear PTV attached via HDMI, waiting for a connection

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WiDi equipped Laptop, connected and ready to rock and roll

The quality is awesome. My recorded (via cable card and OCUR/DCT) content looks great. (All the DRM rules apply here.)

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Some HD Recorded TV..

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Stargate Atlantis in full HD, via WiDi

Internet TV (the missing piece in my home theater experience) in Windows Media Center looks good.

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Star Trek content, Windows Media Center Internet TV

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Streaming Star Trek from Windows Media Center via WiDi.

Anything I want using the Media Center interface is streamed to the connected TV, music.. pix… videos..

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Music – WMC via WiDi

Anything displayed on your desktop can be streamed. Want to read email? Use Windows Live Messenger? Participate in newsgroups or forums? Browse the web? Yep, it’s in there.

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Windows 7 – Everything and anything over WiDi

And for me, there is another huge gap filler. My main beef with Windows Media Center Internet TV is the lack of HD content. With a 52 inch state of the art 1080p TV, can you blame me for wanting HD streaming? Here’s the good news. If one of the networks or other source offers an asset in HD for streaming, WiDi handles it effortlessly. As shown earlier in this post, Windows Media Center Internet TV offers a large amount of CBS content, including (at least at the present time) all three seasons of Star Trek, the original series. Inside Media Center, only SD is available, but I can navigate to the CBS website and view the remastered Star Trek original series in glorious full screen HD.

Needless to say, I’m a very happy camper these days.

Clubhouse Tags: clubhouse, media center, Media Center Windows 7, windows media center, WiDi, Intel Wireless Display, how-to, Tip

January 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

802.11n Now Officially Ratified – No longer a Draft!

“Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 11:01 AM
To: STDS-802-11-TGN@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
Subject: [STDS-802-11-TGN] Standards Board Decisions today- 11w and 11n approved

All,

802.11 had two items under consideration during the Standards Board meetings being held this week.

I’m am very pleased to announce that both P802.11w and P802.11n were approved today.

Although this email vehicle falls far short of expressing the sentiment, Thanks to the hundreds of 802.11members that contributed to these efforts, as well as the 802 EC and the IEEE Staff.

With me here as I write this is Paul Nikolich who wishes to add his congratulations to the group.

I expect to extend the celebration of the success , (while we continue work on the other amendments in process ) when we convene in Hawaii two weeks from now.

Hope to see you there.

Bruce”

For most of us, this just means our Draft 2.0 802.11n equipment is now the real thing.

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Clubhouse Tags: clubhouse, wifi, Wireless Networking, windows networking

September 12, 2009 at 10:31 am


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