I'm pretty amazed that folks continue to 'discover' the great content available via Online Spotlight.

For example, Scott Hanselman (love DASBlog man!) found XM Satellite Radio for the first time today and it drove up his spouse approval for plunking down the change for his XBox 360. While Scott found XM Radio for Media Center via Download.com, it's been available for him all this time in Online Spotlight.

And if XM Radio isn't your audio thing, check out Napster, Live365, AOL Radio (Audio), AOL Music on Demand (Music Video), MTV Overdrive (Music Video), National Public Radio (NPR) or the thousands of podcasts and videoblogs available using Newsgator Media Center Edition.

Hey Scott, since I know you are a geek (major understatement of the year), what do you think about the new application platforms available for Media Center in Windows Vista? If you think these apps are pretty cool now, what until Windows Vista ships!

Categories: Media Center | Online Spotlight | Comments [5] | # | Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 7:43:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

The BBC launched their experience in the UK Online Spotlight today, marking a total of 100 experiences worldwide availabile in Online Spotlight. My boss, Andrew, was pretty happy about this -- he's from the UK and quite happy we now have an offering where the people speak proper English.

I feel extremely lucky to work on a team which has produced a platform with the power and flexibility to enable content owners, designers and developers to create experiences for their customers. To the Media Center Team: Thanks! You guys are amazing!

I was thinking about it on the way home from work today...

We provide a platform where broadcasters can create entirely new channels delivered over the web to your television. Check out MTV Overdrive for Media Center. It's totally interactive and on demand. They have created a channel where the user gets to define the channel content. They are going to follow up with virtual channels for VH1, Comedy Central and mtvU early next year.

Have you ever been at work when you hear about a cool TV show airing later that evening, and won't be home in time to watch or record? We provide a platform which allows you to schedule recordings of TV shows from any place on the planet with an internet connection and web browser. The platform will leverage the cable, satellite, or antenna connection you probably already have in your home.

When you get home, you can watch those TV shows in your choice of rooms via Media Center Extenders. My wife and I do this all the time. We start watching a recorded TV show in the family room, pause it, go downstairs to the bedroom, fire up the MCX and pick up the show EXACTLY where we left off.

Oh, and the platform also allows you to enjoy MTV Overdrive for Media Center (or just about any other Online Spotlight experience) in any room courtesy of those same Media Center Extenders.

Want to check out a podcast or video blog on your stereo or TV? Newsgator Media Center Edition allows you to enjoy that long tail content using a remote control. Oh, it works on Media Center Extenders as well in any room of your house.

You can sync pictures, videos, music AND those recorded TV shows your choice of Portable Media Centers.

Developer enthusiast communities have formed around our platform, and they are a passionate group of folks. Media Center doesn't have the feature you want? Connect. Create. Share.


I spent about an hour chatting about the next generation of our platform with one of our Software Design Engineers.

We've just been warming up...

Categories: Media Center | Online Spotlight | Comments [7] | # | Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 5:50:37 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

I left comments over on his blog this time rather than summarizing here -- his latest is a good read...

FrontRow, One More Time

Everyone seems quite taken with the new video service in iTunes (and viewable in Front Row).  Hmmmmm -- how do we let people know about the great content available via Online Spotlight...?

I'm usually reticent to say things like this, but here goes...

I *think* I will be able to share some special news on Thursday / Friday which will contrast the approaches taken by Apple and Microsoft nicely. No promises, but stay tuned.

Categories: Front Row | Media Center | Online Spotlight | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 7:11:04 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Stephen Smyth is VP of media at news agency, Reuters. He recently spoke to [itvt]'s Tracy Swedlow about Reuters' various interactive video services (which include an interactive TV channel on the Microsoft Media Center that was nominated for an Emmy Award this year for "Outstanding Achievement for Non-Program-Specific Enhanced or Interactive Television"), about the importance of interactivity to the company's consumer services strategy, about the company's interactive TV design philosophy, about its interest in video search, about its future ITV plans, and more.


I had the good fortune of working with Stephen and others at Reuters (like Tom Nguyen, Christopher Burtt, Matthew Waldman and Nic Fulton among others) on their video service currently in Online Spotlight. This is a 'must read' if you are interested in bringing a video blog or interactive TV experience to Media Center consumers. There are two things I especially like about the Reuters experience...

  1. They were the first service we had that grokked widescreen (as you will see in many of the interview screenshots).
  2. They are a great example of the power of our global platform (write once / run everywhere).  You can get the Reuters service today from Online Spotlight in the United States, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Korea and they are expanding to other geographies soon.

Categories: Media Center | Online Spotlight | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 7:25:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   
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