Our design team is probably the most humble group of folks I've ever met.  They just won a Communication Arts Interactive Annual award for their work on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and have yet to tell a soul as far as I can tell.  Shame on them -- this is really cool news.


Communication Arts is the leading trade journal for visual communications. It's the largest design magazine in the world and showcases the top work in graphic design, advertising, illustration, photography and interactive design.

Categories: Media Center | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 10:43:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Charlie: Shut up, the camera adds 10 pounds
John: Oh, so how many cameras are actually on you?

Lights, camera, action...

Join myself, John Canning and Michael Creasy in the Microsoft Studios with Robert Hess for The .NET Show featuring Windows XP Media Center Edition.  We have some great demos of the Media Center user interface, third party extensibility applications and code walkthroughs by Michael. This show is a great primer if you've been wondering about your developer opporuntities on the Media Center platform

Be sure to check out the hilarious 'Diversionary Tactics' clip in between the show segments. You'll never look at the Channel9 Guy the same way again. :-)

Categories: Media Center | Media Center Application Design | Media Center SDK Code Sample | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 4:02:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

I'm embarking on a fun project this week.  I'm going to start coding a Media Center Add In with the following features...

  1. Background Add In.
  2. Polls RSS feeds according to an OPML file.
  3. Retrieves new posts from those RSS feeds.
  4. Schedules TV recordings based on Click To Record document enclosures in the post.

I've got a couple of reasons...

  • I want to get back to C# and managed code.  HTML + JScript has been fun, but it's SO last decade.
  • This could be an interesting scenario.  We've got podcasts and videoblogs, what about a TVLog...?
  • This could lead to even more interesting scenarios -- breaking news alerts...?
  • Perhaps this could lead to a super-simple podcasting downloader?
  • Exercise our SDK documentation for Media Center Add Ins in order to give feedback to our product team.
  • Have an ongoing project to discuss here in the blogosphere (to date, most of my posts have been single topics).

I'm off to a great start -- just finished coding an Add In which takes this XML (learn more about the Click To Record Feature)...

<clickToRecord xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:ehome:clicktorecord">
  <programRecord isRecurring="false">
    <key field="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:ehome:epg:program#title">Star Trek: The Next Generation</key>

...and schedules a recording of a single show via this C# code in an On Demand Add In (learn more starting at About Media Center Add Ins)...

void IAddInEntryPoint.Launch(AddInHost host)
  string strClickToRecordXML = string.Empty;
  Television objTV = host.Television;
  XmlDocument xmlDoc = new XmlDocument();
  strClickToRecordXML = xmlDoc.InnerXml;
  host.HostControl.Dialog("Completed ScheduleRecording Method Call", "Success", 1, 0, false);
 catch(Exception ex)

So, I have a couple of questions for the readers of this blog...

  1. Are there any additional features you might like to see in this Add In?
  2. Do you have pointers to great documentation on consuming RSS in managed code which might be helpful?

Categories: Media Center | Media Center SDK Code Sample | Comments [10] | # | Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2005 6:27:37 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   
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