Tag Archives: windows media center

All about Viiv

6326666233376433 I’ve been meaning to catch up on this announcement from last week – Intel took the wraps off their new technology and branding effort called Viiv – rhymes with ‘five’, by the way.

The announcement notes that:

Working together with a variety of Intel-verified consumer electronics devices, online services and software — including movies, music, photos and games — Intel Viiv (pronounced “v?v” and rhymes with “five”) technology, disclosed for the first time at the Intel Developer Forum today, will help usher in a new era of entertainment choices for consumers. PCs based on Intel Viiv technology will be easy to use with a remote control and will be powered by a suite of Intel technologies, including a dual-core processor, chipset, platform software and wired networking capabilities.

Aside from the PR-speak, the blogosphere has a lot to say about this new effort. Stephen Speicher (writing on Engadget.com) wonders aloud about the comparisons between Viiv and Centrino; but also notes that Viiv is a set of standard components a manufacturer needs to include to get the Viiv logo, rather like Centrino. These machines will include, according to the entry, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition, 5.1 sound, a dual-core processor, remote control, etc.

So what does that mean to me in my home? Basically, just as the Centrino badge tells me my PC laptop will work at any Wi-Fi hotspot, the Viiv label should clarify that this hardware will make for a great home entertainment experience, allowing me to experience my content from one device to another. Chris Lanier talks about how “This will surely be a boost in sales for Microsoft for the MCE platform, plus consumers will get to bring a new world of growing opportunities with Media Center Extenders, much like the built-in Extender that will ship with the Xbox 360.” Cool!

Interestingly, ArsTechnica wonders aloud if Apple’s move to the Intel platform might not mean that Macs of tomorrow might also share this Viiv brand. Good food for thought.

Creating the Xbox 360’s Interface


Design Interact has a fascinating story up that talks about the two-year process of designing the Xbox 360’s user interface. The process included Microsoft designing their own Flash-like animation tool, working with design firm AKOA and narrowing ten ideas down to one. The end result is a sucked in interface that resembles the console’s own sleek design and features the ability to quickly cycle through games, photos and other entertainment capabilities.

Xbox 360 [Design Interact]

(Via Kotaku.)

Xbox 360 gonna have a qwerty controller?

Update: This image came from a demo Microsoft did in Spain, showing off this detachable QWERTY keyboard for the controller, plus lots of other goodies. LINK

Xbox 360 qwerty controller

This might make the whole Media Center Extender experience built-into the Xbox 360 a whole lot more useful for those applications requiring more text input than you’d want to hunt and peck with an on-screen virtual keyboard.

(Via Engadget)

Xcellent XPS

It’s taken a bit of time to get around to blogging this, but Amy and I bought a new home PC recently. My old Dimension 8100 was showing it’s age (bought in 2000), and Dell had a great sale on President’s Day a few weeks back. All told, I saved almost 50% off the normal price on a brand-spanking new Dell XPS Gen 4 machine. Yes, that’s the one with the glowing faceplate, aimed at the gamer market. And yes, the front panel backlight can be changed to any of eight diferent colors. Silly, but cool nontheless. It’s a sweet piece of machinery. The specs:

P4 650 w/ hyperthreading (3.4 GHz, 800 front-side bus)
2GB 533MHz dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM
ATI Radeon x850XT/256MB Video Card
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
16x DVD/CD Burner, Double-Layer write capable

Anyway, the machine absolutely rocks. Most of the settings were fairly easy to migrate from the old machine (although some of our email seems to be lost to the ether), but boy oh boy – games run like butter on this bad boy. I’ve cranked up Far Cry and the Half-Life2 Demo to their absolute maximium, and there is no lag whatsoever. Battlefield Vietnam is a new-found joy to play. And I cannot wait for Band of Brothers to be released this week.

Related: AnandTech XPS Review
Related: Dell.com XPS Page