Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Watch TV while you shop

31 Aug

Those good folks at Sky have taken Sky GO to the next level. Along with Sainsburys, they have fitted iPad docks to the top of supermarket trolleys. Sky GO brings Sky sports to mobile devices anywhere, and I assume other channels may follow.

They’ve even thought about people getting run over by trolleys driven by engrossed dads as they watch the footie while ‘assisting the missus’ on a Saturday afternoon. They’ve fitted parking sensors to the front of the trolleys!

If you want to go and see it for real right now, you can, as its being trialled at the Cromwell Road branch in west London. Remember you’ll need your own iPad though.

Now, this is all well and good, and you might think that watching tv while shopping is rediculous, but it does show that these mobile devices are becoming more and more integrated into everyday lives.  I can imagine apps for shopping lists being used, and price comparison apps that look at the barcode of everything you put in your trolley and tell you if its cheaper elsewhere. Basically, its time to rethink mobile apps – again..



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Posted in Mobile, TV


Watching NASA TV

25 Feb

I’ve been asked about 20 times since last night about how I was going to watch the launch of shuttle Discovery. While NASAs tv website is pretty good, I watched it using Milliesofts Tuner Free for MCE, which means I got to watch the same feed but integrated into the fantastic Media Center experience, really cool.


A ride on board Discovery

24 Feb

It was good today to hitch a ride onboard space shuttle Discovery, for her final flight. Not literally of course (I couldnt get the time of work) but I liked the engagement campaign Nasa has been running.

You key in some details and an image and you then get a ‘launch’ video. Heres mine.

Whats really cool about this is that if you come back to the site when then shuttle returns to Earth, and key in a code , which they give you after the launch video, then you get a certificate to say you’ve been on the mission.

I think thats a really cool way of getting people to go back to the site.


Tuner Free for MCE updated

02 Oct

A little while ago I talked about Tuner free for MCE from MillieSoft. This allows you to watch a whole load of channels on your Media Center PC without having a tune card installed. You can even get this contemt streamed out to XBOX360s as it supports extenders.

Theres been a whole load of updates been done recently, including the integration of the MSN video sources that came back on line in the UK earlier this year.

Its a really cool program. You can install from here.


BBC iPlayer gets an update

26 May

The BBC is in the process of updating its iPlayer site, releasing a new beta version today. The update adds some more ‘social’ elements, and more interestingly for me, the ability to download future episodes…

More details here

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Posted in TV, Video


MSN Video Player now on Media Center

26 May

You may have already noticed, but there’s a new option on the TV menu. MSN Video Player. You may have seen it before, as it was trialled in August last year but then disappeared. Its return brings with it around a 1,000 programmes at launch and a load more to follow.

When selecting the link for the first time, you need to go through a few setup steps. None of these are very complicated though.

Basically you have to accept the terms of service, and a download of around 5mb. If you haven’t got Silverlight on your machine, youwill be asked to download that as well.

Once installed, you get to select a programme genre from a standard looking set of links at the top of the page, or you can use the useful search page to find what you are looking for.

I have a seven year old nephew who is into Dr Who big time, and this sounds like a really good excuse for Uncle John to get to watch old episodes of Dr. Who, particularly the Tom Baker ones – purely in the interests of education though;-)

    Dow Da Dow, Dow Da Dow Dow Da Dow,   whooooo hoooooooo


NetFlix HD inside Media Center

19 May

Microsoft and Netflix have announced that you can now access your Netflix account directly inside Windows Media Center for both Windows 7 and Vista.

Heres a link to some details

So as well as your normal DVD through the post, you can access nearly 2000 movies online and in HD.

You can also see a demo over on



Watch Sky TV in Windows Media Center

29 Dec
Over Christmas, I stayed with relatives that didn’t have Sky TV, fortunatley though, they did have a reasonable broadband connection. Facing the prospect of not being able to get my nightly dose of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I connected by laptop to the TV and watched Sky via Windows Media Center.


Heres the process I went through to get it to work. You only have to do this once, to register your Sky account number with Media Center and off you go. Having selected the Sky Player from the Media Center menu (if you havent got it on the main menu, then try getting the latest updates from Windows Update), click on install to begin the process of installing the required addin.

Once installed, you get a menu integrating the usual Sky guide into Media Center guide, along with a recommended viewing page.
To actually watch anything though, you need to sign in with your Sky ID, If you have already registered an email address and got a login from Sky then of course you can use that, Or you can follow a link and get your own login. You will need to be able to identify yourself to Sky, by providing details of your viewing card number, or details of your latest bill.

When you sign in for the first time, you get a message saying that a licence is being obtained to watch the video. On my PC and Internet connection which is quite good, this process took just over 5 minutes, so dont get impatient and start clicking on things, like I nearly did, and cancel the process by mistake!

Thats it, you can now watch Sky TV on your PC! You even get the popup showing now and next thet you get when watching Sky from a Sky Box.
The channels you get to watch depend on what subscription you have, but you get all the FreeSat channels, and any other you subscribe to. Theres a catch however, you can only add four machines, which is not that bad, but you can only watch Sky 1 and Sky Movies on the ‘Main PC’. You can select which is the main machine, and while you can change it from Skys website, you can only change it once a month.
To find out more you can visit Sky TV for Media Center at

Update: Its now also possible you get Sky TV on your XBOX 360!


Broadcasting live video and audio

21 Nov
Been playing with Expression Encoder 3.

You can click on live encoding, select a port on your local machine, select your webcam and click start.
No other setup, and you are broadcasting a live stream!

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Posted in TV