Autonomic has just announced the imminent release of their Media Center Edition Control Server…
The Autonomic Home MCE Server is a software application, which, when installed on a computer running Microsoft Windows XP with Media Center 2005™ or any version Microsoft Windows Vista™, will provide real-time, remote, two way communications with the Media Center interface.
This product is intended for use by professional audio/video installers and integrators using a third party control system or software capable of two way TCP / IP communications with remote devices. The software provides feedback and control of audio, video, live and recorded television, internet and FM radio, photos (slideshows), and more.
Two way control of Media Center functionality can be achieved via wireless or in-wall touch panels, web pages, or other interface options depending on the control system or software used.
Residential installers can utilize MCE Server on a Windows Media Center PC to provide a cost effective yet hyper-functional whole house Media Server for use in multi-zone audio applications with a robust interface for browsing and managing MCE’s media library. The photo slideshow capabilities can be used to provide virtual art-work functionality for plasma and LCD displays.
System feedback can be provided or solicited by the control system through the Media Center interface by using the messaging capabilities of Autonomic MCE Server to post messages to the Media Center “10′ interface” such as caller ID, alarm zone status changes, or other events, and ask the user simple, multiple choice questions which are presented using standard Media Center dialog boxes.
Commercial applications include jukebox functionality for bars / restaurants, theme park or museum audio/video playback control, public space dynamic video loops, kiosk control, or photo / video display ad-servers.
Two way TCP-IP control
The MCE Server provides real-time feedback and media control for almost all functions of an MCE Computer using a robust, two way TCP-IP communications protocol. A control system client can manipulate the transport, navigation, and media library features of MCE through a local area network, or remotely through the internet.
Multiple Instances and Media Center Extenders
Multiple instances (user sessions) can be browsed and controlled including those sessions belonging to Media Center Extenders. A network consisting of a Media Center Computer and multiple extender devices can all be controlled through the same server instance residing on the host MCE computer. This is extremely valuable for multi-zone, multi-room applications. Since each user instance on an MCE computer can maintain an individual media library, personalized media collections can be maintained and accessed by end users.
Rich Media Library Browsing and Queue Management
MCE Server provides a rich interface for browsing and searching the MCE computer’s media library by genre, album, artist, play list, or title. Media can be randomly accessed for instant playback or added to the play-queue at any level. (i.e., the command ‘PlayGenre “Jazz” Queue=True’ will add all jazz titles in the media library to the queue without interrupting the currently played media)
Media Information Feedback
MCE Server can provide a control system with meta-data for music, video, DVD, and television media such as album, artist, title, duration, genre, release date, composer, chapter, director, rating, channel, station id, program guide title, and more.
Command and receive feedback for play, pause, stop, skip next, skip previous, random (shuffle), and repeat transport controls.
IR-Remote Control Emulation
Command the server to issue any IR command available on the MCE Remote Control.
MCE Interface Navigation
Control systems can command MCE Server to randomly access most areas of the MCE Interface. Commands are available for direct navigation to Start, MyMusic, Music Albums, Music Artists, My Pictures, My TV, Recorded TV, start a Slideshow, and many more. Refer to the MCE Server TCP-IP Protocol document for a complete list.
MCE Clients can issue a command to the server to subscribe to real-time events within the MCE interface. These events can be used for real time touch-screen feedback, even when the user is interfacing directly with the MCE box. Events are sent for transport controls, navigation, start-up and shutdown, and more.
MCE Server Beta Program
The MCE Server will be released in June, 2006. Autonomic Home, Inc. is currently seeking qualified integrators and hobbyists to participate in our beta testing program. If you would like to be included, please complete the MCE Server Beta-Tester Application.”