Windows Media Center

Feb 18 2013

News - How to Banish Live Tiles from Windows 8 and Bring Back the Desktop

Windows 8In my opinion Windows 8 is faster then Windows 7, and I don't mind using it, but when you are on a remote desktop of Windows 8 or running it in Hyper-V, it is less then pleasent when it comes to moving the mouse to the corners to do anything. I came across this article in PCWorld Magazine and then found it on thier site for easier click through. I have done this for mine and I am enjoying it, if I can keep it as Windows 7ish feel then I am more happier. Goodbye "Live Tiles" and hello desktop again.

In a world exploding with tablets and touchscreens, Microsoft's decision to saddle Windows 8 with the finger-friendly Modern interface formerly known as Metro makes a lot of sense—for Microsoft. But if you're among the majority of Windows users who aren't using a tablet or a touchscreen, the focus on Live Tiles and mobile-centric apps is more of a frustration than a feature. Vexingly, Windows 8 is riddled with sneaky ways to drag you out of the desktop and dump you on that shifting, shiny Start screen.




Jan 17 2013

News - Ceton Annouces "My Media Center" Mobile Applications

I liked Ceton's Companion Apps for Windows Media Center enough to buy it twice (Android & Windows Phone). Now it looks like I'll need to reach into my wallet again to pony up for the Windows 8 "Metro" version which just launched. All the apps are $4.99 and available at their respective stores. You will need to search for the new name though; it's now "My Media Center".

Full PR after the click.

Dec 12 2012

News - Ceton Patches Echo's Interlaced Video Issue

Ceton Echo

I knew that Ceton would fix the issues with the Echo, but I did not expect the to make up ground as quickly as they have. While there is still some work to do, what is probably the most serious issue with the Windows Media Extender seems to be fixed in the latest (2012.1212.1449) firmware currently making it's way through validation. I've tested a few 1080i (interlaced) files so far, and it's looking good (literally) for both WMC TV viewing and the Echo.

Oct 31 2012

News - Windows Media Center Free for Windows 8 Pro Until January 31st

Metro WMCMicrosoft broke a lot of hearts when they announced that Windows Media Center was not going to be included with Windows 8. It was frustrating enough that WMC development was languishing, but turning it into an optional add-on, and only for Windows 8 Pro at that, seemed to be Microsoft's passive-aggressive way of letting HTPC fans know that WMC was well and truly dead. Fortunately, Microsoft has decided to throw us a bone, if only temporarily. Until January 31, 2013, Microsoft is giving the Windows Media Center Pack away for free. All one needs to do is visit Microsoft's "Add Features" website and supply an email address to receive a product code. Folks running the standard version of Windows 8 will still need to pony up for the Windows Pro Upgrade Pack for $59.99 which includes WMC. After January 31st, the WMC Pack will presumably return to the regular $9.99 price tag. On a side note, the WMC Pack product code apparently only works on retail versions of Windows 8 Pro. MSDN subscribers are reporting issues using the product key and I should find out about Technet copies this weekend.

Of course, Windows Media Center is still widely available for Windows 8 users, but it doesn’t come with the OS itself. Users must purchase it as an add-on in the Windows Store for $10. Granted, that’s not a lot of money at all, especially for all the features that you get, but considering that it was once a free feature that came with Windows, we can see how HTPC enthusiasts would be upset.


Oct 11 2012

News - Ceton Echo Beta Begins

Ceton Echo

Anyone already in Ceton's Echo Windows Media Center Extender beta program found out this morning that they will start shipping the units in the next few days. Taken on its own this is less news than continued taunt aimed at those unlucky enough to be left out, but we did find out something very interesting in the mailer - the Echo is coming in a vastly sleeker form factor compared to what we saw at CES.

Oct 03 2012

News - Ceton Echo Slightly Delayed, Release of the Ceton Q on Indefinite Hold

Hot on the heels of sharing fantastic news about the Ceton Companion App extending its reach to the Nook, comes some less welcome news. Ceton has shared some updates on the Ceton Q and the Ceton Echo. Unfortunately, the Ceton Echo has been delayed a little bit. The beta units will not be shipped this week as the alpha testing has gone on a bit longer than anticipated, but the company is still confident that they will make the holiday shopping season.

Ceton Q on Hold

If only that was the worst news the company had to share. Plans to release the Ceton Q have been placed on hold. Ceton had planned for the Q to run on Windows Embedded and was using Windows Embedded 7 for the demo units at CES this year, but because Microsoft is refusing to confirm one way or another if Windows Media Center will be included in Windows Embedded 8, Ceton has made the decision that the best course of action is to pull back from launching the Q this year.

Do note that I have not mentioned anything about the Q being cancelled. Ceton is holding out the possibility that the Q might still come in 2013 in some form, but the company has decided that they are better served being open and transparent with where things are going for the company right now, a example I wish more companies would follow. Hopefully this simply proves to be a temporary setback, or perhaps even an opportunity for Ceton to take the Q in some new, unexpected, and undoubtedly awesome direction.

What we have decided is that the Ceton Q as previewed at CES will not launch this year as we planned 10 months ago.  It’s possible the Q will launch in 2013, either as initially envisioned or perhaps re-envisioned, but we can’t guarantee that at this point.  We know there is a ton of interest in the Q and that this news will be disappointing to a lot of you but we think it’s important to be upfront about where things stand.


Sep 28 2012

News - Ceton Companion Available on NOOK Tablets

Ceton Companion NOOK

The Ceton Companion app hasn't been out for that long, but it must have seemed like an eternity for NOOK users watching with envy while everyone else enjoyed managing their Windows Media Center lineups and discovering upcoming premiers from the convenient interface. Fortunately for them the wait is now over (along with some other things like iPhone 5 support) with the $5 app available in the B&N app store.

Now if only Microsoft could get their act together and certify the WP7 version that let's me use a password Smile.

Sep 15 2012

News - Ceton Companion Released to Amazon App Store, Kindle Fire

Ceton Companion on Kindle Fire

Ceton has announced that their Ceton Companion app for Windows Media Center is now available on the Amazon App Store, which is good news for Android-lovers who like to stray from the Google Play corral and for Kindle Fire owners, of which Amazon is hoping there will soon be many more. It costs the customary $4.99, and although the version on the Amazon App Store is lagging some of the other releases, an updated version is inbound. With this release, the Ceton team has rounded out their initial wave of launches. There is a Windows 8 app in the works, and I wish there was a Nook release lurking in the wings, but for now the team can turn their attention to the rapidly growing list of feature requests that the team is soliciting from the community on the Green Button.

The Ceton Companion has now been approved and is available on the Amazon App Store for $4.99

Ceton Forum on

Sep 07 2012

News - Ceton Updates Ceton Companion Services, Releases Ceton Companion for Windows Phone

Ceton Companion for Windows Phone

Ceton released the Ceton Companion apps for iOS and Android just yesterday. Given the level of anticipation in the WMC enthusiast community for these apps, I would have thought the fine folks at Ceton had earned themselves some time off to celebrate, but evidently there is just a bit too much dedication flowing in the veins of their programmers for that. Ceton has already released some updates for their Ceton Companion Services PC software bringing it to version and our own Michael Whelter has taken to the comments to encourage users to keep checking as there are evidently more on the way. Ceton has also released the Windows Phone version of the Ceton Companion app. Ceton Companion is available from the Windows Phone Marketplace at the same $4.99 price point as the iOS and Android apps. We look forward to seeing what tomorrow might bring.


  • Recorded Movies show up in Gallery
  • Recorded Movies show more metadata
  • Remote on extenders is full remote, working at 95% (only buttons that don't work are 30 second skip ahead/8 second skip back, but FF & rewind working)
  • UAC issues when launching configuration
  • Remote shares fix (user name/password fix)

Next build will have:
  • Local movie metadata fix
  • 30 Second skip/8Second back on Extenders remote

 Ceton Forum on

Sep 06 2012

News - Ceton's Media Center Companion Apps for iOS and Android Now Available

 Ceton Companion

It has only been a few weeks since we received word that the Ceton Companion app for controlling Windows Media Center from mobile devices had hit Release Candidate stage, and now comes word that the Ceton Companion app is officially available. At this point, Ceton Companion is available as a universal app on iOS and for Android through Google Play for $4.99. Looking ahead, Ceton is planning on releasing a version for the Kindle Fire and Windows Phone. Ceton Companion allows for remote control of any WMC-equipped PC or media extender, including the company's own upcoming Q and Echo devices. Windows 7 PCs are officially supported now, but the company plans to have full support for Windows 8 on October 26 when the new OS becomes generally available. The app not only provides a standard remote control button layout for basic interaction, but also allows you to manage and schedule DVR recordings, control live or recorded TV viewing on any associated device, and browse your TV and movie collection in one location, all combined with unified search across media types. To enable Ceton Companion to communicate with a PC, Ceton is also offering their Ceton Companion Services software as a free download. With TV streaming to devices on the roadmap for the Ceton Companion app and the Ceton Echo beta expected to begin this month, Ceton is certainly giving us a lot to look forward to as we dive into their new release.

The Ceton Companion is a family of mobile apps that bring the Ceton experience to Apple iOS, Android and Windows phones and tablets.  The apps let you manage your Windows Media Center PC experience on these devices both inside and outside your home.

Ceton Companion website

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