Wireless Live Streaming

At yesterday’s Matt Bai; Politics and Technology Forum in Canberra, I experimented. Without testing, nor a safety net.

Having just received a new imate Ultimate 9502 phone with NextG HSDPA from @JonoH I wired up in the following way:

  • Dell XPS1330, using Bluetooth Personal Area Connection from within Vista SP1 x64 to…
  • imate Ultimate 9502, using Internet Connection Sharing at 7.2Mb/s HSDPA on Telstra NextG running…
  • ustream.tv putting priority on audio quality over video quality
  • Placed laptop on the floor with camera pointing to stage. I used the inbuilt camera in the Dell, and the same inbuilt microphone.

The result is this:

Vista Hub on Gizmodo.com.au

Microsoft and Gizmodo.com.au/Lifehacker.com.au have created a collection of smart tips and tricks on Windows Vista.

The local Microsoft team asked me to contribute some articles. Writing with an editor with deadlines is tough! Thanks to Nick Broughall for his patience and assistance.

My articles:

MCE Buddy to the Rescue!

There is a little addition to the Windows Media Center setup. It is a hidden gem that makes life so much easier.

In our home, we have a Windows Home Server. Thoughtfully named SERVER, it is small and sits quietly near the broadband connection.



After Media Center record TV shows on one PC, I generally like to store the results safely for later viewing.

The *.dvr-ms files created by Windows Media Center, especially on Digital TV transmissions, can be quite large.

So, to fix both of these issues I have installed MCEBuddy

A tool that quietly lives in the background of your PC, it watches the Recorded TV directory. When a show has completed recording, MCEBuddy compresses the show into something smaller (for instance: WMV or even MP4 for iPods!) and transfers automagically to our Windows Home Server.

I highly recommend this little utility.

Intro to Windows Media Center

In the early days of radio, the receiver set was expensive and sat in the lounge. Today, radios are in cars, mobile phones and the shower.

The same occurred with television: expensive sets started in the lounge, and then migrated out to the kitchen, car and on small devices.

Now if your PC  Windows Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate, you can make a PC watch TV. And better yet, record it for later viewing. Sort of like those VCR things that we once all owned. All using Windows Media Center

Here is my setup, feel free to copy/paste:

1. Hardware

Inside my Vista PC, I have a Hauppage TV card installed. You can also purchase a USB sticks that will also work.

Just ensure that the card/USB device supports Windows Media Center

These cards/USB TV devices connect to a standard TV antenna. A good antenna is a must; and with the appropriate adaptors and extenders: you can use the same antenna the TV uses.

2. Software

Along with the TV cards/USB sticks there is driver software to install to connect between Vista’s Media Center and the card. I always check with the card’s web site to ensure the version is the absolute latest.

3. Services

In Australia, I have subscribed to free*epg from EPGStream.net. This service integrates with Windows Media Center to periodically collect Electronic Program Guides (EPG). Installing the software sets up all the appropriate “bits” in Vista to be wired ready for Australia.


4. Setup

Once all the above is installed, launch Vista Media Center.

Yes, the interface is different to normal PC applications. This is because Media Center is designed to work with a remote control. Don’t fear! You can use a mouse an keyboard to navigate the menus. Also notice as you move near the top-left of the Media Center window, you can expand/shrink the Media Center application to a smaller window. I use this often when working: a TV in a window on screen is sometimes an excellent productivity booster.

The first time you launch, there is an easy step-through process to connect all the bits together.

With Digital TV, there are more smarts: automatic assignment of TV stations to the correct episode listing.

5. Recording

Clicking on the Green Button returns the main Media Center menu to the screen.

Clicking on “Guide” returns the screen as above.

Right-clicking on a scheduled show allows you to Record it, or Record the Series. Recording a series will result in programs with that name on that station being automatically recorded. You don’t even need Windows Media Center running (yes, you need to ensure the PC is running, and the antenna is attached)


The shows that are recorded are saved as files on your PC in a directory: “C:UsersPublicRecorded TV” for safekeeping. Or watching inside Windows Media Centre (TV and Movies, Recorded TV)

With a simple addition of a hardware card, you can turn your PC running Vista into a Digital TV that records for later viewing. I highly recommend this setup. Now TV is with you whilst you email.

Australia ReMIX08 Redux


Picture: Matt Moran, ABC Commercial, showing off the Silverlight based ABC Online Store


The Twitter hastag ‘#auremix’ was well used, too

And Flickr.com tag “auremix”