Amulet Devices Voice Remote for Windows Media Center

Amulet Devices Blog

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

LinkSys DMA extenders fall off the grid

Sun, November 7, 2010 by

On November 4, members of The Green Button reported that their Linksys DMA 2100 & 2200 extenders were freezing on power-up and would no longer connect to Windows Media Center.

Some diligent investigation by several users revealed the problem: the extenders were attempting to connect to a central Linksys server which Cisco (owners of Linksys) had recently taken offline. The firmware handles this badly by refusing to continue until the connection succeeds.


HoustonWinMeet: A Windows Entertainment and Connected Home Meet-up

Tue, November 2, 2010 by

We’re one of the participants at the #HoustonWinMeet which is on in Houston, Texas on 30 November. You can see live and in person the Amulet Devices Voice Remote for Windows Media Center.

This meet-up brings together digital entertainment enthusiasts and experts from around the Houston-area, hobbyists and professionals who have embraced the power of the PC to power their digital entertainment experiences – everything from home theater PCs running Windows Media Center to PlayTo devices, home entertainment networks and mobile devices.

See the Missing Remote for more details.

A Voice Interface to your media

Sat, October 30, 2010 by

People hear about a voice remote control and perhaps think that it merely reproduces the remote control interface using voice. That it just does all the simple buttons using voice. That would be pretty good, but not as exciting or useful as a full voice user interface. The Amulet plugin for Media Center provides a voice interface for accessing media. It’s a new user experience, in the shape of a remote control.

Buttons are good. They provide quick access. But there is a limit to how many are practical. Menus are good, they provide a visible list to move around in. But again, they can be slow to navigate and have limited capacity. This is where voice is a break through. It excels at picking items from big lists. We believe this is a killer capability for media center systems.

People know their music collection. They know their movies. They know the time of day. Using a voice interface you just ask for the music you want, “Play Artist Michael Jackson“. Or the movie, “Play Movie Total Recall“. Or the time of day, “Show Guide Tomorrow at 10 pm“.

We don’t eliminate the buttons, they are useful. To go up a notch in volume is perfect for a button. Quicker than saying “Volume Up“. But what about “Volume Soft“, “Volume Medium“, “Volume Normal“, “Volume Loud“, “Volume Full“. That’s what a voice interface can do. Or 5 extra buttons.

Our software makes this new interface possible. We gather all the media lists you have on your system and build a voice interface with all those items. It’s a background plugin that’s always listening in Media Center. Always active, no matter what screen you are looking at. At shows where I demonstrated the system, I used to explain what it did. After a while I found it was best to just say a command and let people see what a voice interface is. You can check it out in our demo video. It’s much more than just a voice remote control.

Support forum is now live!

Sat, October 9, 2010 by

We have the Amulet Devices support forum up and running! It took a little longer than planned, but it’s there now. This should be your main avenue for support for your Voice Remote and the Media Center Plugin software. We actively monitor the forum and respond to support queries. There are currently three sections at the moment.

The first covers installation, any problems you might have getting the Amulet Voice Remote installed, connected to your Windows Media Center, or in relation to getting the Amulet Media Center Plugin software up and running smoothly.

The second area is for general support covering ongoing operation, performance, commands or any tips, tricks, or hints that might be useful. It doesn’t have to be purely support issues. We’re happy for users to exchange their experiences with each other.

There is also a forum for resellers and custom installers, which is not available to everyone. Please fill in the Reseller application form if you’d like to get access to this area.

Media Center Hidden Menus

Mon, October 4, 2010 by

411 Debug overlay for Windows 7 Media CenterHere’s something that not everyone knows about. If you’re watching live TV in Media Center and you press “411” then “info” on the remote, it brings up an overlay that shows handy tuner info. You can get additional pages of info by using the left and right arrow keys.

I find this useful when I want to check what resolution a TV broadcast is being received at. To get rid of the overlay, just press the back key. It works on Windows 7 Media Center, and that’s all I use now so I can’t say for sure about previous versions. I think it was introduced with the Vista Media Center cumulative update known as the “TV Pack”.

Media Center A/V setup controlled by Voice Remote

Mon, September 27, 2010 by

I decided to make a blog entry on my current MediaCenter setup. I’ve been using Microsoft MediaCenter for five years or so to provide my TV viewing experience; I’ve run it on many PC hardware boxes during that time, both off-the shelf and home-made, but my current Windows-7 MediaCenter is running on a home-made box. It’s made from a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel processor running on a Gigabyte GA-EP41 motherboard, with 4Gig of memory and 4Terabytes of storage.


Background plugin, always listening

Fri, September 24, 2010 by

A key component in our software for Windows Media Center is the Amulet Background Plugin. It’s loaded by Media Center when it starts, and is then continually ready to receive voice commands, independent of what else is happening in Media Center. It’s .NET C# code that interfaces to the MC API, and is independent of platform, as you’d expect with an MC addon.


Technorati registration

Fri, July 2, 2010 by

If I had to register a blog with a blog registration site, then I’d have to register our blog with the blog registration service provided by Technorati. And I if I was registering our company blog with the Technorati blog registration service I would use the Technorati blog registration claim code 7UE46CD6YEU8.