We've been thinking a lot lately about media center front-end programs, from Windows Media Center Edition to BeyondTV. In fact, CNET has a new Insider Secrets feature that outlines all the steps for integrating a PC into your home theater, including a detailed look at some of these media management apps.
One program we didn't talk about was SageTV. The long-standing DVR program has just released a new version, SageTV 4 and added a host of new features, such as over-the-air HDTV and support for ASF, WMA, or WMV file formats. You can also add the SageTV Client software to easily access recorded media on other computers on your network. Another interesting feature is the inclusion of the SageTV Studio development kit, which lets enterprising programmers write their own plug-ins and add new functionality to the software.
On a completely separate topic, we spent some time last week at the Austin Game Conference, an annual games industry gathering skewed more toward developers and programmers than PR types and press. Some interesting observations from the show floor include the strong emphasis on so-called casual gaming, which could translate into less demand for high-powered PC components, and the different messages put out by ATI and Nvidia at their respective booths. ATI was playing up Crossfire and its high-end desktop video cards, while Nvidia was mainly interested in talking about chips for mobile devices.