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back to article Microsoft snaps up Slingbox mastermind's home control biz for Xbox

Microsoft has slurped up small home-entertainment firm id8 Group R2 Studios to tie in with its Xbox business, according to sources. R2 Studios was set up by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian who started Sling Media, maker of the Slingbox, which takes TV signals and beams them to computers and smartphones. Krikorian will join the …

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Bronze badge
Meh

I/O Concerns

I wonder what Redmond has planned for this lot. If they're looking at easier ways of getting content into the Xbox, well don't they already have that? Whilst its not great beyond MS's walled garden, it can be made to work.

If they're going after the home automation angle, then I'm sceptical about the offering.

The key information will be is it a closed system. What happens if you don't want to buy a Windows Phone? What happens if MS give up on the project after 5 years or the next best thing comes along?

What happens if your Xbox gets an RRoD?

..and so on and so forth.

I'll watch with interest, but I'm not about to get excited.

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Anonymous Coward

" Last year, the company released an Android app to control light and heating of a house from a phone."

Useful for fat people who don't want to get off their ar**s.

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Re: I/O Concerns

What happens if MS give up on the project after 5 years or the next best thing comes along?

is this not the same as any company? Why different with MS?

Will be interesting to see what they do.

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Re: I/O Concerns

Fact of life: there will always be something better.

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Rob
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Re: I/O Concerns

I doubt it will be reliant on needing a Windows Phone, MS released Xbox Smartglass App at pretty much the same time they released the MS Phone App version.

They clearly are angling the Xbox towards being the absolute central hub of the house for as much as possible. Makes sense desktop is waning so why not go for the big push to saturate the house server market.

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Rob
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Re: I/O Concerns

Sorry I meant to say they released the Android version of Smartglass at pretty much the same time.

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>What happens if you don't want to buy a Windows Phone?

MS released an app for Android, iOS and WinPho to integrate with the XBOX. Sony's PS3 equivalent requires a PSP or PS Vita. I see you have looked deeply into this before commenting.

>What happens if MS give up on the project after 5 years or the next best thing comes along?

Look at how long MS Media Centre has been kept going, despite it not achieving mass popularity. It's getting on for tens years now.

>What happens if your Xbox gets an RRoD?

Oh, get over. Look at the causes of that seven year-old fault and tell someone that they still apply. The mere fact that XBOXs don't any longer sound like Harrier Jump Jets should give you a clue that Moore's Law is in effect.

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Anonymous Coward

"Useful for fat people who don't want to get off their ar**s."

Or those who can't :)

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Anonymous Coward

MS Media Center

"Look at how long MS Media Centre has been kept going, despite it not achieving mass popularity. It's getting on for tens years now."

I guess you've not seen the article elsewhere on the site today about how the MSMC UK EPG stopped working a few days ago (and resulting comments on how there are lots of alternatives to MSMC, many of which don't involve any MS content at all)?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/03/windows_media_center/

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Gold badge

"Useful for fat people who don't want to get off their ar**s."

Or those who can't :)

One tends to lead to another :)

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Re: MS Media Center

>I guess you've not seen the article elsewhere on the site today about how the MSMC UK EPG stopped working a few days ago (and resulting comments on how there are lots of alternatives to MSMC, many of which don't involve any MS content at all)

I had read it. The point still stands.

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See Cringeley

There's some interesting comments over at Cringeley:

http://www.cringely.com/2013/01/01/in-the-land-of-the-blind-krikorian-could-become-king/

Basically, what has happened or failed to happen to home automation? Why?

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Unhappy

what has happened or failed to happen to home automation?

One of the biggest wins for true home automation is reduction in fuel bills. Intelligent heating, coupled with presence detection and the ability to remote control (decide to pop to pub after work ? Put heating back 2 hours via phone*). This clearly steps of the feet of the companies that want to push massively subsidised wind farms down our throats, along with energy companies who (despite what government would have us believe) want to sell us more and more energy.

Go figure.

*Phone. Yes the system can be so depressingly low tech you can control it via SMS - no fancy smartphone needed.

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Gold badge

Re: what has happened or failed to happen to home automation?

Wasn't there some extremely smart thermostat that could do this all on its own (or installed in a couple of places)? Can't remember the name offhand, but it was very simple to use and looked like something I'll probably eventually buy myself.

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Underrated

I have a home automation system - and it's real home automation, ie lights and heating, not the vastly expensive "home cinema" scenario that gets called home automation. It's wonderful, I couldn't live without it, but why is there such microscopic take up?

Some of the comments on Cringely talk about it taking off in order to meet more stringent energy saving requirements on heating.

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Re: Underrated

Out of curiosity, what did you base it on? Am looking around myself..

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Thumb Up

Re: Underrated

@Fred Flintstone - contact me offiline register@cybercontrolsystems.co.uk and I'll give you the full gen. Basically it was a homebrew in 1990 which I replaced in 2005 with off-the-shelf Dupline via Carlo Gavazzi with Red Lion HMI and commercial interface to Fronius PV inverter. There's better out there now.

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Devil

Is it just me...?

"Last year, the company released an Android app to control light and heating of a house from a phone."

"This is Microsoft Support; how may I help you? ...You say that it's 10 below and you can't turn on your heat...? Alright, I can help you with that. First off, have you tried unplugging your house from the power mains and plugging it back in...?"

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Re: Is it just me...?

Computer control of home appliances has been possible since the IBM PC and earlier. Remote access has been possible since the internet. Cellphone to PC via the internet is fairly trivial, as is cellphone to a tablet equipped with a SIM.

The problem with home automation is and always has been the analogue gear which is disproportionately expensive.

AndyD 8-)#

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FAIL

fixed it for ya

Microsoft is expanding its Xbox into an all-round double-dip subscription scam with the addition of LoveFilm and TV streaming like Channel 4's 4oD service for Xbox Live Gold subscribers

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