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Microsoft, Media Center Integrator Alliance Announce 2009 Ultimate Install Contest

Co-sponsoring this year’s contest with Media Center Integrator Alliance, Microsoft again seeks best residential project design based on Windows Media Center in custom installation industry.

Today at the Electronic House Expo in Orlando, Microsoft Corp., in cooperation with co-sponsor Media Center Integrator Alliance, announced the 2009 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest. This industry design contest, now in its third year, seeks to recognize the residential integration business that best utilizes Windows Media Center in a custom home installation project. With the support of the newly formed Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA), a group dedicated to driving awareness and adoption of Windows Media Center technologies in the custom channel, the Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest will represent the best of the best in the ecosystem.

Last year, the winner of the Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest was a home installation designed and implemented by Los Gatos, Calif.-based integration firm cyberManor. The system was created for a family in Sunnyvale, Calif., that desired a centralized, user-friendly entertainment and automation system. The result was a complete integration solution with Windows Media Center at the helm.

“Once again, custom installers have the chance to demonstrate how a connected home can be designed using the Windows Media Center platform,” said Kevin Collins, director of the Custom Installer Channel in the Connected TV Business, Entertainment and Devices Division, at Microsoft. “Microsoft and MCIA are excited to give custom installers the opportunity to showcase their creativity, execution and personalized solutions for their customers using all the products that make up the Windows Media Center ecosystem.”

Contest Eligibility
The goal of Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest is to identify the best implementation of the Windows Media Center platform as designed and installed in a residential electronics system:

  • A company may submit up to two unique entries to the contest.
  • Full details, including eligibility criteria, official entry form, detailed submission process and official rules can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ultimateinstall.
  • Each entry form submitted must contain a description of the solution, including its feature highlights, a list of integrated components, a project material list, a minimum of five photos of the project (maximum of 10) and an installation overview with highlights.
  • The installation must be completed before the close of the contest entry period.

“We’re looking for custom installers who integrate the Windows Media Center platform to bring to life the vision of the connected digital home,” Collins said. “We have seen tremendous growth in the connected home scenario with Windows Media Center at the hub extending beyond high-definition TV, music and photos to include lighting, HVAC, security and other home automation features.”

Deadlines and Prizes
The entry period closes on Aug. 1, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. The winner will be announced at CEDIA EXPO 2009 in Atlanta. The winner will receive a prize package, sponsored by Microsoft and the MCIA, encompassing the following:

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  • A trip for the winner to CEDIA EXPO 2009 in Atlanta
  • A trip for the winner and a guest to Microsoft headquarters including airfare and two-night hotel accommodations in Seattle, with a campus tour and a $1,000 cash prize
  • Niveus Media Server — Rainier Edition HD complete system with Intel processor and motherboard
  • 160GB Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive
  • Autonomic Media Control Server EX with PolyTune
  • A photo shoot of the winning installation
  • Microsoft and MCIA will also award a Homeowner’s Appreciation prize package to the grand prize winner’s customer. The prize package includes the following:
    • Xbox 360 Elite video game system with four wireless controllers
    • Xbox 360 Media Remote
    • Four game titles for Xbox 360
    • One-year Xbox LIVE subscription
    • Two Zune digital media players (8GB and 120GB) with a home audiovisual kit

In addition to the winning installer, two runners-up will be announced and receive individual prize packages courtesy of members of MCIA that includes the following:

  • First runner-up. Inteset Vana Single Room Media Server and an 80GB Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive
  • Second runner-up. AMD LIVE! Home Cinema Home Theater PC and an 80GB Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive
  • Full details, including eligibility criteria, entry requirements, are available in the official rules at http://www.microsoft.com/ultimateinstall.

About Media Center Integrator Alliance
MCIA is an open and independent non-profit consortium formed to advance and administer the support, promotion, and enrichment of the media center ecosystem. Charter members of MCIA include AMD, Crestron, HP, Intel, Life|ware, Microsoft Corp., and Niveus Media.

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