Media Center Presentation Layer Web Applications in action – Mobilewares Online Showcase

Niall Ginsbourg of Mobilewares has posted an interesting entry on the Big Screen Blog that I wanted to bring to your attention if you haven't seen it yet.  He has created a couple of new features for the Big Screen family of Windows Media Center applications - an online version checker, and an online product catalog.

The online product catalog is a Media Center Presentation Layer Web Application that is hosted at  You can quickly view the product catalog by using these steps:

  1. On a Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate system, install the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista
  2. Install the MCML Preview Tool Launcher power toy
  3. Click on the Start menu, choose All Programs, then Microsoft Windows Media Center SDK, then MCML Preview Tool Launcher
  4. In the URI text box, copy and paste the value
  5. Click Go to load the URI for the Mobilewares Online Showcase and view it in the MCML Preview Tool

You can view more details about these features in the blog post at!78533A1A2E078194!174.entry.  Niall didn't post a lot of details about how he implemented the online version checking and automatic updating scheme for these applications, so hopefully he'll talk more about how this feature works behind the scenes in a future blog post....

Comments (1)
  1. NiallG says:


    Thanks – that’s a good upcoming blog topic for me (how I did the online version checker)..

    Just a quick summary on how it works though –

    I’m doing this by calling a generic MCML page on my website – where I send through a Product Key (ie ‘BSH’ for Big Screen Headlines) – and the current Revision Number (ie Revision ‘7’ is the current version). The server on my site then checks these details to work out if you have the latest version or not – and returns information.

    In the new Big Screen products I also create 2 x additional hidden Entry Points which reference the VersionChecker/Gallery (when it’s registered with Media Center) – so these can be launched from within the Headlines MCPL addin via the MediaCenterEnvironment.LaunchEntryPoint() method.

    To try it out in MCML Pad – the hardcoded URI’s for Big Screen Headlines are –

    (which will return a ‘you have latest version message’)

    and if you send in an earlier revision number :

    (then you see the ‘new version available’ page..)

    I plan to make this deliver much better content like a online Release History/Whats New Page in future.

    I’ll try to get a MCML Snippit blog together soon with some downloadable code/mcml..



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