Microsoft Corp. has named the winner of its Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest. The announcement was made at a Microsoft-sponsored luncheon at the Electronic House Expo in Long Beach. The winning entry, submitted by Tyler Jennings of Imperium Smart Systems LLC, was for a family that was looking for a solution to integrate all their pictures, music, home videos, TV and DVDs into one simple interface. Based in Herriman, Utah, Imperium Smart Systems is a custom electronics design and installation firm specializing in whole-home services and solutions.
"We are honored to be named the winner in this contest," said Tyler Jennings, president of Imperium Smart Systems. "Windows Media Center is a terrific platform for custom installations, and we worked hard to create a unique, functional and successful deployment to provide our customer with a whole-house entertainment solution that benefits their life."
A unique opportunity for custom installers, this design contest sought to find the residential custom electronics systems installation business that best utilized Windows Media Center in a custom installation solution. The contest was announced at CEDIA EXPO 2007 to challenge industry professionals to present their most unique and creative installations using media center technology.
Each entry submitted to the contest was judged based on the following criteria:
• Use of Windows Media Center as primary user interface (UI) for media consumption in room or system (depending on scope of install)
• Use of Windows Media Center experiences (for example, television, music, video, pictures and DVD library)
• Integration with other, non-PC consumer electronics devices
• Ability to create a seamless user experience
• Creativity and originality
Judged by a panel of Microsoft Media Center experts, the winning entry best captured each of the five criteria. With 12 distributed audio zones and multiple entertainment access points ranging from in-wall touch panels, Xbox360 consoles, televisions and even an Ultra-Mobile PC, the project featured Windows Media Center at the heart of the installation. The homeowner’s experiences embraced numerous categories including management of family’s music, pictures, recorded programming and DVD movie library. In addition, Life|ware home automation software, an add-on to Windows Media Center, enabled the installation to go beyond entertainment to include the family’s management of all of their home systems including lighting, security and surveillance, heating and cooling.
Jennings said, "The homeowners love the technology and love how easy it is to use. The husband has always loved technology, but this is the first time the wife actually feels confident in controlling the technology in her home — thanks to Media Center."
"We're extremely pleased to recognize and celebrate the winner of our first annual Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest," said Scott Evans, group manager in the Entertainment and Devices eHome Division at Microsoft. "Imperium Smart Systems' incredible result serves as a great example of how the creativity and integration capability of professional installers combines with the platform power of Windows Media Center to create the ultimate connected home experience. We’re excited to enable superior home system designers like Imperium to implement and achieve their customers' visions."
As the contest winner, Imperium Smart Systems will receive a full photo shoot of the project and both Jennings and his winning installation will be featured on the Resources for Consumer Electronics Installers Microsoft home page, http://www.microsoft.com/ceinstaller
. In addition, Microsoft will provide Jennings and a guest with a trip to Microsoft Studios and a weekend vacation package in or near the Seattle area.