Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

Can Kylo Bring Browsing to the Big Screen?

by @ 10:45 am on March 30th, 2010 in programs with 17 Comments

kyro logo There are a lot of web browsers out there but only a handful of them ever make any real news. Kylo, on the other hand, has caught the attention of Media Center users everywhere by claiming to be the perfect web browser to use on “the big screen”. Though it seems this new product should be aimed squarely at the Windows Media Center crowd there is a catch, it doesn’t work with the standard MCE Remote. In fact the software is somewhat a thinly veiled guise at selling a piece of hardware (an air mouse).  However, we’ll use our own wireless mouse to give Kylo a go and see how well it does integrate into a Media Center setup.

To get started let’s add Kylo to Media Center’s Start Menu by downloading Media Center Studio and the browser software. Install both then launch Media Center Studio. Inside MC Studio switch from the Themes to the Start Menu tab as well as the Start Menu menu bar. Select the Insert Application button then fill out the Title and Path of the Kylo install (typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Hillcrest Labs\Kylo\Kylo.exe on 64-bit systems, remove (x86) for 32-bit).

insert

Once you’ve saved that return to the Start Menu tab and expand the entry points bar at the bottom left of the Media Center Studio program. Locate the entry point icon for the Kylo browser and drag it into the Extras menu strip. Once saved we should be able to launch the browser from inside Windows 7 Media Center (after re-launching 7MC if open).

Now we can launch the program from inside Media Center but we still have to grab our wireless mouse to actually use the browser. To be fair it’s made for an air mouse and still works incredibly well with the basic cordless optical mouse we’re using but it would be great if it had support for the basic four direction pad on the remote at least.

Aside from that this little browser is absolutely amazing. With over 100 of the internet’s most popular destinations listed right off the bat when you open it with large easy to click icons it’s incredibly easy to get start surfing the net with Kylo. First on the list, YouTube even sports a custom look though it seems to be the only one in the list that does. The custom YouTube interface makes it extremely easy to navigate on the big screen as well so hopefully there are more of those in store for the browser.

youtube

This being spring break it’s been extremely easy for even the children to use Kylo on the big screen, switching to Disney XD’s website on the big screen is so simple it’s almost ridiculous. Among the browser’s unique features, a simple interface for pan and zoom, on-screen keyboard and built-in multi-provider search are all presented alongside the browser standards like history and favorites without using up too much screen real-estate.

Pressing the address bar brings up both a half width on-screen keyboard and a short history of recently visited sites making returning to your favorite locations as simple as possible without having to pickup a keyboard. Bookmarks are listed as screenshots of the site along with the title listed below making them easy to click. The entire product is almost as easy to use as similar minimalist browsers like Google Chrome except super-sized for the big screen. Though, Kylo will let you know upon launch that it has been optimized for 720p screens if you run a resolution over that.

kylo at disney

To get back to Media Center just click the power button in the bottom right hand side and Exit Kylo. The browser should close and we will be returned to Media Center.

Definitely a browser to check out for use on your Media Center setup though you’ll need to pickup a mouse to use it effectively. A solid product given that it’s free to download though it could still use some refining. For instance, what does the trophy in the corner do besides send me to Kylo’s website? Likely we’ll see advertisers in those spots in the future.

17 Comments


Turbo
Comment #8915 from Turbo [Reply]

So…this doesn’t work for extenders does it?

Comment left March 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm Permanent Link
Comment #8940 from chadd [Reply]

has anyone tried kylo using remoteKC?

i don’t have a wireless mouse attached to my HTPC, only use remoteKC the few times i really need mouse functionality…

Comment left March 31, 2010 at 2:54 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #8943 from Michael Healy [Reply]

I haven’t yet but I just might try it out soon.

Comment left March 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #9062 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Hmm, I can’t get remoteKC to work on this machine ill have to try the media center machine later.

Comment left April 5, 2010 at 8:45 am Permanent Link

bshzrd
Comment #8941 from bshzrd [Reply]

First, – thanks for your awesome stuff.
Just one simple question: how can I export a bunch of folders with my favourites from IE 8.0 to Kylo?

Comment left March 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #8942 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Hm, I’m not sure where Kylo store’s it’s favorites off hand but I believe it runs off the Chrome engine and that has a bookmark importer built-in though I dont see one in the Kylo interface anywhere.

Comment left March 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm Permanent Link

anonim
Comment #8999 from anonim [Reply]

I followed all of the steps exactly. After launching 7MC in full-screen (maximized) mode, launching Kylo from the Extras menu, then exiting Kylo through the bottom-right power button, it re-launches 7MC in windowed mode. Is there any way around this? I’ve set the shortcut on the Start Menu to always launch 7MC in maximized mode, but I believe Kylo launches the executable directly, which is why it opens in windowed mode. Preferably, I’d like for 7MC to continue running in the background when Kylo is launched, but I didn’t see an option for that..

Comment left April 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #9017 from Michael Healy [Reply]

I’m not sure why it would be doing that, it’s not the default behavior as far as I know. You can also return to 7MC using the green button if you have a remote which will give you the option to close Kylo. Perhaps this will return you in full screen though it adds that extra step. This would be in place of exiting Kylo.

Comment left April 3, 2010 at 10:28 am Permanent Link
Comment #9337 from Ben Johnson [Reply]

From what I can tell they simply didn’t code in adequate means to put kylo in a second monitor, or even put it in a window to drag over. Great idea, but the version up for download is really not a fuctional product.

Comment left April 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm Permanent Link
Comment #9399 from brenda white [Reply]

its not working for me and where do i find the path for kylo on my computer, i’m using windows 7

Comment left April 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #9605 from Michael Healy [Reply]

The path will likely be C:\Program Files (x86)\Hillcrest Labs\Kylo or C:\Program Files\Hillcrest Labs\Kylo

Comment left April 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm Permanent Link

newm
Comment #11396 from newm [Reply]

great stuff works like a charm use my mce keyboard and all works as it should the only thing i can think of that needs sorting is the size of the icons they seem to change back to small when you go to next page so you have to manually zoom in but hay its free well done lads

Comment left May 23, 2010 at 5:34 am Permanent Link

grantndub
Comment #13874 from grantndub [Reply]

I discovered kylo about a month ago, when trying to find a easier way to watch the world cup via espn3. I really like the UI but, really dislike not being able to use my MCE remote. I will not be buying their air mouse although the function looks nice, it seems like it would be ackward to hold plus I already have a wireless mouse.

Comment left July 18, 2010 at 10:16 am Permanent Link

maxx
Comment #13884 from maxx [Reply]

Do you realize if this would work inside of mce with xbox 360 like the mxe browser this would be most downloaded software ever. I tired but no go. But the layout is amazing would be incredible.

Comment left July 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm Permanent Link

Anonymous
Comment #13985 from Anonymous [Reply]

I don’t really see the point of Kylo, if i had a mouse then I would be able to easily use the zoom functions within firefox or explorer. without control from the MCE remote it just looks nice but will never be used.

Comment left July 21, 2010 at 6:43 am Permanent Link

Anonymous
Comment #46982 from Anonymous [Reply]

What’s the point if you can’t play it on your TV. Doesn’t all this need some Kylo app embedded in a player to work?

Comment left August 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm Permanent Link

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