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post #1 of 57 Old 02-25-2011, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to stream movies from Amazon like I do with Netflix. I installed Amazon's Unbox but don't see anything about streaming. And Unbox is a real clunky way to watch a movie. I don't want to exit Media Center to go to Unbox.

I read here that some folks seem to have incorporated Amazon Instant Video into Media Center. Is it possible?

Thanks
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post #2 of 57 Old 02-26-2011, 11:20 AM
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I'm pretty sure the only way to stream a movie/show from amazon on the pc/mac is with a web browser.

To use wmc, you have to download it with the unbox player and add that folder to your media library.

The free prime streaming is pretty cool I guess, but it seems most of the videos are not HD, and I'm kind of a HD snob so it's pretty useless for me.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...8747670&sr=1-5
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post #3 of 57 Old 02-26-2011, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Right. I guess you download movies you bought to the movies folder that WMC recognizes. I'm still not sure how you watch streaming movies. If it's through Unbox I won't bother. I prefer HD too and Netflix in WMC is barely OK. For the best picture I think Roku does a better job. I might have to hook that up again.
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post #4 of 57 Old 03-27-2011, 10:49 AM
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On their website it says that you can view the movies through WMC and over the extender if you have an XBox360 or other WMC extender but you have to install unbox first. I'm wondering if there's any other way of doing it though. For me WMC is not my primary PVR application but from within GBPVR I can launch boxee and things like that. It would be pretty sweet if boxee had an app for this like they do for netflix. I'm trying out the free trial of prime right now.
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post #5 of 57 Old 03-27-2011, 11:13 AM
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This is the "how to" I wrote, works well, but will require that you use the disk to buffer the file and then play. You can start playing just seconds after purchase...
http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/t/97258.aspx

you do need unbox but not to play the file just to retreive it for you, it plays in 7MC
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post #6 of 57 Old 03-28-2011, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thusband View Post

I want to stream movies from Amazon like I do with Netflix. I installed Amazon's Unbox but don't see anything about streaming. And Unbox is a real clunky way to watch a movie. I don't want to exit Media Center to go to Unbox.

I read here that some folks seem to have incorporated Amazon Instant Video into Media Center. Is it possible?

Thanks

The only way I know of is to use PlayOn with a WMC plugin like vmcPlayit or Tubercore. The downloaded files are higher quality than the streaming IMO.
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post #7 of 57 Old 03-28-2011, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by brianjb View Post

The only way I know of is to use PlayOn with a WMC plugin like vmcPlayit or Tubercore. The downloaded files are higher quality than the streaming IMO.

+1

I wrote an article on this a couple of weeks ago. I didn't go into Amazon VOD any, but it was an available option in PlayOn. Paying for the necessary components to get this in Media Center is a decison for you to make, however.
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post #8 of 57 Old 03-28-2011, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I went back to Roku which has much better resolution than WMC and it has Amazon too (although there's a lot of duplication with Netflix). WMC is great for TV and movies but not so good for streaming.
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post #9 of 57 Old 12-08-2011, 12:37 PM
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I wish like hell they'd get this working natively like Netflix. I'd sure like to cut Netflix.
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post #10 of 57 Old 09-12-2012, 05:55 PM
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What people are looking for is a way to play free (with Prime membership) Amazon INSTANT Videos in Media Center NOT purchases or rentals (which you can download).

I'm guessing someone can do something like they had for Hulu a couple of years ago where you could get to Hulu from Media Center but you weren't really in Media Center.
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post #11 of 57 Old 09-14-2012, 04:34 AM
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I want this as well.

It amazes me that Microsoft cannot afford 1 programmer to work on Media Center, add-ons, etc. From Microsoft's side, the product has completely stagnated. They would be working to bring as much content on board as possible.

They've really missed the boat on this one - in 5 years Apple will probably own the market and be raking in the dough with content, and Media Center will be a footnote.
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post #12 of 57 Old 09-14-2012, 08:17 AM
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I find the lack of a native WMC plugin very annoying as well. The workaround I use is to have the XBMC integration plugin for WMC and then use the XBMC Amazon plugin. A few more clicks to get into it but there are loads of other XBMC only apps to have as well.
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post #13 of 57 Old 09-14-2012, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Boulanger View Post

I want this as well.
It amazes me that Microsoft cannot afford 1 programmer to work on Media Center, add-ons, etc. From Microsoft's side, the product has completely stagnated. They would be working to bring as much content on board as possible.
They've really missed the boat on this one - in 5 years Apple will probably own the market and be raking in the dough with content, and Media Center will be a footnote.


In 5 years we may not need to worry about the argument since the market may not exist at all. Even Apple has little interest in the 'market' outside of a $99 streaming box.

I do agree that MS could have stayed far ahead of everyone as far as offering a complete dvr/streaming/playback platform through Media Center, but then I'm not sure there is a big enough market to warrant that kind of investment. It wasn't big enough to support SageTV on its own. XBMC is still strong thanks to a strong community (not to mention its free) and JRiver has many vocal fans, but I don't think these are huge followings in the grand scheme of things.

Heck, my own setup is still going to be Media Center with Media Browser for a foreseeable future. MB is another group that has survived thanks to a strong community and being free like XBMC. They have embraced an add on store though.

With MS bowing out of the market for now, I hope one of these guys leverages Win 8 in ways that make sense for htpc users.

As far as the Amazon support, I definitely miss that in MC. I would be using my Prime membership alot more if it did. Thankfully XBMC is there as an alternative.
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post #14 of 57 Old 09-14-2012, 02:13 PM
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I find the lack of a native WMC plugin very annoying as well. The workaround I use is to have the XBMC integration plugin for WMC and then use the XBMC Amazon plugin. A few more clicks to get into it but there are loads of other XBMC only apps to have as well.

Interesting! I have not used XBMC at all. Will need to check it out and see if that setup is reliable for me.

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In 5 years we may not need to worry about the argument since the market may not exist at all. Even Apple has little interest in the 'market' outside of a $99 streaming box.

I disagree. I believe they are very interested in selling TV and movie content, just as they do MP3s. Just a matter of whether or not they can stranglehold the content providers into the 21st century. I would be very surprised if we don't see an Apple TV very soon. I don't believe they push the current product hard because they know it's a niche because content currently available online is just not attractive to most people without live TV (cable, satellite, whatever). Apple wants to stream everything.
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I do agree that MS could have stayed far ahead of everyone as far as offering a complete dvr/streaming/playback platform through Media Center, but then I'm not sure there is a big enough market to warrant that kind of investment. It wasn't big enough to support SageTV on its own. XBMC is still strong thanks to a strong community (not to mention its free) and JRiver has many vocal fans, but I don't think these are huge followings in the grand scheme of things.

The potential market is huge, and they've already done the hard part. A single programmer on staff working on streaming content plug-ins would have made all the difference in the world - but they can't afford that? Bizarre. Microsoft doesn't "get" the content market like Apple does, and because of that they will lose. Unfortunately.

The future of the market isn't geeks like us, it's the typical user with a cable company provided DVR box. Microsoft should have been bringing in content and making deals with the cable companies and their hardware partners to replace cable boxes.
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post #15 of 57 Old 09-14-2012, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Boulanger View Post

I disagree. I believe they are very interested in selling TV and movie content, just as they do MP3s. Just a matter of whether or not they can stranglehold the content providers into the 21st century. I would be very surprised if we don't see an Apple TV very soon. I don't believe they push the current product hard because they know it's a niche because content currently available online is just not attractive to most people without live TV (cable, satellite, whatever). Apple wants to stream everything.

I was referring to selling a media streaming box or something akin to an htpc. Thats the market that may not exist, thanks in part to efforts by Apple itself. I completely agree that they are very interested in selling content, just via their phones and tablets, not a set top box. While I think a TV from them is a long way off, I am not shocked they they would pursue that as another way or locking down the content and getting more people forever joined to their ecosystem.

I think the TV thing is a long way off thanks to the content providers. They simply have not been interested in making a deal with Apple. Big point though, MS had been working on a grand deal as well, something to bring together all of the live tv content. They finally gave up at the end of last year due to the huge numbers that the content providers were asking. I think they still want to do it, but it will be up to the providers.

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The potential market is huge, and they've already done the hard part. A single programmer on staff working on streaming content plug-ins would have made all the difference in the world - but they can't afford that? Bizarre. Microsoft doesn't "get" the content market like Apple does, and because of that they will lose. Unfortunately.
The future of the market isn't geeks like us, it's the typical user with a cable company provided DVR box. Microsoft should have been bringing in content and making deals with the cable companies and their hardware partners to replace cable boxes.

Well you say MS doesn't get the content market, but actually I think they do. MS saw what Apple was doing and it clearly sees the trend to focus on streaming, not local media support. Its the 'geeks' like us that demand strong local media support. Just look at all the deals MS has struck for content on the Xbox from many sources like cable providers and the popular streaming services (don't forget the new music service coming this fall). Not to mention crafting apps around delivering that streaming content. I think the Xbox is where you should look to see MS' direction. Win 8 also reflects that. They take the streaming focused ideas and bring them to the pc in a way that never happened with Media Center. I wont be shocked at all to quickly see plenty of streaming media apps to run via the Metro side of Win 8. If remote control works, then we suddenly have a 10ft UI alternative to Media Center.

The idea is that the general consumer is much more interested in streaming media then trying to manage local copies of all of this content. Apple never tried to pursue the local media side and it looks like that will be trend going forward and MS will try to match that thanks to developments on the xbox.
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post #16 of 57 Old 09-14-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Boulanger View Post

I want this as well.
It amazes me that Microsoft cannot afford 1 programmer to work on Media Center, add-ons, etc. From Microsoft's side, the product has completely stagnated. They would be working to bring as much content on board as possible.
They've really missed the boat on this one - in 5 years Apple will probably own the market and be raking in the dough with content, and Media Center will be a footnote.

Why would MS need to do this? Amazon can write their own app to interface with MC.
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post #17 of 57 Old 09-15-2012, 09:57 AM
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Wow! I'm glad I revived this thread. Those recent posts have given me some leads on how to solve my challenge.

In reference to "geeks" I think that users (even geeks) want to be able to plop down on the couch and with just ONE remote watch whatever they want from wherever they want with minimum fuss.

If my HTPC didn't save me over $50 a month in entertainment expenses I wouldn't go through the trouble of trying to find ways to watch what I want through it without a cable/satellite subscription.

I use Hulu free, Netflix (1 DVD and streaming), Amazon Prime (free streaming), TuneIn radio, and an over-the-air antennae. Amazon is the only one I can't do through Media Center.

I'll check out media browser and XBMC to see if I can get Amazon to work somehow through Media Center. If I can't I'll just continue to watch in a browser.

Hmm, I don't seem to have Hulu there anymore. Gotta fix that.

I use iTunes to get podcasts since neither Windows Media Player or Media Center have a good solution for podcasts. Or maybe someone can suggest a plug-in for that. If I want to I can listen to those in any number of applications, on my Kindle or my phone.

Bottom line though is that I just don't have enough time to consume all the media I've accumulated. I've got about a year's worth of podcasts (24/7/365), over 100 CDs ripped, close to 100 DVDs, hours of recorded TV, dozens of YouTube videos, etc, etc. I'll NEVER consume more than a fraction of the media I have access to.

So it is really the "geek" in me trying to solve challenges not the actual usefulness of the solution that I'm seeking.

Let's all just enjoy our media. Oh, and don't forget to stop and smell the roses and spend time with people.
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post #18 of 57 Old 09-15-2012, 04:41 PM
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By the way, if you do add XBMC to your WMC/Mediabrowser setup, make sure your library is handled by Media Center Master and not the Media Browser scraper. Media Center Master can also produce XMBC files in your movie folders so both programs can share a single library. This way you can give XMBC a go and switch back and forth while keeping access to all your library data.
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post #19 of 57 Old 09-16-2012, 02:55 PM
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I was referring to selling a media streaming box or something akin to an htpc.

I think if they had the content wrapped up they would absolutely like to own the TV - whether with a set top box or the TV itself. It's the next frontier for them.

Quote:
Well you say MS doesn't get the content market, but actually I think they do. MS saw what Apple was doing and it clearly sees the trend to focus on streaming, not local media support. Its the 'geeks' like us that demand strong local media support. Just look at all the deals MS has struck for content on the Xbox from many sources like cable providers and the popular streaming services (don't forget the new music service coming this fall). Not to mention crafting apps around delivering that streaming content. I think the Xbox is where you should look to see MS' direction. Win 8 also reflects that. They take the streaming focused ideas and bring them to the pc in a way that never happened with Media Center. I wont be shocked at all to quickly see plenty of streaming media apps to run via the Metro side of Win 8. If remote control works, then we suddenly have a 10ft UI alternative to Media Center.

You may be right on the Xbox, but I don't think it's the way to go unless they split the platform - which I doubt. I think they should be working with vendors like Ceton to produce a bulletproof cable box replacement, while simultaneously keeping it a PC product to appease us geeks. I'm not saying Microsoft needs to keep working on local media - license a BluRay add-on and call it a day - then add streaming content.

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Why would MS need to do this? Amazon can write their own app to interface with MC.

Sure they could, but the market likely isn't big enough for Amazon to care. If Amazon won't dedicate the resources, Microsoft should - they stand to benefit the most by attracting more users to Media Center. Again - I'm not saying they need to spend millions here. Guys write fantastic Media Center add-ins in their spare time. 1 guy on staff at Microsoft could code an Amazon plug-in in 3 months or less.

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In reference to "geeks" I think that users (even geeks) want to be able to plop down on the couch and with just ONE remote watch whatever they want from wherever they want with minimum fuss.

Absolutely, especially us geeks with wives and kids.
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post #20 of 57 Old 09-16-2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Boulanger View Post

You may be right on the Xbox, but I don't think it's the way to go unless they split the platform - which I doubt. I think they should be working with vendors like Ceton to produce a bulletproof cable box replacement, while simultaneously keeping it a PC product to appease us geeks. I'm not saying Microsoft needs to keep working on local media - license a BluRay add-on and call it a day - then add streaming content.


That is what Windows 8 is all about, bridging the gap across different devices, including when it comes to media access. The next Xbox is rumored to be running Win 8 in some form, which will mean MS has one OS running on their phones, pcs, tablets, and console, leading to media that you can carry across all of those devices.

Most general media consumers want simplicity and access to their media on as many devices as possible. Apple looked at this are pursuing it heavily. They want you in their ecosystem (currently that is phone, tablet, mac, and apple tv) for all things media. MS is pursuing the same strategy. I agree that Apple would love to control the TV market, but like MS, they have found out that the content providers are not willing to budge so easily.

I do think that MS could pursure something with Ceton as a side project without getting themselves too envolved. Let Ceton do most of the work, just help them get off the ground.
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post #21 of 57 Old 09-17-2012, 02:49 AM
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That is what Windows 8 is all about, bridging the gap across different devices, including when it comes to media access. The next Xbox is rumored to be running Win 8 in some form, which will mean MS has one OS running on their phones, pcs, tablets, and console, leading to media that you can carry across all of those devices.

When I first saw the Windows 8 Metro interface, I was hoping Microsoft had made it controllable via IR remote. I was hoping we'd see a live TV tile, My Movies tile, etc. along with everything else, merging Media Center into Metro.
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post #22 of 57 Old 09-17-2012, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Boulanger View Post

When I first saw the Windows 8 Metro interface, I was hoping Microsoft had made it controllable via IR remote. I was hoping we'd see a live TV tile, My Movies tile, etc. along with everything else, merging Media Center into Metro.

That was my hope as well, but all hope is not lost.

The reality is that MS did not make it impossible for such things to work, they just dont have the time or will to do it themselves. I see it as an oppurtunity for 3rd parties to come in and offer us that complete media experience akin to media center all within an interface that can easily work as a 10ft UI replacement to media center. It wont be easy seeing as its a new thing, but after seeing the work already done by the likes of the xbmc community and media browser community, I think its possible.

There are already early efforts within the MediaBrowser community to make that happen, to branch off into a full fledged app within Metro. If someone can get remote commands working (which shouldnt be impossible considering there are keyboard and mouse commands you could piggy back off of), Metro could offer us something useful.

I wouldnt be shocked to see Ceton quickly ramp up support for Metro with the companion apps they are releasing for smartphones.
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post #23 of 57 Old 09-17-2012, 05:05 PM
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My problem with XBMC is that using it in conjunction with my HDHomeRun will not pass the WAF.
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post #24 of 57 Old 09-18-2012, 04:12 AM
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....

I wouldnt be shocked to see Ceton quickly ramp up support for Metro with the companion apps they are releasing for smartphones.

Here's hoping!
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post #25 of 57 Old 09-18-2012, 03:48 PM
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As this thread is discussing Windows 8 note two things:

1. If you are thinking about upgrading to Windows 8 buy it before Jan 31, 2013 until then it will be a $40 upgrade from XP, Vista or 7. (See Microsoft for details.) You are unlikely to find a better deal. Keep your eyes open for even lower prices around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. You may spot 3-system deals for less per system.

2. I've seen a couple of articles that say Windows 8 is designed for touch screen even on desktops. Touchscreens in the 23" to 24" range are in the mid $200s on sale. While small for home theater they might work for the kitchen or other "remote" viewing locations (bathrooms anyone?).
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post #26 of 57 Old 09-19-2012, 06:52 AM
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What's the big deal about streaming amazon, hulu, or Netflix through your browser? It works great. My only use for WMC is for its DVR function, I think its cumbersome for most other things.
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post #27 of 57 Old 09-19-2012, 07:02 AM
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Well in my case my HTPC is controlled almost exclusively with a Harmony remote so access through a web browser is awkward. The WMC with XBMC integration + XMBC with Amazon plugin is much more user friendly.
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post #28 of 57 Old 09-19-2012, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

What's the big deal about streaming amazon, hulu, or Netflix through your browser? It works great. My only use for WMC is for its DVR function, I think its cumbersome for most other things.
+1. I only need WMC as a DVR or to watch SHO. As far as WAF, I told her that's just how it is.
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post #29 of 57 Old 09-19-2012, 01:11 PM
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While you might be able to program a remote to control streaming in a browser in general it is easier to use a remote in WMC. On the flip side I find it easier to use Netflix in a browser but the downside is that my wireless mouse doesn't have enough range to allow control from couch. mad.gif

There probably isn't a perfect solution that will make it easy to everything for everyone. That's why Apple is still in business and lots of people use Linux. Viva la difference. (See, there isn't even one language that can say it all.) biggrin.gif
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post #30 of 57 Old 11-08-2012, 04:27 PM
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Hi all,

I know this is a fairly old thread, but I wanted to let you know that I have been very frustrated with the lack of native support for Amazon Instant Video, so I have been working on developing an add-in for Media Center myself. It is only at the alpha stage right now, but it can browse, search and play Amazon Prime movies, and I am planning to add more capabilities. It is also free, since this is something that I have wanted for myself anyway. If you are interested, please let me know or go over to http://garethbarr.com/amazonmceaddin to have a look at some screenshots, see the list of current capabilities and download the alpha software.

Best regards,


Gareth
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