No Program Cache in WMC?? SAF Way Down - AVS Forum
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Home Theater Computers > No Program Cache in WMC?? SAF Way Down
JorgeA's Avatar JorgeA 12:25 AM 04-24-2011
Hello,

Tonight my better half came across a program at the top of the hour that started to look interesting after several minutes. So I set Windows 7 Media Center to start recording the show, supposing that it worked like the cable company's DVR and we'd be able to watch the program from the point where we tuned to the channel (as opposed to when I clicked on the "Record" button on the WMC screen).

Wife was disappointed (not to say p*ssed) to discover later that WMC only recorded from when we told it to start recording, and not from when we tuned to the channel, like the old DVR. Now I'm scrambling for a solution: Is there any WMC program setting, command, registry hack, tweak, or third-party app that will get WMC to start caching the show as soon as we tune to the channel?

SAF (spouse approval factor) for WMC is way down tonight. Keeping fingers crossed...

JorgeA

JorgeA's Avatar JorgeA 11:32 PM 04-26-2011
Wow, there's really nothing out there for this issue?

SAF has recovered some, now that wife discovered that you can set the Closed Captioning for mumbling actors without losing anything. On the cable company's Motorola DVR, you actually have to hit the power off on the machine in order to set the CC, which means bye-bye to any recordings that you may have been doing concurrently on a different channel. So Media Center's stock is back up, mostly.

But I'd still like to find a solution (if there is one) for the live TV buffer issue. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
gonzo90017's Avatar gonzo90017 04:27 PM 05-02-2011
I don't think there is one One alternative is to click the "right arrow" on your keyboard (or right on your remote) a couple of times> then click on "Actions"> Then click the "right arrow" one more time. This will bring up the "Other Showings" screen. This way you can check if that particular episode is coming up on a later date and record it then.
ilovejedd's Avatar ilovejedd 04:30 PM 05-02-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post
Wow, there's really nothing out there for this issue?

But I'd still like to find a solution (if there is one) for the live TV buffer issue. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Nothing for WMC. The solution would be to use different software.
GatoEnFuego's Avatar GatoEnFuego 04:33 PM 05-02-2011
I think that's a sweet feature your cable company worked in. Of all my previous cable/sat providers, none of them would work through the watched cache when recording a show already in progress.

If that's a major hit to the SAF/WAF then just wait until you get a call while at work "this stupid thing won't turn on" or "the remote stopped working" or "it won't play Cars, it just flashes a blue screen with some error message then goes back to my the play option" or "what's the number for Dish Network, I've had it". Then you have a problem...
JorgeA's Avatar JorgeA 07:10 AM 05-03-2011
Thanks, guys.

@GatoEnFuego: LOL! We talked about it, and wife says she likes being able to turn on closed captioning without having to turn off the display and lose anything that's being recorded. So it turns out that WMC still beats the cableco DVR on points.

@ilovejedd: Is there different (non-WMC) software that'll do this? I'm married to my wife, but not to WMC, so if a different application does everything we want, I could make the switch.

@gonzo90017: Wow, that's a neat trick! Thank you for the tip.


Since putting up my second post, I read somewhere (it might have been on missingremote.com) that this "record the live TV buffer" feature is the most requested enhancement to Windows Media Center, but that for whatever reason Microsoft hasn't gotten around to doing it. Dang, if I knew how to write software I'd be tempted to try it myself.
stanger89's Avatar stanger89 07:44 AM 05-03-2011
SageTV does what you're looking for.
bryansj's Avatar bryansj 08:15 AM 05-03-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatoEnFuego View Post

I think that's a sweet feature your cable company worked in. Of all my previous cable/sat providers, none of them would work through the watched cache when recording a show already in progress.

I thought everyone did that. I know my DirecTV DVR does and I thought Comcast did as well. If I'm 45 minutes into a show and hit record it will grab back to the beginning of the show or to whenever I switched to the channel.
Derek K.'s Avatar Derek K. 09:11 AM 05-03-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

Since putting up my second post, I read somewhere (it might have been on missingremote.com) that this "record the live TV buffer" feature is the most requested enhancement to Windows Media Center, but that for whatever reason Microsoft hasn't gotten around to doing it. Dang, if I knew how to write software I'd be tempted to try it myself.

I'd argue that the most requested enhancement to media center would be softsled, but recording the live buffer would nice too.

sage and myth both record the live buffer, as previously mentioned.
livetoflyfish's Avatar livetoflyfish 12:37 PM 05-03-2011
I haven't tried myself, but what if you fast reversed to the beginning of the que and then hit record? It would make sense that it would start recording from the place that you hit record. Then again, WMC does several things that don't make sense.
mbrodie617's Avatar mbrodie617 12:47 PM 05-03-2011
My Tivo Premiere does the same thing. As soon as you tune in a channel, the program is cached and once you hit record it will store from the moment you tuned into the channel until the current show is over.
lovemyram4x4's Avatar lovemyram4x4 01:24 PM 05-03-2011
People have been complaining about this since the first version of WMC but MS didn't want to put put the work into adding the feature, supposedly it would take a major re-write of the code but it's probably just the fact that they don't seem to really care that much about WMC as it doesn't make them a lot of money to pay someone for the weeks time it would take to add the feature.


Quote:
Originally Posted by livetoflyfish View Post

I haven't tried myself, but what if you fast reversed to the beginning of the que and then hit record? It would make sense that it would start recording from the place that you hit record. Then again, WMC does several things that don't make sense.

I've heard something like this does work, it might have been if you did it from an extender, I'll have test if I remember to see if there's any way to get it to work.
stanger89's Avatar stanger89 03:06 PM 05-03-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyram4x4 View Post

People have been complaining about this since the first version of WMC but MS didn't want to put put the work into adding the feature, supposedly it would take a major re-write of the code but it's probably just the fact that they don't seem to really care that much about WMC as it doesn't make them a lot of money to pay someone for the weeks time it would take to add the feature.

It is a good bit more complicated than it might first appear, because it's a circular buffer that could potentially have the tail end of the previous show on it, you have to factor in that you effectively have to edit out the prior airing when hit record, so you've got to create a new file, edit the current one, and move the current file to a new file, all without interrupting the ongoing recording.
JorgeA's Avatar JorgeA 10:07 AM 05-07-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

SageTV does what you're looking for.

Thanks stranger89, I'll look into that.
JorgeA's Avatar JorgeA 10:12 AM 05-07-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by livetoflyfish View Post

I haven't tried myself, but what if you fast reversed to the beginning of the que and then hit record? It would make sense that it would start recording from the place that you hit record. Then again, WMC does several things that don't make sense.

That does sound interesting and I will definitely give it a shot!

If that works, then after hitting Record, you could (maybe) fast forward back to where you were and pick up watching from there.

What else does WMC do that doesn't make sense? (WMC noob question)
cybrsage's Avatar cybrsage 10:26 AM 05-07-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

That does sound interesting and I will definitely give it a shot!

If that works, then after hitting Record, you could (maybe) fast forward back to where you were and pick up watching from there.

What else does WMC do that doesn't make sense? (WMC noob question)

If you have multiple tuners free and want to record two back to back shows on the same channel, it will use the same tuner for both. This potentially records part of the second show onto the end of the first show...which means the second recording will be missing the beginning.

The fix is to setup all your recordings to start a few minutes early and to end 10 minutes after. Not "10 minutes after if possible" but "10 minutes after". The general recording setting in the setup menu says 10 minutes after, but it actually means "if possible". So each recording would need to be manually changed to 10 minutes after. This forces WMC to use a new tuner to record the next show.
JorgeA's Avatar JorgeA 11:13 AM 05-07-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

The fix is to setup all your recordings to start a few minutes early and to end 10 minutes after. Not "10 minutes after if possible" but "10 minutes after". The general recording setting in the setup menu says 10 minutes after, but it actually means "if possible". So each recording would need to be manually changed to 10 minutes after. This forces WMC to use a new tuner to record the next show.

Thanks for the tip!

So, to do this I go into the settings for the individual program and make the selection there.
cybrsage's Avatar cybrsage 07:46 PM 05-07-2011
Yes.

What I did was to go into the Setup, recording area and set my default to 10 minutes after. Then, when I go into the specific item I have set to record, it will be set to "10 minutes when possible". I just go "down" once and it moves to the "10 minutes after" selection.

If you setup a series to record, you can change it for each specific series.

This only needs to be done when you have to shows back to back that you are recording. For simplicity sake, I just told the wife to do it on all of them...then there will never be a problem.
lovemyram4x4's Avatar lovemyram4x4 01:14 AM 05-08-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

It is a good bit more complicated than it might first appear, because it's a circular buffer that could potentially have the tail end of the previous show on it, you have to factor in that you effectively have to edit out the prior airing when hit record, so you've got to create a new file, edit the current one, and move the current file to a new file, all without interrupting the ongoing recording.

Yet we can still rewind and playback smoothly thru the multiple small files(default is 15 min, I've set mine to be 5 min) that make up the record buffer, and why can't they just put all these small files into the final container(like mkv merge does) they don't even need to put the work into editing out the possible end of previous show out of, who's going to complain about getting X min extra(if the default is set to 5 min like mine you'd likely only have a few min), it's much better than what we have now. So no I don't think it's that complicated.
cybrsage's Avatar cybrsage 08:09 AM 05-08-2011
I changed mine to 2 hours (120 minutes). That way the wife can pause the TV to answer the phone and get caught up in the conversation - forgetting she has the TV paused.

The default 15 minutes timed out on her once and she was not a happy camper.
lovemyram4x4's Avatar lovemyram4x4 11:55 AM 05-08-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

I changed mine to 2 hours (120 minutes). That way the wife can pause the TV to answer the phone and get caught up in the conversation - forgetting she has the TV paused.

The default 15 minutes timed out on her once and she was not a happy camper.

Mine is also 2hr total length but each file is only 5 min and it stores up to 24 files.

I also checked on what the default is and it's also 5 min but only 8 files for a total of 40 min. I think I remembered 15 min because it's common for people to change the file size to that to increase the record buffer. I think more small files is better so if you actually ever want to rewind all the way back if one of the buffer files gets dropped before you get to it you lose less viewing time.
stanger89's Avatar stanger89 12:46 PM 05-08-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyram4x4 View Post

Yet we can still rewind and playback smoothly thru the multiple small files(default is 15 min, I've set mine to be 5 min) that make up the record buffer, and why can't they just put all these small files into the final container(like mkv merge does) they don't even need to put the work into editing out the possible end of previous show out of, who's going to complain about getting X min extra(if the default is set to 5 min like mine you'd likely only have a few min), it's much better than what we have now. So no I don't think it's that complicated.

Well first I don't think it's multiple files, I think it's a single circular buffer. And second I thought it was a lot longer than that, you're saying no one would complain with 15, 30, or hours of previous time on a recording?

Regardless, my point was simply that regardless of what's done it's not as simple (in a circular buffer architecture like WMC) to record from the beginning of a show as to just say "save this file".
lovemyram4x4's Avatar lovemyram4x4 01:54 PM 05-08-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Well first I don't think it's multiple files, I think it's a single circular buffer. And second I thought it was a lot longer than that, you're saying no one would complain with 15, 30, or hours of previous time on a recording?

Regardless, my point was simply that regardless of what's done it's not as simple (in a circular buffer architecture like WMC) to record from the beginning of a show as to just say "save this file".

Here look at this

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVer sion\\Media Center\\Service\\Video\\Tuners

BackingStoreEachFileDurationSeconds
BackingStoreMaxExistingBackingFiles
BackingStoreMaxNumBackingFiles

The only issue I'd see w/ it is if the WTV container didn't support multiple streams in side it, if the container supports it then it would be quite easy as all it would take is to add the needed stream files into it.
stanger89's Avatar stanger89 03:33 PM 05-08-2011
That's a rather hacky way of implementing it....
lovemyram4x4's Avatar lovemyram4x4 07:16 PM 05-08-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

That's a rather hacky way of implementing it....

That's the way MS decided to do it, I can same I'm kind of glad because you can easily change your live TV buffer to any size you want. But as you can see you buffer is made it up of several small file which wouldn't hard to add to 1 large container to get what most of use would like.
victor M's Avatar victor M 09:04 AM 02-05-2013
I know this is an old thread....While doing my research on this issue I've been seeing conflicting reports. Has this issue indeed been resolved around 10/2011? here is a thread leading me to believe this.


http://experts.windows.com/frms/windows_entertainment_and_connected_home/f/114/p/99462/526202.aspx

bryansj's Avatar bryansj 09:26 AM 02-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by victor M View Post

I know this is an old thread....While doing my research on this issue I've been seeing conflicting reports. Has this issue indeed been resolved around 10/2011? here is a thread leading me to believe this.


http://experts.windows.com/frms/windows_entertainment_and_connected_home/f/114/p/99462/526202.aspx

To me that thread says the same thing as this thread, but has an explanation of why it doesn't work.
victor M's Avatar victor M 09:36 AM 02-05-2013
true...but for me this is what i get from it. (quote from that link)



"I must have gotten a windows update that fixed this because it now works for me. When I click record the entire pause buffer is included in the recorded file. It wasn't working a couple of months ago when I tried it."
bryansj's Avatar bryansj 01:38 PM 02-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by victor M View Post

true...but for me this is what i get from it. (quote from that link)



"I must have gotten a windows update that fixed this because it now works for me. When I click record the entire pause buffer is included in the recorded file. It wasn't working a couple of months ago when I tried it."

And from the same poster:

"Shoot, you may be correct. When I dragged the slider back to the beginning and hit record it appeared to maintain the entire buffer and I could change channels and go back to it and it would still show the entire buffer. But playing it back from recorded TV does seem to lose it. Darn."
Sammy2's Avatar Sammy2 02:04 PM 02-05-2013
I don't think it is fixed, is it? I have instances of this problem, IIR.
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