Windows 8 is great for an HTPC and vastly simplifies application switching - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 03-16-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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...and also obviates windows focusing problems. I just upgrading all my HTPCs to the Windows 8 consumer preview today. It's been a great decision so far. I sometimes have issues with windows minimizing, losing focus, and switching applications (in Windows 7), which can be extremely frustrating and hurt the WAF factor. With Windows 8, you simply hit the Windows key, bringing up the metro interface which you can navigate with up, down, left, right, and enter. There you can launch applications. Metro also looks great from 10 feet away.

If you use a harmony remote, you can map any key (using MCE keyboard as your device) to 'Start,' which activates the windows key.

On top of that, you can use the beautiful metro apps, although some may require a mouse. I can activate the weather app with my remote for instance.

Anyways, I just thought I'd spread the word. It's been a great experience so far, and I look forward to seeing more metro apps. Keep in mind the consumer preview is not a finished product, and your install will expire next year (although I'm not exactly sure what that entails).
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post #2 of 53 Old 03-16-2012, 10:11 AM
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What applications are you using that require switching?
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post #3 of 53 Old 03-16-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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None right now, although at one point I was using Plex, WMC, and a SNES emulator. There are some nice solutions to launch and switch applications from WMC and Plex/XBMC, but with Windows 8 you don't have to worry about installing any launcher, plugins, etc. The metro interface is basically a glorified 10 foot program launcher that's easy to access and can be navigated with a remote.
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post #4 of 53 Old 03-16-2012, 05:34 PM
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Is was thinking metro would be great for HTPC also, but I'm going to wait till the final product is out before I dive in.

I have few applications that would be handy to have as metro apps, but only if I can get them to work with my harmony remote.
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post #5 of 53 Old 03-16-2012, 07:33 PM
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does the preview have the capability to play blue ray disk ?

seems i had read that its supposed to be able to.
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post #6 of 53 Old 03-17-2012, 06:34 AM
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I don't know about WMC, but our software plays Blu-ray discs on Win8.

I agree with lockdown that the Metro interface is great for an HTPC. I'm not quite so enthusiastic yet though, since my keyboard gets "lost" sometimes when coming out of sleep mode.

It's useable, but I wouldn't rush to make the switch yet.

I wrote up my experience with it when I installed it a couple weeks ago:
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=70545.0

Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center
jriver.com or Owners Thread at AVSForum
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post #7 of 53 Old 03-17-2012, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Windows 8 does not have built in blu-ray playback. Just like windows 7, you need a third party player. Windows 8 does have built in ISO mounting, though, which is nice.

Also, I've found that the metro apps generally require a scroll wheel to move from left to right. Neither the directional pad nor page up and down seem to do the trick.
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post #8 of 53 Old 03-17-2012, 09:46 AM
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loaded win 8 late last night, this mornin i poped in Avatar, played without issues, ff worked as well, did'nt play the whole movie as i need to move some folders and drives around, i have'nt installed anything else to make the movie playable it just played.

also the Media Center 'Video' folder does see my folder structure within 'Video' section [ Folders=My Videos/ Personal Videos/ and my Internet Videos i pulled down from the net].

more trials today, but Win 8 may be a Homerun as the release i downloaded, is looking very good.
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post #9 of 53 Old 03-17-2012, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for the info! I'll be keeping an eye on Win 8 now.
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post #10 of 53 Old 03-17-2012, 11:03 PM
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I agree that metro could be nice for HTPC use but I won't be rushing to make the switch. Have everything setup to launch from XBMC. Just thinking.. maybe you could assign a remote button to alt-tab in Eventghost.
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post #11 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 07:08 AM
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I'll be happier with it once I get the ability to turn off overscanning with my 3200HD graphics. Otherwise, it works fine and I'm looking forward to some other projects (CarPC anyone?) that use 8
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post #12 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 09:20 AM
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I really wish Microsoft would separate out the parts of WMC into 'standalone' apps. If I could just press Guide, Recorded TV, Live TV, etc. from the start screen, there wouldn't be any need for two separate interfaces like there is now with the Metro start screen and WMC.

As it is now, there's no reason to upgrade my HTPC.

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post #13 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

I really wish Microsoft would separate out the parts of WMC into 'standalone' apps. If I could just press Guide, Recorded TV, Live TV, etc. from the start screen, there wouldn't be any need for two separate interfaces like there is now with the Metro start screen and WMC.

As it is now, there's no reason to upgrade my HTPC.

Yeah I think it's a real shame that Microsoft just rehashed the old WMC for Windows 8. It's still a great program, but I would love to see a metro-style UI for the guide, recorded TV, etc. It so strange to me that they basically stopped working on the project just after cable cards became available to the masses.
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post #14 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

I really wish Microsoft would separate out the parts of WMC into 'standalone' apps. If I could just press Guide, Recorded TV, Live TV, etc. from the start screen, there wouldn't be any need for two separate interfaces like there is now with the Metro start screen and WMC.

As it is now, there's no reason to upgrade my HTPC.

Agreed, this is exactly what I had hoped Microsoft would do. There's still time, maybe they will come to their senses before the final release.

How difficult would it be for a member of the community to add Metro tiles themselves?
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post #15 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 10:38 AM
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8 media center is not the same as 7 media center, i find it to be a vast inprovement over 7, the hpmc remote i have functions very well.

wish i could get more bandwidth than dsl 6 mbps as there is big improvements for internet content, coarse it may be the buffer that mc 8 uses, i hope it doesnt get downgraded from its present form.
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post #16 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac25 View Post

8 media center is not the same as 7 media center, i find it to be a vast inprovement over 7, the hpmc remote i have functions very well.

wish i could get more bandwidth than dsl 6 mbps as there is big improvements for internet content, coarse it may be the buffer that mc 8 uses, i hope it doesnt get downgraded from its present form.

Could you go into a bit more detail? WMC in windows 8 looked identical to the windows 7 version from what I could tell. I didn't test it out extensively though.
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post #17 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac25 View Post

8 media center is not the same as 7 media center, i find it to be a vast inprovement over 7, the hpmc remote i have functions very well.

It runs a little bit faster and is more responsive compared to 7, but other than that there is no difference. All the menus and options are exactly the same.
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post #18 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 02:17 PM
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more internet tv choices, better folder structure in video library section where i keep three different video folders, 7 would'nt see the folders when folder view was selected, would only see the files when sorted by date.

have you got cable internet ?

have you tried to play any internet tv content, does it skip or play smooth ?
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post #19 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 02:23 PM
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I'm not seeing any more internet tv content in the guide, it all looks the same to me.
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post #20 of 53 Old 03-18-2012, 11:30 PM
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Can anyone tell me if flac and flac tags are natively supported? Are you using plugins and do they work 'bug-less-ly'?
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post #21 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac25 View Post

8 media center is not the same as 7 media center, i find it to be a vast inprovement over 7,

Thats not due to changes to WMC itself, but rather due to changes in the OS

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

I really wish Microsoft would separate out the parts of WMC into 'standalone' apps. If I could just press Guide, Recorded TV, Live TV, etc. from the start screen, there wouldn't be any need for two separate interfaces like there is now with the Metro start screen and WMC.

I see no reason why such "apps" will not appear in the store
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post #22 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Also worth mentioning is Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 in general. Boot up time, for instance, has been substantially shortened. Apps seem to load quicker too. Basically, it made my hard drives feel closer to SSDs.
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post #23 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 06:08 AM
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8 media center is not the same as 7 media center, i find it to be a vast inprovement over 7

I'll reserve judgement on that one. At this stage of its developement, to all intents and purposes, 8MC looks identical to 7MC. MS have just shoe-horned the eHome 7 code into 8, so not much work for them to do there. Any speed increases will be, as have already been pointed out, down to the new O/S.

It's a crying shame that MS seem to have abandoned MC development on the PC. 8MC is begging for a metro interface, but I don't think we'll get one, unless some 3rd party steps in.

I'll be sticking with 7MC on my main HTPC unless there's a late change of plans from MS, and they show off some new 'killer' features. Can't see it though.
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post #24 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Also worth mentioning is Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 in general. Boot up time, for instance, has been substantially shortened. Apps seem to load quicker too. Basically, it made my hard drives feel closer to SSDs.

Is that because its a watered down preview though?
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post #25 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Is that because its a watered down preview though?

It's not a watered down preview. The consumer preview is feature complete, so I wouldn't expect much change before the final release. Here's more info on the way startup has changed.
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post #26 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 07:00 AM
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So I wonder how fast my boot time would be if my current boot time is about 30 seconds with my SSD and Windows 7. I might instal the 8 preview on one of my extra hard drives and dual boot. I'm interested to see how 8 works with an HTPC. Or anything for that matter.
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post #27 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MasterofBlasting View Post

So I wonder how fast my boot time would be if my current boot time is about 30 seconds with my SSD and Windows 7. I might instal the 8 preview on one of my extra hard drives and dual boot. I'm interested to see how 8 works with an HTPC. Or anything for that matter.

Just tested it on one of my HTPC's with this. Boot time was about 13 seconds XD
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post #28 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Just tested it on one of my HTPC's with this. Boot time was about 13 seconds XD

Awesome!
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post #29 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 01:05 PM
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Anyone interested in collaborating on a LiveTV metro app? I agree with others here that WMC is obsolete if the LiveTV, RecordedTV, and Netflix apps get stripped out of WMC and placed onto the start screen.
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post #30 of 53 Old 03-19-2012, 02:53 PM
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I have been running the Windows 8 CP on my TouchScreen TM2.
I can confirm that as far as touch interface goes, 8MC is an improvement over 7MC (if anyone cares).
I can use my finger to scroll smoothly through the various menus. In 7MC, the touch input would only behave as a mouse click while 8MC seems designed for touch.
I wish they had changed the interface to Metro though, that would have been great....oh well, at least we still have MC.
I haven't used it for a HTPC yet, might do it one of these days.
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