MS retiring WMC certifications - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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With MS now retiring the WMC tuner, remote and receiver certifications (all the nails are now in the coffin!), is anyone planning to move away from WMC anytime soon? We're now resigned to the fact we'll get no more features in WMC8, and MC will definitely be gone by the time Windows 9 comes out, so it's just a matter of time before hardware manufacturers pull out of WMC hardware and software support now. The writing's on the wall, we just need to face up to it.

While Ceton seems to be one of the last bastions of WMC support, with new products due soon, this is ONLY for the US. Everywhere else, there's nothing now really. While I still get the guide updates, I've got a reason to stay with it, at least it will give me some thinking time. I love my WMC, but this is really the beginning of the end.
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post #2 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:16 AM
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id like to hear from people at ceton, hauppauge, etc.

even if microsoft quit making wmc there would still be tv tuners and the like. its probably just a cost saving restructure type thing.


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post #3 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:31 AM
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I'm not seeing that guide support is going away until Win7 is no longer supported by MS? That won't be for a while as just now is it being used a lot at the corporate level and a decade on XP is still supported by MS. Am I wrong in thinking this?

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post #4 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:34 AM
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Hmmm, so whats the deal with cable card. Hopefully it will carry on somehow.
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post #5 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:38 AM
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You'd think ceton and silicondust would come out with something CableLabs approved. Ecic already said it was only $75k to do so.

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post #6 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:47 AM
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thats figure is probably only for the cost of certifying it, not engineering it to the point that it can be certified.

the copy once .wtv file is about the only drm i can think of that has not been cracked. probably has a lot to do with the relative obscurity of the format and easier means of getting content, but it is impressive.


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post #7 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:55 AM
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post #8 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:57 AM
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From my understanding, this is the certification test for Windows hardware by Mircosoft, not the CableLabs certification.
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post #9 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 08:35 AM
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The EULA for the guide does say that MS can discontinue it or charge for it at any time. I'd pay a small fee for it if need be, especially if they improve it somewhat.

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post #10 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 10:21 AM
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MS has a track record of pushing something and then losing interest and abandoning it. Besides Windows itself and of course Office and XBox, can anyone point out any real MS successes? I guess their dev tools are good but I doubt if they could support the company in the "manner to which it has become accustomed". Don't be surprised of WMC just fades away.
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post #11 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The EULA for the guide does say that MS can discontinue it or charge for it at any time. I'd pay a small fee for it if need be, especially if they improve it somewhat.

I wasn't aware of that small print, which really doesn't sound good at all, and basically means MS can pull the final tether to WMC at ANY time they choose. They're not committed to continue delivering guide data until 7MC is end-of-life, which in reality means they can, and probably will stop before then. Why would they want to continue paying money to companies to localize and deliver the guide to an ever shrinking user base?

Sure, MC will be in 8Pro (as a cost-option), but that doesn't mean they have to continue supporting the 'live TV' feature, especially now they're not going to be certifying any more hardware or BDA drivers.
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post #12 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 12:21 PM
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Here we go again with another alarmist thread about Windows Media Center...

MS ended most of its certifications on legacy software. I'm sure they though Media Center would penetrate expensive Home Theater systems or more households. It didn't happen. Oh well, why still support that education tract?

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post #13 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

I wasn't aware of that small print, which really doesn't sound good at all, and basically means MS can pull the final tether to WMC at ANY time they choose. They're not committed to continue delivering guide data until 7MC is end-of-life, which in reality means they can, and probably will stop before then. Why would they want to continue paying money to companies to localize and deliver the guide to an ever shrinking user base?
Sure, MC will be in 8Pro (as a cost-option), but that doesn't mean they have to continue supporting the 'live TV' feature, especially now they're not going to be certifying any more hardware or BDA drivers.

What do you mean MS can stop paying for it any time and makes no sense to keep paying for it?

Companies do things that make no sense anyway but in America, citizens are ready to defend the actions of corporations before defending the actions of governments. I see no reason for MS to discontinue providing guide data, it cost them virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things. Shrinking base? Where do you get that from? User base has held steady actually. People don't like the fact MS doesn't support things like FLAC and MKV, so instead of working within the software they go find some unpolished open source software just so they can playback those formats/containers.

I would argue you could build a SFF HTPC and use free open source software, you won't have DRM support and you can't use any cable cards. If that's not an issue and you don't have AMD/ATI Tuners like I do, stop complaining and move on.

I'll continue using WMC because its solid, mature and reliable. Not as fancy with all the skins as XBMC, but XBMC is hardly polished or mature. I can download the same app ten times for Windows and it works. For the third time I have put XBMC on my HTPC only for ESPN3 not to work and give a script error. Now You Tube has made a change and you can't log into your You Tube account via the You Tube add-on. These are frequent problems with XBMC but because of its promise and I don't rely on it exclusively for content, I can deal with these issues.

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post #14 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 12:54 PM
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If that day comes and someone like JRiver hasn't added Ceton cable card compatibility, I'll just go back to using separate components. I'll probably go with a TiVo for cable, a media player like Dune for my stored media, and my trusty old BD player.


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post #15 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

I wasn't aware of that small print, which really doesn't sound good at all, and basically means MS can pull the final tether to WMC at ANY time they choose. They're not committed to continue delivering guide data until 7MC is end-of-life, which in reality means they can, and probably will stop before then. Why would they want to continue paying money to companies to localize and deliver the guide to an ever shrinking user base?
Sure, MC will be in 8Pro (as a cost-option), but that doesn't mean they have to continue supporting the 'live TV' feature, especially now they're not going to be certifying any more hardware or BDA drivers.

How'd you get from MS can stop supporting it to they WILL stop supporting it?

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post #16 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

How'd you get from MS can stop supporting it to they WILL stop supporting it?

Probably the same way that someone came to the conclusion that all markets and all providers are changing to the H.264/MPEG4 and 29/59 fps codec on all channels.

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post #17 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 01:55 PM
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Nailed me!

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post #18 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 04:16 PM
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I admit, this is a HUGE blow for the future of the way I use HTPC. In the end, someone needs to come out with cablecard support.. as well as the ability to integrate something like MediaBrowser. If not, I picture my Win7 MC will stick around for as long as I can possibly keep it.
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post #19 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 04:31 PM
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I bet this is pressure from the media companies. They are doing everything possible to make it so you can't cut the cord.

I hope some third party software company will write a good DVR program.
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post #20 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 04:41 PM
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Guess this means nobody on here will update to win8
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post #21 of 59 Old 06-23-2012, 07:57 PM
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I'm crossing my fingers for MythTV (or anyone really) to take the lead on DVR software w/cablecard support.
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post #22 of 59 Old 06-24-2012, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

How'd you get from MS can stop supporting it to they WILL stop supporting it?

It's probably quite a logistical job to keep contracts and agreements in place with companies all over the world to localize and deliver guide data to media centers used for live TV. These contracts will need to be re-negotiated as well, and this is where longer term issues may arise as MS may decide to back off in certain regions. If the small print says they reserve the right to remove guide data if they so chose, then believe me, they may well so do.

I'm really not trying to be alarmist (I think we all know the deal by now), but jeez people, get your head out of the sand. I will keep my WMC for as long as I can (it's a full media hub for me, everything runs through it), but at some point I'm going to have to reconsider my options, even if it's only for the 'live tv' and recording functionality.
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post #23 of 59 Old 06-24-2012, 06:33 AM
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So if Microsoft does pull the plug what are the other options with cable card support? Isn't XBMC trying to do something?
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post #24 of 59 Old 06-24-2012, 06:39 AM
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I'm sure all of the CC tuner MFGs have considered this way before they put the product into development. When WMC finally dies, I'd be willing to bet Ceton (or the likes) would have developed and approved their own CC approved DVR software. After all, I'm sure NONE of the CC tuner co's enjoy being tied to WMC and it's quirks. This is where TIVO has a big advantage.
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post #25 of 59 Old 06-24-2012, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by snappjay View Post

I'm crossing my fingers for MythTV (or anyone really) to take the lead on DVR software w/cablecard support.

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So if Microsoft does pull the plug what are the other options with cable card support? Isn't XBMC trying to do something?

You're not going to see Myth or XBMC getting full cablecard support anytime soon, they're Open Source (free) software and who's going to pay for them to get a CableLabs certification?

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #26 of 59 Old 06-24-2012, 07:27 AM
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XBMC will eventually handle live tv (PVR branch), but it will rely on a back-end such as MythTV. So it will depend on the back-end program for cable card support. Luckily MythTV already supports the HDHomeRun Prime but it can only decrypt copy free TV, which has worked great for me using the Mythbox addon.

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post #27 of 59 Old 06-25-2012, 08:20 PM
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I don't understand why Microsoft appears intent on killing WMC. TV is being talked about as the next key battle ground for IT, with both Apple and Google making significant investments in that area. Microsoft have a massive head start on eveyone else in this area so why get rid of that lead?

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post #28 of 59 Old 06-25-2012, 09:12 PM
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MS is retiring Media Center because they realize the battle for putting a pc in the living room is lost. Instead, they are going to bring a new console next year with more media center functionality. They have the top selling console and will have better market share this way. Look up the Xbox 720 MS slides from 2010. They have been planning this for years.
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post #29 of 59 Old 06-26-2012, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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MS is retiring Media Center because they realize the battle for putting a pc in the living room is lost. Instead, they are going to bring a new console next year with more media center functionality. They have the top selling console and will have better market share this way. Look up the Xbox 720 MS slides from 2010. They have been planning this for years.

I think this is almost certainly true. WMC as a product will die, as MS are pushing for MC embedded (dedicated set-top boxes), and the media functionality of the Xbox. Trouble is, as the Xbox and embedded routes are closed development systems, it will kill off all 3rd party support for MC straight away, but this is probably the way MS wants it now, as they've seen how Apple handle this type of development, and probably think it will work for them as well, but I'm not so sure.

As the MC certifications are now dead, even with 8MC available, no MC tuners, remotes or drivers will be able to be certified for use on this platform, so MS making it available as an option in 8Pro is almost a token gesture with no real meaning behind it. All they're doing is keeping the few hundred thousand MC users off their backs for a while by saying it IS available if you want it. Don't expect to see anything new at all though for your hard earned dollars.
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post #30 of 59 Old 06-26-2012, 05:49 AM
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If Microsoft wants to turn the Xbox 720 into a TV/DVR they'll need a substantially better container than wtv. Those files are just too large.

I'd be interested to see what a company like J. River does if Microsoft pulls out of the cable card game.
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