Windows 8... worth an upgrade from 7? - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jbailey895 View Post

Unfortunately, I didn't "upgrade", I bought a new system that came pre-installed with non-pro Win 8, rendering it worthless. Buying the upgrade to Pro and WMC 8 is almost the exact same cost as buying Win 7 with WMC, so it seems stepping back to Win 7 is the better way to go, assuming Win 8 WMC has nothing new to offer. Do people agree this is my better route? Personally, the metro interface isn't horrendous, but the lack of a "back" button on the browser and the "charms" thing, and shutdown requiring 4 button clicks kinda drives me nutz. I know I should be open to change, but not if it doesn't improve on something.

Here's what I've gathered and I may be wrong here or there because I use Win7Pro and saw no reason to upgrade any of my computers, including my HTPC.

Drive pooling and striping is better integrated into Win8 than in Win7. Some features were also taken out of WMC like booting directly into WMC and having WMC run in "exclusive" mode or using a non-Xbox360 extender being not supported. Weighing these things you can make your decision.

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post #452 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 10:00 AM
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I believe the standard version of Win8 doesn't have RDP so using an extender (Xbox 360 only) wouldn't be possible unless it is the Pro version.

The standard version of Win7 doesn't have RDP (server) either. RDP server is a Pro and up feature. Most every version of Windows has an RDP client (not sure about Starter).

Thanks for the clarification. I think to use an HTPC to feed an extender it needs to be a "server" RDP so the Pro version of Win8 is required. I could be wrong.

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post #453 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 10:26 AM
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Thanx Sammy, I don't use Xbox or any other hardware, and my WAF is tight, she's very anti-computer anything, so the simpler the better. I'm now considering just returning the computer I got (HP A8) and buying something pre-made with Win 7 just to keep it simple. If I get a decent universal remote and stay with Win 7 MCE, I think things should be stable and happy at home. None of the changes in Win 8 seem beneficial to my needs, and the learning curve is too daunting to my wife and daughter, so back to basics it is, but thanks for all the feedback everyone.wink.gif
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post #454 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbailey895 View Post

Unfortunately, I didn't "upgrade", I bought a new system that came pre-installed with non-pro Win 8, rendering it worthless. Buying the upgrade to Pro and WMC 8 is almost the exact same cost as buying Win 7 with WMC, so it seems stepping back to Win 7 is the better way to go, assuming Win 8 WMC has nothing new to offer. Do people agree this is my better route? Personally, the metro interface isn't horrendous, but the lack of a "back" button on the browser and the "charms" thing, and shutdown requiring 4 button clicks kinda drives me nutz. I know I should be open to change, but not if it doesn't improve on something.
That's a tough call. A start menu replacement can essentially banish Metro and make it work just like Win 7, including easy shutdown and all the rest. You get a few improvements like a better task manager, faster boot, smaller footprint, etc. But you lose extender capability (except with Xbox). If I didn't have extenders, I'd probably have just kept Win 8.
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post #455 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

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Originally Posted by jbailey895 View Post

Unfortunately, I didn't "upgrade", I bought a new system that came pre-installed with non-pro Win 8, rendering it worthless. Buying the upgrade to Pro and WMC 8 is almost the exact same cost as buying Win 7 with WMC, so it seems stepping back to Win 7 is the better way to go, assuming Win 8 WMC has nothing new to offer. Do people agree this is my better route? Personally, the metro interface isn't horrendous, but the lack of a "back" button on the browser and the "charms" thing, and shutdown requiring 4 button clicks kinda drives me nutz. I know I should be open to change, but not if it doesn't improve on something.

That's a tough call. A start menu replacement can essentially banish Metro and make it work just like Win 7, including easy shutdown and all the rest. You get a few improvements like a better task manager, faster boot, smaller footprint, etc. But you lose extender capability (except with Xbox). If I didn't have extenders, I'd probably have just kept Win 8.

Does that allow it to boot directly to WMC too?

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post #456 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 10:50 AM
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Does that allow it to boot directly to WMC too?

Just put a shortcut to WMC in the startup folder. What I'm doing.
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post #457 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 11:51 AM
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WMC Reset Toolbox has a feature that allows Win8 to boot to WMC. However, I just have mine boot to desktop and my remote simply fires off a Start command when turning on my system.

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post #458 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbailey895 View Post

Thanx Sammy, I don't use Xbox or any other hardware, and my WAF is tight, she's very anti-computer anything, so the simpler the better. I'm now considering just returning the computer I got (HP A8) and buying something pre-made with Win 7 just to keep it simple. If I get a decent universal remote and stay with Win 7 MCE, I think things should be stable and happy at home. None of the changes in Win 8 seem beneficial to my needs, and the learning curve is too daunting to my wife and daughter, so back to basics it is, but thanks for all the feedback everyone.wink.gif

That's exactly why I'll never upgrade my HTPC to 8. It's working perfectly with 7, and the WAF risk just not worth it.
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post #459 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 12:13 PM
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As of Windows 8.1 - the only thing Win 8 WMC has going against it is incompatibility with non Xbox extenders. Granted, that's a big one; but the only thing I can think of.
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post #460 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

As of Windows 8.1 - the only thing Win 8 WMC has going against it is incompatibility with non Xbox extenders. Granted, that's a big one; but the only thing I can think of.
I agree. I can't think of any other drawbacks either. Having run both on the same machine, I'd also add that WMC is a tad snappier on 8 than on 7, as is the GUI. Could just be the absence of Aero doing that.
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post #461 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 01:01 PM
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I agree. I can't think of any other drawbacks either. Having run both on the same machine, I'd also add that WMC is a tad snappier on 8 than on 7, as is the GUI. Could just be the absence of Aero doing that.

Has someone taken over your account? eek.gif

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post #462 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 01:11 PM
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For me, the only, but important plus of Win8 is the Netflix app, with its (supposedly) better resolution and 5.1 sound.
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post #463 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 01:23 PM
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For me, the only, but important plus of Win8 is the Netflix app, with its (supposedly) better resolution and 5.1 sound.

I think if you use a m&kb or want to use a mobile m&kb app like Unified Remote (what I use) - the Metro ecosystem is a big plus for the HTPC community; it just needs more apps. Of course, you don't have to use them and can keep using strictly just WMC. Here is what My Win 8.1 HTPC has installed:

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post #464 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 02:12 PM
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Has someone taken over your account? eek.gif
I've been holding back to keep the thread on track. FTR, I still hate Win 8 with a passion. I still think having to rely on 3rd party software to make the UI functional is ridiculous. But the release of Win 8.1 with no start menu has proven resistance is futile. I had hoped all the complaints, terrible reviews and dismal sales would have had more of an impact. But this turned out not to be the case. So I've given up and am doing my best to move forward with the steaming pile of crap that Win 8 still is. I've scooped it up, sealed it in a bag and gotten a can of Febreeze and am using it to run all my PCs except my HTPC.

The screenshot staknhalo posted is great for media and has a lot of potential on HTPC. But it doesn't work well with a remote, which is essential for WAF in my house. So it's close, but still isn't there, and probably never will be. Remote integration probably isn't even on the radar in Redmond.
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post #465 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 02:21 PM
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Yeah - because I have to rely on an Android app for control (don't wan't a m&kb in my living room/bedroom) it is by no means my main HTPC interface - I still boot to and mainly use WMC. Especially since I have WMC plugins that do what most of the apps I have are. But it does get some use. Hopefully that will increase over time as more/better apps become available.
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post #466 of 497 Old 09-12-2013, 03:43 PM
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I'm in the process of rolling out iRule at my house since I'm designing a system using it for a co-worker. So far I have an iRule page with a drawer that lets you launch a keyboard and mouse app. Simply hitting the back button puts you back on the iRule page for standard remote control. I wish I could embed the app into an iRule page, but that only supports embedding web pages.

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post #467 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

I think if you use a m&kb or want to use a mobile m&kb app like Unified Remote (what I use) - the Metro ecosystem is a big plus for the HTPC community;

OK, forgive me, I've been away a while, but whats a "m&KB"? Movie and knowledge base? I do like the way stak parsed down the tiles to only relevant stuff, makes metro look a lot more useable, but in non-touchscreen environs it still seems better to boot directly to WMC. I'm still stuck with either having to upgrade all the way up to Winpro and buy MC, or heading downwards to Win7, so I'm torn. I've noticed the EXACT same systems, configured with Win7, are selling for MORE than those with Win 8. (Dell, HP, etc) Kinda ironic, and most of the big-box builds don't use Win8 pro, so the upgrade just to get MC is a couple hundred bucks. Yuck. Another reason to build your own, I guess.
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post #468 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 08:40 AM
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^^^ Mouse & KeyBoard

Don't overthink this too much. Price is about the same, functionality is about the same. The only major difference is extender capability. If you don't ever intend to use non-Xbox extenders, then go for Win 8 since it's the latest and will be supported longer. If you do intend to use non-Xbox extenders, you have no choice but to go with Win 7.
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post #469 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 08:51 AM
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lol thanx, I am probably over-killing this. Netflix, ripped movies, surfing the net and Pandora are basically all we use the systems for now anyway. WAF and KAF (10 yr old daughter) is paramount. Daughter is actually pretty handy with the ipad, wife not at all. Would be cool to have a stable system they can be comfortable with, its kinda been that way for a while, but organizing the recorded TV files is probably the only thing we haven't done well lately. It dumps with all the movies as well. sorry, thats really OT). I will never have an Xbox in the house, so extenders aren't really a concern. If there's a front-end similar to or better than WMC, that would be an argument to keep Win 8. . .
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post #470 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 10:13 AM
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You can still boot directly into WMC with 8.1. Just set Windows to boot to the desktop and place a shortcut to WMC in the start up folder. Done smile.gif

That's how I do it - for me the Metro Screen is a hidden 'extra feature' of my HTPC.

One negative about my HTPC running windows 8 though is that a couple of WMC plugins don't work on 8.1. Some of my plugins have already been updated by their developers, some developers have gotten back to me to say they do plan on updating the plugins, some are probably never gonna be updated. This can't be faulted on 8.1 though - it's solely a problem the original app developers need to fix. A downside though to running 8.1 at this moment, nonetheless.

I will continue to use 8.1 for now and see if I can make do without the plugins either until they are updated/indefinitely - or find working 8.1 replacements/ways to do what I need with the regular WMC interface/options.
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post #471 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 10:31 AM
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I just upgraded to Windows 8 Professional x64 since I abandoned Ceton and WMC in favor of TiVo Roamio ecosystem. However, I still wanted a good UI for movies and music. I converted my Intel NUC i5 into a dedicated XBMC box. The big reason to switch to Windows 8 over Windows 7 was Intel driver support. The Windows 8 drivers are just better for hardware released since mid-2013. The Intel 7260 Wireless-AC adapter is a prime example. The WHQL Intel HD4000 drivers seem to work right out of the box with XBMC vs playing with various version for Windows 7 that break this and that.
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post #472 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I've been holding back to keep the thread on track. FTR, I still hate Win 8 with a passion. I still think having to rely on 3rd party software to make the UI functional is ridiculous. But the release of Win 8.1 with no start menu has proven resistance is futile. I had hoped all the complaints, terrible reviews and dismal sales would have had more of an impact. But this turned out not to be the case. So I've given up and am doing my best to move forward with the steaming pile of crap that Win 8 still is. I've scooped it up, sealed it in a bag and gotten a can of Febreeze and am using it to run all my PCs except my HTPC.

The screenshot staknhalo posted is great for media and has a lot of potential on HTPC. But it doesn't work well with a remote, which is essential for WAF in my house. So it's close, but still isn't there, and probably never will be. Remote integration probably isn't even on the radar in Redmond.

Really, the only thing I like about win8 is the start screen.
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post #473 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 11:25 AM
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Really, the only thing I like about win8 is the start screen.

For a second, I read this as "start button", and giggled.
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post #474 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 11:34 AM
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Really, the only thing I like about win8 is the start screen.

?? Really ??
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post #475 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 11:41 AM
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Really, the only thing I like about win8 is the start screen.
To each his own. Seeing every program I have installed on one screen with teeny-tiny fonts and icons doesn't work for me. I can barely read it from 10', and it's hard to find things without nice groupings. I liken it to having to visually scan the entire contents of a newspaper to find something rather than having headlines to look at.

Now if you're talking about the Metro screen, that has some potential. But in its current form, it doesn't work for me either. Nearly 50% of it is dead space and the giant word "Start" which is completely unnecessary. I can't navigate it without a remote, or even by using arrow keys. Esc, Backspace, PgUp/Down and Tab don't do anything either, which is very odd. You have to Alt-F4 to close an app, and that dumps you back out to the desktop. It's very unintuitive. I guess it would work ok for a toddler using a touch screen, but I need easy navigation without a touchscreen and access to some advanced features and options. Usability is a casualty of trying to make a desktop PC work the same as a phone. That approach is never going to work. Years ago MS took the opposite approach with WinCE, trying to make a phone (or palmtop) work just like a desktop. That didn't work either. They are different animals and need different interfaces.

Anyway, I'll quit ranting now since this thread isn't supposed to be griping about Win 8.
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post #476 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 01:44 PM
 
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I still think having to rely on 3rd party software to make the UI functional is ridiculous.

You don't. Tens of millions of people are using a completely functional UI without any 3rd party software to change its behavior.
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post #477 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 02:23 PM
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I did a clean install of 8.1 and get a video error "missing codecs" when I set my speakers to more than 2. Im on Nvidia HDMI drivers. Anyone else having that problem? It worked fine in 8.
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post #478 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 03:13 PM
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I've been playing with win 8 today a bit, not hating it AS much, but weird that apps running in Metro stop when you switch to desktop, tiling in IE is weird too. Can I run something like XBMC with Win 8 without WMC?
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post #479 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 03:16 PM
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As long as whatever app was updated for Windows 8/8.1 (if it even needed to be in the first place), then yes.
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post #480 of 497 Old 09-13-2013, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbailey895 View Post

I've been playing with win 8 today a bit, not hating it AS much, but weird that apps running in Metro stop when you switch to desktop, tiling in IE is weird too. Can I run something like XBMC with Win 8 without WMC?

I'm running XBMC on Windows 8 Professional x64. I used XBMC Launcher to get it to start like WMC did on Windows 7. Additionally, I have set my BIOS to UEFI / No Legacy / No Text and used XBMC Launcher to replace Windows Explorer shell with XBMC. I then use Xperience1080 skin in XBMC. The end result is an appliance like device and I only see the Windows 8 logo at start, which ties nicely with Xperience1080 skin. It also the fastest starting component in my whole entertainment system. So yes, its possible. And no you don't have to deal with the Metro start screen.
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