Completely sick of WMC via extender - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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So I've been growing more and more annoyed with WMC via my Xbox 360 in the bedroom. Last night, the 360 decided to RRoD on me, so I'm ditching it all together. I store all my media on my NAS (movies, recorded TV). Is there a device I can use to play my "recorded tv" without relying on extending media center? Basically, I don't want media center involved at all, I'm just using it on the HTPC to do the actual recording. The recordings (.wtv) are moved to the NAS immediately after they're completed.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 07:29 AM
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I believe XMBC can now play WTV files so long as they are not CopyOnce. Really you're going to have that problem with anything that is not an extender (even another HTPC running 7MC).

What didn't you like about WMC via extender? Was it just that you were using the XBox? If so you could try the Ceton Echo. While they seem to still be working out the bugs on playing MKVs and such, it seems the Live/Recorded TV is working fine.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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The extender experience, at least with my xbox, was very hit or miss. It was super slow to load the index of movies and/or TV shows. Some times my m4v movies would play, other times they would not. Literally minutes apart at times... I'd play a movie, stop it, try to restart it, and it wouldn't play.

I considered the Echo, but I was hoping to get away from Media Center. We mostly watch movies in that room, recorded TV is sort of a bonus.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 07:57 AM
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Plex Media Server supports wtv recordings, although it's not very pretty. It only organizes them by date recorded and name, and the name of the file is typically truncated meaning I have a bunch of recordings just called "Chopped_FOODHD...".

As mentioned, nothing but WMC supports copy once recordings. That might not affect you though. Honestly, I think you're going to have a really tough time finding a better device for live TV and recordings than a WMC extender. If it doesn't play well with you're other video files, you might want to consider getting an additional device like a WD TV Live or Popcorn Hour. Or you could try your chances with a WD TV Live and Plex, although that won't support live TV.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I guess I could give a new (slim) Xbox a shot and/or the Echo.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post

Thanks for the input. I guess I could give a new (slim) Xbox a shot and/or the Echo.

The good thing about the slim is that they are dirt cheap... $150 or less in some cases. Also, they play games if you're in to that. If you want to pay for Live ($50 a month, give or take a few), you can use your xbox for netflix, hulu, amazon, espn, Internet Explorer, etc.

The biggest negative is the footprint and electric usage compared to the Echo.

My biggest fear is MS pulling the MCE software off of the 360 sometime in the future... I don't ever see that happening with the Echo.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 08:05 AM
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I haven't heard much about the slims having hardware failures. It's a bit hard to beat the functionality for $200. Fyi, the Echo is still having some growing pains, so I would probably lean towards the 360 right now.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Is the slim quieter than the original xbox? I bought my Xbox in 12/2006, and it sounds like a plane most of the time. : )
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post

Is the slim quieter than the original xbox? I bought my Xbox in 12/2006, and it sounds like a plane most of the time. : )

Totally quiet. I had one of the first "Pro" models back during release times... it sounded like a lawn mower. It eventually RROD and that was that.

On black Friday, I got one of the new slims and was blown away by how quiet it is. These days, you can even install a game to the hard drive which keeps the disk from spinning, further reducing the noise. They've come a long way.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 AM
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yes it is more quite, but it's not silent either. I can also confirm that Plex can play WTV files. Here is video of it playing on first generation Roku box on a 27" Sony Trinitron from 1997. The video didn't come out well, but it's enough to show it works:
Metadata doesn't work worth a bean for the recordings because on the file naming conventions of media center. On top of it, your experience is going to depend on your device you use. When I've done on a PC with the desktop client, it's was ok. Trying skip through commercial was more challenging. The Roku, it goes back to the beginning when I try.

For me, it didn't give the biggest hoot because most of the stuff recorded is a watch then delete situation.

If you really want to go away from media center extenders, you may want to look for another DVR/Live software. If you're trying to recorded encrypted channels, you could try XBMC. I don't know what file format it records to, but it may more device friendly; maybe MPEG4 or MPEG2. If so, then you'll have a lot more options for set top boxes and software to use.
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 08:37 AM
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I've got both the 360 slim and the Echo. The Echo wins hands-down, IMHO. If you don't need the gaming feature of the 360, go with the Echo. I'm not a huge fan of extenders but I thought I'd give the Echo a shot and see how it compares to other extenders I've used (360, Linksys, and HP). For recorded and live TV the Echo delivers as promised. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Ceton will eventually include mkv playback of Blu-Ray rips. The additiomn of Android in a future update really looks promising as far as more capabilities.

FWIW, I haven't used my 360 in almost a year for any TV viewing. It's too darn loud and gets way too hot, even with the newer slim model. I can't imagine using one in my bedroom. The Echo is completely passive and only gets warm to the touch.
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 08:55 AM
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I would definitely not call the Xbox 360 slim quiet. It's better than the old ones, but still pretty obnoxious IMO. Same crappy IR port too. I'm hopeful for the Echo, but have just been a bit dismayed reading about others' experiences. Hopefully Ceton will iron out the kinks.
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post

The extender experience, at least with my xbox, was very hit or miss. It was super slow to load the index of movies and/or TV shows. Some times my m4v movies would play, other times they would not. Literally minutes apart at times... I'd play a movie, stop it, try to restart it, and it wouldn't play.

I had that issue with the movies, but never any issues with the Recorded TV listing.
Quote:
I considered the Echo, but I was hoping to get away from Media Center. We mostly watch movies in that room, recorded TV is sort of a bonus.

Echo is not the way to go then, especially if you have anything in intact formats.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-03-2013, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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All our movies are m4v format. They play fine using the Xbox DLNA app.
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-04-2014, 12:06 PM
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Not to hijack your thread here, but you guys are discussing something I've had questions about. Does the Xbox 360 as a media center extender have the same video format limitations as the 360's video player app? Ie, 4gb max, mp4/m4v? If so, are there any reliable transcoding solutions for WMC?

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