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post #1 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.anandtech.com/show/6674/getting-the-best-out-of-an-ivy-bridge-htpc-windows-8-madvr-and-more
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post #2 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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"Readers following our HTPC reviews know by now that Intel's 23 Hz issue will remain unresolved in Ivy Bridge."

I wonder if this issue will be resolved with Haswell.
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post #3 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 10:36 AM
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Not quite sure why Ganesh said YouTube WebM streams typically top out at 720p unless it's a limitation of the Win8 player. I've not found many streams that have a 1080p MP4 stream but only a 720p WebM stream. When I do, checking back in a few days will result in the 1080 WebM stream being available. YouTube transcodes uploaded videos to all formats in the same resolutions but it may take some time for all streams to be available.

I would also have liked to see decoding performance tests with something other than the LAV video decoder (not the most efficient).
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post #4 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

"Readers following our HTPC reviews know by now that Intel's 23 Hz issue will remain unresolved in Ivy Bridge."

I wonder if this issue will be resolved with Haswell.

I am not sure I see the issue... This is mostly BS.

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post #5 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I am not sure I see the issue... This is mostly BS.

Might not see it but it would still be nice to know its right on. If they are going to turn cpu's into multimedia processors, they might as well do it 100% right.
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post #6 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Might not see it but it would still be nice to know its right on. If they are going to turn cpu's into multimedia processors, they might as well do it 100% right.

MadVR exists for those who care...

most that do... should not.

The rest do not.

Only the few perfectionists find issue. My integrated graphics on 3570k (IVY) seems perfectly acceptable to me.

I could run SVP, MadVR or whatever I wanted on either my i5 or my i7. I have spare video cards (gamer cards). I don't bother in the HTPC.

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post #7 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 12:42 PM
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What planet is Ganesh living on?

This is a quote from the conclusion section of the review.

"In fact, the removal of Windows Media Center and presenting it as a separate $10 upgrade has actually served as a deterrent for many HTPC users. I would strongly suggest HTPC users relying on WMC (irrespective of the OS) to move on to other platforms."

What other platform?

Does he think people rely on WMC just to watch slide shows? WMC is required for view/record Premium CATV because its the only app that supports it. I've never understood HTPC reviews that don't include any functional testing for TV, but instead focus on esoteric video rendering comparisons.

He also suggests $10 for WMC is a hardship but then tests and recommends the $50 JRiver product which can't play back Premium Cable.
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post #8 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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Wow, he recommends spending $50 on something which cannot play back premium cable because the $10 product which CAN play it is too expensive? Durrrr.....
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post #9 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

I would also have liked to see decoding performance tests with something other than the LAV video decoder (not the most efficient).

Which do you feel is the most efficient?
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post #10 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

What planet is Ganesh living on?

This is a quote from the conclusion section of the review.

"In fact, the removal of Windows Media Center and presenting it as a separate $10 upgrade has actually served as a deterrent for many HTPC users. I would strongly suggest HTPC users relying on WMC (irrespective of the OS) to move on to other platforms."

What other platform?

Does he think people rely on WMC just to watch slide shows? WMC is required for view/record Premium CATV because its the only app that supports it. I've never understood HTPC reviews that don't include any functional testing for TV, but instead focus on esoteric video rendering comparisons.

He also suggests $10 for WMC is a hardship but then tests and recommends the $50 JRiver product which can't play back Premium Cable.
Lol

Good points

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post #11 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

He also suggests $10 for WMC is a hardship but then tests and recommends the $50 JRiver product which can't play back Premium Cable.

I never said that JRiver MC18 is a replacement for WMC - they are in completely different parts of the review); The part about WMC being an add-on wasn't mentioned as a hard-ship, but rather that MS is not keeping HTPC enthusiasts as a focus group anymore. Within a few Windows versions, WMC will go away (and by that time, the CableCard initiative will also morph into something different - Content may be only delivered over IP for example, and DVRs may move completely online similar to what Boxee is promoting now). MS is recognizing this trend, and doing the right thing now by making WMC a paid add-on. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but, if you are addicted to CableCard, expect to evolve your media recording methods very soon (and WMC will not be there to help at that time).

Coming back to the JRiver costing $50, this was the user comment:
Quote:
I think most if not all commenters here are completely missing the point on Jriver. Jriver can be your DLNA server, your media cloud server located in your own house. I've tried most MC software, WMC, TotalMedia, NextPVR, BeyondTV, XBMC, etc... None of them can be set up easily as media server cloud so that you can watch your live/recorded TV, all your ripped TV shows, movies, songs, etc over the Internet, your Android phones, your iPhone. You can watch your US live TV, your own movies, recorded TV shows, songs while you'r in Europe provided you have Internet access in the hotel or your smart phone. It take 5 minutes in Jriver to set that up after you build your home Jriver's media library. You do not have to know about public IP/private IP address, etc. Tryi it and you will find out all other MC servers are just for in home, not roaming on the road like Jriver provides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Which do you feel is the most efficient?

Dark_Slayer, an observation I made with XBMC, but didn't note in the review: In the default windowed mode, at idle, the PC was consuming ~41W. I set it to Full Screen Exclusive and the idle consumption dropped to ~32W. Not sure why windowed mode has that much power penalty, and whether XBMC can do anything to prevent that.

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #12 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 07:30 PM
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Ganesh, you are telling people to ditch WMC when there is no alternative for Premium Cable. You don't even test TV functions. I don't get that.

Its like you don't acknowledge that people have Premium CATV subscriptions and watch their favorite Premium channels on their WMC HTPC.
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post #13 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Personally I think making some components of windows an optional add on is not a bad idea, it removes bloat for people with light hardware. My problem is that they are now charging for something that used to be included, if MS is going to charge by feature they need a lower price for the OS.
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post #14 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

Ganesh, you are telling people to ditch WMC when there is no alternative for Premium Cable. You don't even test TV functions. I don't get that.

Its like you don't acknowledge that people have Premium CATV subscriptions and watch their favorite Premium channels on their WMC HTPC.

Care to explain Ganesh?
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post #15 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Personally I think making some components of windows an optional add on is not a bad idea, it removes bloat for people with light hardware. My problem is that they are now charging for something that used to be included, if MS is going to charge by feature they need a lower price for the OS.

And they need to actually fix some of the issues, update the product and support it. Not just charge more for the same and pull the rug out from under it.

 

 

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post #16 of 51 Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

Ganesh, you are telling people to ditch WMC when there is no alternative for Premium Cable. You don't even test TV functions. I don't get that.

Its like you don't acknowledge that people have Premium CATV subscriptions and watch their favorite Premium channels on their WMC HTPC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

Care to explain Ganesh?

t-c, you have got to relax. Bumping up your request for a response when I haven't even posted anything inbetween those two to suggest I am ignoring your post doesn't seem to be the actions of one interested in a exchange of ideas (and, btw, no one wants to be looking at forum threads 24x7)

People can use CableCard and WMC and I am not suggesting that people shouldn't. Instead, I was suggesting that people should move on because what happened in the UK may happen in the US too. See comment on my piece, quoted verbatim below, from a UK reader:
Quote:
ive recently upgraded my htpc .hfx classic case fanless silverstone psu already had. same processor as in this article but with asus p8z77-m and 8 gig samsung green ram .all works extremely well scary quiet.but the tv card i want blackgold 3600 is out of stock at the moment.while browsing the blackgold website it seems there is a problem starting this year with the epg not working in windows media center.turns out microsoft have not renewed the license for the epg .i dont know if they have plans to renew but it seems in europe at least were stuffed .microsoft will phase out wmc or at least no longer develop it . just something to think about shame really because that was the best part of wmc.heres the link http://shop.blackgold.tv/Support. this is only for terrestrial tv i think dont know about satellite

Note that CableCard is US-only. Windows has a market beyond the US. Don't be surprised or caught unawares if you end up with WMC not working with EPG etc. in a few years time. CableCard is clearly running on borrowed time ( http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/17/a-cablecard-replacement-is-due-by-december-2012-bandaids-by-thi/ ) and TiVo (one of the primary reasons why CableCard is still available) is running more like a licensing company nowadays instead of innovating for consumers.

For almost all readers outside the US, and for many within the US, the WMC + CableCard combo is becoming irrelevant. OTA and DVB-T tunersand gadgets such as HDHomeRun provide support for multiple DVR applications other than WMC (MythTV , MediaPorta etc.). The only reason people need to be wedded to WMC is CableCard, and in all other cases, there are other applications for watching live TV / DVR-ing content. A lot of premium CATV content is becoming available on Netflix, Hulu and other online platforms.

The way content is being consumed is changing and my note was just to make sure people are aware of it and don't rely on WMC in the long run. I could go on about Microsoft wanting to shift premium content over to the closed XBox ecosystem instead of the PC platform (to keep the cable companies happy) but that would entail a bigger post.

In concluding, for a PC to be considered a HTPC, it must decode all codecs, have configurable rendering options and operate in a power efficient manner under all the expected user workloads. Anything extra (in terms of DVR capabilities or TV tuner support) is icing on the HTPC cake. From a review viewpoint, I aim to cater to the base options relevant over multiple geographies (NA / EU / APAC).

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #17 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 05:32 AM
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Your speculating in much of that... At the expense of reality today....

bottom line is WMC is way to go for 2013 with DVR HTPC tuner cards.

If your not using a tuner card you probably have a pc that plays movies.

No enthusiast wants to suffer the lower quality of streaming options with ads .... It's not a good replacement for enthusiasts.

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post #18 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 06:12 AM
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@Ganesh, You are certainly welcome to redefine the HTPC as a platform thats not TV/DVR-centric anymore but that definition excludes its largest user community.

Maybe I missed some shift in the HTPC space where the TV/DVR function and CableCard are now considered some sort of minor extras. The next gen products from Ceton and Silicondust don't reflect that viewpoint.
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post #19 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

In concluding, for a PC to be considered a HTPC, it must decode all codecs, have configurable rendering options and operate in a power efficient manner under all the expected user workloads. Anything extra (in terms of DVR capabilities or TV tuner support) is icing on the HTPC cake. From a review viewpoint, I aim to cater to the base options relevant over multiple geographies (NA / EU / APAC).

This is a very narrow viewpoint of HTPC. I always find it interesting everyone's need to define HTPC as THEIR definition of HTPC. It's not an HTPC unless they say it is or it does what they want. Gaming? Sorry, not an HTPC. Power supply larger than 300W, sorry not an HTPC? In a vertical case? Sorry, not an HTPC. Skyping Grandma on it? Sorry, not an HTPC. This need seems to me to simply be to support their narrow viewpoint and knowledge instead of broadening the discussion.

HTPC is a lot of things, something different to each person based on the features they use. An HTPC only needs to decode the codecs the user uses, render things in the manner the user wants and operate as efficiently as the user has budget for. If I want my HTPC to have six hard drives, a massive gaming card, watch H.264 MKVs, run Steam, live TV, Skype, Netflix, Amazon but not Hulu and sit in an ugly tower next to my TV stand or in a closet somewhere, you and anyone else who wants to tell me that's not an HTPC is going to have a hard time convincing me and most of this community that it's not.

Not that my HTPC is this but it's an example of what is fine for an HTPC.

You know, there is an HTPC is dead thread... seems we spend a lot of time talking about something that's supposedly dead.

 

 

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post #20 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 07:26 AM
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What we need is for Apple to make a HTPC and then we would know exactly what one is.

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post #21 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 08:35 AM
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What we need is for Apple to make a HTPC and then we would know exactly what one is.

They did. It's called the Apple TV.

Well, that's "their" definition at least....
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post #22 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 08:50 AM
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As long as the FCC continues to mandate CableCARD it isn't dead. Their last mandate is still valid and only 1½ years old. Cable Card is here to stay for a while even if it is a niche market.

As far as the definition of HTPC goes, I think of it as any PC that is in a Home Theater in the broadest sense.

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post #23 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 09:38 AM
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They did. It's called the Apple TV.

Well, that's "their" definition at least....

I guess that means a HTPC doesn't have a TV tuner.

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post #24 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 09:42 AM
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I guess that means a HTPC doesn't have a TV tuner.

In the Apple world, TV tuners don't exist.
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post #25 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 10:07 AM
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This forum is pretty TV centric

There is nothing wrong with that, but even here most of the build reviews don't include a mention of using cablecard tuners. One very frequent poster here with over 9400 posts from Western MA just revealed this week that he doesn't use a cablecard tuner (yet wink.gif ) I'd have to say almost all cablecard tuner HTPCs would be using WMC, and most by consequence use mediabrowser. Those that aren't concerned with cablecard at all use Myth, Mediaportal, Jriver, Plex, XBMC, or WMC, but let's be honest they probably aren't using a whole lot of WMC. Let's do a quick comparison. The mediabrowser community tracker has just under 6600 users and 86k total comments while the XBMC forums have near 136,000 users and 1.2 million total public posts. XBMC's supported backends began supporting cable card in the latter half of 2012, but a lot of HTPC discussions here date back a lot further than that

I like my cablecard tuner, and for now I'm still using WMC but I can read the writing on the wall about how much of a niche cablecard and pvr support actually are in HTPC
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post #26 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 10:12 AM
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btw, Ganesh: With all due respect, I think a lot of the media is getting "carried away" with what the technology and media companies seem to be headed towards. They want everything in the "cloud" and want the poor consumers to pay for the same damn content multiple times, in the name of mobility and access.

I suspect the media and technology companies are in for a rude shock down the line. While consumers may be (supposedly) dumb, they aint THAT dumb. The talk of everything in the "cloud", seems to forget that hardware and hard drive prices keep going towards rock bottom and so does the cost of power in the US atleast. The power companies in the US are rapidly converting to natural gas (which we have a boatload of) based power generation and power prices are projected to fall even further (and the average is about .08/kwh right now).

With that kind of infrastructure available to the dumb consumer, they will fast realize that if they do what the media/tech companies want them to do, their monthly itunes/Netflix/Hulu/Xbox live bill is gonna be higher than their electricity bill. Well....my opinion is that, it will change the balance of power and consumers will shift more towards local content than "cloud" based. Why? One word: cost.

I'd love to compare ********** traffic in the last 5 years vs today vs what it will be in the next 5 years. The media/tech companies are forcing the consumer (obviously not by design) to move in that direction.
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post #27 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

I would also have liked to see decoding performance tests with something other than the LAV video decoder (not the most efficient).

Vladd, my earlier comment was an earnest question. You seem to know a lot about this, so how did you arrive at that conclusion? Similar to what jakmal stated below with a power consumption comparison, or even just a cpu/gpu utilization comparison? How would you rank them, and which one would you say is more efficient?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Dark_Slayer, an observation I made with XBMC, but didn't note in the review: In the default windowed mode, at idle, the PC was consuming ~41W. I set it to Full Screen Exclusive and the idle consumption dropped to ~32W. Not sure why windowed mode has that much power penalty, and whether XBMC can do anything to prevent that.

That is very interesting indeed. I finally found my Kill-a-Watt, so I'll be sure to test similarly
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post #28 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

This forum is pretty TV centric

There is nothing wrong with that, but even here most of the build reviews don't include a mention of using cablecard tuners. One very frequent poster here with over 9400 posts from Western MA just revealed this week that he doesn't use a cablecard tuner (yet wink.gif ) I'd have to say almost all cablecard tuner HTPCs would be using WMC, and most by consequence use mediabrowser. Those that aren't concerned with cablecard at all use Myth, Mediaportal, Jriver, Plex, XBMC, or WMC, but let's be honest they probably aren't using a whole lot of WMC. Let's do a quick comparison. The mediabrowser community tracker has just under 6600 users and 86k total comments while the XBMC forums have near 136,000 users and 1.2 million total public posts. XBMC's supported backends began supporting cable card in the latter half of 2012, but a lot of HTPC discussions here date back a lot further than that

I like my cablecard tuner, and for now I'm still using WMC but I can read the writing on the wall about how much of a niche cablecard and pvr support actually are in HTPC

That may be because CableCARD tuners have only been available for two years while HTPC has been around much longer than that, probably a fork of PC Gamers more than anything.

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post #29 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

That may be because CableCARD tuners have only been available for two years while HTPC has been around much longer than that, probably a fork of PC Gamers more than anything.

That's definitely something to do with it. I'd say MS screwed the pooch by releasing W7 with such a polished PVR functionality (which a lot of consumers in the US would have liked and purchased) without any oems lined up to release the tuners. Interest definitely waned, and now MS appears to be tossing out the baby with the bath water

I think it would have given them a much heavier user base and be working to introduce their app markets into WMC rather than completely independent of WMC

Would could ifs buts candy nuts etc.
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post #30 of 51 Old 01-23-2013, 12:01 PM
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I used to have Comcast but it was getting expensive so I switched to satellite a couple years ago. A month ago a Comcast rep came knocking on my door at about 7:00pm and wanted me back as a customer & offered me their triple-play package. It was a good price, at least for the first 12 months. I declined. Both of my neighbors switched from Comcast to satellite within the last year because cable was getting too expensive. I look around my neighborhood & there are several satellite dishes where there were none about 3 years ago. I'm guessing other people are fed up with pricing or service.

I have satellite and an OTA antenna & the HTPC is used as an OTA DVR 99% of the time. I record, watch, delete. I have MPC-HC but use it rarely & only to watch miscellaneous video odds & ends. Even though I could use other recording software, WMC7 just plain works for me so I hope it's around for a long time.
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