So what is the reason for XBMC/PLEX vs just using WMC? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 97 Old 07-02-2014, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
I think you should speak for yourself mate... and I believe there are better ways of doing this, like providing a WMC version that installs and turn your windows machine into an appliance-like kind of device... google Openelec if you need more information...
Such a version can be sold separately to those who need WMC "if" M$ really needs to pay decoder license for every copy...
It appears he was speaking for himself. That's probably why he used the personal pronoun "I." Nothing he has said indicated that he was speaking on behalf of anyone but himself. (unless you're arguing the point that "we" have gotten used to free software, which I think was a valid observation for him to make)

That said, how does your "solution" of providing a separate OS for those looking to use WMC solve the problem of MS passing on the cost of those decoders to the people who actually use them, instead of letting their entire customer base pay for it?

And you put "if" in quotes as if you doubt that MS (it's just a plain "S" by the way... there is no dollar sign in their name or abbreviation) needs to pay licensing fees. Let there be no doubt... they most assuredly do.

And finally...
You have no idea of the feeling of achievement you get, when you can set up and run a WMC box the way you want... your comment makes it clear. I have a rock solid, stable WMC box that is very much an appliance-like device. It's unfortunate that your experience with Vista has marred your opinion of WMC in general, but I can tell you the current version (and the Win7 version) is a far different animal.

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post #32 of 97 Old 07-02-2014, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

That said, how does your "solution" of providing a separate OS for those looking to use WMC solve the problem of MS passing on the cost of those decoders to the people who actually use them, instead of letting their entire customer base pay for it?
Assuming the licensing cost is that much, a crippled version that will not allow you to install desktop apps like MS office for example, and one that boots straight into WMC with limited options like installing hardware drivers and additional codecs... go figure...
But I think we're talking about a $0.5 (up to $2) licensing fee here... extract below is from your link...
Are you not so worth it as a paying client...
IMO, I think using the licensing fee as an excuse is like making a storm out of a glass of water...

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And you put "if" in quotes as if you doubt that MS (it's just a plain "S" by the way... there is no dollar sign in their name or abbreviation) needs to pay licensing fees. Let there be no doubt... they most assuredly do.
Yea...

Any commercial product—hardware or software—that plays back DVDs has to have a license to a handful of software components that are protected by patents. In particular, you need access to the following:
  • An MPEG-2 decoder. The licensing rights for the MPEG-2 standard are made up of a pool of patents contributed by their inventors. The pool itself is managed by MPEG LA, which collects and distributes royalties on behalf of the patent owners, under a master license agreement. Those rights cost $2 per device. The maker of a cheap DVD player sold at Costco pays $2 per unit for the MPEG-2 rights. Microsoft pays An OEM PC maker who licenses Windows from Microsoft must pay $2 in MPEG-2 licensing fees to enable DVD playback in every copy of Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. [Edited to clarify payment requirements]
  • Dolby Digital audio support. This decoder, which is required for DVD movie playback, has to be licensed from Dolby Laboratories, Inc. The licensing schedule isn’t public, but in its annual report for 2011 Dolby revealed that it collected $124 million in licensing fees from Microsoft for the year, with most of that revenue generated from Windows 7. My back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that Dolby gets at least 50 cents and as much as a dollar for every Windows PC sold. [/quote]
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post
And finally...
You have no idea of the feeling of achievement you get, when you can set up and run a WMC box the way you want... your comment makes it clear. I have a rock solid, stable WMC box that is very much an appliance-like device. It's unfortunate that your experience with Vista has marred your opinion of WMC in general, but I can tell you the current version (and the Win7 version) is a far different animal.
I'm not saying there hasn't been an improvement in WMC, and you probably paid separately for it which is not bad either... also really good for you to have it working the way you want... but come back in two years from now and let us know if you haven't had to format / re-install one or two times or haven't had any problems due to constant system patching and updates...
Till then it's Linux all the way...

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post #33 of 97 Old 07-02-2014, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
Assuming the licensing cost is that much, a crippled version that will not allow you to install desktop apps like MS office for example, and one that boots straight into WMC with limited options like installing hardware drivers and additional codecs... go figure...
But I think we're talking about a $0.5 (up to $2) $2.50-$3.00 licensing fee here... extract below is from your link...
Are you not so worth it as a paying client...
IMO, I think using the licensing fee as an excuse is like making a storm out of a glass of water...
Fixed that for you. A Dolby Decoder isn't going to do you much good for DVDs without an MPEG-2 decoder to go with it.

You're making a storm over the idea of paying for an additional component that has a tangible as well as intangible cost associated with it. Microsoft isn't making that storm. you are. You seem to think you're entitled to a product that you want, at the price you want, just because you want it. Microsoft isn't in business to cater to you, they're in business to make a profit. If they weren't in business to make a profit, they wouldn't be in business.. they'd be a charity.

And my worth as a paying customer has no bearing on the discussion. The issue at hand is the worth of the product they are providing. Is WMC not worth $10? If you don't think so, that's fine. Nobody is forcing you to buy it. But just because you are a paying customer doesn't make you entitled to that particular product any more than you'd be entitled to get Office for free. In fact if you're familiar with your computer history (hopefully moreso than you are with your current events) you'd know that MS has been litigated as well as punished by the federal government for anti-competitive behavior. Care to guess what that behavior was?

Spoiler!


Anyway... the point is that you seem to be under the impression that Microsoft should spent $372,000,000 (conservative estimate based on numbers from the previous article) just so you can have WMC at no additional charge. So as a paying customer, do you think you're worth $372,000,000? Because that's the argument you're trying to make when you say you're worth it as a customer. When the argument becomes about you instead of the product you're buying, you're saying that you are worth $372,000,000 to Microsoft.

That said, your "solution" for providing a separate version of Windows that has WMC included still doesn't address the alleged problem of MS charging for the decoder licenses. You're still going to be paying for them if you buy your hypothetical WMC Edition. It just isn't an "extra" cost above the OS. It would be no different from buying Windows 7 which has the decoders (and the license fees) included for everyone regardless of whether they use WMC or not. Sure your solution would fix the issue of people that don't use WMC having to pay for the decoders anyway, but checking your above posts, that wasn't an issue you raised.


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Originally Posted by balky View Post
Yea...

I'm not saying there hasn't been an improvement in WMC, and you probably paid separately for it which is not bad either... also really good for you to have it working the way you want... but come back in two years from now and let us know if you haven't had to format / re-install one or two times or haven't had any problems due to constant system patching and updates...
Till then it's Linux all the way...

Actually, I didn't pay separately for WMC. I've been using Windows 7 on my media center PC for about 3 years now. I've been using it as a cable box replacement ever since I got my Ceton InfiniTV tuners (one of the first batches shipped after release) and it has been rock solid the whole time outside of an SSD that failed. Also worth noting that I had an HP z565 running Vista WMC for a couple of years prior to the current build I have, and never had any major issues with it either.

So I think it's really cute that you managed to get your nice little box running with your cheap software, and its really swell that you're so proud of yourself for doing so. Good for you. But you can drop the condescending attitude because unless some unforeseen forces make some major changes, your nice little box will never be able to work with flagged cable content, in any way shape or form, and even a couple years from now, barring hardware issues, I expect I'll still be enjoying my trouble-free WMC box as I have for the past several years.

Or perhaps you can share some more terribly out of date anecdotes with us and lecture people on how bad analog modems are because they tie up your voice line, or how we should stop driving cars because leaded gas is bad.

But the only takeaway I can find in your post seems to be "Don't use Windows Vista." So if I wake up back in 2009, I'll be sure to heed that advice.

My advice to you would be to stop lecturing people about a product that you have no experience with, and stop complaining about a product that you have no intention of using.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.

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post #34 of 97 Old 07-02-2014, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post
Fixed that for you. A Dolby Decoder isn't going to do you much good for DVDs without an MPEG-2 decoder to go with it.

You're making a storm over the idea of paying for an additional component that has a tangible as well as intangible cost associated with it. Microsoft isn't making that storm. you are. You seem to think you're entitled to a product that you want, at the price you want, just because you want it. Microsoft isn't in business to cater to you, they're in business to make a profit. If they weren't in business to make a profit, they wouldn't be in business.. they'd be a charity.

And my worth as a paying customer has no bearing on the discussion. The issue at hand is the worth of the product they are providing. Is WMC not worth $10? If you don't think so, that's fine. Nobody is forcing you to buy it. But just because you are a paying customer doesn't make you entitled to that particular product any more than you'd be entitled to get Office for free. In fact if you're familiar with your computer history (hopefully moreso than you are with your current events) you'd know that MS has been litigated as well as punished by the federal government for anti-competitive behavior. Care to guess what that behavior was?

Spoiler!


Anyway... the point is that you seem to be under the impression that Microsoft should spent $372,000,000 (conservative estimate based on numbers from the previous article) just so you can have WMC at no additional charge. So as a paying customer, do you think you're worth $372,000,000? Because that's the argument you're trying to make when you say you're worth it as a customer. When the argument becomes about you instead of the product you're buying, you're saying that you are worth $372,000,000 to Microsoft.

That said, your "solution" for providing a separate version of Windows that has WMC included still doesn't address the alleged problem of MS charging for the decoder licenses. You're still going to be paying for them if you buy your hypothetical WMC Edition. It just isn't an "extra" cost above the OS. It would be no different from buying Windows 7 which has the decoders (and the license fees) included for everyone regardless of whether they use WMC or not. Sure your solution would fix the issue of people that don't use WMC having to pay for the decoders anyway, but checking your above posts, that wasn't an issue you raised.





Actually, I didn't pay separately for WMC. I've been using Windows 7 on my media center PC for about 3 years now. I've been using it as a cable box replacement ever since I got my Ceton InfiniTV tuners (one of the first batches shipped after release) and it has been rock solid the whole time outside of an SSD that failed. Also worth noting that I had an HP z565 running Vista WMC for a couple of years prior to the current build I have, and never had any major issues with it either.

So I think it's really cute that you managed to get your nice little box running with your cheap software, and its really swell that you're so proud of yourself for doing so. Good for you. But you can drop the condescending attitude because unless some unforeseen forces make some major changes, your nice little box will never be able to work with flagged cable content, in any way shape or form, and even a couple years from now, barring hardware issues, I expect I'll still be enjoying my trouble-free WMC box as I have for the past several years.

Or perhaps you can share some more terribly out of date anecdotes with us and lecture people on how bad analog modems are because they tie up your voice line, or how we should stop driving cars because leaded gas is bad.

But the only takeaway I can find in your post seems to be "Don't use Windows Vista." So if I wake up back in 2009, I'll be sure to heed that advice.

My advice to you would be to stop lecturing people about a product that you have no experience with, and stop complaining about a product that you have no intention of using.
Thanks for sharing your opinion and advise...

I generally rarely get into this kind of discussion...

I beg to differ and bow out...

Cheers!
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post #35 of 97 Old 07-02-2014, 05:10 AM
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I thought it was about £99 for the pro pack if I remember right. Having never used WMC, it didn't seem like a great option when there are other tools out there
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post #36 of 97 Old 07-02-2014, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
I'm not saying there hasn't been an improvement in WMC, and you probably paid separately for it which is not bad either... also really good for you to have it working the way you want... but come back in two years from now and let us know if you haven't had to format / re-install one or two times or haven't had any problems due to constant system patching and updates...
Back... it's been two years as documented in my WMC thread and WMC has been just as reliable as TiVo was for over a decade. Sure I play around more than when I used TiVo but that was the point to a large degree... something to tweak when I wanted.
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post #37 of 97 Old 07-03-2014, 08:47 PM
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Best with Video Metadata?

Same question here, I don't use cable, BUT I have an extensive collection of videos clips and WMC only allows me to sort them by Folder, Name and Date? that seems rather limited. I want a front end able to filter/sort quickly through a variety of ways, am willing to spend the time building a metadata base.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #38 of 97 Old 07-03-2014, 09:15 PM
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Same question here, I don't use cable, BUT I have an extensive collection of videos clips and WMC only allows me to sort them by Folder, Name and Date? that seems rather limited. I want a front end able to filter/sort quickly through a variety of ways, am willing to spend the time building a metadata base.
I haven't used xbmc but suggest you give the latest standalone version of media browser a go. Mb3 includes a server which accesses your media and optionally builds and maintains metadata from a number of online 3rd parties. You need to store your media in separate film and TV directories. The TV needs to follow a SxxEyy episode naming. You can then access this media using a range of mbt (mediabrowser theatre) clients including windows and android. The android client drives the htpc client so you can access and process your media using a phone or tablet. It is very simple to setup and operate. See http://mediabrowser.tv/
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post #39 of 97 Old 07-03-2014, 09:19 PM
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Same question here, I don't use cable, BUT I have an extensive collection of videos clips and WMC only allows me to sort them by Folder, Name and Date? that seems rather limited. I want a front end able to filter/sort quickly through a variety of ways, am willing to spend the time building a metadata base.
I haven't used xbmc but suggest you give the latest standalone version of media browser a go. Mb3 includes a server which accesses your media and optionally builds and maintains metadata from a number of online 3rd parties. You need to store your media in separate film and TV directories. The TV needs to follow a SxxEyy episode naming. You can then access this media using a range of mbt (mediabrowser theatre) clients including windows and android. The android client drives the htpc client so you can access and process your media using a phone or tablet. It is very simple to setup and operate. See http://mediabrowser.tv/. Also http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...eswmc-or-xbmc/.
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post #40 of 97 Old 07-03-2014, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post
Same question here, I don't use cable, BUT I have an extensive collection of videos clips and WMC only allows me to sort them by Folder, Name and Date? that seems rather limited. I want a front end able to filter/sort quickly through a variety of ways, am willing to spend the time building a metadata base.
Also http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...eswmc-or-xbmc/.
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post #41 of 97 Old 07-03-2014, 09:50 PM
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if you want true whole house DVR/media center capabilities, xbmc is it. That's because xbmc uses a true client/server model for its pvr & optionally for media organization.

With a backend server, you can sync all of your media using an sql server. With a pvr on a back end, you can manage your recordings all in one place (same with extenders in wmc, but extenders aren't nearly as elegant as xbmc).

Also, you can run recorded media with mpc-hc and mad vr. It really doesn't get much better. It just takes way more work to get right. WMC is the "set it and forget it" approach. If you have more than one htpc in your house, xbmc is the way to go.
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post #42 of 97 Old 07-03-2014, 09:56 PM
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if you want true whole house DVR/media center capabilities, xbmc is it. That's because xbmc uses a true client/server model for its pvr & optionally for media organization.

With a backend server, you can sync all of your media using an sql server. With a pvr on a back end, you can manage your recordings all in one place (same with extenders in wmc, but extenders aren't nearly as elegant as xbmc).

Also, you can run recorded media with mpc-hc and mad vr. It really doesn't get much better. It just takes way more work to get right. WMC is the "set it and forget it" approach. If you have more than one htpc in your house, xbmc is the way to go.
have a look at MB3 and this link )http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...eswmc-or-xbmc/) and you will see MB3 has a number of advantages over XBMC - note MB3 no longer requires WMC.
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post #43 of 97 Old 07-03-2014, 10:03 PM
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have a look at MB3 and this link )http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...eswmc-or-xbmc/) and you will see MB3 has a number of advantages over XBMC - note MB3 no longer requires WMC.
I'm open-minded so I will definitely do research on it. xbmc is quite cumbersome, and I'm still not a fan of its pvr guide... wmc is definitely better in that department (along with the ability to play drm channels, of course).

but i've put so much time into tweaking my xbmc setup that it's 95% where I need it, and I'm perfectly happy with that.
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post #44 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 12:34 AM
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if you want true whole house DVR/media center capabilities, xbmc is it. That's because xbmc uses a true client/server model for its pvr & optionally for media organization.
I agree on the model, but mediaportal and mythtv use that model as well

The extremely robust server backend that finally came to fruition was WMC The original (and still current) dev krustyreturns is also supporting MB3 with ServerWMC. Not sure where the cooperation lies right now between the very talented NPVR dev (sub) who was writing the MB3 pvr backend (I think) and krustyreturns who is also obviously a very knowledgable .net dev who really paved the way for ServerWMC to exist (with help from some others along the way) and whichever MB3 dev is also supporting live tv. Obviously it will inevitably make it's way to the full blown standalone theater product and not forever remain a web only afterthought. Not sure how far theater has to go, but full blown interfaces with advanced rendering options, 3d, subtitles, usable remote-friendly gui, stable all-encompassing playback, bookmarks, live stream and growing file playback, etc take a long time. That's why plex doesn't really bother with the actual player portion of their desktop OSX and Win applications. They put their work into the transcoding engine and multitude of mobile app formats (which I've never known, but highly guesstimate they borrow a lot from handbrake's GNU "preset" options -- who knows?)

I am still using XBMC w/ mysql for my server also running serverWMC as a backend on the same machine. I've installed and removed MB3 server about 6 times now (mostly to try out XBMB3C). While I keep finding XBMB3C to be moving along quickly and working nice, instability crops up with my tuners and serverWMC when I have both XBMC and MB3server installed. I can't pinpoint it, and I haven't reported it but when I uninstall mb3server things go back to normal



To the OP, the list of things you don't get with WMC that you can get with XBMC
  • Easily toggled subs (forced or not)
  • External subs (if you want, or if you forgot)
  • honor MKV chapter skips
  • FF/RW mkv video
  • 3D SBS/OU
  • Playback/resume points
  • pressing any of the numbers on your remote during playback doesn't take you to live tv

MB classic puts a lot of good makeup on a pig (WMC internal player) but it doesn't fix the playback issues that are not built into WMC. You can't easily shift audio, adjust refresh rate to match source, change aspects, etc. There are a bunch of "hackity" ways to try and fix WMC, but honestly it's best just to let WMC do the one thing it excels at (PVR)

You can either make use of ServerWMC (eventually in MBT) in XBMC, or if you are stuck in "copy-once" world (then just ditch cable altogether and learn how to use sickrage ) -- if you are stuck in copy once then you can use QuickWMC to open WMC shortcuts directly from XBMC (and return directly to XBMC when pressing back). Or you can try to hack all the different ways to keep using WMC as your 10' interface and even try out all the varieties of craptastic extenders that exist on the market, and find out which titles in your library they successfully playback and which ones they choke on. Honestly if Comcast goes copy-once, I'll just sell of my cablecard tuner and cancel my subscription. I may get an antenna and hdhomerun anyway
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post #45 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 07:45 AM
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Lipstick on a pig ? With a codec pack WMC is just as capable as xbmc. Or windows media player. They are not "bad players".

Note: I don't use WMC anymore.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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Lipstick on a pig ? With a codec pack WMC is just as capable as xbmc. Or windows media player. They are not "bad players"
I made an easy list in my post as to why it is not just as capable
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post #47 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 10:46 AM
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I could toggle subtitles with mine, I just mapped the key for it to my remote. Took like 8 seconds...

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post #48 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 11:30 AM
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Can't overlook the 59/29 bug in wmc, which will likely never get fixed. I actually replaced my video card because of it.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
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post #49 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 01:16 PM
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So what is the reason for XBMC/PLEX vs just using WMC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hisma View Post
Can't overlook the 59/29 bug in wmc, which will likely never get fixed. I actually replaced my video card because of it.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

I have an HTPC running WMC. I use RecordedTV HD to watch all my tv shows recorded off my Ceton tuner and downloaded tv shows (this program seamlessly combines them) and I use Media Browser for all my movies (MKV, mp4, m2ts). All this is inside of WMC. I run a Sandy Bridge i3 with HD2000 graphics and have NEVER seen this "mythical" 59/29 bug. I also built an AMD HTPC with a HD5450 video card and again have never had an issue.

To the original poster: check out Assassins HTPC blog. He has a ton of great guides with pictures to help you decide what to put on your PC. In fact mfusick helper write a few of them. I personally wrote the MCEBuddy Guide and Shark007 Guide (kinda outdated now that Shark has made his codec pack even easier to use). It's a good starting point AND he made them free!!!


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I have to return some video tapes....

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post #50 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilky13 View Post
I have an HTPC running WMC. I use RecordedTV HD to watch all my tv shows recorded off my Ceton tuner and downloaded tv shows (this program seamlessly combines them) and I use Media Browser for all my movies (MKV, mp4, m2ts). All this is inside of WMC. I run a Sandy Bridge i3 with HD2000 graphics and have NEVER seen this "mythical" 59/29 bug. I also built an AMD HTPC with a HD5450 video card and again have never had an issue.

To the original poster: check out Assassins HTPC blog. He has a ton of great guides with pictures to help you decide what to put on your PC. In fact mfusick helper write a few of them. I personally wrote the MCEBuddy Guide and Shark007 Guide (kinda outdated now that Shark has made his codec pack even easier to use). It's a good starting point AND he made them free!!!


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You can deny the bug all you want, but it's highly documented and very real. I had horrible color flashing when watching certain channels with a brand new R5 230. Spent over a week trying every tweak I could find to reduce it.

Finally replaced it with a geforce 750ti, and the problem went away completely. Some cards handle it worse than others, and ironically newer cards seem to have a tougher time.

Point is, it's a bug that's been known for years, and ms will likely never fix it.

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post #51 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
  • pressing any of the numbers on your remote during playback doesn't take you to live tv
Yeah, I honestly can't think of anything that ruins a media watching experience like that. If there is one thing I could change about WMC outside of some new features, that would be it.
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post #52 of 97 Old 07-04-2014, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
I could toggle subtitles with mine, I just mapped the key for it to my remote. Took like 8 seconds...
You can work around it, but it's not built in nor robust. It occasionally kicks playback out of full screen and relies on some third party program that you never know will work with W8, W8.1, W9, etc

If by not bad you mean it can almost pass for decent in the number of formats it can handle then no it's not bad. If you count the lack of feature set then it's a lot that you lose and have to put up with

29/59 isn't a mythical bug we are making up. Hopefully you get to encounter just as I did . . . when you are handing over and demoing a new htpc to someone who just paid you to build and set it up at their place. Fortunately they weren't epilectic and the workaround fixed the worst of it
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post #53 of 97 Old 07-05-2014, 08:48 AM
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For an appliance like experience with a cablecard tuner WMC is probably the way to go for most, it just works. Hopefully, Android L/TV will get cablecard support and cheap Android TV boxes will be the answer in the near future. The Shark Codec gets a thumbs up from me it is solid bit of programming. JRiver MC19 can take one a long way for little money if you don't have to deal with copy protection schemes on cable it is a powerful solution for those without WMC.

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post #54 of 97 Old 07-05-2014, 11:02 AM
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I basically use my HTPC with WMC7 as a DVR & it did exhibit the 59/29 bug with some SD OTA programs. IIRC WMPlayer & MPC-HC did not. I would have thought that Windows Player & Media Center would behave the same since they're both Microsoft players, but that's not the case. I could have played the recordings using a number of players but wanted to keep things simple & use only WMC. I installed a cheap HD6450 video card which fixed the 59/29 bug.
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post #55 of 97 Old 07-05-2014, 11:48 AM
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what exactly is this 29/59 bug you all are going on about? the only time i've seen this is on CATV channels of re-runs of shows (like on USA , TNT, E!, etc.) and never seen this problem with live broadcasts like sports. Are you saying that the 29/59 bug is a problem inside of WMC itself and any file types played back within WMC can be susceptible to it? if that's true, that is definitely the biggest reason not to use WMC as the default player.
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post #56 of 97 Old 07-05-2014, 01:34 PM
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It's when the video is incorrectly (sloppily) encoded and switches rapidly between 29 fps and 59 fps. It's a known issue for Microsoft and they've never dealt with it. It results in flickering of the image especially on certain channels (HBO, AMC, etc.). I saw it most on Breaking Bad on AMC. Disabling the dynamic contrast enhancement on the intel integrated GPU solved it for me except that the AMC logo still flickers occasionally.

MicroSoft KnowledgeBase acknowledgement of the bug http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2658140

Other reading How Prevalent Is The 29/59 Bug?

There used to be some good links and forum posts on the bug on the Windows Experts Community forums and how-tos but those seem to have disappeared when MS acquired them.
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post #57 of 97 Old 07-05-2014, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ou8thisSN View Post
what exactly is this 29/59 bug you all are going on about? the only time i've seen this is on CATV channels of re-runs of shows (like on USA , TNT, E!, etc.) and never seen this problem with live broadcasts like sports. Are you saying that the 29/59 bug is a problem inside of WMC itself and any file types played back within WMC can be susceptible to it? if that's true, that is definitely the biggest reason not to use WMC as the default player.
It's inside WMC itself. The thing is that certain video cards handle the bug more gracefully than others, so you may not notice it at all if you have the right video card. Simply google "29/59 bug" and you'll see tons of posts about it. It can be reduced with driver tweaks, but for some cards it's better to just get a new one that is known to handle the bug gracefully.

Here's a thread on this very forum from 2012 that even has a link to the microsoft kb that confirms microsoft is aware of the bug.
How Prevalent Is The 29/59 Bug?
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post #58 of 97 Old 07-05-2014, 10:53 PM
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My 59/29 was not a flickering problem but was a stuttering or skipping problem. Like a frame or two was missing every so often.
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post #59 of 97 Old 07-06-2014, 02:01 AM
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I see the 29/59 issue (it's not a bug) the same way I look at UFOs.

Lots of people see weird lights in the sky, but I'm skeptical that all of them are aliens.
Lots of people report add video behavior in WMC, but I'm skeptical that all if it is related to the 29/59 issue.

That said, the issue at hand is that WMC (which was built around the notion of displaying Live/Recorded TV) doesn't ignore the flag in MPEG-2 video streams that indicate whether a particular frame is interlaced or progressive. (And rightfully so) Unfortunately not all video cards/drivers seem capable of handling this switch between progressive and interlaced properly. The primary reason that the issue doesn't manifest itself through other players is because most other players ignore the frame flag, and simply display the content as progressive (regardless of what is actually in the video stream) since that is the type of video that nearly all video players are designed to work with. Those that are capable of properly displaying interlaced output that aren't affected by the issue, are usually employing alternative methods (ie a "hack' of some sort) to determine if the content is progressive of interlaced.

If your GPU/Driver combo can't handle the switch between progressive and interlaced content, then the only place this should likely ever manifest is between breaks of dissimilar content. (ie. progressive show, cuts to an interlaced commercial, or interlaced commercial cuts to deinterlaced commercial, etc) and while I don't want to get preachy about what should or shouldn't effect your viewing pleasure, in my experience, the folks controlling the transitions during commercial breaks butcher it enough already, that I'm not going to get any more upset over a sub-second hiccup at the beginning of whatever insurance commercial is first up at the break, regardless of whether said hiccup is caused by a framerate change, or because some guy in the booth was a little slow in the trigger. But in general this shouldn't effect normal TV viewing.

There is of course a significant caveat, and that is if the content provider flagged the content incorrectly in the first place. If that's the case (and your GPU/drivers can't handle switching modes gracefully) then you might actually have an entire show (or possibly an entire network) that is basically unwatchable. You have have two options to remedy the issue, and those are to change to a GPU/driver combo that can handle the content, or to get the content provider to properly flag their content. But if the network is flagging the content wrong, blaming MS/WMC makes as much sense as blaming them is one network always broadcasts content with the wrong AR. (I've seen that happen on occasion too) It isn't MS's fault that the picture doesn't take up my full screen and everyone looks 8 feet tall. Some knucklehead in Master Control toggled the wrong switch and now my picture is jacked up. Sure it sucks, but expecting Microsoft to fix that is a little ridiculous.

It takes two things to make a show unwatchable... a video stream that isn't properly flagged, and a video card that can't handle the change gracefully. Microsoft has zero control over either of those things. You only have direct control over one... the GPU. If you want the issue remedied, your best bet is to look at your GPU. But Microsoft isn't going to fix anything as nothing on their end is broken. Yes, I've seen the knowledge base article, and no it doesn't acknowledge any sort of bug on Microsoft's end. People reported problems to MS and they've acknowledged that some GPUs can't handle framerate changes properly. But that isn't the same thing as a bug in WMC.

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post #60 of 97 Old 07-06-2014, 04:07 AM
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I see the 29/59 issue (it's not a bug) the same way I look at UFOs.

Lots of people see weird lights in the sky, but I'm skeptical that all of them are aliens.
Lots of people report add video behavior in WMC, but I'm skeptical that all if it is related to the 29/59 issue.
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Microsoft has zero control over either of those things. You only have direct control over one... the GPU. If you want the issue remedied, your best bet is to look at your GPU. But Microsoft isn't going to fix anything as nothing on their end is broken. Yes, I've seen the knowledge base article, and no it doesn't acknowledge any sort of bug on Microsoft's end. People reported problems to MS and they've acknowledged that some GPUs can't handle framerate changes properly. But that isn't the same thing as a bug in WMC.
You can playback a recording in WMC and experience the epliectic strobing flicker, then playback the same recording without changing a thing in MPC-HC and it will not flicker
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