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post #1 of 156 Old 10-08-2012, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/8/3474602/boxee-tv-live-hdtv-antenna-dvr-apps
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The Verge has obtained photos of Boxee TV, a device that aims to combine over-the-air live TV broadcasts, DVR functionality, and web apps into a single home theater solution. It's a markedly different strategy than the one Boxee took with its first foray into the living room. Boxee Box, launched in 2010, managed to attract a small subset of cord cutters to the company's media center platform, tallying 200,000 active users as of April. But a lack of TV integration immediately limited its mass appeal. Now the company is taking another stab at convincing you to wave goodbye to your cable subscription, insisting that OTA programming is all most viewers really need.

The new hardware (also manufactured by D-Link) sheds Boxee Box's angled black cube in favor of a form factor that resembles competing products from Apple, Roku, and others. But what Boxee's latest gadget loses in character, it stands to gain in functionality. Whereas the current Boxee Box requires a separately-sold dongle to watch live television, the new box carries a TV tuner (complete with coax input) right inside its matte black casing — an external antenna is also said to be included. It's here that Boxee seems to be launching a full-scale assault against the traditional cable model, imploring users to "watch more free tv" and "stop spending money on stuff you don't watch" on the device's packaging.

BOXEE'S NOT MAKING FRIENDS IN THE CABLE INDUSTRY

To make that live TV aspect more enticing, Boxee has thrown in DVR capabilities. Our tipster hasn't had an opportunity to give recording a run-through, but a survey delivered to beta participants hints that you'll be able to watch content across multiple devices — likely through Boxee's companion smartphone app. Thankfully Boxee hasn't forgotten about your personal media library, with the new hardware providing similar network streaming abilities to those found in the present model. Yes, you'll still be able to play those 1080p Blu-ray rips.

NO MORE QWERTY REMOTE

But there have been other reductions: the company has sacrificed its previous two-sided remote in favor of a simpler solution that omits a QWERTY keyboard altogether. Instead you're given buttons for play/pause, home, back, menu, and a four-way directional controller. The remote also features blue and green specialty buttons, though these reportedly have no utility just yet. And on that note, it's clear there's plenty of work to be done before Boxee TV is ready for consumers; our source says the software routinely crashes several times a day and that Boxee plans numerous updates down the line to refine the user experience before any public unveiling.

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post #2 of 156 Old 10-08-2012, 06:04 PM
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FTFY

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post #3 of 156 Old 10-08-2012, 07:38 PM
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Great idea.......and I hear Apple iOS working on something similiar combining the functionality of a set top box with apps and network local content in one device.
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post #4 of 156 Old 10-08-2012, 08:53 PM
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I think it's a bad idea unless they also have a box without a tuner and DVR capabilities. I don't need a box that takes me back to 2001. I was able to record my HD content back then from OTA ATSC tuners, store the recordings over my LAN on Network storage and play them back from that network storage. And back then I had a Philips Pronto touch screen remote. The new remote from Boxee is a step backwards. I guess I'll be keeping my three v1 Boxee Boxes and picking up a Popcorn Hour A400. I really liked how Boxee aggregated all my media content.
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post #5 of 156 Old 10-08-2012, 10:01 PM
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I think it's a great idea. Maybe not for the small percentage of us who have had our own HD DVR/HTPC for a decade or more. But, for the mass market where all the money is this seems like a game changer. A device like this is something I could recommend for my parents or my sisters' families who are interested in "cutting the cord" from cable.

OTA DVR gets a lot of the material that people demand. But, that's not really enough to satisfy. So, that will push people to all the additional Boxee services. It seems like a good box, and a good strategy to me.
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post #6 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 01:27 AM
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I wonder how many people have an HD antenna that can receive a reasonable number of channels? It's almost impossible to find installers of outdoor antennae. Not a bad idea, but it doesn't seem to be in the direction the world is moving. Mind you, it becomes more appealing if the cable and telecom companies keep control of the distribution pipe and content. Nothing interesting will happen until they are out of much of those two activities.

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post #7 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 06:10 AM
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There is no such thing as an HD antenna.

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post #8 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 06:35 AM
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I think it's a bad idea unless they also have a box without a tuner and DVR capabilities.
Only if the new box has new, improved local and Internet media capabilities the current box doesn't. The key question (above joke photo aside) is does hd audio work properly on this finally?

For those who do want an OTA DVR, if priced at around $200, the new box might be a better alternative to TiVo Premiere with Lifetime ($600) or Simple.tv (too restrictive). Hopefully, the new box has two tuners and lets you archive recordings you make, not wrapping it in some proprietary container only the box can play (like Simple.tv).
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The new remote from Boxee is a step backwards.
Agree.

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post #9 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 06:55 AM
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I wonder how many people have an HD antenna that can receive a reasonable number of channels? It's almost impossible to find installers of outdoor antennae.
Depending on where you are, there are a few great indoor antennas that get the job done. The Mohu Leaf is one such antenna. But, if you're really far away from broadcast towers, just install a full size antenna in the attic. You can do it yourself vs. hiring an installer to put it on the roof.

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post #10 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Only if the new box has new, improved local and Internet media capabilities the current box doesn't. The key question (above joke photo aside) is does hd audio work properly on this finally?
For those who do want an OTA DVR, if priced at around $200, the new box might be a better alternative to TiVo Premiere with Lifetime ($600) or Simple.tv (too restrictive). Hopefully, the new box has two tuners and lets you archive recordings you make, not wrapping it in some proprietary container only the box can play (like Simple.tv).
Agree.

An interesting question is does HD audio matter to the crowd Boxee want to sell to, a mainstream audience ?

The AppleTV's don't have it, the GoogleTV's don't have it, the Roku's don't have it, hell even the first commercial XBMC box the Pivos XIOS doesn't have it (pass-through that is). So I don't think it does and the BB1 was a mistake to include support for that with the huge amount of trouble it caused them. I wouldn't be surprised if that is omitted this time around given the costs HD audio pass-through add's on top.

Not sure on the remote, I thought the Boxee remote was a real bad design, the new one looks a little better (also lacks keyboard so they are cutting costs), it's also nice to hear that they have proper remote apps for tablets/phones.
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post #11 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

For those who do want an OTA DVR, if priced at around $200, the new box might be a better alternative to TiVo Premiere with Lifetime ($600) or Simple.tv (too restrictive). Hopefully, the new box has two tuners and lets you archive recordings .
And you would seriously expect that for $200?

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post #12 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 09:39 AM
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Maybe, as I figured they would aim for wider appeal. Simple.tv, which may be this box's closest competitor if you look solely at recording and streaming to devices is $149 for the 'limited' box. I'm guessing no hard drive either with Boxee's new box, that you'll need to attach a USB drive or record to a NAS.

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post #13 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 11:17 AM
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Clear QAM would hedge some bets.....

Boxee was a big supporter of this just last Feb:
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021858382

.

There he goes again... Good Ol' R. Reagan's favorite Troll line !
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post #14 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 11:27 AM
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This looks interesting and I may get one when it comes out. I am looking for an OTA tuner with HDMI out to use with my plasma display, and something that can play back my media collections over LAN, with Netflix/Amazon streaming support. The DVR feature would be a bonus to me, though not essential (I have a SageTV setup for that).

Looks like it doesn't include a HD, which is good, so I can record to a NAS or attached device.

I haven't really followed the original Boxee box. How does it perform as a media streamer? ie, playing back mkv files over wired lan, watching Netflix... Is it similar to the WDTV Live? (in terms of the quality of the playback, supported format. Not necessarily in terms of UI features..)
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post #15 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 11:45 AM
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Boxee Box as a local media streamer is okay. HD audio is broken. NFO support is so-so, with outdated Boxee database. There are still some overall buffering and playback issues, but for these, no better or no worse than most media streamers.

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post #16 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 01:19 PM
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I have had a boxee box for well over a year now and really like it. I haven't experienced any buffering or ill effects when playing back files over the network. One particular trilogy is upwards of 30 gbs per file and no issue whatsoever. Having said that, I am hardwired. I bought it primarily for that reason as I was getting tired of having to reformat for ps3/tversity digestion. That is a huge plus in the boxee column, it plays just about everything. In regards to the internet content... I am a tightwad and don't really pop for any premium content beyond Netfilx which works flawlessly. There is also a good amount free content you can access and third party apps available as it is XBMC based. To be fair, I haven't owned a roku/appletv for comparison I only know my boxee. I do have a raspberry pi running raspbmc but haven't played with it much. It runs, video looks smooth. My goal is to shove it in a closet and use it as an airplay bridge.

They are going to have to hit a more competitive pricepoint with the new box and add some new hardware/software tweaks. CableCard support would be awesome if they can pull that off and the ota support built in is a plus. It's not a big deal to me, but I hope they add hulu plus and amazon prime... as it is something they are missing now!

I am very happy with my boxee and plan on buying box 2 IF it hits the right pricepoint.
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post #17 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by parksenegger View Post

I am very happy with my boxee and plan on buying box 2 IF it hits the right pricepoint.
And what would that price-point be for you.

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post #18 of 156 Old 10-09-2012, 09:39 PM
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I'm all for a simplified remote control, but I have to wonder how they expect people to tune stations when the new design doesn't even have 0-9 buttons.
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post #19 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

An interesting question is does HD audio matter to the crowd Boxee want to sell to, a mainstream audience ?
The AppleTV's don't have it, the GoogleTV's don't have it, the Roku's don't have it, hell even the first commercial XBMC box the Pivos XIOS doesn't have it (pass-through that is). So I don't think it does and the BB1 was a mistake to include support for that with the huge amount of trouble it caused them. I wouldn't be surprised if that is omitted this time around given the costs HD audio pass-through add's on top.
Not sure on the remote, I thought the Boxee remote was a real bad design, the new one looks a little better (also lacks keyboard so they are cutting costs), it's also nice to hear that they have proper remote apps for tablets/phones.

The Roku2 boxes bitstream the DD+ from Netflix. Which is an advanced audio codec.

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post #20 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 06:09 AM
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I'm hoping Boxee ditched Intel for this box and went with another solution for hd audio. But, as Alx330 pointed out, it's possible they'll go after more of a mainstream crowd that won't care about it.

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post #21 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 06:48 AM
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I think this is a fantastic solution. I am chomping at the bits to cut the cord and a solution like this would be awesome.

Here is my wish list
Critical
DVR functionality for OTA
Has apps for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon
Able to play my Blu-ray rips in MKV format over the network.
Stable and easy to use.

Things that would make it a slam dunk
Multiple tuners (4 would be great).
Able to store DVR content on a seperate storage solution.
Full BD ISO menu support
Able to share content on multiple devices (PC, mobile, web)
A clean interface that "pools" all my content, web content and OTA content into a simple guide.
No monthly fee for DVR guide or an inexpensive one time fee.

Two of my friends came to me recently asking how to cut the cord. One of them setup a mac mini with eyeone for tuner and the other thought it was too complicated and too much of a headache so did not do it. Something like this would definately appeal to several people I know and I know if this came out as a slam dunk.

For me it is not as much the money I would save, it is the fact that the cable companies charge me for things I do not want (800 channels I never watch) but because I have no easy alternative, I am forced to suck it up. There is a paradign shift coming for the way we access content and I think we are just starting to see options that could appeal t o the masses.
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post #22 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Has apps for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon
I'd be very surprised if Hulu and Amazon show up.
Quote:
Stable and easy to use.
Latter yes, stable unlikely if Boxee's past is any indicator.
Quote:
Multiple tuners (4 would be great).
We'll be lucky to get two. I'm guessing single, but hoping to be wrong.
Quote:
Able to share content on multiple devices (PC, mobile, web)
Likely yes.

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post #23 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 08:53 AM
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I think the time I right for this solution. More and more people are looking to cut the cord and save money. And it looks like they will market heavily to that group.

The question will be if they can actually make a product that works as good as a tivo or cable dvr with an attractive price. BB1 is not making that case for them.

I'm cautiously excited by this because until there is a simple, stable, solid consumer option as an alternative to cable that offers ota and streaming solutions (htpc is not that solution), the unholy marriage between the content providers and cable/sat companies will continue to stifle competition in effort strangle every last $ out of the consumer. Market penetration for a solution like this will need to be high enough that the content providers can no longer ignore this group.

Just wait until hulu starts requiring a cable subscription. It will be a huge step back to this movement. I'd love to see a breakthrough before that happens.
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post #24 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 08:56 AM
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What Boxee needs to do is share free channels.

Get everyone with a Boxee to share there channels over the internet, and do a cloud pvr. While this will use a lot of bandwidth. Imagine how many free channels everyone will get.
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post #25 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by crashdumy View Post

I think the time I right for this solution. More and more people are looking to cut the cord and save money

Having cut the cord twice (combined several years) I don't see this as a solution for potential cord cutters. Rather, I see it more as a solution to those who have never had the cord to cut. Mostly young (nerdy) guys who don't watch a lot of pay-TV and having a single tuner DVR works (for them). Yes, I'm guessing it's single tuner and more than likely a limited guide. If the guide is full featured there will be a subscription fee and endless complaining why it isn't free. smile.gif

To a large degree cord cutters need several tuners and a 14-day guide (I currently have four tuners with WMC). The less options you have the more important it is to not the miss a recording. Especially, with OTA as it is less likely to be repeated (anytime soon) compared to pay-TV. Throw in sports and more than one TV set and the target market becomes rather focused (and small).

To really address the needs of the potential cord cutters (not going mainstream anytime in the near future based on sports and multiple TV sets) you need to introduce client/server. The pay guys are doing such now and it's the only way to go to replace (not duplicate) traditional based installations (households).

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post #26 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I think this is a fantastic solution. I am chomping at the bits to cut the cord and a solution like this would be awesome.
Here is my wish list
Critical
DVR functionality for OTA
Has apps for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon
Able to play my Blu-ray rips in MKV format over the network.

Stable and easy to use.
Things that would make it a slam dunk
Multiple tuners (4 would be great).
Able to store DVR content on a seperate storage solution.
Full BD ISO menu support
Able to share content on multiple devices (PC, mobile, web)
A clean interface that "pools" all my content, web content and OTA content into a simple guide.
No monthly fee for DVR guide or an inexpensive one time fee.
LOL, you'll never see 2/3 of those features at a price point you will be willing to pay.

I love how people are starting to hype this up in their minds as the new low-cost TiVo-killer for OTA -- very reminiscent of the DTV Pal DVR pre-release hype.

A lot of people seem to have this bizarre notion that just because OTA is free, quality devices for recording/viewing/processing it should be dirt cheap. Unrealistic at best.

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post #27 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

To really address the needs of the potential cord cutters (not going mainstream anytime in the near future based on sports and multiple TV sets) you need to introduce client/server. The pay guys are doing such now and it's the only way to go to replace (not duplicate) traditional based installations (households).
I really, really love the whole idea of client server. If only current media players had DVR skip capability (i.e. 30 sec forward; 8 sec back like a TiVo) I would be there right now. I have a media-PC with multiple OTA tuners sitting off by itself and recording season passes in .ts file format to its shared storage. I can stream any of those recordings to any of my media players through the house -- and would -- except for the fact that all the media players are missing those critical skip buttons to get through the commercials.

If this new Boxee did nothing more as a DVR than add those skip buttons, I would have to take a serious look at it. But judging by the picture of the remote (not even FF/RW buttons), I doubt it.

- kelson h

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post #28 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I can stream any of those recordings to any of my media players through the house -- and would -- except for the fact that all the media players are missing those critical skip buttons to get through the commercials.

One issue I found lacking (with several devices) is the ability to watch commercial only delayed recordings. A good chunk (most?) of my viewing time is spent viewing shows which are still being recorded while I am viewing them. Often I'll watch a previous recording in the evening and then begin to view that night's recordings. Most of them are still being recorded when I begin so the client has to be smart enough to let me read the file and even smarter to let me go beyond the time I started viewing it.

With WMC even the Xbox 360 client would stop at the point it was recorded when you first began viewing. Say it's a two hour show and you started when an hour was recorded. It would stop right there. You could select the show again but you would have to fast forward to where you left off. Some streamers I tried wouldn't even access the open file, or stopped at the same point. I agree about trick play... TV is much different than movies where you hit play, sit back and relax.

Now that I have commercial skip enabled on WMC I have a similar issue. If I start before the recording is finished it reads the commercial file database at the moment I begin viewing and won't skip commercials beyond that point.

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Charles R is offline  
post #29 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I really, really love the whole idea of client server. If only current media players had DVR skip capability (i.e. 30 sec forward; 8 sec back like a TiVo) I would be there right now. I have a media-PC with multiple OTA tuners sitting off by itself and recording season passes in .ts file format to its shared storage. I can stream any of those recordings to any of my media players through the house -- and would -- except for the fact that all the media players are missing those critical skip buttons to get through the commercials.
If this new Boxee did nothing more as a DVR than add those skip buttons, I would have to take a serious look at it. But judging by the picture of the remote (not even FF/RW buttons), I doubt it.

I use the Plex client on my Samsung Blu-Ray players (BD-D5300 & BD-D5700) and I can program into the client the amount of time for skip forward and backward (I have it set to 30 forward & 7 backward). Not too sure if the Samsung Blu-Ray player handles .ts files though.

UPDATE: I just looked over the manual at: http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/UM/201202/20120202123809431/01984A-02-BD-D5300-ZA-BM.pdf (page 13) and it shows that .ts files are supported through the Blu-Ray player.
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post #30 of 156 Old 10-10-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Most of them are still being recorded when I begin so the client has to be smart enough to let me read the file and even smarter to let me go beyond the time I started viewing it.
With WMC even the Xbox 360 client would stop at the point it was recorded when you first began viewing.
Interesting point. I know with the WD Live I can play an actively recording .ts file but I don't think I have ever tested what you are referring to. I'll give it a try tonight. I'll give the recording a couple minutes head start and then start streaming from the WD Live and see what it does.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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