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post #271 of 896 Old 02-24-2013, 08:11 AM
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Agreed - used for clear QAM I never had an issue with the Duets, never used them for OTA. They would disappear on sleep/wake on my old AMD-based HTPC but I just left it on 24x7 and never had the issue.
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post #272 of 896 Old 02-24-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

They would disappear on sleep/wake on my old AMD-based HTPC but I just left it on 24x7 and never had the issue.

 

That's one of the reasons I like the HDHomeRuns. I can hibernate my PCs without any issues.

 

FYI: I updated the images on the previous page... not quite as boring.


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post #273 of 896 Old 02-27-2013, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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As expected OTA (only) users are being left out during the TiVo Mini release. One item of note however...

 

NOTE: You can stream recordings from any 2-tuner Premiere series box, but you will be unable to set up your TiVo Mini without a 4-tuner TiVo DVR.

 

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2395

 

This does give one some hope OTA (only) will be supported at some point. My understanding is all 4-tuner DVRs are cable only... gee... I wonder if you could install a 4-tuner guy and then remove it from the installation? Leaving everything working... without Live TV support of course as the note references streaming via 2-tuners. I wonder if they feel 2-tuners are too little to support as there would be too many conflicts.

 

Bottom line even for cable users it's not yet full baked and for us OTA users it's no even in the oven.


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post #274 of 896 Old 02-28-2013, 04:29 AM
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The person who posted the Mini dealer info said they will add dynamic tuner allocation in 2Q, so hopefully at that point 2-tuner boxes will be supported without the need to setup the Mini with a 4-tuner.

Yes, it's half-baked at release pretty much like every new Tivo product.
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post #275 of 896 Old 02-28-2013, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

The person who posted the Mini dealer info said they will add dynamic tuner allocation in 2Q, so hopefully at that point 2-tuner boxes will be supported without the need to setup the Mini with a 4-tuner.

 

I tend to read things rather literally as my wife has accused me of more year than I can count however...

 

2nd Quarter 2013: Dynamic Tuner Allocation. You'll be able to pair up to 9 Mini's to a single DVR. Each DVR will support up to 4 Mini streams simultaneously.

 

By stating each DVR will support up to 4 Minis I'm reading 2-tuners won't be supported (as far as Live TV)... At $250 a Mini (purchase + lifetime) the price is so-so perhaps around $200 with any type of promotion. Around $1,000 for the TiVo and two Mini boxes (all with Lifetime). At this point I don't see any reason to switch (if it does become available) and several why I shouldn't (based solely on my needs). If I was starting anew I would look a little longer before deciding. I still tend to see WMC as a stop gate solution. One that continues to serve me well and perhaps longer than I would have guessed.


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post #276 of 896 Old 03-01-2013, 04:35 AM
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Streams doesn't have to mean live TV, that could be recorded shows. It means that a Premiere (std or XL) will support up to 4 Minis streaming from it. Has nothing to do with whether a 2-tuner box can be solely used with one or more Minis once they get dynamic allocation working.

We're just going to have to wait and see if 2-tuners work without having to have a 4. Definitely won't work at launch next week.
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post #277 of 896 Old 03-10-2013, 11:31 AM
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Discovered a DST bug in WMC 7. But it was a pretty minor one.

I record a show from 12:30 AM to 1 AM, with my default 5-minute "just in case" padding so it actually records until 1:05 AM. Last night it recorded an extra hour, ending at 2:05 AM CST or 3:05 AM CDT. No big deal but I thought it was weird.
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post #278 of 896 Old 03-10-2013, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Discovered a DST bug in WMC 7. But it was a pretty minor one.

I record a show from 12:30 AM to 1 AM, with my default 5-minute "just in case" padding so it actually records until 1:05 AM. Last night it recorded an extra hour, ending at 2:05 AM CST or 3:05 AM CDT. No big deal but I thought it was weird.

 

I recorded SNL last night and it's 97 minutes (including padding). I'm using Windows 8 and the recording ran from 11:28 PM to 1:05 AM.


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post #279 of 896 Old 03-11-2013, 07:30 AM
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That's even weirder. Of course I'm still using Win 7. Did they actually fix a WMC bug in Win 8 confused.gif

Or maybe it only messed up because the show started after midnight, on 3/10? Well, it'll be another year before I can test that hypothesis wink.gif

Or maybe it had something to do with time zones. Based on SNL, you must be in Eastern while I'm in Central....
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post #280 of 896 Old 03-12-2013, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Sorry about that. Kelson PM'ed me with detailed info about TiVo sharing. Bottom line was, TiVo shares with other TiVos (I assume that's what you're doing) or you can set up a media server. He didn't mention whether copy-protected content could be shared. I assume definitely not on a media server, and probably not with another TiVo either, since sharing actually copies the recording, rather than simply streaming it to the other TiVo. OTOH I think WMC streams to extenders, so sharing protected content is probably where WMC extenders would have the advantage.

Under the FCC's recently relaxed regulations, if you don't have OTA you're pretty much at the mercy of your cable co. Sounds like you're lucky enough to have both OTA and a reasonable cable co. to deal with.

That does change anything for CableCard users, only for ClearQAM, which doesn't apply to TiVo anyways.
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I've seen plenty of (PC) tuners that can do both OTA and clear QAM (cable), but never one that could do both OTA and encrypted QAM (CableCard). Assuming tuners are rather generic and could be put in a dedicated box like a TiVo just as easily as on a PC card, I could see a TiVo with two of the former and two CableCard tuners, possibly with an RF switch so you could use one input if you were cable-only, or two inputs if you were mixed OTA/cable.

But the drawback would be that cable-only users could only record two encrypted channels at once. Since clear QAM is becoming more and more scarce, such a box would soon lose its advantage over the boxes with 2 OTA & 2 cable tuners they market now.

On another topic, I've been mostly impressed with the AverMedia Duet tuner card in my PC. Since I'm OTA only, I have to deal with a mix of strong and weak channels that cable users would never worry about. Luckily the tuners seem quite sensitive, and I haven't run into the 'disappearing card' problem (yet - crossing fingers).

Its one drawback, though, is that it seems to have a problem with adjacent-channel interference. The only two channels I have a problem receiving aren't my weakest channels, but they're relatively weak low-power channels right below strong full-power ones on the UHF spectrum. Again, something a clear QAM cable user wouldn't care about. Just thought I'd point that out for other HTPC builders - no show-stopper, but still something to consider if shopping for a used or refurbished tuner for your PC.

Way too complicated for an off the shelf product. Would work for a DIY MCE machine.

I'm switching from MCE to TiVo soon. MCE had it's month or two to impress me, and it did just the opposite.
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post #281 of 896 Old 03-12-2013, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm switching from MCE to TiVo soon. MCE had it's month or two to impress me, and it did just the opposite.

 

What do you think you'll be gaining and losing?.. Sorry, never mind I found your previous rant... no reason to repeat it.


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post #282 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Sorry about that. Kelson PM'ed me with detailed info about TiVo sharing. Bottom line was, TiVo shares with other TiVos (I assume that's what you're doing) or you can set up a media server. He didn't mention whether copy-protected content could be shared. I assume definitely not on a media server, and probably not with another TiVo either, since sharing actually copies the recording, rather than simply streaming it to the other TiVo. OTOH I think WMC streams to extenders, so sharing protected content is probably where WMC extenders would have the advantage.

Under the FCC's recently relaxed regulations, if you don't have OTA you're pretty much at the mercy of your cable co. Sounds like you're lucky enough to have both OTA and a reasonable cable co. to deal with.

That does change anything for CableCard users, only for ClearQAM, which doesn't apply to TiVo anyways.
My original comment was based on the 2-tuner TiVo Premiere, which does OTA and Clear QAM. If you have a Premiere you are still pretty much at the mercy of your cable co.

But the thing about technology is it changes so fast, it's hard to stay caught up. My understanding is the newer 4-tuner CableCARD TiVos can stream protected content to the new TiVo Minis, much as WMC streams to extenders. So TiVo's new products have erased that advantage from WMC.
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post #283 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

My original comment was based on the 2-tuner TiVo Premiere, which does OTA and Clear QAM. If you have a Premiere you are still pretty much at the mercy of your cable co.

But the thing about technology is it changes so fast, it's hard to stay caught up. My understanding is the newer 4-tuner CableCARD TiVos can stream protected content to the new TiVo Minis, much as WMC streams to extenders. So TiVo's new products have erased that advantage from WMC.

Also, 2 tuner tivos can also stream protected content to other tivos, to a TiVo mini, and to Idevices with the TiVo stream.

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post #284 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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My understanding is the newer 4-tuner CableCARD TiVos can stream protected content to the new TiVo Minis, much as WMC streams to extenders. So TiVo's new products have erased that advantage from WMC.

 

One has to be careful to separate the features of the 4-tuner and 2-tuner models as they are not similar at this point in time. Such as the ability to view Live TV via an extender. For me the 4-tuner models compete against cable/satellite and at this point not too impressively. The 2-tuner models (more or less) against OTA only and is also missing a few features (compared to other solutions). Not to say either might not be your best solution I just don't think it's a given rather it's more based on your wishes/requirements.

 

As an example in my case after using 4-tuners I can't live without them (being OTA it's rough to miss a show based on the limited options and less repeats of pay TV). As such TiVo doesn't even offer a one box solution, live based extenders or any number of other features I deem necessary.


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post #285 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 10:21 AM
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Why do you say the 4-tuner Tivos w/Minis are not a good competitor for sat whole home DVRs? Is because of upfront cost? Because feature-wise, there's pros and cons to both sides but IMO Tivos have a huge advantage in being able to play just about anything you want with a PC. Offload for archive or other device playback too, if the content is not copy-protected.

I agree that if you want more than 2 tuners for OTA, a WMC whole home setup is the way to go.
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post #286 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

My original comment was based on the 2-tuner TiVo Premiere, which does OTA and Clear QAM. If you have a Premiere you are still pretty much at the mercy of your cable co.

But the thing about technology is it changes so fast, it's hard to stay caught up. My understanding is the newer 4-tuner CableCARD TiVos can stream protected content to the new TiVo Minis, much as WMC streams to extenders. So TiVo's new products have erased that advantage from WMC.

Also, 2 tuner tivos can also stream protected content to other tivos, to a TiVo mini, and to Idevices with the TiVo stream.

At the time of my original comment, my information was that you could only copy recordings from 2-tuner TiVos, not stream from them. Presumably that would exclude copy-once protected recordings. Of course, I may have misunderstood or been misinformed.

Also, the last I heard the Tivo Minis only worked with 4-tuner TiVos. If that's changed already, it just proves my point about technology changing too fast to keep up.
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post #287 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Why do you say the 4-tuner Tivos w/Minis are not a good competitor for sat whole home DVRs? Is because of upfront cost? Because feature-wise, there's pros and cons to both sides but IMO Tivos have a huge advantage in being able to play just about anything you want with a PC. Offload for archive or other device playback too, if the content is not copy-protected.

 

Strictly based on my desired feature set. Of course for someone else it might be the prefect fit. The two advantages you mention have zero value to me. Cost wise I don't follow all that closely but the other day I received a booklet from AT&T offering the following presuming I had my Internet through them (which I don't at this time).

 

  • $26 a month (130 channels including Total Home HD DVR and HD channels - $19 without HD channels)
  • $7 a month (for each additional wireless HD receiver)

 

The price was fixed for 24 months with a one-year commitment. Plus, you received a $100 rebate (via prepaid card) with perhaps a $49 activation fee. Now I read the fine print fairly closely but could have missed one charge or another... although I doubt it. My math gets me $33 a month which I'm thinking is a good price for the channels alone. Not to mention whole house DVR features and whatnot. Again, based on my usage I wouldn't see any reason to use TiVo.


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post #288 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero 1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

My original comment was based on the 2-tuner TiVo Premiere, which does OTA and Clear QAM. If you have a Premiere you are still pretty much at the mercy of your cable co.

But the thing about technology is it changes so fast, it's hard to stay caught up. My understanding is the newer 4-tuner CableCARD TiVos can stream protected content to the new TiVo Minis, much as WMC streams to extenders. So TiVo's new products have erased that advantage from WMC.

Also, 2 tuner tivos can also stream protected content to other tivos, to a TiVo mini, and to Idevices with the TiVo stream.

At the time of my original comment, my information was that you could only copy recordings from 2-tuner TiVos, not stream from them. Presumably that would exclude copy-once protected recordings. Of course, I may have misunderstood or been misinformed.

Also, the last I heard the Tivo Minis only worked with 4-tuner TiVos. If that's changed already, it just proves my point about technology changing too fast to keep up.

 

You might be interested in this good review of the Mini?

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post #289 of 896 Old 03-13-2013, 11:59 AM
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OK, I think I see what I missed. From the review:
Quote:
The Mini doesn't have an internal tuner, which is also why it doesn't have a CableCARD slot. Instead, it relies on one of the four tuners in a TiVo Premiere for live TV. TiVo owners with only dual-tuner models are out of luck, as the Mini requires at least one four-tuner DVR on the same account.
(emphasis added)

So for the Mini, you must have a 4-tuner TiVo, but if you do, you can either stream live from one of those 4 tuners, or stream recordings from either the 4-tuner or a 2-tuner TiVo.

Of course, that's a total of 3 boxes and 6 tuners, and only 2 tuners can be used for OTA. Still, that might fit an OTA+cable family of three or more.

But for an OTA+cable single person or couple, it'd be expensive overkill. Two Premieres would be a better fit, and if the Premieres can stream (not just copy) from each other, so much the better. But I think WMC plus an extender would be the most cost-effective solution in that environment.
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

My original comment was based on the 2-tuner TiVo Premiere, which does OTA and Clear QAM. If you have a Premiere you are still pretty much at the mercy of your cable co.

But the thing about technology is it changes so fast, it's hard to stay caught up. My understanding is the newer 4-tuner CableCARD TiVos can stream protected content to the new TiVo Minis, much as WMC streams to extenders. So TiVo's new products have erased that advantage from WMC.

TiVo does not support ClearQAM. There is a way to get it to work with a CableCard and then pulling the CableCard, but that's not supported, it's just people on TCF screwing around to see what will work.
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One has to be careful to separate the features of the 4-tuner and 2-tuner models as they are not similar at this point in time. Such as the ability to view Live TV via an extender. For me the 4-tuner models compete against cable/satellite and at this point not too impressively. The 2-tuner models (more or less) against OTA only and is also missing a few features (compared to other solutions). Not to say either might not be your best solution I just don't think it's a given rather it's more based on your wishes/requirements.

As an example in my case after using 4-tuners I can't live without them (being OTA it's rough to miss a show based on the limited options and less repeats of pay TV). As such TiVo doesn't even offer a one box solution, live based extenders or any number of other features I deem necessary.

It sucks that you can't use a Mini to stream shows from a 2-tuner DVR without first having a 4-tuner, which cuts out the OTA crowd. The number of tuners isn't a big deal on OTA, as if you have two of them, you can record 4 out of the 5 OTA channels at once, which is probably more than most people who clearly don't watch much TV in the first place would need.
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OK, I think I see what I missed. From the review:
(emphasis added)

So for the Mini, you must have a 4-tuner TiVo, but if you do, you can either stream live from one of those 4 tuners, or stream recordings from either the 4-tuner or a 2-tuner TiVo.

Of course, that's a total of 3 boxes and 6 tuners, and only 2 tuners can be used for OTA. Still, that might fit an OTA+cable family of three or more.

But for an OTA+cable single person or couple, it'd be expensive overkill. Two Premieres would be a better fit, and if the Premieres can stream (not just copy) from each other, so much the better. But I think WMC plus an extender would be the most cost-effective solution in that environment.

Correct. It depends on the goals. TiVo is a much simpler experience, you plug it in and go, an MCE PC is like a never ending science experiment that's always one step away from exploding. If you're a family that doesn't need more than maybe 2 TV's TiVo Premieres with OTA are great. They just don't scale upwards well without the Mini, which as you note, effectively requires cable.
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My Cablecard, SD Homerun Prime 7MC HTPC w/3 extenders is rock-solid, never have an issue. Very simple to setup too, probably took less than 2 hours all told and I let MS auto-update it all the time. But I run everything on a wired GigE network and that makes a difference.
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My Cablecard, SD Homerun Prime 7MC HTPC w/3 extenders is rock-solid, never have an issue. Very simple to setup too, probably took less than 2 hours all told and I let MS auto-update it all the time. But I run everything on a wired GigE network and that makes a difference.

I don't even use extenders (except the XBOX 6" away that I paired just for fun), and the thing is a disaster. Codec errors, reboots needed, just generally a mess. And the interface sucks. It's pretty, but it's not that functional. No normal folders, no SxxEyy, no normal list view, I could go on and on.
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post #293 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 04:33 AM
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You could, and I and many others could go on about how it's not hard to setup and just works. Everyone's experience is different and a lot of it depends on the hardware you use.
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post #294 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 07:04 AM
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I don't even use extenders (except the XBOX 6" away that I paired just for fun), and the thing is a disaster. Codec errors, reboots needed, just generally a mess. And the interface sucks. It's pretty, but it's not that functional. No normal folders, no SxxEyy, no normal list view, I could go on and on.

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You could, and I and many others could go on about how it's not hard to setup and just works. Everyone's experience is different and a lot of it depends on the hardware you use.
It also depends on how you use it. For DVR and Live TV, it works great. It has list views and folder views. The interface is very functional and intuitive and works great with a remote.

If you have codec errors, need constant reboots and need SxxEyy file names, it sounds like you are using it as a file streamer, which I agree WMC sucks at. I wouldn't even attempt to use WMC for that kind of thing. But as a DVR, which I think is the subject of this thread and of this forum, it works beautifully.

It's not perfect of course. I wish it had some of the features of my old satellite DVRs, like multiple live buffers, PIP, ability to record from the beginning of the live buffer, etc. But on the whole, it's fully functional and works well. And best of all, it's subscription free.
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post #295 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Having used several PCs, video cards and various configurations you can run into a pickle once in a while. Worse issue I ran across was coming out of sleep where I would lose video at times. I had to close/start WMC to get video back. Playing with the power saving settings I worked it out. Current setup hibernates like a champ and to some degree extenders make WMC easier.

 

Currently, my PC is in my dedicated room's closet (image posted a while back) and I'm using a Xbox 360 in the den. With a harmony remote the Xbox is an appliance. The PC (aspect) doesn't exist at all except when I want HD audio/video in the dedicated room. If you want to look for quirks you can certainly find them. As an example WMC won't restart a recording if it fails at some point (from my experience). Say I reboot the PC at 7:00pm just as a recording is scheduled to start. When it reboots it won't record the rest of the show where TiVo would.

 

Feature wise DVRs are about DVRing and the mere fact I have four tuners trumps any nitpick I might have about one model or another. As an example I have zero issue with how WMC places shows in folders. Complaining about little things to me is like complaining about the layout of the car's dashboard... sure it might bother you but your trip is going to be virtually the same regardless.


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post #296 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 07:48 AM
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... also there are tons of add-ons that give you a ridiculous amount of options on file management, layouts, interface, etc. (Media Portal, Media Browser, Recorded TV HD, etc.). There's no way you could ever customize Tivo like that.


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post #297 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

It also depends on how you use it. For DVR and Live TV, it works great. It has list views and folder views. The interface is very functional and intuitive and works great with a remote.

Yep that's a good point, I only use mine as a cable DVR with live TV. No third-party codecs, no hassles with the PC or extenders. Keeping it simple is always good.
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post #298 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post


No third-party codecs, no hassles with the PC or extenders. Keeping it simple is always good.

 

If you use Shark it's painless and requires two clicks to configure (for XBMC - none for WMC). Just be sure to unzip the download! Don't install it via the downloaded exe file or you might end up with malware installed in your browser, etc.

 


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post #299 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Yep that's a good point, I only use mine as a cable DVR with live TV. No third-party codecs, no hassles with the PC or extenders. Keeping it simple is always good.
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If you use Shark it's painless and requires two clicks to configure (for XBMC - none for WMC). Just be sure to unzip the download! Don't install it via the downloaded exe file or you might end up with malware installed in your browser, etc.
Didn't work for me. I have a very low end system (I paid something like $25 for it at Goodwill), and Shark made it very slow and unstable. I pretty much had to do a clean install of windows to recover. It was probably operator error, but I couldn't make it work. When I first built my HTPC, I attempted to make WMC do it all, but quickly discovered that was a big mistake.

Now I keep it simple like slowbiscuit and have zero issues. I just have a few little harmless add-ons like MCL and Relaunch, and WMC and all my extenders hum right along like a well oiled machine.


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post #300 of 896 Old 03-15-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Didn't work for me. I have a very low end system (I paid something like $25 for it at Goodwill), and Shark made it very slow and unstable. I pretty much had to do a clean install of windows to recover. It was probably operator error, but I couldn't make it work. When I first built my HTPC, I attempted to make WMC do it all, but quickly discovered that was a big mistake.

 

I have installed every version for months without one issue (i3 chip). I do refuse to mess with WMC (outside of DD/HD audio drivers) only adding links to Hulu and XBMC. I can use WMC for HD audio/video but see no reason to as XBMC is much more elegant. I do agree simple is best. I use the box 98% for DVRing and 2% for HD video/audio playback (XBMC). Haven't missed a recording yet and one of the reasons I switched from TiVo was to be able to tweak a bit. So I have exposed myself to dozens of opportunities to have various issues... luckily WMC is pretty much bullet-proof.

 

Over the 9 months or so...

 

  • Two PCs
  • Three video cards (associated drivers)
  • Various disk drive configurations (including re-installation)
  • Windows 7 and Windows 8
  • Endless Beta versions of HDHomeRun
  • Dozen versions or so of Shark
  • Various XBMC versions

 

Silly thing just keeps ticking... and all of the above was self-induced.


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