Windows Media Center vs TiVo Premiere - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 925 Old 10-03-2012, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kikkoman View Post

I was mainly trying to setup an htpc to replace the Comcast DVR, and I've set that up and will return the DVR by the end of this week. Just testing a few more times to ensure it records everything for me. But the more you play around, you see all the possibilities.

DVRing via WMC couldn't be much easier and so far (several months) I have zero issues recording with four tuners. It's just a shame Microsoft has abandoned WMC as well as their lack of support for extenders. I have to think if they pushed extenders (clients) WMC would have proven to be more valuable to the point of selling it as stand alone software would be viable.

For a variety of reasons Channel Master and simple.tv don't offer a solution I can live with so I'm left with TiVo as an alternative which isn't a bad solution at all. XBMC's next release has DVR support and if it's halfway slick and the guide subscription is reasonable I'll take a close look. Perhaps its file format is/will be supported by most streamers.

Regarding playing around I understand completely. I enjoy implementing various features however at the same time the PC is my DVR so I restrict it to semi-proven solutions and haven't shot myself in the foot yet. I did install Windows 8 (with WMC) on my desktop and have tried to test various programs out but many of them aren't supported in Windows 8 so that didn't work out too well.
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post #62 of 925 Old 10-03-2012, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

It's just a shame Microsoft has abandoned WMC [...]

I did install Windows 8 (with WMC) [...]

So which is it? Will WMC live on in future iterations of Windows? It seems WMC might well be available for Win8 eventually. (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/media-center-will-be-in-windows-8-but-not-right-away/3860) Is that what you tried? Is it out already?
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post #63 of 925 Old 10-03-2012, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

So which is it? Will WMC live on in future iterations of Windows? It seems WMC might well be available for Win8 eventually. (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/media-center-will-be-in-windows-8-but-not-right-away/3860) Is that what you tried? Is it out already?

It should/will be available one way or another in Windows 8. I was referring to the fact that WMC hasn't been updated/enhanced in years. With Windows 8 they have even removed a few (minor) features. It appears EOL as far as development. Windows 8 Preview allows you to install Media Center via a free activation key.
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post #64 of 925 Old 10-03-2012, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

So which is it? Will WMC live on in future iterations of Windows? It seems WMC might well be available for Win8 eventually. (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/media-center-will-be-in-windows-8-but-not-right-away/3860) Is that what you tried? Is it out already?
It will be available at release time as a $10-15 add-on to Win8 Pro. That gives us a good 10 years to find another replacement. Perhaps something a little more IP-focused? Who knows.
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post #65 of 925 Old 10-04-2012, 08:56 AM
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I was able to hook up the PC to the AVR and was able to get DTS-HD MA to play from WMC and from XBMC. So finally good there. I did turn off overscan on the video settings to fill up the whole TV screen, but I need to review more of the video settings since I can tell the video was not as good as if it were streaming from my 360. Maybe I was just seeing things, but was a little tired last night for sure. I also will have to play around with the power settings to ensure the PC is not on all the time, but only wakes up when WMC is ready to record or if I wake it up from another streaming device. Also need to tweak the desktop or windows settings so I can see the screen and surf the web better since it's hooked up to the TV for now. The icons and fonts were way too small to see for sure.

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post #66 of 925 Old 10-04-2012, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kikkoman View Post

Also need to tweak the desktop or windows settings so I can see the screen and surf the web better since it's hooked up to the TV for now. The icons and fonts were way too small to see for sure.

I found changing the size of the text (and other items) to be large helps in this case and it doesn't make everything overly large at the same time.

- Control Panel - Appearance and Personalization - Display - select Larger - 150%
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post #67 of 925 Old 10-04-2012, 10:42 AM
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^ ^ ^

Yeah, I did update the Control Panel yesterday to display Larger and that does help seeing the icons on the desktop, etc. I was mainly surfing the web which was not so great. I had to hold down the Ctrl + Up to increase the font to make it readable from about 10 ft. Not sure if surfing the web is very feasible using an hdtv unless you can get much closer, but there are probably settings within the browser which help as well, so I'll need to find and tweak those.

Thanks!

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post #68 of 925 Old 10-05-2012, 09:11 AM
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In Firefox, Options > Options > Content > Fonts & Colors
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post #69 of 925 Old 10-05-2012, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

In Firefox, Options > Options > Content > Fonts & Colors

Yeah I tried this the other day, but it didn't do any good. I would've played around more, but my eyes were hurting. Anyhow, I just tested this on my laptop and noticed that the only time it would display the font's bigger is if you specify a 'Minimum font size' value. When I changed the 'Proportional Size' and the 'Monospace Size' and even unchecked the 'Allow pages to choose their own fonts,...', it still didn't really make the fonts that much bigger. Only selecting the 'Minimum font size' property worked. Weird!

Anyhow, I see there is a Firefox plug-in called 'NoSquint' so I'll probably play with that this weekend on the HDTV.

Thanks,

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post #70 of 925 Old 10-12-2012, 07:46 AM
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Charles,

I assume you are using bootcamp with Windows since you did not mention the requirement for the "Eye TV" software on your mac(s) to view the HD Homerun?

Thanks.

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post #71 of 925 Old 10-12-2012, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by giomania View Post

I assume you are using bootcamp with Windows since you did not mention the requirement for the "Eye TV" software on your mac(s) to view the HD Homerun?

Regarding OS X what little viewing I did I used VLC (native OS X app). Of course if offers no DVR features. I have used EyeTV in the past and was reasonably impressed. For running Windows inside of OS X I use(d) VirtualBox as it runs parallel with OS X. It's free and does a very nice job.

Mac wise I have an older Mac Mini and currently I only have Windows 8 Preview installed on it. It's my Desktop and doesn't really perform any functions outside of accessing the Internet (browser stuff) or Remote Desktop (accessing servers). Once the Preview expires I might go back to OS X... but it's looking like I'll stick with Windows 8 not that it's any better than Windows 7 but it's pretty snappy on the old Mini. Much more so than OS X was... and I haven't found a reason to go back yet.
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post #72 of 925 Old 10-12-2012, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Regarding OS X what little viewing I did I used VLC (native OS X app). Of course if offers no DVR features. I have used EyeTV in the past and was reasonably impressed. For running Windows inside of OS X I use(d) VirtualBox as it runs parallel with OS X. It's free and does a very nice job.
Mac wise I have an older Mac Mini and currently I only have Windows 8 Preview installed on it. It's my Desktop and doesn't really perform any functions outside of accessing the Internet (browser stuff) or Remote Desktop (accessing servers). Once the Preview expires I might go back to OS X... but it's looking like I'll stick with Windows 8 not that it's any better than Windows 7 but it's pretty snappy on the old Mini. Much more so than OS X was... and I haven't found a reason to go back yet.

Thanks for the info, Charles. I performed a quick search, and it would seem that viewing Live TV from the HD Homerun using VLC on Mac OSX is a bit tricky and complicated. One person recommended "If you go into HDHomeRun Setup and click on the channel number in the list, it will open in VLC", but there was not a reply post confirming if that worked or not. If you could detail your experience on the specific steps you used VLC to view live TV, that would be appreciated.

Mark
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post #73 of 925 Old 10-12-2012, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by giomania View Post

I performed a quick search, and it would seem that viewing Live TV from the HD Homerun using VLC on Mac OSX is a bit tricky and complicated.

There are two ways to view live TV via VLC. One via the HDHomeRun configuration app which is really only for testing purposes. You click on a link and it open its own viewer or VLC if it is configured as such. The VLC window will have links to each of the configured channels. The other method is to simply use VLC and it will have links to each of the stations which you can simply click to view. There isn't a guide and it's simply a live TV viewer. You are limited to direct access (each channel's stream) from the HDHomeRun and it's not really an app for everyday/dedicated viewing since there isn't a guide.
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post #74 of 925 Old 10-12-2012, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

The other method is to simply use VLC and it will have links to each of the stations which you can simply click to view. There isn't a guide and it's simply a live TV viewer. You are limited to direct access (each channel's stream) from the HDHomeRun and it's not really an app for everyday/dedicated viewing since there isn't a guide.

A live TV viewer is all I was looking for on the two iMac's I have in the house, so it would seem VLC would work for me. Assuming I go this route, I hope the setup is intuitive, as I am not able to find guidance on the internet.

Thanks.

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post #75 of 925 Old 10-13-2012, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by giomania View Post

A live TV viewer is all I was looking for on the two iMac's I have in the house, so it would seem VLC would work for me. Assuming I go this route, I hope the setup is intuitive, as I am not able to find guidance on the internet

Another option is XBMC (assuming you are using HDHomeRun tuners). It has a plugin that's available for OS X (too).

http://code.google.com/p/xbmc-hdhomerun-plugin/
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post #76 of 925 Old 10-18-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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If one is interested I posted my three month impressions in the first post.
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post #77 of 925 Old 10-18-2012, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by giomania View Post

A live TV viewer is all I was looking for on the two iMac's I have in the house, so it would seem VLC would work for me. Assuming I go this route, I hope the setup is intuitive, as I am not able to find guidance on the internet.
Thanks.
Mark

i was also looking for web based viewing of channels (i have hd homerun) and i bumped into this post today. see if it helps. i suppose it uses the plugin that charles is referring to.. i will try it later today and post my findings.. i have been wanting to stream live tv and watch it remotely (preferable a browser) and also be able to change channels on the fly. i havent read the entire post that i linked to here, but i am hoping it will have a decent info that i use..
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post #78 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 05:15 AM
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One concern I had switching to a PC versus TiVo was power usage. Not so much the added cost rather the wastefulness.
I'm glad someone other than myself is. rolleyes.gif

Do you have to run Win7 to make any of this work? Can't XP be used?

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post #79 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 05:35 AM
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Even though we've said that a PC configured to sleep/wake can use less power than a Tivo. Pretty easy to verify that with a Kill-A-Watt.

You can run XP MCE if all you want is OTA recording, but I don't see the point. 7MC is much better and works with current Xboxes and other extenders.
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post #80 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Even though we've said that a PC configured to sleep/wake can use less power than a Tivo.

No one needs to say it. Simply link to various tests of PCs... such as a model similar (slightly more powerful) to my first WMC box... If you are looking for low power usage my guess is you want to use the processor's built-in video drivers. Using a video card will increase power usage substantially.

Juice box
Gateway SX2850-33 Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.92
Sleep (10 percent) 2.24
Idle (25 percent) 40.97
Load (5 percent) 81.13
Raw kWh 166.56
EnergyStar compliant Yes
Annual energy cost $18.90

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/gateway-sx-2850-33/4505-3118_7-34192779-2.html

A couple others...

Dell Inspiron Zino HD
Off (watts) 0.76
Sleep (watts) 1.7
Idle (watts) 30.16
Load (watts) 45.15
Raw (annual kWh) 116.65254
EnergyStar compliant Yes
Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $13.24

Dell Inspiron i560-2050NBK Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.88
Sleep (10 percent) 1.99
Idle (25 percent) 43.14
Load (5 percent) 70.26
Raw kWh 168.15
EnergyStar compliant No
Annual energy consumption cost $19.09
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post #81 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 06:35 AM
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Even though we've said that a PC configured to sleep/wake can use less power than a Tivo.
That really had nothing to do with my quote to that comment.
Quote:
7MC is much better
If you can deal with the un-user friendly restraints M$ placed on full access to the O/S.

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post #82 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

If you can deal with the un-user friendly restraints M$ placed on full access to the O/S.
Nonsense. It's all well and good to rip on "M$," but no FUD here, please.
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post #83 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 06:47 AM
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It's not "nonsense", Been there, tried that. I don't like being handcuffed.
And what the hell does "FUD' suppose to mean? More text messaging shortcuts? rolleyes.gif

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post #84 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cabal0 View Post

It's all well and good to rip on "M$," but no FUD here, please.

Yes. smile.gif Other threads are better served with agendas.
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post #85 of 925 Old 10-22-2012, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

That really had nothing to do with my quote to that comment.
Well, then what did you mean? Running a PC can use less power than a 24x7 Tivo, and any DVR uses power so I'm not seeing your point.
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post #86 of 925 Old 10-23-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

You can run XP MCE if all you want is OTA recording, but I don't see the point.

Microsoft didn't include MC with XP did they? I think one was require to purchase a special edition (MCE) of which I did way back in the day. Also, it required analog tuners to be present (with perhaps a work around or two). Shortly, Windows 8 upgrade will be available and I'm not sure how the licensing works however it might be a good time to start. I have been very impressed with how snappy Windows 8 is on my (real) old Mac Mini. It was getting rather slow with OS X and I couldn't even upgrade to the latest release or two as Apple didn't support the hardware any longer. An old PC with an inexpensive HDMI video card might be a nice solution for many.
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post #87 of 925 Old 10-23-2012, 10:07 AM
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XP MCE was a separate edition, yes. I fail to see the problem with running 7MC or Tivo at all, but bruce obviously has issues here with both for whatever (dubious) reasons he can come up with.
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post #88 of 925 Old 10-23-2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

XP MCE was a separate edition, yes. I fail to see the problem with running 7MC or Tivo at all, but bruce obviously has issues here with both for whatever (dubious) reasons he can come up with.

no matter how hard you try, you still cant convince some people that VHS tapes are dead or that there is a better alternative to the rotatory phones.
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post #89 of 925 Old 10-26-2012, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I downloaded and installed (my free) Windows 8 Pro on the Mac Mini today (it appears to run identical to the Preview as one would expect). Only catch is Microsoft isn't emailing the product key for (the free) Media Center yet. So it's a waiting game... although I expect it to run the same as the Preview as well.

My (first) key just arrived... so I guess they are being delivered.

If one wishes to play around with Windows and WMC one can relatively easily...


Some companies such as HP will refund your purchase price...
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post #90 of 925 Old 10-27-2012, 07:48 AM
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If you don't need storage spaces feature in Win8, I fail to see why anyone would want to upgrade a perfectly working 7MC setup. There's nothing new in Win8 MC because it's been abandoned by MS.
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