Windows Media Center vs TiVo Premiere - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 805 Old 10-27-2012, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

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.

As I posted months ago I agree after playing around with Windows 8. At the same time if one is looking to try it out or swap computers I think it's a great time to obtain a license. Especially with Media Pack being free. The $15 upgrade is only for recent PC purchases but once it's obtained you are allowed to install it on any PC as long as you have a valid license such as for XP. So it's a cheap way of upgrading Windows (for trying WMC). Plus, if you ever want to switch PCs I'd recommend bringing the new one online while the existing one was still in service. I had my Mac Mini running Preview (fine) but installing the official release I ran into a few issues.

Bottom line in my case I ended up with a Windows 8 Pro with Media Pack license for free. I'm sure I can use the license... heck I'm using it right now.smile.gif Later on it looks like it might get rather costly to obtain WMC as you have to upgrade to Pro before you even have the opportunity to purchase it. I also agree Microsoft has abandoned WMC but it appears to be far from EOL (guide wise). If they were going to drop such it would have been the perfect time...
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post #92 of 805 Old 11-05-2012, 12:59 PM
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I have two complaints on my WMC setup. The first is how tuners are handled with ad hoc recording. Say a tuner is on a particular channel, and I decide I want to record; it will begin recording from that moment! What about everything that is in the rewindable buffer? I want that too! Same with changing channels to one of the other tuners. I should be able to capture back a half hour if the tuner has been on that channel already. I think tivo does this with their tuners.

The second thing is stability. Every time my pc wakes, the resolution is wrong and I have to restart WMC. I realized this might be an EDID issue that is solvable, but it's been annoying to deal with so far. Also, after a restart, either tuners aren't immediately recognized, or some channels act like they are unavailable. This eventually fixes itself, but it's still annoying.

As an aside, I just purchased a newly released harmony touch in an attempt to consolidate all 15 of my remotes. Something really annoying is the slight delay when issuing commands. You would think such a minor delay would be negligible, but man does it add up when scrolling through the tv guide or other options. There's nothing more annoying then clicking up 6-7 times to get to the menu option, only to watch the selection overshoot by 2 or 3 because of the delay. Also, having no ability to control the mouse is a deal breaker. Maybe when the system is rock solid, there will be no need for a mouse, but my setup is just not there yet.

It's been really tough to solve these subtle problems, and that has be looking at the green grass over there on the tivo side.
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post #93 of 805 Old 11-05-2012, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Buffering - That's just the way WMC handles (or doesn't handle) it. Only work around with switching channels (not very elegant) is to record the two shows and bounce back and forth.

Resolution - Are you going through a receiver? If so, forcing a resolution might help. I know you shouldn't have to but I always exit WMC before turning off my system (placing the PC in sleep mode). Based on which PC/drivers I have used I saw some issues which even varied if I was in full screen or in a window. Most of these issues can re resolved by changing your Power Options plan.

Tuners - I use two HDHomeRuns and they are found instantly on the network. Hopefully, you'll get squared away and won't have to reboot. smile.gif I do a couple of times a month tops pretty much playing around versus being required.

Harmony - The remote's delay can be adjusted for each button. Overall my WMC two systems are much more responsive than any TiVo I owned for over a decade. Currently, I have WMC installed on a i3 processor and ancient Mac Mini. Using an Xbox 360 as an extender I noticed a little lag at times but it was still in the ball park of TiVo.

Mouseless - I'm still using the Lenovo I linked to in the first thread. It's all about the mouse and scrolling although I only use it a couple of times a month.

If you add closing WMC to your shutdown macro a couple of your issues might be resolved... for the remote delay unfortunately a faster PC might resolve it. If it doesn't it's a configuration issue. If buffering takes you to a TiVo... well I missed that feature too... but not enough to give up what I got in return.
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post #94 of 805 Old 11-05-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relleum View Post

I have two complaints on my WMC setup. The first is how tuners are handled with ad hoc recording. Say a tuner is on a particular channel, and I decide I want to record; it will begin recording from that moment! What about everything that is in the rewindable buffer? I want that too! Same with changing channels to one of the other tuners. I should be able to capture back a half hour if the tuner has been on that channel already. I think tivo does this with their tuners.
Agreed, but unfortunately, I think that's a patent thing, not a technical limitation. TiVo's "invention."
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post #95 of 805 Old 11-10-2012, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Driver Updates

One of the knocks against HTPCs is the (urban legend) fact you have to continually update drivers or for some unknown reason what was working perfectly will suddenly stop working. Since I installed my HTPC in August I hadn't updated anything outside of Microsoft's monthly security updates which took a few minutes tops. Still haven't missed a recording...

Recently, I got the urge to play around with the PC so I went looking for updates. The update utility found new video drivers (optional) along with a few other suggestions. Why not! Perhaps they might even fixed the encoding bug (documented in the first post) that affect some shows. Well after a few minutes the PC rebooted and sure enough everything still worked... I did spend some time going through the video options and found very little different including the bug.

Still up for the challenge I read the Shark audio drivers (enables MKV and bitstreaming HD audio) had been updated and once again I wasn't having any issues... but why not. After a half hour or so of uninstalling and installing the drivers along with a few configuration settings (documented in the first post) WMC and XBMC were handling HD nicely as before.

So the end result turned out to be nothing gained or lost. Outside of losing the urge to play around so I'm probably good for a few months.

One note of interest: for some reason the commercial skip application is still working after 30-days which is strange. When it works it's a thing of beauty. As I stated before the beginning and closing of certain shows tend to be its only issue and I have come to simply turn it off as I begin playing the recording or as the end approaches. That's much easier than finding you have skipped the opening/closing and have to turn if off... scan back, etc. as at times the recording will stop and take you to the option screen. I'm waiting to see if the new release of XBMC handles DVRing to the point I can replace WMC. If it doesn't my wife is already willing to donate the $30 to keep the commercials skipping.
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post #96 of 805 Old 11-11-2012, 08:37 AM
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The only caution I have about installing shark's pack is that it could break playback of protected content (i.e., copy-once channels). They may have a way to avoid this now, I tried it over a year ago and had to uninstall.
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post #97 of 805 Old 11-21-2012, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I have finally decided to move my HTPC into my dedicated room's closet so I need an extender for WMC. As such I have been looking at the Xbox Black Friday specials... best deal I have found so far is for the 4GB model with Kinect for $199 with a $40 gift certificate (only good at their store). It's via Meijer's Thursday only sale...

http://meijer.shoplocal.com/Meijer/BrowseByPage?StoreID=2465829&PromotionViewMode=1&PromotionCode=Meijer-121122m

I know I don't need Kinect but for the den the voice control (itself) might be worth it or I could always dump it on eBay. Anyone find any deals worth mentioning? I prefer not to get up at 6:00 am only to arrive well after they have all been sold. smile.gif
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post #98 of 805 Old 11-21-2012, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I have finally decided to move my HTPC into my dedicated room's closet so I need an extender for WMC. As such I have been looking at the Xbox Black Friday specials... best deal I have found so far is for the 4GB model with Kinect for $199 with a $40 gift certificate (only good at their store). It's via Meijer's Thursday only sale...
http://meijer.shoplocal.com/Meijer/BrowseByPage?StoreID=2465829&PromotionViewMode=1&PromotionCode=Meijer-121122m
I know I don't need Kinect but for the den the voice control (itself) might be worth it or I could always dump it on eBay. Anyone find any deals worth mentioning? I prefer not to get up at 6:00 am only to arrive well after they have all been sold. smile.gif
I believe Walmart will have the 4 GB for $150 with extra game, but it's likely to be gone shortly after midnight or whenever they open. I'm looking for another Xbox, myself.
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post #99 of 805 Old 11-21-2012, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Meijer has ship to store (for free) so I'm hoping I can order after midnight and pick it up anytime on Thursday... or perhaps Fry's (my favorite) will have a bargain and I can order anytime on Thursday for Friday pick up. Kind of crazy... trying to save a few bucks but I guess the hunt (outside of waiting in line... at least for me) is entertaining.
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post #100 of 805 Old 11-21-2012, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I have finally decided to move my HTPC into my dedicated room's closet so I need an extender for WMC. As such I have been looking at the Xbox Black Friday specials... best deal I have found so far is for the 4GB model with Kinect for $199 with a $40 gift certificate (only good at their store). It's via Meijer's Thursday only sale...
http://meijer.shoplocal.com/Meijer/BrowseByPage?StoreID=2465829&PromotionViewMode=1&PromotionCode=Meijer-121122m
I know I don't need Kinect but for the den the voice control (itself) might be worth it or I could always dump it on eBay. Anyone find any deals worth mentioning? I prefer not to get up at 6:00 am only to arrive well after they have all been sold. smile.gif
Search craigslist. You'll be able to find a used one for around $100. I picked-up two for extenders that way.
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post #101 of 805 Old 11-21-2012, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

Search craigslist. You'll be able to find a used one for around $100. I picked-up two for extenders that way.

I'm far too anal to go that route. And to a large degree it's not the price rather the deal. I saw one for $100 (brand new sealed - independent seller) listed on Amazon and by the time I convinced myself to give it a try it was gone. smile.gif
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post #102 of 805 Old 11-22-2012, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Obviously when I strolled into Meijer at 10:30am the Xboxes were long gone so I borrowed one of their ads and went across the street to Walmart. They were more than happy to match the $199 price. Now when I sell off the two Kinect games I'll probably be down to $198. smile.gif
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post #103 of 805 Old 11-25-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Having used the Xbox as an extender the last couple of days made me realize how much I appreciate commercial skip. I planned on moving my HTPC into the theater's closet and using the Xbox in the den. I'll lose Hulu (Covert Affairs and such) as well. And if I keep the HTPC in the den I'll lose HD audio in the theater... used 99% of the time for movies. Oh well... perhaps I'll end up moving the Xbox into one of the wife's rooms and using another PC in the den or throwing a streamer into the theater.
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post #104 of 805 Old 11-26-2012, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Having used the Xbox as an extender the last couple of days made me realize how much I appreciate commercial skip. I planned on moving my HTPC into the theater's closet and using the Xbox in the den. I'll lose Hulu (Covert Affairs and such) as well. And if I keep the HTPC in the den I'll lose HD audio in the theater... used 99% of the time for movies. Oh well... perhaps I'll end up moving the Xbox into one of the wife's rooms and using another PC in the den or throwing a streamer into the theater.

What I did for Hulu is that I installed Plex server software on my HTPC and then the Plex channel on my Roku players. You can install "apps" in Plex that take you to various sites that have video. I installed Hulu, HGTV, PBS and all four of the major ota networks. My wife watches The Mentalist through the CBS app whenever football screws up the dvr recording. And there are quite a few more available. Plex can be installed on a variety of boxes and it kinda-sorta works with the Xbox 360 (it's seen as a network server), but I've had great success with Roku players. Plex still has it's bugs and can be a bit cumbersome, but I like it and it's free.
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post #105 of 805 Old 12-02-2012, 08:20 AM
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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...

Charles,

Thanks for posting this information. Since I had purchased a laptop a few months ago, I installed Windows 8 Pro on the old PC, and it seems to be working fine performing one task at a time. I had some doubts if this was going to work, but it was a cheap experiment. I am waiting for Microsoft to send me the product key for Media Center so I can install that add-on. Then I have to decide if I should spend the $60 to upgrade the RAM, (I only have 1MB in that old machine) as the Ceton InfiniiTV 4 card needs at least 3MB. Also, I might have to upgrade the power supply if I am going to eventually put in another HDD and an HDMI video card, as it is only 300W.

I just wanted to add that this was possible thanks to changes in Microsoft's licensing agreements, as this would not have been possible with previous Microsoft OS's. I did some research prior to taking action, and with Windows 8 (purchased via this offer, not installed on a new PC), it can be installed on any PC with an upgrade-eligible OS (Windows XP, Vista, or 7) or installed on a newly-built PC via a system-builder Personal Use License. So, basically, the offer you noted above is not just for the PC recently purchased.

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post #106 of 805 Old 12-02-2012, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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So, basically, the offer you noted above is not just for the PC recently purchased.

The just for recent purchase aspect is the $15 upgrade cost in lieu of the current $40 cost.
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post #107 of 805 Old 12-02-2012, 01:33 PM
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The just for recent purchase aspect is the $15 upgrade cost in lieu of the current $40 cost.

Sorry, I meant to say that Windows 8 can be installed on any PC, not just the recently acquired PC that qualifies for the purchase at $15 vice $40. I hope it makes sense now.

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post #108 of 805 Old 12-02-2012, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I meant to say that Windows 8 can be installed on any PC, not just the recently acquired PC that qualifies for the purchase at $15 vice $40. I hope it makes sense now.

Makes perfect sense and I can see how I wasn't clear about the upgrade paths the offer supports. I'm not sure but I think it came up some where along the line in the thread. In my case I ended up installing Window 8 on top of my Windows 8 Preview... another option they were nice enough to support. Regarding older hardware I'm using WMC on an ancient Mac Mini... it's so old Apple stopped supporting it two upgrades ago. I use it as my Desktop and it runs great. It also shares recordings on my main Windows 7 WMC box. Only issue I have (haven't really looked into it yet) is the PC won't wake up the Windows 7 PC when I run WMC as does the Xbox 360.
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post #109 of 805 Old 12-04-2012, 02:52 PM
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Are you guys using the Xboxes as extenders over Wifi?

Does it output up to 1080p, if you were to stream Blu-Ray rips, for instance?
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post #110 of 805 Old 12-04-2012, 06:05 PM
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Are you guys using the Xboxes as extenders over Wifi?
Does it output up to 1080p, if you were to stream Blu-Ray rips, for instance?
Not on wifi, and I wouldn't recommend it.

1080p should be fine, assuming you have all the formats/containers and streaming/muxing applications to support it.
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post #111 of 805 Old 12-04-2012, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you guys using the Xboxes as extenders over Wifi?
Does it output up to 1080p, if you were to stream Blu-Ray rips, for instance?

I use wire but tested WiFi to see if I could use the Xbox 360 at other locations. I have a lousy router (very low-end wireless N - almost everything is wired) and my house is rather large (6,400sq ft or so). From limited testing I can stream 1080i without any issues and the interface feels just as fast. 1080p appears to be another story. Lots of buffering. Now I'm sure a better router would help but I wouldn't bet the house on it.
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post #112 of 805 Old 12-05-2012, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI: Fry's has the Xbox 360 (4GB model) for $149 during their 2-day sale.
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post #113 of 805 Old 12-05-2012, 10:34 AM
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FYI: Fry's has the Xbox 360 (4GB model) for $149 during their 2-day sale.
Good deal. I was pleased to get a $150 Xbox on Dell's site on Black Friday with free $15 in Xbox Live points. Didn't need to leave the house, either. wink.gif
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post #114 of 805 Old 12-05-2012, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I was pleased to get a $150 Xbox on Dell's site on Black Friday with free $15 in Xbox Live points.)

I missed that deal or I would have had Fry's match it. I ended up with a $199 deal with Kinect.
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post #115 of 805 Old 12-12-2012, 10:20 PM
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Charles R and everyone else,

Thanks for the great information and taking the time to share everything with us. I am relatively new to WMC huge TiVo fan. I noticed a few dissapointed posts about WMC not using "folders" like TiVo and I found a cheap alternative add in to WMC I wanted to share with everyone. Free Trial

http://www.recordedtvhd.com/ Recorded TV HD is like folders and includes a very nice interface "eye candy".

I also use My Movies and DVD Fab to rip my DVD collection to my server and it creates yet another "eye candy" experience for my DVD movies. This solution is a little more expensive around $100 bucks for My Movies and not sure what DVD Fab was.

http://www.mymovies.dk/

I hope you find these add ins for WMC useful. The Recorded TV HD is really similar to TiVo for grouping etc.

I did have a few questions if someone could clarify.

1. I am interested in commercial skipping and have just upgraded to WIN8 and it appears that this post indicates that commercial skipping does not work with WIN8. Is that correct or could you point me in the correct direction to get it working.

2. When I am setting up a new series to record WMC is scheduling it on all channels so it appears that the shows are going to record multiple times for the same episode. Any guidance would be appreciated.
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post #116 of 805 Old 12-13-2012, 09:13 AM
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2. When I am setting up a new series to record WMC is scheduling it on all channels so it appears that the shows are going to record multiple times for the same episode. Any guidance would be appreciated.

There's a setting to restrict the series to record only on a certain channel. I thought that was the default, in fact? I've also seen some shows that have bad info in the guide data, i.e. new and reruns are all flagged as "new", so WMC records them all. Not much you can do about that one.
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post #117 of 805 Old 12-13-2012, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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WMC supports folders to a large degree.. Simply go to...

TV - recorded TV - titles

1 - When I tried the app(s) I documented here Windows 8 wasn't supported. It appeared to be more of a version check before one of the apps would install. Perhaps it's been updated... can't say.

2 - Tasks - settings - TV - Recorder - Recording defaults
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post #118 of 805 Old 12-13-2012, 03:01 PM
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Thanks, My Movies installed on WIN8 for me and works without issue. The Recorded TV I did have to run as an administrator in XP compatibility mode and installed and working fine. Sorry for the omission.
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post #119 of 805 Old 12-13-2012, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I was referencing the commercial skip apps. If I remember correctly there are three downloads/installs and one barked saying the OS wasn't supported. I'm guessing it was thinking it's too old when in fact it probably would work but the checker isn't checking for Windows 8. I do really miss the commercial skip as I'm using an extender now. Which isn't as snappy as the HTPC which also increases the regret. I sure wish they would have given remote PCs the ability to act as extenders. Instead of file sharing more or less.

I have the HTPC in my dedicated room's closet so it's pretty much a hidden appliance. Being such I have lost all interest in upgrading, etc. I patched it so Remote Desktop works and installed a WoL utility on my desktop to wake it from hibernation if I want to play...I didn't hunt all that much but I found this to be an easy app to use. It's simple in a nice clean way.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wake_on_lan.html
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post #120 of 805 Old 12-14-2012, 05:10 PM
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Location: Kirkland, WA
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Very imformative thread. I just got a HDHR Dual, ordered a HDHR3 Prime, and am beginning to play around with WMC. The lack of being able to switch back and forth between two buffers is going to be particularly difficult to get used to, especially when watching two simultaneous football games just a few minutes behind live. I'll probably continue to use our TiVoHDs for that as long as the rest of the family doesn't mind (and I'm sure they won't once I get something in place as a media extender).

Speaking of a media extender, is there any way to set up a notebook PC or 2nd HTPC as a couple-shows-a-night media extender? What are the alternatives without an XBOX or the Linksys DMA2200? I'm guessing using a PS3 would be similar to using pytivo or Streambaby for transcoding for the TiVo??? That can be a mixed bag, as many transcoding operations (like from MKV) can be considerably slower than real time.

Are there any remotes that are best to use with WMC on a dedicated HTPC? What about with a PC that's used heavily for other things? Anybody using a Nexus 7 as a remote?
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