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post #211 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 04:27 AM
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It won't be a good replacement until it includes protected content support, which is unlikely any time soon.
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post #212 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

It won't be a good replacement until it includes protected content support, which is unlikely any time soon.

 

For you that is... for me not so much... as I don't care about such. If I did I believe I would have looked elsewhere (not at WMC) to begin with...

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post #213 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 09:16 AM
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The point is that it needs to do everything WMC can do and it can't, not whether you're happy only using OTA.

Look, I get that this is your personal thread, but have an open mind about features that people might want in XBMC. There are a LOT of people stuck on Time Warner Cable that are screwed by content protection, and they still use WMC.
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post #214 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

It won't be a good replacement until it includes protected content support, which is unlikely any time soon.

For you that is... for me not so much... as I don't care about such. If I did I believe I would have looked elsewhere (not at WMC) to begin with...

I thought he was saying the reverse: that for him, XBMC wouldn't be a good replacement for WMC since XBMC can't play, say, copy-once recordings on other TVs via extenders like WMC can. And that's unlikely to change since XBMC is open-source.
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post #215 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

The point is that it needs to do everything WMC can do and it can't, not whether you're happy only using OTA.

 

The point is everyone doesn't require support for protected content... and as such it doesn't have to do everything WMC does and it never will. It also offers many features WMC doesn't. Just because it isn't a perfect solution for someone doesn't exclude it from being one for others.

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post #216 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 12:18 PM
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I have used wmc but find xbmc and tivo much better at what they do. So I went with the best of both worlds (for me anyway) - a tivo and an xbmc htpc. And a blu-ray player. smile.gif Tried the one box thing but it was too messy. Jack of all trades, master of none comes to mind.
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post #217 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I have used wmc but find xbmc and tivo much better at what they do.

 

How was TiVo much better (than WMC)? If/when their client is flushed out I plan on taking another look.

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post #218 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 02:07 PM
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No fuss. Tivo does what it does without any help. I know lots of people say their wmc works without fiddling but that was not my experience by a long shot. (Maybe I'm just dumb wink.gif ) With the wife and kids, it quickly became a problem when for one reason or another (or another, or another) they couldn't do something as simple as watch pbs sprout while I'm gone at work. Once I took the cable/dvr out of the equation, I tried xbmc and just prefer the interface, as well as what it can do via add ons. Not to say it doesn't require some fiddling but now I can deal with that as needed without bringing down all tv for the family at the same time. Maybe it's just the luck of the draw but the tivo has yet to do even 1 unexpected thing in the 9 months I've had it. For me that makes all the difference. Just my experience.
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post #219 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Tivo does what it does without any help. I know lots of people say their wmc works without fiddling but that was not my experience by a long shot.

Maybe it's just the luck of the draw but the tivo has yet to do even 1 unexpected thing in the 9 months I've had it. For me that makes all the difference. Just my experience.

 

I have never helped WMC. :) Fiddling, such as?.. I have roughly 9 months into WMC and haven't missed a recording or had any issues. TiVo I used for well over a decade with rarely an issue too. The reason I asked is I read about issues such as fiddling and I'm trying to understand what they are. Unless I go fooling around with the PC it's as solid or more so than any TiVo I ever used (dozen or so - I used to sell off Lifetime units). The last one I had would reboot on occasion (from anywhere). Before that Netflix would at times cause a lockup (fixed via firmware). One required Sony service (long time ago) and another a hard drive swap along its life. I'd called most of those fiddling...

 

I do agree TV should be easy and that's one of (probably the biggest) reason I stayed away from WMC for so long. It should simply work. Right now I have the PC in my dedicated room's closet so it can't be fiddled with. Harmony turns on the Xbox (along with the other equipment) and wakes up the PC. It's connected to the projector and XBMC handles HD video/movie playback very nicely. I miss using Free Cable on XBMC when it was installed in the den... once a month or so I would power up the Add-on and let the wife enjoy those HGTV shows and a few others. We both would catch Covert Affairs via Hulu... 

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post #220 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 04:07 PM
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A quick peek in the htpc forum should give you a starting point. tongue.gif The main thing I didn't like may have been the ceton's fault, not wmc - I see you are using the home runs, I never tried those. It was just unpredictable. It would take too long to find a tuner, sometimes it would never find a tuner. Play ready would just decide it wasn't gonna work and it would need to be reconfigured. Sleep worked mostly but then sometimes when it woke something would be wrong and would need a reboot. A lot of times I would have to fix the resolution because it got out of whack. I had trouble with using passthru on my avr, while none of my other devices did, including the same htpc running xbmc w/o ceton. The menu hack I was using (forget what it was called but it's pretty well known over in the htpc forum) to customize the interface would periodically reset and everything would be in a different place on the menu. I tried using tmt5 within wmc for disc playback, that rarely worked smoothly. Codecs were a hassle - the shark pack supposedly solves this, or does it just draw you deeper into the mess? I'm sure there's a bunch of other stuff that I had issues with that I just don't recall off the top of my head, I posted about a bunch of them back in late summer/fall of 2011 so I guess I could look back but really what I've already listed was enough to be more trouble than it was worth. There was always a "oh I just need to do this". As a hobby that's all well and good but unless your wife also enjoys mucking with pc's as a hobby, it may not go over too well. Perhaps if I had stayed with it I could have got all the bugs worked out but honestly after a few months I was tired of it too.

So that was that experience. Contrast that with the tivo... everyone in the family loves it and I had none of the problems I had with wmc. I bought a refurbed premiere for $50, put a 2TB drive in it and lifetimed it with the discount code for $400 shortly thereafter. You got a really good deal on a lot of the stuff you bought for your wmc build, I didn't get so lucky. $55 for a homerun? That link in the first post of this thread shows a $90 device. I had to pay $300 for the ceton back in 2011. My total htpc build with i3, blu-ray drive, ssd, software and a nice case fit for a family room was more like $800 I think? So maybe I just felt like I had spent too much and didn't get my money's worth, and had the exact opposite result with the tivo. I don't know. I was able to sell the ceton which ended up paying for half my tivo so that worked out ok. Each person is gonna have different requirements and tolerances so they need to go with their personal experience with these things, so I'm not trying to say wmc is bad or that it doesn't work for other people. Just adding my experience.
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post #221 of 918 Old 02-04-2013, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Each person is gonna have different requirements and tolerances so they need to go with their personal experience with these things, so I'm not trying to say wmc is bad or that it doesn't work for other people.

 

I agree. There is no one perfect solution for everyone. Yes, I use HDHomeRuns and I like the fact they connect to the network and aren't attached to a PC. I did run into the resolution issue with one receiver/PC/sleep mode combo and admittedly tweaking the best energy saving mode can take a while. One nice advantage of using extenders... you don't have any of those issues (at all). I more or less refuse to customize (hack) WMC to keep it as reliable as possible. I have really appreciated Shark and now all I have to do is change two settings and HD audio works in WMC and XBMC.

 

With such issues I would have punted long before you did. I tried WMC for thirty days when my TiVo commitment was running out and ended up selling off my two TiVos. My goal was to keep the cost below what TiVo would run and yes I went bargain hunting.... Fry's is both a curse and a blessing!

 

Regarding the HTPC forum I largely stay out of it (mostly kidding :)) as I think this thread best serves those a little less nerdy... who simply want an appliance, not a hobby. Heck reading about WMC in there keep me away for years... if only I knew.

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post #222 of 918 Old 02-05-2013, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

The point is everyone doesn't require support for protected content... and as such it doesn't have to do everything WMC does and it never will. It also offers many features WMC doesn't. Just because it isn't a perfect solution for someone doesn't exclude it from being one for others.
Yep, but last I checked the thread title is not 'Charles R's WMC vs. Tivo Premiere'.

I'm simply pointing out in the 'WMC vs. Premiere' thread that XBMC will not be able to replace WMC anytime soon, if ever, for a large number of WMC users, even if it might work great for you with the limited set of TV you watch and record.
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post #223 of 918 Old 02-05-2013, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm simply pointing out in the 'WMC vs. Premiere' thread that XBMC will not be able to replace WMC anytime soon, if ever, for a large number of WMC users, even if it might work great for you with the limited set of TV you watch and record.

 

Thanks, I didn't realize it needed to be pointed out... seems beyond obvious. I hope many weren't misled.

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post #224 of 918 Old 02-05-2013, 09:22 AM
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Yeah, I know, I feel like an idiot now for even bringing up the idea that XBMC can't do everything WMC can... or Tivo for that matter. rolleyes.gif
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post #225 of 918 Old 02-07-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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If anyone is using the Xbox 360 as an extender today is the last sale day for 12 months of Live for $35 at Fry's. Amazon and Best Buy had it at the same price recently so it might be a while before it comes around again.  

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post #226 of 918 Old 02-10-2013, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
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The point is
everyone
doesn't require support for protected content... and as such it doesn't have to do everything WMC does and it never will. It also offers many features WMC doesn't. Just because it isn't a perfect solution for someone doesn't exclude it from being one for others.

This argument is like saying a car that's missing a wheel isn't useless because you can still sit in the driver's seat and listen to the radio. Lack of CableCard/protected content is a showstopper for 90% (or more) of the people out there, and I say this as an OTA-only user.
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post #227 of 918 Old 02-10-2013, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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This argument is like saying a car that's missing a wheel isn't useless because you can still sit in the driver's seat and listen to the radio.

 

Beyond silly. A wheel missing is stating no one can drive the car which undeniably is not the case here. Many users can drive anywhere they wish... Over 90% of users... care to share a link or two so we can see the actual percentage? Another undeniable fact is a lot of WMC users are beyond cheap (not in a bad way) and as such rely on OTA only... via my unscientific experience here. Again, if you have some science please post it.

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post #228 of 918 Old 02-10-2013, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking for a HDMI video card for your HTPC? I have been looking and found a couple. I have been using my i3's built-in graphics with great success minus one issue. It has the 29/59 bug when using WMC. Which causes the image to flicker when Dynamic Contrast is enabled. This issue affects roughly half of the shows on my local CBS station. Dynamic Contrast increases the intrascene contrast giving the image a little more pop without adding edge enhancement or other undesirable side affects. The real benefit I see is a much lower black level which becomes important when I use it in my dedicated room (120 inch image).

 

I have three requirements...
 

  • Fanless
  • Bitstream HD audio
  • Support Dynamic Contrast

 

Finding a fanless card is the hardest of the three and once you have you find they are typically of the low-end variety. I tried the Diamond AMD HD6450 ($20 - on sale) and I couldn't access the Dynamic Contrast option (grayed out) regardless of how I tried. I called their support and they said I was hunting ghosts... it was only available on their higher end models. Now a user here reports you can access it by turning off another feature (thought I had tried such) and I would have tried again however I had already returned the card and he stated it suffered from the 29/59 bug anyway. This card would still be my choice for a simple installation... simply want HDMI and bitstreaming.

 

 

Next I tried the ASUS NVIDIA GeForce 610 ($60 - everyday). It appears a little better built and I noticed it didn't get nearly as hot as the Diamond. Installation was a nightmare with Windows 8. Short story... be sure to disconnect your PC from the Internet when you install the drivers. Other wise you won't be able to boot your PC afterwards. You'll have to boot into Safe Mode and remove the drivers. Once I got done tweaking... perfect example why some people don't want to mess with HTPCs it worked like a champ. The image popped off the screen and the black levels looked like I had traded in my TV for a better model (with a higher contrast ratio).

 

One surprise I had was the PC was faster doing some tasks. Such as loading WMC, exiting it and other video based tasks are easily faster. Not that it took long for WMC to load in the past but I'd guess it is twice as fast now. One down side is increased energy usage but since the PC hibernates most of the day I'll live with it. 

 

 

Either card will serve you will... the Diamond a great bang for the buck overall and the ASUS still a good bang for the buck if you want a little more performance.

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post #229 of 918 Old 02-10-2013, 11:46 AM
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I may have discovered a (simplistic) fix for the ShowAnalyzer commerical-skip app skipping content at the start and/or end of shows:

Start the ShowAnalyzer UI, go to Tools / Settings / Analyzer tab, then scroll to the bottom. You'll see options to AutoMark the start and/or end of each show either as commercial or as show. You could use this, e.g., to automatically mark the final 30 seconds of every recording as show; that way if the analyzer incorrectly marks the ending as a commercial, you'll have 30 seconds to hit the "autoskip off" key on your remote, then back up and watch the ending.

Hope his helps anyone using commercial skip who's experienced frustration with this happening.
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post #230 of 918 Old 02-10-2013, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabal0 View Post

This argument is like saying a car that's missing a wheel isn't useless because you can still sit in the driver's seat and listen to the radio. Lack of CableCard/protected content is a showstopper for 90% (or more) of the people out there, and I say this as an OTA-only user.

I'd say it's more like a car with a built in gps system. Some people may use it (cable), some may not care about it and not use it (ota), and some may have their own gps already that they prefer over the stock gps (tivo). All are valid use cases depending what the person wants.

Additionally, some may know of another car that they prefer (xbmc) even though it doesn't come with a gps, but they don't care because they'd rather have the car they want, knowing they can add gps themselves. biggrin.gif
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post #231 of 918 Old 02-11-2013, 11:08 AM
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That's a better analogy, but how to you add "gps" (i.e., ability to record/play protected cable programs) on to xbmc? For some, that's the whole issue.

A cable box plus a Hauppauge PVR might do (assuming the cable box has component outputs and Macrovision isn't an issue). But that seems like a rather clumsy add-on "gps." Is there a more elegant or streamlined solution?
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post #232 of 918 Old 02-11-2013, 02:42 PM
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No, not in one box. I gave up on one box and use a tivo (that's my 3rd party gps) and an htpc with xbmc. I get what you are saying, and you are right, if you want one box that does it all, wmc is the only way, there are no competitors.

A tivo can get close if you can live with reduced functionality as far as streaming a video library. Everyone knows it's a great dvr but it also can do pictures, music, internet streaming, and some add ons. But it can't do full bitrate bluray rips with hd audio, which for many is unacceptable, just like not being able to record protected content is unacceptable for many. Can't play discs either.

An xbmc htpc can get close, but as stated, no protected content.

For me, tivo + xbmc beats wmc. It costs more, but rightly so; it's the best imo. The open source nature of xbmc opens a lot of doors that wmc will never be able to get past.

Besides, with a harmony remote or other universal setup, the importance of achieving one box fades pretty quickly once you close the equipment cabinet. "One box" is a misnomer anyway because you still need an avr. wink.gif
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That makes sense.

For the time being we have another option: XBMC + WMC! You don't have to choose one; install both on the same PC. There's even a WMC add-on to switch to XBMC and back so you never have to deal with the Windows desktop if you don't want to.

But of course the whole reason the subject came up is that Microsoft could kill off WMC with Win 9. If that happens XBMC + TiVo may be the only reasonable combo left for cable subscribers. But we have a few years before Win 7 & 8 aren't viable options. Many folks are still running Win XP and Vista today, after all.
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post #234 of 918 Old 02-11-2013, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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There's even a WMC add-on to switch to XBMC and back so you never have to deal with the Windows desktop if you don't want to.

 

It happens to be linked to in the first post. I understand a lot of people want an alternative to WMC for protected content. Especially, when WMC could (in theory) disappear or become fee based at anytime. My complete guess is the Xbox 720 platform will address such. Now whether people will embrace its solution we'll see.

 

I see virtually no reason to compare XBMC (especially up to now) to WMC as they serve different purposes by design. I know XBMC has DVR abilities now... sort of... but it's not its focus. Now TiVo and WMC come closer and I can see how both can come out ahead. In my case after ten years of TiVoing WMC did and I wish it had long before.

 

 

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No fuss. Tivo does what it does without any help. I know lots of people say their wmc works without fiddling but that was not my experience by a long shot. (Maybe I'm just dumb wink.gif ) With the wife and kids, it quickly became a problem when for one reason or another (or another, or another) they couldn't do something as simple as watch pbs sprout while I'm gone at work. Once I took the cable/dvr out of the equation, I tried xbmc and just prefer the interface, as well as what it can do via add ons. Not to say it doesn't require some fiddling but now I can deal with that as needed without bringing down all tv for the family at the same time. Maybe it's just the luck of the draw but the tivo has yet to do even 1 unexpected thing in the 9 months I've had it. For me that makes all the difference. Just my experience.

You're not dumb. I just built an MCE box, and I am already planning to replace it with a TiVo, as I've had so many problems with it already. I live alone, and even with just me, it's a nightmare. I would never expect a S.O., child, or roommate to use it. Here's my experience with MCE.
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post #236 of 918 Old 02-11-2013, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's my experience with MCE.

 

Where can one read your experience with TiVo? About 75% of your rant didn't addressed WMC rather other apps. The rest pretty much covered stuff you couldn't get working such as commercial skipping. Might want to give this thread a read... several have and got such working fine...

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Where can one read your experience with TiVo? About 75% of your rant didn't addressed WMC rather other apps. The rest pretty much covered stuff you couldn't get working such as commercial skipping. Might want to give this thread a read... several have and got such working fine...

My last TiVo died a few years ago. It's UI was great, loved everything about it, but it was beyond obsolete when it died, and at the time Comcast was slanting their pricing very much in the favor of their own DVRs, so that's the way we went. That thread got long, but I go on to describe some of the serious UI shortcomings, in things where MCE doesn't even meet the basic standards for DVR functionality like being able to accurately execute a series link/ season pass without repeats, a straight up and down list of shows in the NPL/ recorded TV section, and SxxEyy guide data. That, and it's buggy as h*ll. Almost every morning I wake up to it no longer on Live TV, when I left it on Live TV the night before, it's randomly given errors that require reboots a few times, anytime I try to change anything, it magically loses track of it's codecs. it's just a general hot mess.
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post #238 of 918 Old 02-12-2013, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

MCE doesn't even meet the basic standards for DVR functionality like being able to accurately execute a series link/ season pass without repeats....

A lot of the problems you mentioned would frustrate anyone, so I could certainly understand giving up on MCE (although so far, my experience with WMC 7 has been much less bug-ridden than yours - knock on wood). But WMC will record a series just fine. Your "basic standard for DVR functionality" seems designed to exclude it on a thin basis of not skipping repeats. It's a bit like setting a "basic standard for DVR functionality" that included automatic commercial skipping, then dismissing everything except WMC and Dish Network's Hopper as "not even a 'basic' DVR" - hardly fair.

My basic standard for DVR functionality is the ability to receive Digital Video, Record it, and play it back. There are certainly things I don't like about WMC, like not being able to capture the buffer if I decide to record something I'm watching live (even my very basic Pal DVRs can do that); but that doesn't mean WMC doesn't meet the DVR test.
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post #239 of 918 Old 02-12-2013, 11:01 AM
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I don't know if this perhaps got changed in later versions, but in the Vista WMC I use, there is the option to record only First run shows. From the drop-down menu for recording settings, another option is First run & Repeats. I've never really used the latter, but the former (almost) always works as advertised, unless the network does a last-minute schedule change. So yes, I only generally record first run shows.

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post #240 of 918 Old 02-12-2013, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

A lot of the problems you mentioned would frustrate anyone, so I could certainly understand giving up on MCE (although so far, my experience with WMC 7 has been much less bug-ridden than yours - knock on wood). But WMC will record a series just fine. Your "basic standard for DVR functionality" seems designed to exclude it on a thin basis of not skipping repeats. It's a bit like setting a "basic standard for DVR functionality" that included automatic commercial skipping, then dismissing everything except WMC and Dish Network's Hopper as "not even a 'basic' DVR" - hardly fair.

My basic standard for DVR functionality is the ability to receive Digital Video, Record it, and play it back. There are certainly things I don't like about WMC, like not being able to capture the buffer if I decide to record something I'm watching live (even my very basic Pal DVRs can do that); but that doesn't mean WMC doesn't meet the DVR test.

The issue is bad guide data, no settings will fix it until they fix the guide data. The lack of SxxEyy data, the repeat recordings, and the UI problems all combine together such that MCE does not, by my definition, function as a basic standard DVR. Every OTHER DVR on the market can do these things.
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