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Why don't more people use XBMC?

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
I was looking through the survey thread and almost everyone is using WMC. XBMC seems a lot nicer/cooler to me, why aren't more people using it? XBMC is the entire reason I decided to build a dedicated HTPC; I just recently re-discovered it after having the original version on my original xbox years ago. Before I was just using MPC or whatever on my regular PC and didn't think of it as an "HTPC."

I understand that an advantage of WMC is watching live TV. Is that the only reason people use it over XBMC? Even considering that, why wouldn't you just use both, XBMC for everything else?

I'm only asking to figure out if I am missing something here as I get started on my own HTPC.
post #2 of 115
WMC comes with windows, it does everything I want it to do and it's easy to setup. Plus, I like its interface better.
post #3 of 115
Lack of HD-Audio support has been a major drawback for XBMC.
post #4 of 115
There is a comparison of HTPC software here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/home-...omparison.html

Most of the details are in the spreadsheet. Here's a direct link to it:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...Gc&output=html
post #5 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Lack of HD-Audio support has been a major drawback for XBMC.

they're working on it .. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=121877
post #6 of 115
A "lot nicer"?

Have you used media browser? They are both very very good. Its a personal preference.
post #7 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Lack of HD-Audio support has been a major drawback for XBMC.

There are three ways to get bitstreamed hd audio in xbmc.
post #8 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by dctoast View Post

they're working on it .. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=121877

This version actually works very well!

I am in the same position. I love the interface that WMC has for live TV, but I stay away from using Mediabrowser or MyMovies. XBMC setup just seems more intuitive to me IMO, so I use both. There's a program that integrates XBMC into WMC. It's not perfect, but it makes it easier to use both programs smoothly.

Just my 2 cents.
post #9 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

A "lot nicer"?

Have you used media browser? They are both very very good. Its a personal preference.

Agreed. I have seen videos of your setup, and it looks great. Once again, it boils down to personal preference.
post #10 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlesnack View Post

I was looking through the survey thread and almost everyone is using WMC. XBMC seems a lot nicer/cooler to me, why aren't more people using it? XBMC is the entire reason I decided to build a dedicated HTPC; I just recently re-discovered it after having the original version on my original xbox years ago.

I understand that an advantage of WMC is watching live TV. Is that the only reason people use it over XBMC? Even considering that, why wouldn't you just use both, XBMC for everything else?

I'm only asking to figure out if I am missing something here as I get started on my own HTPC.

Ease of set-up. WMC is already installed if you've got Vista or 7. For movie management, just install MediaBrowser or MyMovies and you're pretty much done. You'd probably change the skin and layout but the whole set-up process to make MediaBrowser useable is pretty painless compared to XBMC.

I have XBMC installed on one of the HTPC's and have an XBMC launcher on WMC. Haven't had the time to get it to play nice with my Asian drama and anime collection. Besides, while there are a lot of fancy features on XBMC, the simplicity of WMC+MediaBrowser means it's much easier for my parents to use. Granted, it's possible XBMC Live might be easier to set-up compared to XBMC on Windows. Haven't tested it, though.
post #11 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

There are three ways to get bitstreamed hd audio in xbmc.

I was aware of the current Windows only solution that just came out last week but not of other ways as I hadn't followed XBMC in some time. After getting my system set up before your guides were published, I really didn't want to try another way using XBMC; I'm happy with my set up pretty much the way it is right now.
post #12 of 115
I switched to 7MC because I got rid of my cable company DVR and went with an HDHomerun Prime setup instead. There are certainly some things XBMC does better, but not enough for me to want to have two app installs to manage.
post #13 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jriver View Post

There is a comparison of HTPC software here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/home-...omparison.html

Most of the details are in the spreadsheet. Here's a direct link to it:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...Gc&output=html


Wow, Jim; that spreadsheet is hopelessly out of date for JRiver MC.
post #14 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlesnack View Post

I understand that an advantage of WMC is watching live TV. Is that the only reason people use it over XBMC? Even considering that, why wouldn't you just use both, XBMC for everything else?

Er, no, I don't use WMC for watching live TV at all. I use my TV for that.

I use WMC (plus MyMovies and TotalMedia Theatre) because it gives me a reasonably good user experience, and one (after, it must be said, a degree of fiddling) that works.

WMC comes with Windows. I've paid for it, and it's there.

I see no reason to lose myself in yet more twisty little passages trying to figure out the correct list of add-ons and versions that deliver a working user experience if the moon is is the right phase, or if we've grokked the correct build of open software to install on even days of the week.
post #15 of 115
Isn't xbmc one of the most popular pieces of software out there? Am i mistaken thinking its already used by millions?

I like it the best because it has the nicest gui, most customization in the gui, and i love all the options and and things you can do with it. I am currently using mq3 and its the nicest most feature rich skin i have ever used.

My only problem is lack of bdmv menu folder playback and I also wish it was ported onto a device like dune (hopefully in the future) instead of just apple tv.

I think wmc is preferred to some from what I noticed when i used it, ease of use and simplicity. But i did not think the gui was as nice it also did not do everything i wanted.
post #16 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDLIVE View Post

I switched to 7MC because I got rid of my cable company DVR and went with an HDHomerun Prime setup instead. There are certainly some things XBMC does better, but not enough for me to want to have two app installs to manage.

Out of curiosity i have been meaning to ask why people use htpc cable cards instead of the companies dvr?

Is it because of storage? I can add 3tb to my satellite dvr.

It always just seemed like more work..

I must be missing something.
post #17 of 115
I think it depends on what you are looking for and what preferences you have.
This forum has a lot of people using WMC for liveTV because I think a large proportion are using cable TV (likely from america where this is a lot more affordable). It makes perfect sense for them use WMC as it seems the easiest to setup for cable TV. Also most of the major frontends contain similiar features so it becomes a preferential decision depending on specific needs or familiarity.

Coming from NZ I know a lot of people using XBMC and mediaportal.
People chose mediaportal because it accepts recording of multiple channels (on a single MUX) using only 1 tuner card, currently something WMC does not support. For OTA TV recording this is a big benefit because you can use fewer cards to accomplish your recording needs.
XBMC has some great features and I may look at changing to an openELEC machine some time in the future, but currently I'm waiting for development on the TV side of things to be fully integrated (I know that XBMC supports tv).

I must give thanks to the many developers and people involved in creating the different products, we really do have a range of viable options and some great talent supporting each of them.
post #18 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

Out of curiosity i have been meaning to ask why people use htpc cable cards instead of the companies dvr?

When you already have HTPCs on all TVs and a DVR rental costs $25/month (or $300 per year per TV), adding a CableCARD tuner to your existing set-up can be more cost effective, particularly if you use it for more than a year.
post #19 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

Out of curiosity i have been meaning to ask why people use htpc cable cards instead of the companies dvr?

Is it because of storage? I can add 3tb to my satellite dvr.

It always just seemed like more work..

I must be missing something.

I agree it is more work upfront and there is sometimes some further tweaking involved but you end up saving on the rental fees you pay each month from the cable companies for the DVR or STB. I also have a HDHomerunPrime and it allows for network viewing so as long as I have a pc running wmc7 then I can watch tv within my house.

For me I went this route with WMC7 over XBMC just cause of LiveTV options. I used to use XBMC for my animes and movies but now use MediaBrowser+MPC-HC for everything.
post #20 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

A "lot nicer"?

Have you used media browser? They are both very very good. Its a personal preference.

Wow, I never used Media Browser. It does look really good. I understand things better now. I'll have to try it out when I get up and running.
post #21 of 115
Thread Starter 
Does media browser do music as well? It doesn't appear so on the website. Do people then use something else for music? Any chance of something like the awesome milkdrop visuals from XBMC?
post #22 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

When you already have HTPCs on all TVs and a DVR rental costs $25/month (or $300 per year per TV), adding a CableCARD tuner to your existing set-up can be more cost effective, particularly if you use it for more than a year.

Do you have to buy tuners for each individual HTPC?
post #23 of 115
Interesting question as I'm putting my HTPC together now and am trying to decide on which software to use. I need liveTV + movie (MKV) playback + streaming internet TV and don't want to be hopping between different programs unless it's seamless. This pretty much leaves me choosing between WMC and MediaPortal. Think I'm going to go with WMC to start with and go from there - it sounds easier to get going with. I guess a lot will depend on the future of WMC and it sounds like it will continue to be around in Windows8.

Is there any consensus on which has the "snappier" GUI of all the main options? i.e. speed at which thumbnails load and lag between button presses and transition etc. Of course some of this will be hardware-specific, but I wonder if some of the software is better than others.
post #24 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlesnack View Post

Do you have to buy tuners for each individual HTPC?

Not with the HDHomeRun Prime. I think the Ceton also supports multiple PC's now (granted, with the Ceton, the PC where the card is physically installed has to be turned on).
post #25 of 115
beetlesnack - there's a myriad of ways, but no, you can share tuners over network or via extenders in WMC.

Does XBMC support an extender type of platform?
post #26 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

Out of curiosity i have been meaning to ask why people use htpc cable cards instead of the companies dvr?

Is it because of storage? I can add 3tb to my satellite dvr.

It always just seemed like more work..

I must be missing something.

2 HD DVR boxes were costing us ~$34/month. Cable card serves 2 tv's and comcast gives us $2.50 back each month for using it. Good enough reason for me, and that's not even addressing the better interface/options/etc. That alone will pay for 2/3 of the cost of the htpc in the first year.
post #27 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Wow, Jim; that spreadsheet is hopelessly out of date for JRiver MC.

It's even worse for Plex

Back to the OP. Honestly, I ask the same thing about Plex, which is much like XBMC, but with a lot of sophisticated features baked in that require virtually no setup. It's till missing some things like bitstreaming audio and using external players though.

XBMC is great, but so is Jriver, mediabrowser, and WMC with mediabrowser or mymovies (and WMC of course has live TV and DVR). One's not really better than the other, I think you just have to try all of them to see which suites you. Luckily they're all either free or have generous trials.
post #28 of 115
I never understood the 'WMC is easier to setup' argument. I tried both and I had an easier time setting up XBMC, all I had to do was point it to the media dir, choose Imdb as scraper and let it go, download a bunch of addons from the official repo. I didn't have to install codecs, install additional programs for metadata, pay for premium skins or plugins etc.

XBMC was much nicer to look at, faster and easier. The only reason I'd switch is if I had a tv tuner card and wanted live tv.
post #29 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post

I never understood the 'WMC is easier to setup' argument. I tried both and I had an easier time setting up XBMC, all I had to do was point it to the media dir, choose Imdb as scraper and let it go, download a bunch of addons from the official repo. I didn't have to install codecs, install additional programs for metadata, pay for premium skins or plugins etc.

XBMC was much nicer to look at, faster and easier. The only reason I'd switch is if I had a tv tuner card and wanted live tv.

It just depends what you are used to. If you are used to WMC+MB then XBMC can be a pain to setup and vice-versa. They are very different in that regard.

XBMC is not "much" nicer than WMC+MB (it may be nicer to some but I think that one is dramatically or "much" better than the other in appearance just isn't true) to look at it is definitely not faster anymore. Which one is easier to setup as I said depends largely on which one you use first.
post #30 of 115
I am a long time XBMC user. Their latest Eden (beta 2 now) is well done and stable enough to use for anyone. I really cannot criticize anything on XBMC. I love the MovieDB and TV shows scraper. The visuals are really nice. They even added Airplay support which works perfectly on my iPad 2. I also love Constellation which is a free iPad app to control XBMC. It makes playing music so easy.
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