Anyone have "Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack"?? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 40 Old 11-19-2019, 07:20 AM
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Win8.1 WMC is the same as Win7 WMC with the exception of more limited device support (Xbox 360 is the only extender it supports) and more problem download and install the addon. It also looks like guide will go out at the similar time as Win7 and support goes out soon as well. Why anyone would bother to install Win8.1 WMC at this time is beyond me.

I have re-installed Win7 WMC on two relatively new PCs I built in recent couple years and there is not much problem with Play Ready update if you download and install manually. The biggest huddle is the Win7 update itself which takes forever to get updated due to various bug in original Win7 releases. But, MS is nice enough to offer Win7 installation with service pack already applied. That saved me a lot of headache dealing with dreaded Windows Update (never updates).


Speaking of Play Ready, MS has a million-dollar liability on the line with CableLabs if its DRM recording is cracked or hacked. So, I foresee one possibility that MS will revoke PlayReady on existing Win7 WMC installations once it stops guide service just to make sure it is not liable anymore to CableLabs. If that happens, that's the truly death of the WMC.

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post #32 of 40 Old 11-19-2019, 09:32 AM
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If MS kills playready, wouldn't OTA signals still work in WMC?
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post #33 of 40 Old 11-19-2019, 11:14 AM
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For most people that still uses WMC today, DRM recording is the main reason. For OTA, you have so many options out there. No need to be stuck with WMC. But if you are watching and recording DRM channels on cable with a CableCard, WMC still is the only game in town.
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post #34 of 40 Old 11-19-2019, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post
Speaking of Play Ready, MS has a million-dollar liability on the line with CableLabs if its DRM recording is cracked or hacked. So, I foresee one possibility that MS will revoke PlayReady on existing Win7 WMC installations once it stops guide service just to make sure it is not liable anymore to CableLabs. If that happens, that's the truly death of the WMC.
That's a class action lawsuit just waiting in the wings if that ever happens. People that paid for Windows 7 paid for the right to use PlayReady and WMC. I don't think they can legally revoke it, but they can stop supporting it, which they already plan to do. Then again, I have never read the fine print regarding the User Agreement for PlayReady and I doubt that 99.999% of users have ever done so, meaning there's always a chance that Microsoft slipped us a Mickey when it comes to shutting down PlayReady. If PlayReady was going to be hacked it would probably have happened by now.
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post #35 of 40 Old 11-19-2019, 12:21 PM
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It didn't stop MS from pulling the guide service for Win7 WMC even though you did pay for it. All they have to do is stop paying the due to CableLabs and off goes the CableLabs certification
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post #36 of 40 Old 11-20-2019, 06:11 AM
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It didn't stop MS from pulling the guide service for Win7 WMC even though you did pay for it. All they have to do is stop paying the due to CableLabs and off goes the CableLabs certification
True, but if you read the service agreement for guide data in WMC I believe it says that they can stop it at any time so it was only a matter of time before they pulled the plug on it. Technically the guide data is part of ongoing support for WMC. I'm actually surprised they continued supplying it for this long. I don't know if they can legally disable a product that a consumer has paid for, but they can definitely stop supporting it. That just means that once they cut off any further support you continue using it at your own risk. If it breaks then it's up to you to fix it or find a suitable replacement. Even if they somehow disable PlayReady you should still be able to use WMC for recording non-DRM content unless you have a provider that likes to flag every channel. You could always pick up a Tivo or your provider's DVR or subscribe to a streaming service that airs the copy protected content you can no longer get through your cable provider. The point being that there are other legal means to view and record any content no longer accessible using PlayReady. I'm on FIOS and I believe that the only content that would be affected are any of the Fox network channels, HBO, Cinemax, and National Geographic. I dropped my HBO subscription and never had Cinemax. I just signed up for Disney Plus, which has National Geographic, so the only content we could no longer receive would be the Fox network channels. There might be a few other channels but I don't watch them if there are. I record a lot of shows on Fx and the wife likes to watch Fox News so losing PlayReady would be a mixed bag.

I'm not positive, but I believe Microsoft pays a licensing fee or royalty for every copy of WMC/PlayReady they sell so it's a one-time fee that they pay to CableLabs and not a recurring fee. It's the same as paying a royalty to Dolby Labs for using their signal processing techniques. I sincerely doubt that Microsoft would ever disable PlayReady because there is simply no benefit in doing so.

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post #37 of 40 Old 11-20-2019, 06:41 AM
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According to what Silicon Dust posted, they have to post a million-dollar bond/liability insurance to get their CableCard DRM viewing app approved/certified by CableLabs. That's probably why they are dragging their feet to get DRM recording working (another big investment). So, I assume MS is in the same boat. All they have to do is only certify newer versions of PlayReady with CL and let the older version die and potentially revoked by CL.

CableLabs is digging its own grave for cable operators by imposing these draconian measures. Even Verizon FIOS now sells Android TV based stream boxes instead of cable boxes.

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post #38 of 40 Old 11-22-2019, 05:07 PM
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Owning two wmc 7 and win 8.1 computers, playready comes up when I tried to get the free preview of HBO on Fios. The playready does not show up in Win 7, the same way it does in win 8.1.
If you want to activate a cablecard in Win 8.1, it states you have to update playready, which when you hit to update, it gives you an error,yes i downloaded playready.
With Fios I can't get channel 621( National Geographic) on my cable card and a few other channels,Fios video department couldn't fix it.
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post #39 of 40 Old 11-23-2019, 05:46 AM
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Verizon can't offer you any support for PlayReady. It's not their hardware or software. There are easy fixes to get around the PlayReady issue in Windows 7. I've never used Windows 8.1 with WMC so I don't know if the same fixes will work in 8.1. It's justt another reason why I never saw the need to switch from 7 to 8.1. I've had the issue pop up in Windows 7 on occasion but I was always able to get it working again.

I bought a copy of Windows 8 the day it was released for $40. After installing it I took one look at the UI and said WTF? Nothing was familiar or intuitive and it was a godawful mess. I tried playing with it for a few days but it was just too hard to adjust to so I uninstalled it and went back to Windows 7 and it was the best thing I ever did. I've got several HTPCs running Windows 7 with WMC and they're all working just fine.
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post #40 of 40 Old 11-28-2019, 05:13 AM
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Free preview of HBO on Fios, 28-2 DRM movies for free!
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