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-   -   Anyone have "Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack"?? (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-home-theater-computers/2382298-anyone-have-windows-8-1-media-center-pack.html)

permutations 03-28-2016 04:11 PM

Anyone have "Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack"??
 
I did not download Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack when Microsoft was giving it away for free, and now it's impossible to find anywhere. I have a fully licensed copy of Windows 8.1 Pro, but no Windows Media Center Pack. I don't need the Pro pack - just the Media Center Pack. If you downloaded a copy when it was available, could you please message me?

Thanks!

Foxbat121 03-28-2016 04:41 PM

There is no direct download to install, IIRC. You have to start with 8.0/8.1 Pro then add the WMC feature inside the control panel. It will prompt for the WMC key. Once you entered correct/unused key, it will download from Microsoft.

permutations 03-28-2016 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Foxbat121 (Post 42789074)
There is no direct download to install, IIRC. You have to start with 8.0/8.1 Pro then add the WMC feature inside the control panel. It will prompt for the WMC key. Once you entered correct/unused key, it will download from Microsoft.

Not anymore. Microsoft stopped distributing it on October 15th, 2015. When Win8 was first launched they gave it away for free, then after a while they charged $10 for it. You used to be able to go to their site and download it, but no more.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3107057

ajhieb 03-28-2016 05:11 PM

You're going to need a valid (read: unused) WMC key. If anyone here has such a thing they probably intend on using themselves.

As noted in the link you posted WMC is still supported and can be activated if you have a valid license/key.

permutations 03-28-2016 05:32 PM

I didn't realize a key was involved. I thought I just needed a licensed copy of Win8 Pro.

The Microsoft site says that third party sellers may still offer it, but I haven't found any.

Seems like this is hopeless. I have it on Win7 (wrong computer), and I have the hack that puts it on Win10, but there's no guide with that and I don't like Win10 - too many incompatibilities.

bryansj 03-28-2016 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by permutations (Post 42790354)
I didn't realize a key was involved. I thought I just needed a licensed copy of Win8 Pro.

The Microsoft site says that third party sellers may still offer it, but I haven't found any.

Seems like this is hopeless. I have it on Win7 (wrong computer), and I have the hack that puts it on Win10, but there's no guide with that and I don't like Win10 - too many incompatibilities.

If you don't like Win10 then why would you want Win8 over Win7? Just stick with Win7 or do something besides WMC.

permutations 03-28-2016 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bryansj (Post 42791674)
If you don't like Win10 then why would you want Win8 over Win7? Just stick with Win7 or do something besides WMC.

The computer I have attached to my TV is a small Surface Pro. I trashed it last night by trying to install Windows 7 on it. No can do.

I have Windows 7 installed through Parallels on my work computer. It has Windows Media Center, but doesn't do me any good.

I will need to use something else. I installed MediaPortal before I trashed my Surface Pro last night, but I couldn't get it to work. Media Center is so easy. I managed to restore the Surface Pro after work today. Now I'm downloading 1.5 GB of updates. Then I have to reinstall Windows 8.1. I won't re-install Windows 10 because it breaks some other software I was using.

permutations 03-28-2016 07:30 PM

Maybe I should put Windows 10 back on it because I have WMC for Windows 10. It just doesn't have a guide, and I can get that separately.

All these updates are going to take hours and hours. :(

permutations 03-29-2016 10:18 AM

Does anyone here use Media Portal? Have you been able to get it to work? I found it confusing.

permutations 03-29-2016 01:35 PM

I managed to connect my work computer to my TV through an HDMI cable, so now WMC is connected to my TV. Microsoft will only supply guide data for Windows 7 until 2020 (Windows 8 until 2023).

I have some questions about usage, but I'll post those separately.

Foxbat121 03-29-2016 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by permutations (Post 42789242)
Not anymore. Microsoft stopped distributing it on October 15th, 2015. When Win8 was first launched they gave it away for free, then after a while they charged $10 for it. You used to be able to go to their site and download it, but no more.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3107057

They gave out WMC key for free, not WMC pack. In most cases, the WMC pack may already inside the Pro installation media.


I registered and received couple WMC keys but all of them are used now and after upgraded to Win10, all of them are lost. Still using my Win7 WMC for my primary TV recording device.

ajhieb 03-29-2016 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by permutations (Post 42814034)
I managed to connect my work computer to my TV through an HDMI cable, so now WMC is connected to my TV. Microsoft will only supply guide data for Windows 7 until 2020 (Windows 8 until 2023).

I have some questions about usage, but I'll post those separately.

You seem awfully certain about those dates. MS could discontinue guide data for either tomorrow*, or they could keep it until 2050. Truth is, nobody knows, so don't trust anyone who claims they do. That said there are 3rd party options to get guide data into WMC if that's the route you choose to go.



*They are required to give notice (I don't have the EULA in front of me, but I believe it to be either 60 or 90 days) so technically they could only give notice tomorrow but the point still stands.

permutations 03-29-2016 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajhieb (Post 42819506)
You seem awfully certain about those dates. MS could discontinue guide data for either tomorrow*, or they could keep it until 2050. Truth is, nobody knows, so don't trust anyone who claims they do. That said there are 3rd party options to get guide data into WMC if that's the route you choose to go.



*They are required to give notice (I don't have the EULA in front of me, but I believe it to be either 60 or 90 days) so technically they could only give notice tomorrow but the point still stands.

I got these dates directly from the Microsoft Web site. Go to the page below, and search for the string "So what are the alternatives if I need Media Center?"

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/i...4-45f4b7ed2fb9

Microsoft says:

Quote:

  • Windows 7 editions that include Media Center will continue to be supported until January 2020.
  • Windows 8 Pro with Media Center will continue to be supported until January 2023.

And by the way, I did finally manage to get WMC installed on my Surface Pro with Windows 8.1 installed, thank goodness.

ajhieb 03-29-2016 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by permutations (Post 42820346)
I got these dates directly from the Microsoft Web site. Go to the page below, and search for the string "So what are the alternatives if I need Media Center?"

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/i...4-45f4b7ed2fb9

Microsoft says:
  • Windows 7 editions that include Media Center will continue to be supported until January 2020.
  • Windows 8 Pro with Media Center will continue to be supported until January 2023.

Support for WMC and support for the EPG are not synonymous. If you read the EULA for WMC it clearly states that the EPG guide data can be discontinued at any time (with proper notice given) and they could very well continue it beyond the EOL date for the product on which they are installed. (which is a distinct possibility since guide data is coming from the same provider being used for the XB1 EPG)


Quote:

And by the way, I did finally manage to get WMC installed on my Surface Pro with Windows 8.1 installed, thank goodness.
Glad to hear it. I hope it suits your needs well.

permutations 03-30-2016 12:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajhieb (Post 42820970)
Support for WMC and support for the EPG are not synonymous. If you read the EULA for WMC it clearly states that the EPG guide data can be discontinued at any time (with proper notice given) and they could very well continue it beyond the EOL date for the product on which they are installed. (which is a distinct possibility since guide data is coming from the same provider being used for the XB1 EPG)

I hope the guide continues to be available. The wording is ambiguous, but suggests to me that it won't. We'll see!

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajhieb (Post 42820970)
Glad to hear it. I hope it suits your needs well.

The computer with Windows 8.1 (a Surface Pro) can broadcast its display to my TV, so that works much better for me. I use this computer only for home theatre stuff. It's little and can sit next to the coffee table and stream wirelessly to the television. I cut the cable cord and use Playstation Vue for cable channels, but there are a few shows I go to the Web site to watch and I do that on the Surface Pro. Now I have an OTA DVR on there, too.

captain_video 03-30-2016 06:19 AM

Check out EPG123. It's a utility that allows you to import guide data into WMC from Schedules Direct. Here's the link to the discussion thread at The Green Button forums:


http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/...hp?f=99&t=9702


You purchase a subscription from Schedules Direct for $25/year and you can use it on multiple HTPCs. You select the guide data for your region and provider and can customize it on the Schedules Direct website. EPG123 logs into the SD site and downloads the guide data. You can configure it to load data for anywhere from one day to 30 days. You set up a time as to when you want it to be downloaded. It automatically downloads art for movies and inserts channel logos into the guide. You can also specify if you want season and episode info included in the show titles.


EPG123 allows us to finally cut the cord from Microsoft and never be left without guide data. If Microsoft finally decides to cut us off, then we can still continue using WMC with data provided from SD. I've got it installed on three HTPCs and so far it's working great. Right now there are installers for Windows 7 and 8.1. I believe the author is working on a Windows 10 version as well, but I'm not entirely sure.

permutations 03-31-2016 11:45 AM

captain_video - please read my post right above yours. Everything is working fine for me now - no reason to spend additional time or money.

captain_video 03-31-2016 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by permutations (Post 42868666)
captain_video - please read my post right above yours. Everything is working fine for me now - no reason to spend additional time or money.


That's fine for now if you're using WMC. However, the likelihood that Microsoft will cut off your guide data without warning seems like a certainty at some point. EPG123 gives me peace of mind knowing that Microsoft is no longer the weak link in the chain. In fact, it takes them out of the equation entirely. I've gone through numerous situations where my guide data has gotten down to just a few days of running out completely before someone at Microsoft fixed the problem. It's never run out, but the fact that it gets so close has become more than a minor annoyance. With EPG123 and Schedules Direct I'll never have to worry about it again.

permutations 03-31-2016 05:25 PM

When were you having problems with the guide data? My understanding is that this was a temporary issue while Microsoft switched WMC over to the Rovi system. It wasn't a smooth transition - there were bugs and problems. Things seem fine now. When was the last time people saw guide update problems on WMC?

The Microsoft Web site says (to me - others read the same text differently) that the WMC guide will be updated through Jan 2020 on Win7 and Jan 2023 on Win8. If the guide data turns out to be unreliable going forward or if it's cut off sooner than that, I'll look at other options. I've just spent so much time and money on setup and research since cutting the cable cord, I don't want to dive into anything else right now if it's not necessary. My budget needs a break, and I've got other things to do.

You moved to Schedules Direct to solve a problem. If I have problems, I certainly will look at it, too. But for now... I'm fine.

fractaler 10-25-2019 01:26 AM

I also am looking for a media center pack product key for 8.1pro. Any luck?

Any recommendation for where to buy it?

TYVM

Foxbat121 10-25-2019 06:31 AM

I used to have a few WMC 8 keys MS gave out for free but found out that those keys no longer work a few years back when I tried to activate them. And MS already stopped selling those WMC packs back then.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Krispy Kritter 10-25-2019 12:09 PM

There have been numerous times in the past few years where guide data stopped working. It's been an issue more than just during the cutover.

In any case, EPG is much better. It is way more accurate and more frequently updated.

For example, the NASCAR race at Talladega two weeks ago (Sunday) was rained out and postponed until Monday afternoon. The data provided by EPG had the time slot updated and my schedule recorded the race on Monday afternoon. In the past, with the standard guide, I would have had to go in and manually record all of the shows in the given time period to get the race. Even my cable TV guide didn't update, so my DVR recorded nothing. I can only assume my cable is using the same guide info as MS.

grittree 10-25-2019 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fractaler (Post 58729838)
I also am looking for a media center pack product key for 8.1pro. Any luck?


Do you need W8.1 for some reason? W7 is still easy to get and WMC is built in.

fractaler 10-25-2019 06:30 PM

media center pack for 8.1 pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by grittree (Post 58733110)
Do you need W8.1 for some reason? W7 is still easy to get and WMC is built in.

;-0(( no luck. I have win 7, but it is being discontinued jan 2020.


anyone have experience with "key generators"?

grittree 10-25-2019 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fractaler (Post 58733320)
;-0(( no luck. I have win 7, but it is being discontinued jan 2020.


anyone have experience with "key generators"?

Well, I keep my doors locked so Microsoft can't come in and "discontinue" my software.

captain_video 10-27-2019 06:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fractaler (Post 58733320)
;-0(( no luck. I have win 7, but it is being discontinued jan 2020.


anyone have experience with "key generators"?

There are lots of vendors that can sell you legitimate Windows 7 keys for less than $10. Check ebay.

Quote:

Originally Posted by decentbee (Post 58736302)
now 95% peoples are using win 10 i don't think somebody is using win 8 or 8.1

You might want to check your facts before posting numbers like that. As of September 2019, only 52.4% of PC users are using Windows 10. Windows 7 shares dropped to 28.2% on all PCs and 32.8% on all PCs running Windows. Windows is currently used on 86% of all PCs.

Foxbat121 10-27-2019 07:42 AM

Nothing is worse than jump on one dead end train from another. Windows 8.1 normal support ended 1/2018. Extended support ends 1/2023. Not any better than win7

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

DrDon 11-14-2019 07:45 AM

Bickering and the post(s) that started it have been removed. Discuss the topic and not each other.

Please use appropriate terminology when discussing corporate names. You never know who's lurking here and might have helped you were it not for the insults.

Questions? PM me. Don't post here.

6athome 11-17-2019 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by permutations (Post 42788218)
I did not download Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack when Microsoft was giving it away for free, and now it's impossible to find anywhere. I have a fully licensed copy of Windows 8.1 Pro, but no Windows Media Center Pack. I don't need the Pro pack - just the Media Center Pack. If you downloaded a copy when it was available, could you please message me?

Thanks!

I can tell you what happen to me,on my brick road. to fin the WIN of OZ.
I started out with Windows 8, then got win 8.1 pro and at that time downloaded the free WMC. All was not well because my Win 8.1 computer crashed,then I found out when I was doing a reinstal,l that the key for the free WMC wouldn't work! I was within the time frame of win 8.1 support,calling them of QZ,the wizzards of WIN told me that the free WMC key was a one time deal,after a lot of conversation,the great wizards of OZ,let me buy a key for WMC.
Then the evil Witch put a spell on me,that I should build another Win 8.1 WMC, While intel skylake was still available. Don't forget win 8.1 will only support intel skylake,the wizards of Microsoft and intel,cast a spell, said that only the latest intel chips, would support win 10 only.
I decided to build the win 8.1 WMC,I found a WMC key on ebay and built a new,win 8.1 pro WMC.
Frist off,if you don't copy DRM,cable card movies,don't waste your money or time. Second, Playready is not supported anymore,which is the main difference between Win 7 WMC and Win 8.1 WMC.
When you set up a WMC,cable card, win 8.1, computer,there is no way to get around playready not working. Win 7 some how avoids playready.
Yes I have two win 7 wmc computers and one is the first WMC,which you had to buy from dell or HP and they had a cable labs sticker with the KEY on it,they should have kept it that simple and not forced playready junk on us,
Don't forget, that bill gates, said he was a wizard and that's why Steve jobs spells, didn't work on him,welcome to OZ!

captain_video 11-19-2019 05:34 AM

You need PlayReady to record DRM content. That's why WMC is the only game in town when it comes to recording copy protected programs. Had you stuck with Windows 7 you never would have had to deal with getting a WMC key as it is included in all versions of Win 7 except Home Basic. Windows 7 doesn't avoid PlayReady so I'm not sure where you got that idea. Most of us that have used Windows 7 and WMC have experienced the dreaded Update PlayReady message at some point or other, but there are workarounds that can get you back up and running without having to do a complete reinstall.

FWIW, I've been running WMC in Windows 7 for years without a glitch, or at least nothing that a reboot can't fix.


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