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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I *ahem* acquired the Windows 7 beta this week and decided to do a fresh install of my HD HTPC. My reasons:


- Vista came out with a TV pack that was supposed to include QAM support but it wasn't that great.


- I was going to rebuild anyhow since I'd beat up this install through multiple codec tests, etc.


So far this thing blows Vista away! And it makes me feel a bit closer to the old ReplayTV days.

Replayesque -

- Guide allows one button recording while a second push sets repeat recording.

- While you have the default record settings you can tweak quality, as well as how to handle reruns.

- In the final version multiple Windows 7 PC's will be allowed to share/stream content to each other.

- FF, REW, 30 Sec Skip, Instant Replay (before I was capturing from firewire for HD so no ff, just 30 sec skip).

- I accidentally rebooted the PC while it was recording something. It had no problem playing back the pre or post boot content (recovered nicely).

What I miss -

- Commercial skip (don't know if a third party app will work like dvr-ms yet)

- Timeshift sort of works on my AMD 2.4ghz with an underpowerd video card but I think I'll have to at least get a card that offloads some work to the GPU.

The bonus round -

- Seemless QAM tuner support

- I can finally play home movies from my JVC Everio with no issues

- I have yet to load a third party codec and everything is smooth.

- A true media server

- The whole package greatly increases the WAF (meaning she'll even run the remote now!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnHeller /forum/post/15478151


Bob, are all of these features native to Windows 7 MCE or are you using a 3rd party HTPC program?


-John

These are all apps native to the beta. The only third party apps on the machine are:


DVArchive

UltraVNC

Weather plug-in
 

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What about OTA tuner support? I have VBOX DTA 150s in my Sage rig.

What about a web front end for remote scheduling searching?

What about pulling a recording off, and hacking at with Womble, and keeping it around. (Like I did with the Olympics opening ceremony.) In HD goes without saying.

Can you fine - tune the quickskip time from the UI? Some NFL teams are running the no-huddle as s.o.p.
 

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?? Does windows 7 use vista drivers? xp drivers? It's own???


What version of software do you install on it?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobcrane /forum/post/15446384


- In the final version multiple Windows 7 PC's will be allowed to share/stream content to each other.

Are you sure about this? You may be able to partially hack this with much missing functionality. Wimdows Media Extenders are needed for true streaming of supported functionality but will inhibit streaming of DVD and Blu Ray which is why you would want to allow true sharing/streaming of content between multiple Win7 Media Centers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobcrane /forum/post/15446384

What I miss -

- Commercial skip (don't know if a third party app will work like dvr-ms yet)

Com Skip works with 3rd party App on dvr-ms files which is the media format for Vista Media Center. Win7 generates wtv files where there is no Com Skip apps available yet.


What is really missing is ReplayTV stability. There are a host of other issues as well. One major reason to switch is for HD support but there are limited options for this if you want to get channels beyond over the air. DRM really kills the true potential of this product.
 

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I didn't even get far enough with MC7 to think about TV tuners, and guide data. MC7 was not up to the hype....


This was my feedback to Microsoft after trying the beta and media center. I was not impressed.

Quote:
As I was typing this feedback explorer locked up. And now I have to

re-type all this again. So the rating went from 3 stars to 1 star.


I currently run SageTV on a HTPC in my living room. While SageTV takes care of all my TV needs (2 OTA HD Digital Tuners), I still use on original XBOX running XBMC for videos, music, and pictures. So when I started hearing good things about Win7 and Media Center 7 (MC7) I thought it might be time to see if I can replace SageTV, and get XBMC like functionality in a nice GUI. MC7 certainly looks nice, and the cover art wall in music a very nice touch, but all that bling does nothing when two serious flaws have me abandoning my hope for 'one box to rule them all'.


Music: I copied my 'New Stuff' folder from my ReadyNAS to my Win7 desktop. I added it the Library>Music in Windows explorer. Then I fired up MC7, and noticed it took a while for cover art to show up - despite the folder being local to the machine, and despite the fact that the folders all had a 'folder.jpg' in them. Then I noticed that the cover art for one of my titles looked like crap (pixelated), when I know the folder.jpg was huge. So I went to the folder to check it - and my folder.jpg was gone. Seems Win7 or MC7 deleted it for some reason - and really didn't tell me anything about it. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had pointed win7 to my ReadyNAS and let it go on some 70gigs worth of music. Disbelieving that this could be the case - I repeated the 'experiment'. I deleted the folder from the library, and re-copied. I re-added it to the library - launched MC7 again. Now when I search the ReadyNAS folder for 'folder.jpg' I get 28 hits. When I search the copied folder on the desktop I get 18 hits. 10 of my 'folder.jpg' files have been apparently deleted by win7 / mc7. Unacceptable.


Photos: I almost fell out of my chair when I started a slide show - and had photos coming up sideways. Because mc7 doesn't seem to care about EXIF data. It is now 2009. XBMC handles this, as does Picasa, and I would have to assume other image editing programs. Why not mc7? Laughable.


Between the ReadyNAS, 6 PCs, 3 ReplayTVs, 2 XBOXes, 2 wireless access points, this house is pretty much a digital media buff's dream. And MC7 doesn't even get it's foot in the door because of these two stupid issues. I wish you luck, because it's clear some work has gone into the product. See you after the beta if I hear anything good about the release with regard to these items.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I almost went the Sage route back when I was setting everything up. The ability to quickly be up and running with high WAF was what led me down the M$ path.


Still, my long term goals involve some type of long term data storage to pull media from, and the ability to easily navigate online content from a 10ft interface and remote. Something Win7 still fails to provide.
 

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WAF? What's that? No matter the technology I throw down....


Harmony Remotes that do it all. I mean they really do it all - so long as you keep it in sync with the systems. (need a backup for my 550)

Hardwired network everywhere.

Shortcuts on her desktop.

Printer in the Kitchen.

Scanner in the Kitchen. (Not that she is at home in the Kitchen mind you
)

Two thermostats and an A/B switch downstairs to select between them, and countless 'talks' about what vents to open/close to maximize heating efficiency (OK I'll take the blame for bringing this into the mix).


There is a constant need for tech support services. With the Harmony remote I can understand a kid walked in front of the beam and **** got out of sync. But that never seems to be the case.


Once, I got a call at work about this movie that isn't playing or what not.... It was actually easier to remote in and start the movie on XBMC via the web interface than walk her or one of my kids through it all.


In the case of SageTV - I found myself 'backing up' the playoff games I wanted to watch with the ReplayTVs. Cuz' every now and then I'll come home and find the SageTV box is locked up. (Nothing recently, knock on wood) Now how much like the ReplayTV experience is that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobcrane /forum/post/15598002


Yeah, I almost went the Sage route back when I was setting everything up. The ability to quickly be up and running with high WAF was what led me down the M$ path.


Still, my long term goals involve some type of long term data storage to pull media from, and the ability to easily navigate online content from a 10ft interface and remote. Something Win7 still fails to provide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor


I still backup the football games and American Idol with the Replay, and the Replay still does the primary recording for the family shows. But all of my shows and the shows my wife and I watch together are recorded strictly on the Win7 box.
 

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any luck on getting commercial skip? The Vista TV Pack changed the dvr-ms format and it's not compatible with Commskip any more. I asked the Media Center folk at CES and they said 7 has the same format as the TV Pack.


Does webguide work with 7?


I was pretty impressed with what a saw at CES. I'm particularly looking forward to improved compatibility with my Zune.


Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmk11 /forum/post/15672101


which QAM tuner did you use? I got Win7 but haven't installed it.

I have an AverMedia M780. It has a QAM and ATSC tuner so in theory I could run an antenna and cable feed for HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jobedo /forum/post/16384788


Any updates ?

Joe

I haven't made many changes. Been too busy with work.


Here's what's happened in the interim -

Suddenly video playback stopped with some error about not being able to decode or some such nonsense. I gave up on video for a while since everyone said reinstall was the option.


Eventually I uninstalled ATI Avivor, ran windows update, and reloaded some dll's. All is well.


I've also loaded Boxee. Makes it nice for Hulu but sometimes it locks up.


I'm bummed that they don't have more online content. I was really hoping to stream from the major networks right from the remote.


I've downloaded RC-1 but haven't done a fresh install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, and 95% of my primetime shows are either recorded on the PC, or played back from streaming. The Replay's are a backup/ home improvement shows option.


The only problem is sometimes in the middle of streaming the video/audio will "go to sleep" even though I have everything set to always on. I then RDP in, cancel the RDP, and it comes back to life. Stupid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
FYI: Build 7127 was leaked to the torrentz recently. From what I hear it's better than the RC. Check thegreenbutton.com for details.
 
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