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Is the HTPC dead for the guy who wants to record/watch OTA?

Alienwho

Diamond Member
Apr 22, 2001
6,766
0
76
My current HTPC running windows 7 and windows media center is on its last legs. I was really hoping the xbox one would work as a wmc extender and breathe new life into the zombie that is wmc.

Ideally, all I want to do is stick my wmc server in the basement and use an extender in a couple of different rooms in the house. I don't want to use a big old xbox 360 which is power hungry and slow to turn on. Everything I've read is the ceton is slow and sucks. ALL I WANT IS TO RECORD/WATCH OTA TV. I've got a few HD homerun tuners.

WMC center is long in the tooth. Mediaportal seemed promising but getting the TV guide to work is so maddening I gave up. Is nobody really using HTPC's? Am I resigned to pay for cable or satellite?
 

haikuginger

Junior Member
Dec 29, 2013
4
0
0
Honestly, the fact is that with the slow death of WMC, there simply aren't any more easy solutions. What I've done, and what might work for you, is to simply have a small solid-state, passively-cooled Windows 7 box at each TV and dial it into a HDHR for live TV. Then, you can have one "primary" W7 box that records TV, and use MCEBuddy to copy recordings to a network share that you can simply add to the Recorded TV library on each computer.

This also allows you to set up XBMC or the other HTPC software of your choice for movie viewing on each box.

I know it's not the ideal solution, but it's what there is. I nabbed an Arctic MC001 when they were on firesale, but if I were buying right now, I'd look at getting an Intel NUC. Small and passively cooled, and you can just hook up a good USB IR receiver to it.

Like you, I tried to get MediaPortal set up, but it's just so maddening. I want to scream at everyone, "MICROSOFT GOT IT RIGHT IN 2006! HOW ARE YOU STILL SCREWING THIS UP!?"
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,362
247
106
How do you figure MC7 is dying a slow death? So far the only feature that's disappeared (that I know of) is integrated online streaming. OTA DVR functionality is still excellent.
 

haikuginger

Junior Member
Dec 29, 2013
4
0
0
How do you figure MC7 is dying a slow death? So far the only feature that's disappeared (that I know of) is integrated online streaming. OTA DVR functionality is still excellent.
Sorry, I should clarify. By "dying a slow death", I simply mean that we're not going to see any additional support. WMC is an optional add-on for Windows 8 already; my bet is that OTA DVR program listings are going to end when Windows 8 mainstream support does, in 2018. Unless, of course, MS decides to include WMC in the next version of Windows.

We'll see. But I think WMC is going by the wayside.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,362
247
106
Ah. I agree with that assessment. It's a great product with very limited acceptance. I think it's wonderful. It gives me Tivo level functionality/reliability and its fairly dummy proof.
 

nitrous9200

Senior member
Mar 1, 2007
282
3
76
Us HTPC users are definitely a small group. WMC in Win7/8 works really well and given its small usage numbers, I doubt MS will keep paying to keep the guide data updated.

I've never used any of the Linux solutions but I should probably start tinkering with one so I have a backup plan.
 
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Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
Us HTPC users are definitely a small group. WMC in Win7/8 works really well and given its small usage numbers, I doubt MS will keep paying to keep the guide data updated.

I've never used any of the Linux solutions but I should probably start tinkering with one so I have a backup plan.
Unfortunately if you need a Cable Card solution to get premium channels from your provider you are locked into WMC. I don't see this as a bad thing at all and have been running a such a setup without any problems.
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
It seems a great irony that MS has killed WMC as more people are cutting the cord these days and going to streaming and OTA recording. WMC could have been a great aggregator of content, with OTA/DVR and netflix already built in, it would just need some sort of browser integration for flash/html5 video (e.g. Daily Show/Colbert, that's one of my primary streaming targets).
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
11,863
124
106
Sorry, I should clarify. By "dying a slow death", I simply mean that we're not going to see any additional support. WMC is an optional add-on for Windows 8 already; my bet is that OTA DVR program listings are going to end when Windows 8 mainstream support does, in 2018. Unless, of course, MS decides to include WMC in the next version of Windows.

We'll see. But I think WMC is going by the wayside.
Will never happen. XBox One is the new WMC.
 

Alienwho

Diamond Member
Apr 22, 2001
6,766
0
76
IMO Microsoft could have put a major blow to the cable/satelite industry if they would have allowed OTA DVR recoding functionality on the xbox one. I would have bought one no questions asked. Of course why would they do that when they want you to watch all the cable sports channels and use the xbox ones clipping or whatever the hell it is functionality.

It's just one of those things where they try to cater and get in bed with all these other conglomerates while not giving the consumer the damn product they want. It pisses me off. If somebody as big as microsoft with their xbox line even put a TINY bit of effort and marketing into people cutting the cord and saving $100/month by watching OTA and using the xbox one itself as a DVR in addition to netflix/amazon/hulu streaming it would be nearly the ultimate media machine. All that's missing is sports. But then you cut a deal with ESPN and let people buy an ESPN app service that allows you to access all ESPN channels from your xbox one for $20 a month or whatever and BOOM YOU MADE WHAT WE ALL WANT.
 

Gronnie

Member
Jan 21, 2013
91
0
16
I believe Media Browser 3 will (does?) have OTA TV watching and recording capabilities.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,362
247
106
The key to all this software is the guide data. Where does non-WMC get this data from?
 

Alienwho

Diamond Member
Apr 22, 2001
6,766
0
76
The key to all this software is the guide data. Where does non-WMC get this data from?
I know with media portal if you live in the US you have to either hack it together or pay for a subscription to some service which ironically prides itself on being open source and "promoting open source software". That's when I rolled my eyes and gave up on media portal. Too bad because if the guide data *just worked* it would have actually been very cool (albeit a bit slow compared to wmc).

From what I've seen media browser 3 is nothing but a plugin for wmc and is still 10x worse than xbmc. I've historically always used xbmc for local stuff and wmc for dvr/ota stuff.

If microsoft truly wants to kill the market or force somebody new to step up all they have to do is kill the guide data.
 

Alienwho

Diamond Member
Apr 22, 2001
6,766
0
76
XBMC Clients, MythTV Linux Server, and whatever tuner you want(HDHR is the easiest)

Problem solved.
I actually intended on testing out this route last week but i couldn't get mythbuntu to install on my test laptop. It kept throwing some error. I've never had much success installing any linux distro on that stupid HP laptop. I'll have to try it out again.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,648
379
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It does if you want to receive premium channels from your provider.
I don't think you read the post, or processed it properly. The XB1 just uses the video output from your cablebox... so the XB1 doesn't need a cable card as it's already in the box that's outputting to XB1. If you can view premium channels from your cablebox (and why wouldn't you?) then you can see them on the XB1, because it's just video passthrough. All the XB1 does is send remote signals to your box to change channels and such.
 

Gronnie

Member
Jan 21, 2013
91
0
16
I know with media portal if you live in the US you have to either hack it together or pay for a subscription to some service which ironically prides itself on being open source and "promoting open source software". That's when I rolled my eyes and gave up on media portal. Too bad because if the guide data *just worked* it would have actually been very cool (albeit a bit slow compared to wmc).

From what I've seen media browser 3 is nothing but a plugin for wmc and is still 10x worse than xbmc. I've historically always used xbmc for local stuff and wmc for dvr/ota stuff.

If microsoft truly wants to kill the market or force somebody new to step up all they have to do is kill the guide data.
No, you are thinking of MB 2.
 

ccbadd

Senior member
Jan 19, 2004
458
0
76
I don't think you read the post, or processed it properly. The XB1 just uses the video output from your cablebox... so the XB1 doesn't need a cable card as it's already in the box that's outputting to XB1. If you can view premium channels from your cablebox (and why wouldn't you?) then you can see them on the XB1, because it's just video passthrough. All the XB1 does is send remote signals to your box to change channels and such.
You can only watch/record one show at a time with this setup so it does not in any stretch replace MCE with a cablecard tuner. I currently do as I bet many do, use 7MC with a cablecard tuner to record/watch live up to 4 stations simultaneously via XBox360's configured as media center extenders and it works great. Once this option goes away, there is no replacement including the XBox1.
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
11,863
124
106
You can only watch/record one show at a time with this setup so it does not in any stretch replace MCE with a cablecard tuner. I currently do as I bet many do, use 7MC with a cablecard tuner to record/watch live up to 4 stations simultaneously via XBox360's configured as media center extenders and it works great. Once this option goes away, there is no replacement including the XBox1.
Yeap, same here. I use HDHR to record 2 OTA HD channels on my home fileserver (running Win7 Pro 64bit) and use XBMC on the 360 to playback the recorded shows. I still use Tversity to put my locally stored content out for my DLNA equipment (360 and PS3), and I also have a HTPC that doubles as a game system on my main HDTV. I just share my "Recorded Shows" folder on the fileserver so I can browse to them on the network from any of my Win7 machines. On that note, my wife is exceedingly happy with the ASUS T100 Win8.1 tablet/laptop I got her for Christmas. She can pull up any of her recorded WMC shows, watch Amazon Prime, and do Facebook with a touch interface now.
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
11,863
124
106
IMO Microsoft could have put a major blow to the cable/satelite industry if they would have allowed OTA DVR recoding functionality on the xbox one. I would have bought one no questions asked. Of course why would they do that when they want you to watch all the cable sports channels and use the xbox ones clipping or whatever the hell it is functionality.

It's just one of those things where they try to cater and get in bed with all these other conglomerates while not giving the consumer the damn product they want. It pisses me off. If somebody as big as microsoft with their xbox line even put a TINY bit of effort and marketing into people cutting the cord and saving $100/month by watching OTA and using the xbox one itself as a DVR in addition to netflix/amazon/hulu streaming it would be nearly the ultimate media machine. All that's missing is sports. But then you cut a deal with ESPN and let people buy an ESPN app service that allows you to access all ESPN channels from your xbox one for $20 a month or whatever and BOOM YOU MADE WHAT WE ALL WANT.
You sir are totally correct. Unfortunately Microsoft has a history of telling the consumer what they want and only providing that solution. See Windows 8 on a desktop computer.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
27,357
5,987
136
Anyone try out Total Home Theater? Looks interesting.

I dual boot win7 Ultimate and WinXP MCE2005 and have been debating going Blu-ray. Since there is no native Blu-ray support in wmc, 3rd party programs are the only option.
 

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