Thinking to "let go" of WMC favoring a Win 10 install on an old laptop

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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I'm learning "new things" at a slower rate than I did in my former work-life when I had a "Samurai Edge."

This last week, I learned some new things -- and I think I started a thread about that . . . too . . .

Namely, you can use the cable-card-enabled Silly-Dust HDHR' with a non-HDCP-compliant computer, restricting channel access to the un-encrypted stations. No fuss, no problem.

So I'm thinking that I don't NEED Win 7 and WMC to do that. I could use KODI, MythTV or something else.

What would you recommend for a C2D Penryn laptop? And will the Silly-Dust "PVR" project be ready for this? They were soliciting donations as they put together the software as an answer to the Win10-noWMC problem.
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,378
763
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SiliconDust's PVR is slowly inching along. If you look at their forums, it isn't ready for primetime at this time.

It also depends on your cable company, some of them mark ALL channels DRM enabled, and that won't work without WMC.
If however, all channels are copy-freely, then, NPVR or mythtv would work fine with that laptop, assuming it has a fast HD, or at least a SSD to be able to record 3 channels at once.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Kodi can play unencrypted WTV files with no addons. I use a WMC/NAS machine to do the recording, then Kodi is used at each viewing station to play the WTV files.

I do have to go through some renaming via WTV renamer, but that's only to avoid using the (terrible) serverwmc addon. You could use the serverwmc addon to view the WTV files without any renaming hassle, but I don't like the interface.

I still see no reason to abandon WMC, as a back end at least.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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900
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Kodi can play unencrypted WTV files with no addons. I use a WMC/NAS machine to do the recording, then Kodi is used at each viewing station to play the WTV files.

I do have to go through some renaming via WTV renamer, but that's only to avoid using the (terrible) serverwmc addon. You could use the serverwmc addon to view the WTV files without any renaming hassle, but I don't like the interface.

I still see no reason to abandon WMC, as a back end at least.
OK -- I'd tried -- and still have installed on the Win7 configuration -- the KODI/XBOX from last fall.

Here's what I did. It should almost go in a separate thread for anyone who has remained as puzzled by this no-WMC fiasco in Windows 10.

You don't get it for free. But I subscribed the $60 and downloaded the ongoing Beta for HD HomeRun DVR. I restricted it to one of my 3-tuner HDHR'-s -- the same unit configured only for my laptop and this computer.

Then I got confused -- trying to find a download for the HDHR VIEW program. I was going to an Android app, which explains my initial frustration.

Then, I downloaded KODI, installed the HD HomeRun Add-on, and Voila!

I've only poked around the channels, but I get HBO without missing a lick. And of course your standard unencrypted or basic-cable fare -- CNN, MSNBC -- CBS -- all of it.

So I can see eventually unloading my Win7, or just shrinking its partition and expanding the Win10.

This . . . can work . . . And I still have WMC on Win7. I'm just going to need to play around with it for a while. And however I choose to do it, I can re-install Win 10 clean on any machine any time.

Now I just need to figure out -- or someone could tell me in 25 words or less -- how to run KODI in a "Window" instead of full-screen mode. Then, I need to get used to the menus. But it's got all the features of WMC, as far as I can tell.

The initial setup success was phenomenal for its lack of steps and speedy result.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
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ok, Kodi is designed as a "stand-alone" kind of setup, so you need to configure it for EACH installation you do. You should look to their forums for details, but a quick scan tells me that "\" or "Alt+Enter" should toggle between full-screen and windowed modes.

The "DVR" part is still in beta, so getting it and making it work are still in a lot of flux.
The "TV Junkie Mod" is the current best route to making the HDHR DVR run in Kodi...

regular (not Kodi):
so to get the HDHR running:
https://www.silicondust.com/support/downloads/
**The Windows installer should put the view client if on Pre-Win10 systems**

Windows 10 Client: (From Windows Store)
https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9NBLGGH58VWK
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,384
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ok, Kodi is designed as a "stand-alone" kind of setup, so you need to configure it for EACH installation you do. You should look to their forums for details, but a quick scan tells me that "\" or "Alt+Enter" should toggle between full-screen and windowed modes.

The "DVR" part is still in beta, so getting it and making it work are still in a lot of flux.
The "TV Junkie Mod" is the current best route to making the HDHR DVR run in Kodi...

regular (not Kodi):
so to get the HDHR running:
https://www.silicondust.com/support/downloads/
**The Windows installer should put the view client if on Pre-Win10 systems**

Windows 10 Client: (From Windows Store)
https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9NBLGGH58VWK
Yes, indeed -- the DVR software "version" is still in Beta, and I paid to have a chance to work with it and give it a look-over.

Basically, though, this is it: It is an "incarnation" of the usual HDHR' Config and Setup programs, bringing up a GUI that reports all the HDHR' tuners on the network, and allowing you to enable or disable this one or that one. It then provides the familiar channel-scan with results.

It apparently opens up any DRM restrictions of your cable-card, providing full access to premium encrypteds with KODI and other WMC alternatives, provided that SiliconDust has provided an add-in for that program. They said they were providing add-ins for Plex and MythTV, but KODI is a sure bet.

I so far haven't discovered any bugs that make the HDHR' setup or KODI fail to work properly. The interface -- KODI -- is clunkier than WMC, but still provides much in the way of WMC features. And the KODI-side of setup doesn't go through all the WMC hoops. It's like a "one-step" install and access.

So as long as I have Win7 WMC, I can continue to play with KODI and HDHR' DVR under Windows 10. I suppose the next thing I should do is attempt to record a program. I'm in touch with Silly-Dust support and hoping they give me some recommendations on how I might enable this to work with my WHS-2011 server box, although it seems straightforward right now that I can save recordings to the server by opening up "Remote Web Access" which KODI and HDHR' need.

But so far, anticipating an official "release" of HDHR DVR, this offers decent-to-good prospects in replacing Win7's WMC. The only other option that would match it is the "hack" we've mentioned, sporadically available here or there, for WMC and made to work under Win10. A Beta-release program like HDHR DVR would seem to be a less risky proposition.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
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It apparently opens up any DRM restrictions of your cable-card, providing full access to premium encrypteds with KODI and other WMC alternatives, provided that SiliconDust has provided an add-in for that program. They said they were providing add-ins for Plex and MythTV, but KODI is a sure bet.
Their PLAN is to allow recording and playback of DRM (Copy Once) content on platforms that will support it, but Kodi will NEVER support DRM (Copy Once) content (limitation of Kodi's open source nature). You can, however play DRM (Copy Freely) content.

Copy Freely is TYPICALLY your local broadcast stations, but in SOME areas/ Cable Providers they include all of the "non- Premium" channels. You will NOT be able to play PPV which is DRM (Copy Never).

Example: I am in a "Time Warner Cable" Market. My basic ABC/ CBS/ NBC/ Fox/ CW are all marked "Copy Freely", but EVERYTHING else is marked "Copy Once" or "Copy Never".

I am glad that that setup is working for you, and wish you the best, I just had to mention the big sticking point that has annoyed so many over on the SiliconDust Forums...
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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900
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Their PLAN is to allow recording and playback of DRM (Copy Once) content on platforms that will support it, but Kodi will NEVER support DRM (Copy Once) content (limitation of Kodi's open source nature). You can, however play DRM (Copy Freely) content.

Copy Freely is TYPICALLY your local broadcast stations, but in SOME areas/ Cable Providers they include all of the "non- Premium" channels. You will NOT be able to play PPV which is DRM (Copy Never).

Example: I am in a "Time Warner Cable" Market. My basic ABC/ CBS/ NBC/ Fox/ CW are all marked "Copy Freely", but EVERYTHING else is marked "Copy Once" or "Copy Never".

I am glad that that setup is working for you, and wish you the best, I just had to mention the big sticking point that has annoyed so many over on the SiliconDust Forums...
I appreciate your mention of it. But whatever was the sticking point at the Silly-Dust forums, this is still better than running KODI under the regular HDHR' setup and config program installations, leaving you with nothing but "copy-freely" unencrypted channels. I'm fine with that limitation on my laptop PC with WMC, but deferred even thinking about Windows 10 just because I didn't imagine an alternative. I just hope the DVR project is reasonably profitable enough for Silly Dust to complete and release a non-Beta version.

Apparently, from my Charter Spectrum subscription, it is true that I can record "basic cable" channels on a non-HDCP-compliant system, and so I would expect something similar under regular HDHR' software and KODI. But whether or not I can record all the encrypted channels, being able to view them is a big, big plus. I'm just trying to figure out what it is about the Beta DVR program that "needs more work" or has "bugs." So far -- it's been smooth sailin'.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
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38
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The thing is, you should not be able to view the "copy-once" (CCI-CO) channels in Kodi. If viewing of CCI-CO worked in Kodi, 90% of those with DRM issues would be "cool, I'll just run Kodi".

The only methodology that legitimately allows watching CCI-CO is
(a) HDHR View on android on "compliant" display
(b) WMC on "compliant" display
(c) Tivo on "compliant" display
(d) Cable Company provided equipment on "compliant" display

Note that a VERY common misperception is that DRM=DRM. In truth, there is a huge difference in what is permitted between CCI-CF and CCI-CO. Both require authentication to be watched (thus the need for a "Cable Card"), but CCI-CO is not viewable unless all the parts meet strict requirements. CCI-CF on the other hand, is relatively painless once you have authenticated that "I am subscribed to this content" via cable card.


Your successes are the result of your CCI-CF channels. And I am envious of the fact that your provider is not being a PITA with their protections, many are not so lucky.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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The thing is, you should not be able to view the "copy-once" (CCI-CO) channels in Kodi. If viewing of CCI-CO worked in Kodi, 90% of those with DRM issues would be "cool, I'll just run Kodi".

The only methodology that legitimately allows watching CCI-CO is
(a) HDHR View on android on "compliant" display
(b) WMC on "compliant" display
(c) Tivo on "compliant" display
(d) Cable Company provided equipment on "compliant" display

Note that a VERY common misperception is that DRM=DRM. In truth, there is a huge difference in what is permitted between CCI-CF and CCI-CO. Both require authentication to be watched (thus the need for a "Cable Card"), but CCI-CO is not viewable unless all the parts meet strict requirements. CCI-CF on the other hand, is relatively painless once you have authenticated that "I am subscribed to this content" via cable card.


Your successes are the result of your CCI-CF channels. And I am envious of the fact that your provider is not being a PITA with their protections, many are not so lucky.
All this is good to know, and I might only have discovered it if I had looked harder for a WMC replacement in Win10.

If the ultimate arbiter is the cable-provider, then the only thing that Silly-Dust could do or would do is to make all possible subscription channels and unencrypted content as well available through a front-end like KODI or their own VIEW program. Apparently, they were able to do this by building an Add-in to KODI to list among all the other Add-ins you can get.

It should also work with MythTV or Plex. Either way, the channel-lineup guide is provided through SD for the Beta HDHR DVR. I'll have to experiment some more just with KODI to see if there's any further limitation compared to WMC.

There are still the drawbacks that I accept in Windows Media Center. You can't get "On Demand" selections as you might find with a cable-box connection. There are certain premiums that I get sometimes, and not others, such as PIVOTTV or HDNET. I'm lucky when they feature the Stones or Stone Temple Pilot or Led Zeppelin concerts, and I can record it. Sometimes I can; sometimes I can't.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
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To be honest, the combination of Plex and the eventual release version of the HDHR DVR are likely to be as close to the functionality of WMC as we will see.

I personally switched over from cable to OTA TV, and I have near WMC functionality via a combo of (Plex, Hulu, Tablo (OTA DVR), and Google's Live Channels app) running on "Android TV" devices (In my case a mix of NVidia Shield and Google Nexus Player)

note: "Android TV Box" is NOT the same as an "Android TV" device, especially for TV content and UI..
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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To be honest, the combination of Plex and the eventual release version of the HDHR DVR are likely to be as close to the functionality of WMC as we will see.

I personally switched over from cable to OTA TV, and I have near WMC functionality via a combo of (Plex, Hulu, Tablo (OTA DVR), and Google's Live Channels app) running on "Android TV" devices (In my case a mix of NVidia Shield and Google Nexus Player)

note: "Android TV Box" is NOT the same as an "Android TV" device, especially for TV content and UI..
Well, so far the good news: I'm currently recording "The Pianist" with Adrian Brody from one of the HBO channels.

The bad news: The KODI interface requires some getting used to, and I've yet to find a way to change the default recording storage location. If I did find it, it was not apparent as to what it was.

I may incline myself to try PLEX or MythTV. I'd hope I can install these things side-by-side until I have a better idea of them.

And there's more of my ignorance. When I started using WMC, a workstation was essentially the "media server" for my AVR and HDTV. But I have a WHS-2011 system sitting here for other functions. And I think It can not only be the repository of all my DVR material, but I could make it the server back-end for workstation front ends, or otherwise use it for the HDTV/AVR feed. I'm just not clear in my head about what to do or how to do it. But I DO know I can get KODI to SAVE recordings on that server.

UPDATE: This is not easy. Using the HDHomeRun KODI add-in, I started recording "The Pianist," and watched the file grow in a default "Recorded TV" location on my C: drive, where I don't want these things to accumulate. After it was finished, I tried to play it back. No cigar.

Looking at the TXT files deposited in that directory, I see it was "recording" the movie using the HDHR' of the two which was DISABLED for this machine. But I was WATCHING the movie using the ENABLED tuner.

Next, I FINALLY found a forum thread at Silly Dust in which someone had linked the HDHR VIEW program version that works with the HDHR backend -- without KODI.

I'm only thinking that the same thing is occurring; tried to record Don Lemon's news show on CNN, but -- "Nothing."
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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OK . . . OK . . . I can get KODI to record an MSNBC Chris Hayes news & comment program.

I changed the HDHR-DVR setup to set BDA compatibility-mode to "Windows Media Center."

Now if I can only direct the recordings to a different hard disk. I suppose if nobody comes in with a "tip," I'll figure it out . . . .e ventually.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
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OK . . . OK . . . I can get KODI to record an MSNBC Chris Hayes news & comment program.

I changed the HDHR-DVR setup to set BDA compatibility-mode to "Windows Media Center."

Now if I can only direct the recordings to a different hard disk. I suppose if nobody comes in with a "tip," I'll figure it out . . . .e ventually.
directions to change location of recordings: https://www.silicondust.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=20619

I use Plex to watch my personally owned content on any of my locations, like how WMC had the "movies" tab that you could enable, and looking at your photos/ playing your music in WMC. Although Plex does have the ability via 3rd party plugins to watch live TV via the HDHR devices, it was not as friendly as using other paths to watching live TV...

Note that Kodi and Plex have some similarities in their goals and results, but where Kodi is focused on each location individually, Plex is a server- client setup... If Kodi works well for you, you can get the same functionality there (you just have to set each client up individually)

Helpful?
 
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poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
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Note that Kodi and Plex have some similarities in their goals and results, but where Kodi is focused on each location individually, Plex is a server- client setup...
Not necessarily. All my Kodi devices (up to 10 now) in my house share the same MySQL library.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
Not necessarily. All my Kodi devices (up to 10 now) in my house share the same MySQL library.
True, but they still had to be individually configured as desired. That can be a strength and/or weakness depending upon needs/ skillset/ personal preference.

Either platform can be configured similarly, but their focus and strengths differ. I personally prefer Plex over Kodi due to their C/S model and the integration under "Android TV".
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Kodi with Emby as the backend is pretty slick. My client configuration is limited to install embyKodi addon, install new skin, then configure a few main menu items to point to (auto-generated) emby playlists.

To the OP, I don't understand why you are fighting with the SD solution when WMC still works. If you need it at other TVs, install an XBOX360 there. Use it until it stops working. By then, we could all be streaming everything anyway. I don't and wont use DRM'd content so my OTA content is a lot easier to deal with.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
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WMC is starting to show it's lack of support. Look at the issues some have had with guide data and Display Port..

Also, it can be good to evaluate your future setup BEFORE your current one goes dead...
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,384
900
126
WMC is starting to show it's lack of support. Look at the issues some have had with guide data and Display Port..

Also, it can be good to evaluate your future setup BEFORE your current one goes dead...
I agree especially with your last remark, and we've all seen changes just in the information presented on the WMC Guide, as opposed to the update issues. I typically fail for the "NetTV" guide downloads, but I'm not sure how it affects me at the moment: everything else I use through my cable-provider or the integrated OTA Hauppauge card stays up-to-date.

Per the title I put on this post, here are my remarks to date comparing WMC/Win7, KODI/HDHR-Add-on, and HDHR VIEW with HDHR DVR. I also explain my ongoing failure to make the WMC "My-Digital-Life" team's hack work on Windows 10.

So if anyone finds this useful, and you have a little time and lots of knowledge, tell me via PM how I can integrate WMC, HDHR-DVR or even KODI so that my WHS-2011 system is a "server," with access via Win workstation connectivity to the server -- possibly the server feeding my AVR/HDTV. If I can do that, it will save energy for the household.

Here's my "contribution:"

Systems:
I7-2600K Sandy Bridge, 2x 500GB SSDs, 1x 1TB HDD media storage;
I7-2700K S_B_, 1x 500GB SSD, 1x 60GB SSD caching drive, 1x 1TB media and game "Program Files" storage
C2D Penryn Laptop, 1x 500GB SSD on SATA-II controller

OS-es: Win 7 SP1; Win 10 Separate partitions in dual-boot

SSD caching split in separate partitions for Win7 and Win10 ~ 30GB each.

Reference Software: Windows Media Center on Windows 7

Test software:
KODI with HDHomeRun Add-on -- Partial success
HD HomeRun VIEW -- Partial success
Windows Media Center [My Digital Life hack] for Windows 10 -- No success

Issues:
There are always issues about whether some program will properly and reliably display encrypted content

There may be issues with HDCP-compliance on a laptop with pre-HDCP graphics

There are some peculiar issues about the behavior of the SiliconDust Firmware that installs itself on all HD HomeRun Prime tuners once you have subscribed, downloaded and installed the HD HomeRun DVR Beta software. See below.

Observations: If KODI is one of the preferred WMC alternatives, Windows Media Center wins hands down for these features:

1) Ability to choose particular tuners within any HD HomeRun Prime device

2) Relative ease of use from a keyboard as well as remote. KODI menus are cumbersome just to access LiveTV through the HDHR add-in.

3) Reliability of total access to subscription encrypted content, excluding "Pay Per View" and "On Demand" features available through the cable-provider's STB

HDHR VIEW program lies somewhere between WMC (superlative) and KODI ("so-so") in ease of use and handling of inaccessible content
HDHR DVR installs new firmware in all of your HDHR' devices with no ability to limit installation to a single tuner. This is not necessarily a risk or problem, because the new firmware seems to work reliably with Win7-WMC configurations.

The Front-end software -- VIEW and KODI/HDHR -- do not allow -- or do not easily allow if I have yet to discover-- the user's options for changing the default drive/volume and folder for recording and buffering.

Being able to select or disable tuners for a particular Win7 installation is reliable and easy within WMC. But setting an HDHR' to "disabled" through the SiliconDust software installed on a workstation does not prohibit VIEW or KODI HDHR Add-in from accessing a different HDHR' device when you want it to use only one in specific (for testing, also).

To this end, recording will fail, creating large blank MPG video files after the program initiates the recording from the wrong HDHR' -- which had been "disabled" in the HDHR DVR setup for that particular Prime device.

WMC for Windows 10 -- My Digital Life team-hack: Following the instructions to install this on Win 10 leads to a dead end -- for the suspected reason that the Win10 configuration was a "clean install" and not an upgrade or overlay to Win 7 and existing installed software.

I am going to test this some more, to see if I can download the Windows Media Center software for either Win 7 or Win 8.x. But the only explanation of the hack's failure so far, given its promotion at different "Media PC" web-sites, is that WMC may not be simply removed from an upgrade installation because it has to work with a Win7 dual-boot option.
These observations about the MDL hack are merely intuitive, or possibly naive. But the MDL hack received a lot of acclaim, and whatever it does to the Windows 10 OS-installation is apparently benign.

Overall, neither KODI/HDHR-Add-in or HDHR VIEW are as responsive under Windows 10 as is Win7 Media Center. There are problems viewing different encrypted channels in some of various tiers.

On the WI-FI-enabled laptop connecting to my wired network and accessing the HDHR''s, I experience some stuttering and lockups that are more annoying for KODI/HDHR-add-in versus VIEW, but VIEW still has more problems with those symptoms than WMC -- which doesn't miss a lick in the laptop's Win7 and its limited on-board Intel graphics.

SiliconDust has a ways to go with HDHR DVR. They seem to be the type of tech-outfit which knows where it's going with this Beta HDHR DVR software. I just hope that they can get there.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
To combine machines:

Build (or convert) a new box built on Win8.1 with WMC. Virtualize your existing WHS installation and run it on the Win8.1 machine in hyper-V. Use Win8.1's WMC to do your recording. Watch these recordings anywhere in the house via 1) Kodi if unencrypted, or 2) xbox extender if encrypted.

Getting Win8 with WMC may be a problem, since the WMC addon isn't sold anymore.

Except for the encrypted recordings, this is exactly what I did. The WHS server runs perfectly fine in hyper-v and it was shockingly easy to convert over to a virtual system. You could also virtualize the Win7 install you already have, but running WMC in a virtual machine creates issues that are best avoided.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
Noting that your journey seems to be headed in a (at least partially) favorable direction, I will add this bit o' info.

In my evaluation of "where I was vs where I need to go" for personal entertainment, I looked at my end goal first. (centrally managed with multiple points of consumption, simple enough for my technology deficient spouse.)

In that vein, I recognized that there was (a) no software platform that does it all, and (b) no hardware platform that completely covers the necessary convergence.

I chose to go with the Android TV platform due to it's integration of Voice Search, so no ITunes, and no native Amazon Prime Video. Initially I got the Google Nexus Player. I started with HDHR View, since I already had a HDHR Prime and CC running my WMC setup. The View app played all my channels, but it's usability was not there. Google Live Channels had the usability, but restrictive DRM channels would not run (CCI-CO Channels). Hulu worked awesome, Google Play same, Netflix OK (Netflix does not yet integrate with the voice search at the top level). I then added Plex - Best decision ever. Now I have all my personal media (Movies/ Home Video/ Pictures/ Music) available, and with top level voice search. I then moved to NVidia Shield, since NP has no native Ethernet (only Wireless AC), which had occasional minor hiccups.

I had planned to use the HDHR DVR for my recording, but I got tired of waiting for DRM, not to mention the fact of non multicast tuners meant I was running out of tuners too easily. I since switched to Tablo OTA DVR (4 tuners, OTA Only) and 2x HDHR Connect for my live OTA. (Tablo is a good DVR, but live is not it's strong point.)

I may not have perfection, but it is close enough for my household. And the only recurring subscription is Hulu. (I got the lifetime sub for $150 on the Tablo).

Maybe some of this is helpful to others working their WMC exit strategy....
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,384
900
126
Noting that your journey seems to be headed in a (at least partially) favorable direction, I will add this bit o' info.

In my evaluation of "where I was vs where I need to go" for personal entertainment, I looked at my end goal first. (centrally managed with multiple points of consumption, simple enough for my technology deficient spouse.)

In that vein, I recognized that there was (a) no software platform that does it all, and (b) no hardware platform that completely covers the necessary convergence.

I chose to go with the Android TV platform due to it's integration of Voice Search, so no ITunes, and no native Amazon Prime Video. Initially I got the Google Nexus Player. I started with HDHR View, since I already had a HDHR Prime and CC running my WMC setup. The View app played all my channels, but it's usability was not there. Google Live Channels had the usability, but restrictive DRM channels would not run (CCI-CO Channels). Hulu worked awesome, Google Play same, Netflix OK (Netflix does not yet integrate with the voice search at the top level). I then added Plex - Best decision ever. Now I have all my personal media (Movies/ Home Video/ Pictures/ Music) available, and with top level voice search. I then moved to NVidia Shield, since NP has no native Ethernet (only Wireless AC), which had occasional minor hiccups.

I had planned to use the HDHR DVR for my recording, but I got tired of waiting for DRM, not to mention the fact of non multicast tuners meant I was running out of tuners too easily. I since switched to Tablo OTA DVR (4 tuners, OTA Only) and 2x HDHR Connect for my live OTA. (Tablo is a good DVR, but live is not it's strong point.)

I may not have perfection, but it is close enough for my household. And the only recurring subscription is Hulu. (I got the lifetime sub for $150 on the Tablo).

Maybe some of this is helpful to others working their WMC exit strategy....
It may be that we are moving away from traditional, even if digital cable. But it works both ways: you either want to integrate your TV with a PC with a feeling of freedom from the cable-provider's STB rentals, or you might just "give up" and use a TIVO and the STB. But we become stubborn if we felt satisfied with WMC and the various tuner options.

At the bottom of all this trouble with declining support for WMC and no WMC component to Win10 is the DRM and encrypted-content. I can't remember if SageTV or BeyondTV performed as well as WMC in this area.

It's probably a good idea for me to look into web-TV subscriptions or costless alternatives. But as long as my family is happy with our telephone-internet-cable-tv bundle from our provider (Charter), they'll continue to use the STBs and I'll hope that a replacement for WMC will arise sooner and not too late.

Anyone have the experience which can inform about how PLEX handles DRM and encryption?
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
SageTV and BeyondTV never supported DRM.

Plex doesn't really do DRM, although there is allegedly the capability to handle iTunes "FairPlay" based DRM for audio files. The only non-WMC DRM playback I ever personally saw function was through SD's View app on android.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,384
900
126
SageTV and BeyondTV never supported DRM.

Plex doesn't really do DRM, although there is allegedly the capability to handle iTunes "FairPlay" based DRM for audio files. The only non-WMC DRM playback I ever personally saw function was through SD's View app on android.
I think I remember now how I had premium channels using SageTV, and it was probably just before the imposition of HDCP and DRM. At that time, you'd connect your cable STB via coax to your tuner card. The Windows hand-held remote came with the receiver with ports and wires that connected stick-on infrared sensors to the STB's own "infrared eye."

But somebody needs to fix this sorry state of affairs. Right now, I'm really pleased how WMC works so flawlessly with my two HDHR' triple-tuners. And I have to keep watching for something that takes its place. "No DRM" falls too far short.
 

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