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Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:43 am
by dab2kab
I think the state of WMC is basically a slow usable death. I started out using WMC for everything, music, tv, downloaded videos, and pictures. I stopped using it for pics as extender performance for them was abysmal. I still have flac music, but have increasingly found getting a trial to Tidal much easier than saving my own copies of new music. I still use WMC for OTA and downloaded vids constantly, but i know some time in the next 5-15 years, atsc 3.0 will come along and render WMC definitively useless in that regard. ( I imagine the cable drm will also continue to break down due to lack of updates, as channels move to mpeg 4 and playready needs updating). I know the rovi data gets hated on with good reason, and for awhile it was an absolute disaster going out seemingly every other week. Recently though it seems to me it is mostly through that rough patch for now, and at least for my couple OTA channels, rovi generally works just fine despite the odd incorrect listing on an unimportant show or 2. Of course, these listings are on borrowed time, as microsoft is sure to discontinue rovi data likely sometime in 2023 at the latest when windows 8 becomes unsupported. EPG123 is the savior for when that day comes hopefully, but cant overcome the inevitable move to atsc 3.0 or cable breakdown. As to whats next, right now i think the best answer is a tivo, especially if you are ota. The roamio with lifetime is decent deal, and a seemingly capable replacement for WMC in some ways. As to whats next after that i think is hard to say, given the standards change that will happen. At this point though WMC is as good as anything else out there, and i plan on waiting until it is technologically obsolete to move on.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:21 pm
by rliepins
I have been slowly moving to Emby. Its Live TV is good, except for the lack of DRM channels. But I have both running in parallel and am dual recording with WMC using my InfiniTV PCI4 and Emby using my HDHR. Am waiting for the 6 tuner before I really make the move. I need to find a way of renaming all my Recorded TV files to a more Emby favorable format, but the 2 old WMC-centric utilities don't work anymore. If anyone has a good way of renaming WMC files en masse, I'd love to hear about it.

I really don't want to go back to the Comcast box or even use Tivo or Roamio. I learned my lesson from Replay TV.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:14 am
by adam1991
Tivo's not going anywhere.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:10 am
by jachin99
rliepins wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:21 pm
I have been slowly moving to Emby. Its Live TV is good, except for the lack of DRM channels. But I have both running in parallel and am dual recording with WMC using my InfiniTV PCI4 and Emby using my HDHR. Am waiting for the 6 tuner before I really make the move. I need to find a way of renaming all my Recorded TV files to a more Emby favorable format, but the 2 old WMC-centric utilities don't work anymore. If anyone has a good way of renaming WMC files en masse, I'd love to hear about it.

I really don't want to go back to the Comcast box or even use Tivo or Roamio. I learned my lesson from Replay TV.
how many recordings do you have, and what is their naming convention? Emby seems to have improved quite a bit over the past few months, and I already use the web app, and EMC. That would be a pretty easy transition for me but WMC hasn't died enough for me to move, and I'm still watching the modern media apps, and testing Kodi and others for a while before I make any conclusions.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:27 pm
by StinkyImp
rliepins wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:21 pm
If anyone has a good way of renaming WMC files en masse, I'd love to hear about it.
I've been using Bulk Rename Utility for years. I don't know if this is what you're looking for but it might be worth a shot?

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:30 pm
by jachin99
Plex and emby might use similar folder structures

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:51 am
by kenidot
I still use WMC on Windows 10 with he ModernMedia skin and made it look modern. For Live TV I still use my cable box until I can afford a TV Tuner but I prefer to watch some IPTV channels as well and the ModernMedia TV thing that is being developed will probably replace DVBLink for me.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:59 am
by Me Myself & Optimus
newfiend wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:29 pm
Lets face facts.. WMC is essentially.. Dead. It has been for a long time.

We just keep on using it because it's the best at what it does as far as being able to build your own DVR.
It's the only software that will allow you to DVR protected content. So since there are serious lack of options on that front we keep finding ways to fix/patch and plug the holes.

Gary created a fix for guide data. I am so thankful he did.. If you haven't tried to reinstall WMC lately you're in for a surprise as a lot of the connected software it needs it won't download correctly anymore.. (Digital Cable Advisor)
You have to track down the .exe for those and do it manually. It's become much more cumbersome to setup.

Now MS is pulling the plug on Windows Media Player so it's ability to download album art and metadata will now be broken..

They are slowly pushing us off old versions of windows.. They want us to ditch WMC and Windows 7/8/8.1 and move to 10 and find a new way to watch TV.

The whole landscape of TV viewing is changing. Most people are so busy working that viewing TV has moved from scanning multiple channels in a grid guide to just streaming the individual shows you're a fan of.

Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/HBO Go etc.. is where things seem to be going.. Streaming content on demand. People are using PLEX and EMBY more and more or cutting the cord and doing a combination of OTA and Streaming to get their TV fix.

For me traditional cable TV has become too expensive. I'm going to have to drop cable TV this year. I'll keep the internet package and do a combo of OTA and Netflix and HULU or YouTube TV and PLEX.

I know I'm going to miss WMC. It's been great. But with no support it's days are numbered. Will it still work for some time? Sure but I would rather move to something that is supported and updated than to continue to patch a sinking ship.

This is the exact reason i actually registered for the site, i have been a "guest" on the site for a while now. My thought was why not get some of the code jockeys here to build a Linux distro with a WMC GUI(something like Kodibuntu). That would fix all the issues with Window$ trying to break it every update, and they could build the installer with all the links (e.g. digital cable advisor) to updated .EXEs. Im no software guy but if its able to be done that would be awsome.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:42 am
by toshfive
Still using it...

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 1:23 pm
by soccerdad
I cut the cord and WMC about 3 months ago. Bought an nVidia shield, a 512gb stick, a hd homerun extend and stuffed a pair of antennas in my attic to gel all the locals. So about $300 total. I tried a few options and ended up with Channels DVR ($8 per month). Everything runs on the shield, so no PC or server required. I has comskip built in and will let you manually or auto skip. It comes with a guide that seems to be OK. I only record OTA stuff and use Youtube TV for everything else, along with Kodi, amazon and netflix. YTTV has all the sports and can also record. You can FF past commercials on some recordings. The WAF is pretty high. Also, clients using Firesticks, shields, apple, PC, roku, etc also work. And Channels app on iphones for remote viewing. I was a DVR only HDHomerun Prime WMC user before so my needs are very limited with no media libraries. But for me this works well. And I now have 500meg internet at a great local provider, access to all the channels I had before and still save over $100 per month compared to my Spectrum bill from before.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:02 am
by makryger
Hey guys! I'm still alive! I do check TGB from time to time, but thought I'd chime in this case.

I think back on my days with WMC very fondly. To me, it was always about creating a single easy-to-use interface where I could play all of my media without having to worry about what Input my TV was on and which of 10 remotes to use. If I got a movie from redbox, I wanted to play it. If I wanted to see something on Netflix, hulu, or Amazon, I wanted to be able to stream it. I wanted to be able to DVR live TV (and skip commercials!). For a time, during the Windows 7 era, WMC could do all of that. It had (and still does have) the best interface out there, and I could tweak it ot make it even more personalized.

But then everything slowly fell apart. MS barely supported WMC in Windows 8, and basically left it out of windows 9. The guide data got screwed up. Netflix was no longer supported. The software I used to play blurays constantly needed to be updated. It became such a hassle, and the tinkering that was needed to keep WMC functional was just too much.

I admire all the folks who are keeping WMC on life support, providing guide data and keeping executibles. But when I come to the point where I'm spending more time making my HTPC bug-free and easy-to-use, then actually using it, I had to look elsewhere.

Now I primarily use a platform that is thriving (Roku) in addition to a Tivo and Bluray player. I use PLEX on roku for my media library, which finally got collection support, the one final thing I felt was missing compared to the WMC media library. It does everything I wanted my WMC to do, albeit with an inconsistent and inferior user interface and multiple more set top boxes than I wanted. But those boxes are now hidden in a cupboard, I have one iPad Mini that seamessly controls everything, and I no longer have to tinker. Heck, now I can talk to an Echo which controls all my devices. It's a new era of media access, and WMC just was not set up to handle it.

While I really loved WMC way back when, I do not regret jumping ship.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 10:32 pm
by EZEd
My divorce from WMC came coincident with a physical move. And it's ironic that my move away from WMC was basically for the same reason as why I started using WMC to begin with. Back in the day I wanted to drop cable TV (circa 2001 or 2002). I had an NTSC based standard def commercial DVR that worked fine for OTA and unencrypted cable but alas the cable provider switched over to digital cable and that screwed me up. I was okay with just having OTA TV but I also had gotten my first HDTV and I wanted to DVR OTA broadcast in high def. TiVO was the only commercial device back then except for cable boxes and satellite boxes. I didn't want a pay service at all... to include TiVo with its pay for guide...for if I was going to pay for a guide I might as well pay for TV service too.

I tried many competitors to WMC, Beyond TV, Myth TV, Media Portal, JRiver MC even Nero had one (can't remember the name) but all came up short in some capacity (mostly the ease of setup and use department). I came into WMC just after it turned from Green to Blue between XP & Vista and it was perfect. As long as I stayed in the OTA realm all was good. Soon after they came out with cablecard but you had to buy special boxes from approved manufacturers for it to work. They cost waaaaayyy too much so I ignored until finally they opened up the OCUR capability where we could build our own cablecard rig. It was the ONLY thing that drove me back to cable and paying that stupid internet and TV sub price again.

All was good until 2016 and we sold our house and moved. I had gone through 4 regime changes of cable company coverage/ownership in our area. First AT&T @Home, then Comcast, then Time Warner, then finally Spectrum. We moved and the new locale DOES NOT have cable TV. I previously had DirecTV before (back in the 90s) and knew there was no way in heck of going back to them. The area we're in now only has AT&T two-wire twisted pair copper DSL as internet. Which means we can't get TV through wire at all. We do get their DSL internet (25Meg down/3Meg up). And of course I still have my trusty old Channelmaster antenna to pull in the locals.

I used the move opportunity to find out what else was available besides WMC and even loaded Win10 on all of my PCs so that there was no going back. I settled on Emby running with a Silicon Dust Quattro tuner and a combination of Rokus, Chromecasts and Samsung Smart TVs (Emby app built in) at all the locations. Of course Emby is not as slick as WMC was but it definitely has functionality that I only wish WMC had continued to develop (namely realization of the once coveted SoftSled). I can be anywhere in my house where there is a Roku, Chromecast, tablet, phone or Smart TV (to include outside with WiFi) and watch all of my served content and live TV through some manifestation of an Emby client. THAT is what WMC should have been! Emby still doesn't have visualizations in music. It still doesn't do music playback and photo slideshows as smoothly as WMC did but I'm confident it'll get there someday.

I've replaced cable TV with DirecTVNow streaming service (Roku & Samsung have apps). And while HDHomeRun Premium TV was working the world was an oyster. But we know what happened with PTV. I just hope some other streaming service can come along and be sucked into Emby for local recording. My internet service is now down from $55/month with Spectrum to $25/month with AT&T. My TV service is now down from $110/month with Spectrum to $40/month with DirecTVNow + $15/mon with Netflix (which I also had with Spectrum so I don't know how to count that). All total that's $165/mon vs $65/month and OTA TV still remains FREEEEEEE !!!! (hahahaha look who's laughing on his way to buy more blu-rays).

I do still have Win10 WMC loaded on a machine just to see/make sure I could still make it work (Win10MC v8.8.3). If Win10MC could integrate streaming services I'd be more inclined to reinvestigate it. But mostly the other thing they'd need to do for me to be interested again at this point would be to use commercial media players as extenders (Rokus, FireTVs, AppleTVs, Chromecasts, NVidia Shields, Android boxes/phones/tablets, iOS devices & Smart TVs). Those are the things that Emby & Plex can do now that have left WMC in the dust.

It was fun while it lasted and I still love the heck out of it - I look back on those days with fondness and smile; especially when I get frustrated over something that WMC would do perfectly and Emby or Plex screws it up. But those days are gone now and without some major update, overhaul and improvement in WMC - I ain't going back. I guess I did hear that WMC was placed up on GitHub and might become open source soon. If some things start to happen around that I might reinvestigate but for now I just look back on the memories.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 1:24 am
by adam1991
Look at what Tablo is doing with OTA TV today. In their effort to re-invent the wheel, they've completely missed the mark by ignoring such greats as WMC and ReplayTV. As you said, great and proven user functionality that for some reason no one bothers to implement today--that seems to be the trend.

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:24 pm
by PrplHaz4
WMC is still the big screen go-to in my house for OTA, DVR and listings. We have tried a few other solutions (MediaPortal, Kodi, Emby, MythTV ages ago) - but my wife always misses WMC, so we keep ending up back there. Even with the need to replace xx DLL every few months on Win 10, it seems to do a better job at checking the boxes for us. The photos screensaver is also a nice touch when changing sources back to WMC or when playing music.

Since Emby has abandoned their open source promise, I've switched to the open source fork called Jellyfin and ported over the WMC plugin so that I could transcode/stream and record anywhere in and out of the house (anywhere a browser is available). The Jellyfin DLNA server also makes the media available anywhere on our home network, so most smart tvs or sticks can view without problems (other than a clunky native DLNA UI). Jellyfin apps are gaining traction, and everything is completely open so the future outlook isn't so bad.

Once WMC dies (for real) or I can no longer get tv listings from it, I will probably be switching to Jellyfin for everything (+ Netflix + Prime Video).

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:31 am
by mercalia
well I only use WMC with the Media Browser plugin for organising and displaying my extensive library of tv recordings, dvd & blu ray rips and certain podcasts that have video. I use K-Lite codec software to augment the standard formats that WMC will play so I am good for how long the hardware lasts as it really is as good as you can get. I also use Media Center Master to get the art work. I stopped using it for OTA broadcasts in the UK when I stopped buying the TV license you have to have - it was far more reliable than a settop box I had then.

Microsoft have produced some really great products they eventually abandon incl their ARM based mobile phone operating system. They just dont seem to know how to sell them in a consumer environment?

Re: The state of WMC

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:37 pm
by adam1991
I had a cheap Windows 8.1 phone once. It was intended to be an interim unit, but I loved it so much I had it for about a year. The interface was a thing of beauty, and it worked very well on cheap hardware. Color me shocked.

It was the WMC of phones. Nothing beats it to this date, but MS couldn't make it happen in the world.