Sticking with Win7 WMC

Kimifelipe

Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:32 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

Sticking with Win7 WMC

#1

Post by Kimifelipe » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:16 am

Hi all,

Not exactly the most active poster here, but i thought i'd chime in with my point of view.

We seem like early adopters that bought betamax, but i really like WMC. it is a great interface - maybe the latest thing out there is now better but i had fios and direct tv boxes, and used the 1960's interface from xfinity too in this past decade, and i like WMC the best, just from the perspective of the guide interface.

For those of you on the fence, or for the dude in the back of the room thinking about using W7WMC, having found a spare Ceton infinitv in perfect working condition in a back alley (lol), here's why we should continue using it:

- guide interface is good, even better with EPG123..... which, btw, is as easy as buying something on amazon to get a subscription and install into your PC
- you dont have a cable box rental - easily 10x the fee for a cablecard with xfinity
- you control how many hours of recording you can have with your own hard drives
- you can watch your recorded programs on other media center pcs you have, seamlessly.
- easy to archive, if you want to spend the time doing it and have other software
- it is a learning curve to set up your first cablecard, but at least fios and xfinity have made the process as simple as it can be with online activation. no problem now.
- you can build your own HTPC - whether thats a simple Core2 duo box putting out hdmi video and usb digital audio to some fantastic av system you have, or if you want to build a super HTPC box that puts out analog audio and DVI, whatever you want, you can do that.
- its easy to integrate with xbmc / kodi so that you can have ONE PC do all your home entertainment. there are plenty of options other than kodi. but i generally rip my music to a server and save a few tv shows there too, and i keep a dvd player in my HTPC to play dvds or CDs that walk into the place.
- replacement hardware with win7 licenses is cheap (refurbs) .... for now anyway.

stick with it, guys. keep asking MS to make a Win10 app.... there's nothing even close to the viewing experience of a well setup Win7 HTPC. i like Kodi for my archived stuff but you can do so many things, its worth keeping.

specs, fyi:
main PC - i5-2500k with 8 gb, 120gb ssd (system) and 2 TB spinner for recording. using a gforce 730 for vid (bec of xfinity signal) and a pcie infinitv4
basement - Pentium G630 with 8 gb, 120 gb ssd (system) and 240 gb for recording. gforce 710 and external infinitv4 usb
bedroom - Core2Duo e8400 with 4 gb, 120 gb ssd (system) and 1 TB spinner for recording. geforce 710 and pcie infinitv 4.

as you can tell from my hardware, everything except the video cards is pushing 10 years old. i got the core2duo for 55 bucks (refurbed hp 6000).

i am starting to have a problem losing the data id on the bedroom puter but basically it all works great for me. im happy, will stick with it.

kf

User avatar
Vistaar

Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:11 pm
Location: United States

HTPC Specs: Show details

#2

Post by Vistaar » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:38 pm

You left out the most important positive point of all:

- If any of your cable channels are flagged as "copy once," then your only other option is Tivo because only Microsoft paid fees to Cable Labs of America in connection with DRM.

Of course most of the world's TV viewers are getting by with over-the-air channels, including growing numbers of American cord cutters like me. (If free TV gets too boring, we can always turn to Netflix and similar services.) For OTA, WMC is only one among many software options, and quite possibly not the best. WMC's disadvantages include:

- Cannot scan for VHF channels because it always relied on setup data from Microsoft which will no longer be available.
- No native support for free in-band EPG data in ATSC countries, and in-band EPG may no longer work in DVB countries without setup data from Microsoft.
- Will never be updated to support ATSC 3.0 (or HEVC channels in DVB countries), so converter boxes will be required to record such channels with WMC.

joelkirzner

Posts: 128
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:18 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#3

Post by joelkirzner » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:13 pm

Agreed with you 100%. I've been using WMC on Windows since 2005. Started with the ATI cablecard tuner, then Ceton, then HD Homerun Prime.
I've had Comcast for over a decade and now I'm with Verizon FIOS.
While I couldn't recommend this setup for the tech-challenged, I do think it provides the BEST picture quality and the MOST FLEXIBILITY.
With EPG123 and ModernMedia UI, this is a still a sleek looking interface.
The world didn't end on January 14, 2020... party on!

User avatar
Vistaar

Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:11 pm
Location: United States

HTPC Specs: Show details

#4

Post by Vistaar » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:54 pm

joelkirzner wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:13 pm
While I couldn't recommend this setup for the tech-challenged...
Many younger people (a group that does not include me btw) might argue that those who still pay for cable TV and use abandonware that precludes an OS upgrade to record it are "tech-challenged." Granted, for U.S. cable subscribers who own old PCs, WMC and EPG123 are cheaper than Tivo. That is the future of The GreenButton in a nutshell.

jec6613

Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:45 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#5

Post by jec6613 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:14 pm

You know, I wouldn't stick with 7 Media Center, I'd at least jump to 8.1 - the upgrades in performance are huge.

unclebun

Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:06 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#6

Post by unclebun » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:06 am

Vistaar wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:54 pm
joelkirzner wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:13 pm
While I couldn't recommend this setup for the tech-challenged...
Many younger people (a group that does not include me btw) might argue that those who still pay for cable TV and use abandonware that precludes an OS upgrade to record it are "tech-challenged." Granted, for U.S. cable subscribers who own old PCs, WMC and EPG123 are cheaper than Tivo. That is the future of The GreenButton in a nutshell.
The younger people who think that probably also live in a city or metro area where they can get OTA TV.
Some of us live in areas where you cannot get any OTA TV signal at all, and cable or satellite (with the concomitant "local access charge") is the only way to get major network TV and PBS.

You can't really cut the cord if you can't get OTA TV.

unclebun

Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:06 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#7

Post by unclebun » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:07 am

jec6613 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:14 pm
You know, I wouldn't stick with 7 Media Center, I'd at least jump to 8.1 - the upgrades in performance are huge.
Except that you can't get and activate Windows 8.1 with WMC any more unless you have an old system that was preciously activated.

jec6613

Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:45 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#8

Post by jec6613 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:32 am

unclebun wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:07 am
jec6613 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:14 pm
You know, I wouldn't stick with 7 Media Center, I'd at least jump to 8.1 - the upgrades in performance are huge.
Except that you can't get and activate Windows 8.1 with WMC any more unless you have an old system that was preciously activated.
That's news to me, since I just did it last month. Installed 8.1 with WMC in trial mode, then activated just fine.

What you can't do is download the feature anymore or do an in-place upgrade to 8.1 MCE, but it'll install just fine without a a key and then activate after the fact.

adam1991

Posts: 2893
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:31 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#9

Post by adam1991 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:47 am

unclebun wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:06 am
You can't really cut the cord if you can't get OTA TV.
Oh, I would disagree.

No one *needs* OTA TV.

tonywagner

Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:53 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#10

Post by tonywagner » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:31 pm

unclebun wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:06 am
The younger people who think that probably also live in a city or metro area where they can get OTA TV.
Some of us live in areas where you cannot get any OTA TV signal at all, and cable or satellite (with the concomitant "local access charge") is the only way to get major network TV and PBS.

You can't really cut the cord if you can't get OTA TV.
FWIW, YouTube TV has PBS now, and most other locals.

stuartm

Posts: 633
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:05 pm
Location: Longmont, CO

HTPC Specs: Show details

#11

Post by stuartm » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:39 pm

YouTube TV currently says it costs $50 a month. OTA TV current cost $0 a month. I think I'll stick with OTA/WMC even if I'm "tech-challenged", in some opinions. I'm not wasting money stupidly at least.

unclebun

Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:06 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#12

Post by unclebun » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:36 am

adam1991 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:47 am
unclebun wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:06 am
You can't really cut the cord if you can't get OTA TV.
Oh, I would disagree.

No one *needs* OTA TV.
True, I can pay NBC Sports $200 a year to watch the racing I currently get on cable and OTA channels. But if the goal is saving money, paying NBC Sports, CBS, NBC, and everybody else to get the programs I and my wife want to watch will end up costing more.

User avatar
Vistaar

Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:11 pm
Location: United States

HTPC Specs: Show details

#13

Post by Vistaar » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:56 am

stuartm wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:39 pm
OTA TV current cost $0 a month. I think I'll stick with OTA/WMC even if I'm "tech-challenged", in some opinions. I'm not wasting money stupidly at least.
I'm OTA also, and in post #2 I pointed out some of WMC's disadvantages relative to other free DVR software. I am very fond of WMC (and btw I have Rovi data until February 19 for some reason), but I have also used NextPVR for years. (Yes, you can have two DVRs on the same PC; they just can't use the same tuner at the same time!) It is able to scan all frequencies - in fact when I had missing VHF channels in WMC, I consulted NextPVR to obtain their frequencies. It has native support for free in-band EPG data (no need for EPG Collector), and it also has native support for Schedules Direct (no need for EPG123). Probably everyone in this thread is American; have you heard about ATSC 3.0? WMC will never support it, but NextPVR's developer has said he intends to support it. (NextPVR already supports HEVC, which appeared in Europe years ago and will be part of the ATSC 3.0 standard.) One more little thing: NextPVR supports Windows 10. NextPVR is by no means your only alternative: maybe look at MediaPortal also. One difficulty worth mentioning is that you might have to learn a thing or two about decoders, since WMC never gave you any choice in the matter.

prsa01

Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:19 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#14

Post by prsa01 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 pm

stuartm wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:39 pm
YouTube TV currently says it costs $50 a month. OTA TV current cost $0 a month. I think I'll stick with OTA/WMC even if I'm "tech-challenged", in some opinions. I'm not wasting money stupidly at least.
Here are some other free streaming TV options including a couple that stream Ota (for those with few antenna channels).

https://slickdeals.net/f/13807457-free- ... s-list?v=1

He seems to have taken locast off his first page list because people were having problems with it. I actually had good luck with locast with caveats:
Only available for specific cities, you need to spoof location or use VPN for city that works
Can't record without going more technical
They do ask for donations pretty regularly

Of the others, I've used pluto and plan to try a few more

prsa01

Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:19 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#15

Post by prsa01 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:56 pm

Vistaar wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:56 am
stuartm wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:39 pm
OTA TV current cost $0 a month. I think I'll stick with OTA/WMC even if I'm "tech-challenged", in some opinions. I'm not wasting money stupidly at least.
I'm OTA also, and in post #2 I pointed out some of WMC's disadvantages relative to other free DVR software. I am very fond of WMC (and btw I have Rovi data until February 19 for some reason), but I have also used NextPVR for years. (Yes, you can have two DVRs on the same PC; they just can't use the same tuner at the same time!) It is able to scan all frequencies - in fact when I had missing VHF channels in WMC, I consulted NextPVR to obtain their frequencies. It has native support for free in-band EPG data (no need for EPG Collector), and it also has native support for Schedules Direct (no need for EPG123). Probably everyone in this thread is American; have you heard about ATSC 3.0? WMC will never support it, but NextPVR's developer has said he intends to support it. (NextPVR already supports HEVC, which appeared in Europe years ago and will be part of the ATSC 3.0 standard.) One more little thing: NextPVR supports Windows 10. NextPVR is by no means your only alternative: maybe look at MediaPortal also. One difficulty worth mentioning is that you might have to learn a thing or two about decoders, since WMC never gave you any choice in the matter.
I'm going to do a bunch of reading about nextPVR but if you have any particular links, tips, quickstart guide, or whatever for people used to the WMC interface that would be great!

Settings/config info or sharing of actual settings files (the first guide mentioned ini file(s) but I don't know if that was current info) would be great too.

Any short cuts if I'm already creating an XMLTV/mxf
guide file for other boxes?

Also, did you do much comparison between that, mediaportal, and Emby? Please share any thoughts or good comparisons you found.

Not necessarily looking to get rid of WMC but want to evaluate other options.

Thanks much!

tonywagner

Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:53 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#16

Post by tonywagner » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:19 pm

stuartm wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:39 pm
YouTube TV currently says it costs $50 a month. OTA TV current cost $0 a month. I think I'll stick with OTA/WMC even if I'm "tech-challenged", in some opinions. I'm not wasting money stupidly at least.
True, although I was responding to someone who said the only options were cable and satellite if you can't get OTA TV.

User avatar
CyberSimian

Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: Southampton, UK

HTPC Specs: Show details

#17

Post by CyberSimian » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:27 pm

prsa01 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:56 pm
I'm going to do a bunch of reading about nextPVR but if you have any particular links, tips, quickstart guide, or whatever for people used to the WMC interface that would be great!
I used Vista WMC for five years, and have now been using MediaPortal version 1 for six years. There is also a MediaPortal version 2. The latter has an architecture different from the former, and both products continue in active development.

The reason for this post is to mention that MediaPortal 2 has a "skin" that has been designed to be as similar to WMC as possible. If you love the WMC interface, it would probably be worth trying MediaPortal 2 with the WMC skin. Installation experiences can be "variable" -- some people have no problems at all, while others give up in frustration. I cannot predict what experience you might have. :?

-- from CyberSimian in the UK

prsa01

Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:19 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#18

Post by prsa01 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:20 pm

CyberSimian wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:27 pm
prsa01 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:56 pm
I'm going to do a bunch of reading about nextPVR but if you have any particular links, tips, quickstart guide, or whatever for people used to the WMC interface that would be great!
I used Vista WMC for five years, and have now been using MediaPortal version 1 for six years. There is also a MediaPortal version 2. The latter has an architecture different from the former, and both products continue in active development.

The reason for this post is to mention that MediaPortal 2 has a "skin" that has been designed to be as similar to WMC as possible. If you love the WMC interface, it would probably be worth trying MediaPortal 2 with the WMC skin. Installation experiences can be "variable" -- some people have no problems at all, while others give up in frustration. I cannot predict what experience you might have. :?

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
VERY helpful, Thanks much!

A couple questions before I start evaluating.
Can media portal handle import of an xtmlTV or mxf guide source if I am already creating those for other devices? Already found this, never mind
If I start installing media portal 2 will the option for WMC "skin" be somewhat self evident or will I need to go searching for it?

Thanks again!

User avatar
CyberSimian

Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: Southampton, UK

HTPC Specs: Show details

#19

Post by CyberSimian » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:48 am

prsa01 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:20 pm
If I start installing media portal 2 will the option for WMC "skin" be somewhat self evident or will I need to go searching for it?
That is a good question. I have just been browsing the MediaPortal web site. Some skins are included with the installer, whereas other skins are separate downloads. I don't know whether the WMC skin is included with the MP2 installer (I still use MP1).

The following sub-forum deals with the WMC skin, so I suggest that you start there:
https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/forums/WMC-skin.717/
If the WMC skin is not included in the MP2 installer, ask a question on the "General Thread" for the WMC skin.

Sorry that I cannot be more specific.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK

prsa01

Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:19 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#20

Post by prsa01 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:52 pm

CyberSimian wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:48 am
prsa01 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:20 pm
If I start installing media portal 2 will the option for WMC "skin" be somewhat self evident or will I need to go searching for it?
That is a good question. I have just been browsing the MediaPortal web site. Some skins are included with the installer, whereas other skins are separate downloads. I don't know whether the WMC skin is included with the MP2 installer (I still use MP1).

The following sub-forum deals with the WMC skin, so I suggest that you start there:
https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/forums/WMC-skin.717/
If the WMC skin is not included in the MP2 installer, ask a question on the "General Thread" for the WMC skin.

Sorry that I cannot be more specific.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
For anyone else interested, the WMC skin is, in fact, included in what is downloaded and is one of the optional skins you can choose during iniitial config.

Post Reply