mdavej wrote:My main point is the web versions of streaming services are greatly crippled compared to the streaming device versions. IOW, just compare the 240i on Showtime Anytime web page to the 720p on a Roku. Same goes for 720p Netflix on a PC versus 1080p (and beyond) on Roku. Now try controlling both with a remote.
Last time I checked, I could get a very good standalone BD player that also did Netflix at 1080p for about $40. But ANYDVD plus a BD drive would run me nearly $150, not to mention the cost of updates and the difficultly in using a remote.
PCs are great at WMC and file playback, but discs and streaming apps, not so much. I agree you CAN do it all on a PC if you're willing to make a lot of compromises, spend a lot more money and possibly break a lot of laws.
Your right here, Sure if you DONT already have a Blu-ray player in your HTPC, that is a nice cost (I have one of those old HD-DVD and Blu-ray players), then software could cost $30-60 (PowerDVD 15 comes with a Media Center plugin that works pretty well with the MCE remote and is still updated). Try this option first and if you have problems running some titles, ANYDVD tends to fix it.
There is a level of trickery if you want to run all these streaming services on a HTPC, sure there is some "older" addons that still work with WMC. Running Netflix on 720p looks OK but, after watching it native on my TV at 1080p, it does look better, so I am sticking with that.
The Problem is, all these plugins came out when WMC was in it's hey day, where the eHome team was alive and support was out there (the OLD TGB before Microsoft screwed it up). If Microsoft soft actually still supported it, I would BET you would see 4K Netflix, You tube that was actually fully usable. and tons of other streaming options. Nevermind what you would find in a place like this.
WMC is only a Live TV/Recorder storage now, any other streaming content needs to be plugged in, anything native that STILL WORKS, is outdated and could use a major update...
I just wish WMC was still supported and loved by Microsoft...and we could really have our dream HTPC....sigh..