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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Windows Media Center


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8 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   xhenxhe

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 05:01 AM

A while back I build a computer to use as a DVR and switched to Comcast. It has been awesome up until about a week ago. Comcast made a bunch of changes and now I can't just plug the cable into my tuner card, I have to go through a set top box or something. I did find a new tuner card that just started shipping. It looks nice. It allows you to put in one CableCard and gives you 4 tuners. It is $400 bucks though and I'm not sure I want to be the guinea pig on that new technology.

So now I am thinking about going back to DIRECTV or Dish Network. I was wondering if anyone is using Windows Media Center with either of these. The thought of using an IR blaster is not that appealing to me. It seems like there would be some lag time. I'm just curious to know how it would work, or do I just not try to go through my media center pc? It is still nice to have so I can watch netflix & hulu with ease.

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#2 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 10:41 AM

Assuming you use HD, you should research the Hauppauge HD-PVR and WMC. That's really the only solution, and yes, you'd be using IR blasters.

MC is *fantastic*, but a number of circumstances has sadly limited the support from the TV providers.

#3 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:12 AM

Using a PC as a DVR with D* is not a good idea. You either have to watch what you're recording or get a dedicated D* box for your PC (I did this myself for a few years). Better to just bite the bullet and get a DVR from D*. You can watch your DVR recordings on a PC if you want with DirecTV2PC. You can continue watching your other media center content the same way you do today. You could stream it to your D* DVR as well, but in my experience, that doesn't work very well.

I've also found that streaming other content like netflix works much better with a dedicated box like a roku or streaming blu-ray player (netflix on a pc was not HD last time I checked, but it is HD on streaming players). I have several streaming blu-ray players for watching netflix that I got for $30 each on ebay. I still have to use a PC for Hulu.

Edited by mdavej, 19 July 2010 - 09:23 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   brant

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:36 PM

other cablecard tuners are readily available for less money; keep searching on google.

hauppauge now has native support for WMC7 in their HD-PVR drivers; before you had to purchase a program from another company to make this work. The IR blasters don't have much lag time; you can check out videos of people on youtube using this setup.



I have no problems streaming netflix on the PC, and yes its available in HD. Netflix enabled this feature several weeks ago.


Most importanly, your PC must have enough resources to run all of these features smoothly.

I would go without cable or dish before going back to using one of their receivers.

#5 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 09:20 AM

Thanks for the heads-up on netflix HD on a PC. Glad they finally enabled it. They have HD for PC in a different category though, so it doesn't appear to include all HD titles (yet). I've got a pretty fast PC and good video card, but netflix still doesn't look as good on my PC as streaming from my $30 blu-ray player. So my PC will stick to Hulu duty only for now.

#6 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 10:39 AM

Using a PC as a DVR with D* is not a good idea.


I disagree. I'm probably going to dump the rest of my receivers and use only WMC7. With PVRs and a couple of H24s, plus all of the other sources I have available (including OTA), nothing can touch a good 7MC system.

Of course, I only watch recorded content; watching live TV is a very rare event for me.

#7 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 12:07 PM

^^^

You honestly prefer using a PC to a DVR? I mean, you can get a D* DVR for free and everything just works. Using a PC requires so much expense and so many pieces to work, it just doesn't make sense to me. It's gotten a little easier since I gave it up, but, man it was such a hassle, I welcomed my D* DVR with open arms.

My comparison:

D* DVR = free, easy (well, almost free except for monthly DVR access)

Fast PC, huge hard drive, fast video card, good capture card, wirless keyboard and mouse, IR blasters, possibly RF remote, 2 dedicated D* receivers for recording 2 things at once = lots of expense, complexity and hassle

Just adding a second receiver for dual recording capability eats up nearly all your DVR access savings, not to mention the added energy expense of running a fast PC 24x7, plus the fan noise. No thanks. Add to that the fact that someday soon component goes away and you won't be able to do analog hi-def at all.

When I sold my last PVR for a huge profit a few years ago, it paid for many, many years of DVR fees. And it wasn't even hi-def. I'm very happy to have a DVR now.

So I'll continue using my lowly single DVR system for D* and my HTPC for internet, hulu, and other content streaming and won't have to deal with all that other stuff.

Edited by mdavej, 09 August 2010 - 12:17 PM.


#8 OFFLINE   brant

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the heads-up on netflix HD on a PC. Glad they finally enabled it. They have HD for PC in a different category though, so it doesn't appear to include all HD titles (yet). I've got a pretty fast PC and good video card, but netflix still doesn't look as good on my PC as streaming from my $30 blu-ray player. So my PC will stick to Hulu duty only for now.


I don't think all of the titles are there yet but they're coming.


What type of CPU and GPU do you have? I believe they've had problems w/ AMD products and hardware acceleration. I use intel/nvidia and everything works great.

#9 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 03:24 PM

^^^

I think you're on to something. AMD/ATI here, and results are ok, but not stellar. Playback is smooth, but it's just not as sharp and detailed as I expected. Could be the title too. I only tried one to see how it looked. I'll keep experimenting.




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