So how would you replace Windows Media Center?

Although this move wasn't hard to anticipate, I'm still grieving a little over Microsoft's official coup de grace for Windows Media Center, a good product that thoroughly outclasses the junky boxes our local cable provider charges a monthly fee to use. My home-theater PC has been Media Center-driven for ages, and although I cut the cord a while back, it's still a great way to access Netflix and record over-the-air broadcasts.

The question now for us customers who Microsoft has abandoned is: what comes next? How would you go about replacing Windows Media Center? It is possible to do so in a way that 1) isn't a downgrade in usability and 2) doesn't require a separate box running Linux that then can't run my Steam games and the Win8 Netflix app without a reboot?

I know options exist for HTPC software, but I'm not clear on what's really easy for the whole family to use and handles DVR duties well. I might just get a TiVo or something, I guess. Would be nice to have one do-it-all system, though. Thoughts?

Comments closed
    • davidbowser
    • 4 years ago

    I went from having multiple Tivos to have multiple WMC systems (Vista then 7). I am also struggling with this exact question now. I am reluctant to go back to Tivo (I was an early adopter and they spent more time suing than innovating), but I will look at the current offerings anyway.

    I will likely stick with my Win7 while I wait on the SiliconDust project (-Kosh- posted) and on the deals that Apple is making for the next gen AppleTV.

    • sweatshopking
    • 4 years ago

    [url<]http://www.neowin.net/news/with-media-center-dead-dvr-functionality-is-reportedly-heading-to-the-xbox-one[/url<]

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    Nothing

    TV these days have little or nothing worthwhile to go through the hassle of operating a HTPC.

    HTPC are a shrinking niche in the advent of widespread streaming services for almost everything out there.

    • dragmor
    • 4 years ago

    I use a HUMAX 7500T at home. [url<]http://www.humaxdigital.com/au/[/url<] - It records 2 channels, and plays back at the same time - plays files from my NAS - has an FTP site for transferring files off the device - iOS and Android apps for remote control and for viewing recorded shows on the devices. - plays all of the local stations catch up via internet services. - has a good TV guide and a hand curated one if you pay for ICE TV (which ensures records start and end when the program actually does and your not taping a repeat). - ICE TV also lets you set recording details via your mobile while your not home. - has most of the online viewing services i.e. netflick, quickflix It works better than my Windows Media Center ever did. FYI - I'm in Australia so I get decent over the air TV (30+ channels) and I've never paid for a cable TV subscription. So my experience wont match that of someone from the USA. But for what we do at home the Humax is much better than I expected.

    • TheEmrys
    • 4 years ago

    So why can’t MS just spin WMC off like it did XBMC? Make it open source, maybe even under the creative commons license, and let it keep going as a user-supported platform?

      • mdkathon
      • 4 years ago

      MS did not spin off XBMC and played little-to-no (direct) part in the development of that software.

      Indirectly they had a huge influence.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Where the hell did you get the idea that MS had a hand in developing XBMC? Also, I’m pretty sure there are several parts of WMC that are licensed from other entities and couldn’t be open sourced even if MS wanted to.

        • VincentHanna
        • 4 years ago

        it grew out of xbox. The xb in Xbmc stands for Xbox, if I recall correctly. It’s not that far of a leap, though it is incorrect.

          • cygnus1
          • 4 years ago

          I mean it required a modded an xbox to run, so I do think of it as a far leap. Nothing that required a modded xbox could’ve ever been from MS

    • burntham77
    • 4 years ago

    JRiver Media Center has been my media center software of choice for the last few months. It’s the best I have used, and it supports TV tuners (although I find cable TV to be a horrible value these days).

      • TheEmrys
      • 4 years ago

      Does it have a guide service, and if so, who through?

    • zzz
    • 4 years ago

    Honestly, running your own DVR is a very old idea that doesn’t need to exist anymore, which is why MS killed all their involvement in it.

    1. Cable companies are making it harder, crippling capability while selling you compatible hardware.
    2. Internet connectivity has increased to the point that streaming anything whenever from wherever makes going through the work of saving some broadcast a waste of time. (This is why Hulu, HBO’s new thing and pretty much every channel streams online.)

    If you like it (pay) and stream it, if you love it buy it on BR/DVD. I haven’t had cable in a long time, because I don’t need 800 channels I’ll never watch, and I can’t be bothered to remember to record it. I’ll just watch it online later.

    I’m the reason MS killed WMC, and I’m the majority, I killed WMC.

      • mdkathon
      • 4 years ago

      I disagree with this for one reason. Sports.

      If I wanted to watch Soccer, and Baseball it’d cost about $300+/yr to do so with multiple streaming plans (At Bat, MLS Live, something else for soccer in Europe like Fox Soccer Plus). Adding the NFL is what, another $150/yr? … UGGGH.

      It’s my fault. I like to watch sports. 🙁

      In addition to that I’d have to move my IP address to watch local teams or national broadcasts on At Bat and MLS Live.

      Sure, I can go through all that trouble but it’s …. a lot of crap to deal with. At this point using my WMC DVR does make things easier for me, one place with all my recorded sports is convenient.

      I’ve been using WMC since 2005, and a HDHomerun Prime tuner (for CableCard, protected access) since it was released. There are no other relevant options to use a PC to DVR protected content at this time in the US. To move on from WMC I suppose it will be the SiliconDust HDHomeRun DVR when it’s released, or if I am lucky (because I really do like WMC, a lot) MS will get their heads out of their back ends and spin/sell off the product.

        • davidbowser
        • 4 years ago

        Agreed on this, and I will give you another non-corner case: Families. When you have more than 3-4 people in a house, they will likely want to watch different things and suddenly having Food Network, Science Channel, BBC America, Disney Jr., and AMC are not optional.

      • VincentHanna
      • 4 years ago

      DVR = legal way for me to watch past episodes of program XYZ without buying each episode individually or spending $99 PER SEASON… and that is assuming that whatever it is is (legally) streamable in the first place, which isn’t always as easy as you make it out to be.

      Internet connectivity is irrelevant.

    • Dieter
    • 4 years ago

    After reading about WMC’s demise I’ve been trying to find a solution as well, and I need help. I tried Myth years ago (~2008) but it wouldn’t work with my tuners. But, I’m open to it. Right now, it seems Mediaportal might be the way to go, but it seems like I may not be able to test it without disrupting my WMC setup. I also usually prefer Windows due to the 3rd party tools available, but if the solution is flexible I’ll consider others.

    Anyway, my current environment is Win7Pro, WMC, MCEBuddy for removing commercials and converting to mp4 from OTA, two dual-tuner Hauppage cards for OTA (no cable), and I use DVDFab for ripping my DVD movies to folder (not ISO) with all of the associated VOB files. I also use DVDFab to rip my TV DVDs, which I then use Handbrake to convert to mp4.

    So, is there anything that can play my 350+ DVD movie rips in native DVD VOB format (so I don’t have to transcode and lose quality and the convenience of chapters, plus mp4 doesn’t seem to handle horizontal panning smoothly even at higher bitrates), plus then play the ~1000 mp4 files that I have that are mostly OTA TV episodes and TV DVD rips, plus do OTA recording with automatic commercial removal and optional transcode to mp4? Playing WTV files would be a bonus, as I don’t transcode everything to mp4 if I want to leave it in original HD format.

    Bonus if it can also serve as a DLNA server. I don’t care if it’ll do Netflix or Amazon Prime, as my TV has a nice interface for those.

    It’s a lot to ask, and Mediaportal seems to do most of that, but I’m not sure about the DVD VOB playback and commercial removal. I want to make sure the OTA recordings can be processed/handled by multiple tools, so preferably a popular format.

    Any ideas or recommendations?

    As a side note, my HTPC is 2008 vintage (Core2Quad), so I may be replacing it this year. I’m thinking about getting a SFF box with i5 or i7 so I have the processing power, slots for the tuners, and DVD drive, but then store everything on a NAS. The NAS might be able to do DLNA and even Plex for streaming, but ideally the WMC replacement would support that setup. The NAS that looks like the best match right now is the QNAP TS-451, as it seems to support a lot of the home theater features.

    TL;DR: Help! 🙂

    Edit: If you’re wondering (and you’re not), I finally have gone HD with my new TV, so most of my new movie purchases are Blu-Ray with UV copy, which I then watch through the Vudu app on my TV. But I have the huge old collection on DVD, so I’d prefer not to lose those and my TV upscales them decently. I may take a lot of my DVDs and use Vudu’s “buy the digital copy of it, and upgrade to HD while you’re at it” option, but even at 1/2 off the normal $5/DVD price, that’s a few hundred for my collection, and I’m not convinced I won’t lose it all if Vudu or UV go away. So I haven’t taken that leap of faith since I don’t want to invest in the digital copies unless I’m sure I’ll have access to them in 10-20 years and don’t have to buy them again when SuperBlu-Ray comes out.

    • cygnus1
    • 4 years ago

    I have a feeling they plan to roll this functionality into the Xbox One. They’re already releasing a rebranded Hauppage OTA tuner for it, I could see them partnering with Hauppage or Silicondust to rebrand a tuner that works with CableCard too. This will definitely make cable companies and content owners happy as the DRM will be harder to crack that way.

      • swkerr
      • 4 years ago

      I doubt they will do DVR functionality in the XBOX One. They may support a tuner that does live TV with cable card but the DVR part seems unlikely. They see it as out dated and see more potential for making money selling streamed content and supporting streaming apps. You have to remember they support Verizon and Time Warner Cable apps and probably see that as the future. They might even hold out hope for their own online TV streaming service. The problem with the DVR functionality will be that it would be hard for Microsoft to monetize it and take a cut. (Which is kinda the problem with all the DVR apps)

        • cygnus1
        • 4 years ago

        They’re losing the war against the PS4, they need exclusive features. The OTA tuner and the DVB tuner they have in Europe for the XBOX One already have DVR like features of pausing live TV and rewinding. It’s an easy win for them I would think to simply add the scheduled recording capabilities they’ve already developed elsewhere.

          • divide_by_zero
          • 4 years ago

          Hope you’re right about this. Would love if XBone got this sort of functionality – it really would be a unique feature that I think would add value for potential buyers.

          Though sadly I don’t expect them to do it. As swkerr mentioned above, I think they’d prefer revenue from streaming/VOD services.

          Seems like they could find a happy medium though, and do something like offer DVR functionality free with XBox Live subscription. Suspect this would bring new subscribers to XBox Live so it seems win/win.

            • cygnus1
            • 4 years ago

            They could also monetize it by charging a premium for the rebranded tuners. Or even require the purchase of an app to enable the features. Although I’m actually not sure if the Xbox could handle recording show(s) in the background while playing a game, so the hardware could be a limiting factor.

        • Zizy
        • 4 years ago

        Sure, MS doesn’t gain much from DVR… but they don’t lose anything by supporting it. It is not their skin that is in the game – cable company is.
        If this gives them even more foothold in the living room, they will probably do it.
        Heck, there were rumors of partnerships before X1 even launched that it will be offered from some cable companies instead of their usual boxes.

        I personally believe this is still in the cards even with renewed gaming focus on the console.

        • cygnus1
        • 4 years ago

        Also, this:

        [url<]http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/05/report-xbox-one-to-get-dvr-functionality-probably-this-year/[/url<]

    • swkerr
    • 4 years ago

    Kodi and Plex are not good replacements for Media Center as neither is a DVR. Although the advent of online sources has made the need for DVRs less important they are still necessary unless you are willing to give up a lot of good content and flexibility.

    Kodi has started to try to integrate common DVR software into the primary interface but it is still a work in progress and really kind of awkward. I prefer to put all the recording into a format that can be read by Kodi and Plex and watch with the imported TVinterface. I do not even use the DVR integration but call a plugin from NextPVR that duplicates the native NextPVR interface. (This is used only for Live TV and scheduling recordings.)

    Truth is if you can live with the guilt of using pirated online streams Kodi will run non-sanctioned plugins that eliminate the need for a DVR service. (Assuming you have a good broadband connection) It is really the way TV should work but for now you will just have to use 5 different online services and interfaces along with your DVR if you want to keep it legal.

    I gave up on Media Center years ago and moved to BeyondTV and then to SageTV, all of which are now gone. I have tested at a number of different replacements for SageTV and finally went with Kodi\NextPVR. But it has not been perfect and I am considering going back to SageTV now that it will be open sourced.

    Streaming has take the emphasis away from DVR development without actually removing the need for it. And with the fragmentation in online services you still can’t cut the cord without giving something up and using multiple sources and interfaces.

    I think Kodi and Plex are the future but they need to improve on their TV and DVR support.

    • Leader952
    • 4 years ago

    These are the [b<]KEY POINTS[/b<] that Scott asked for: [quote<][b<]It is possible to do so in a way that 1) isn't a downgrade in usability and 2) doesn't require a separate box running Linux[/b<][/quote<] So why are 99% of the replies either a downgrade or require a separate box running Linux?

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 4 years ago

      That might be because there isn’t anything else. WMC was THE solution. WMC is easy to use, doesn’t require plugins to get all of the features, it was “free” (and still, arguably, reasonably priced on Win 8 now that it’s not free with Windows), did time shifting/DVR, and it supported CableCARD. There just isn’t anything else like it. That’s why there is such an outcry from the “few,” very loyal users.

      • f0d
      • 4 years ago

      because there are zero replacements that fulfill all criteria
      which is why people are going nuts

    • dale77
    • 4 years ago

    I use Mediaportal with EPGCollector. Been working perfect for DVR for years.

    [url<]http://www.team-mediaportal.com/[/url<] [url<]http://sourceforge.net/projects/epgcollector/[/url<]

    • TheEmrys
    • 4 years ago

    Aside from the TV channel guide, I could just leave my Win7 box running. Any news if the TV channel guide will maintain support? I only do OTA, DVR, and personal video playing of Mp4/mkv.

    I just don’t see any solutions that can do these three things.

    If it all goes away, I guess I’ll go with a Tivo.

    • tootercomputer
    • 4 years ago

    I have Nero 2014 and despite all the bashing, it is a pretty good program and has a home theater program built in that plays Bly-Ray. So on my computer, that is what I use. I also h ave an external Blu-Ray player/burner that came with a version of PowerDVD and it works fine. I h ave it installed on my laptop.

    I liked the Windows Home Media and will miss it. Just can’t figure them out most of the time.

    • Tubby
    • 4 years ago

    I’m worried, I use cablecard and many of the channels have HDCP enabled on them, stupid channels with shows that my wire loves. Can’t move off Win7 Mediacenter until I can find a replacement that works with all my channels.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Win8.1 Media Center? It’ll be “supported” for years to come

        • VincentHanna
        • 4 years ago

        But why would anyone subject themselves to windows 8.1 if they didn’t have to?

          • cygnus1
          • 4 years ago

          Because, Win8.1 is not the horror show that people make it out to be. And honestly, on a big TV, the Modern Start screen actually works pretty well. Not that you should be in it much, as the WMC or other HTPC software should be the only interface. I actually have a 2012 R2 server (same interface as Win8.1) running as my HTPC (for non HTPC reasons) but it runs fantastically with KODI setup to auto-launch and works with a MC remote as well. It’s friendly enough for the completely non-technical SO to use without issue.

            • DarkMikaru
            • 4 years ago

            Not to mention the performance improvements in Windows 8.1 over 7. Everything is just snappier in 8.1.

            • cygnus1
            • 4 years ago

            Yup, all the under the hood benefits were worth the minor inconvenience of tolerating metro. I was an early adopter of Vista, and that’s when I stopped using the start menu like I did in Windows 95. I stopped sorting anything, I stopped arranging anything. Using the start menu the old way is a waste of time when it’s faster to just tap (not click with the mouse) the start key and then the first few characters of whatever I needed. The most critically needed daily stuff was simply pinned to the task bar. This workflow remains completely uninterrupted in Win8/8.1 which is why I really don’t get the complaints. People just need to learn something new and more efficient to replace the 20 year old way of using their computer.

    • TwoEars
    • 4 years ago

    X̶B̶M̶C̶

    K
    O
    D
    I

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      K
      O
      D
      I

        • TwoEars
        • 4 years ago

        Right, right… it’s been renamed.

      • designerfx
      • 4 years ago

      Do people truly like Kodi more than Plex? I like that it’s open source but Kodi doesn’t really do everything.

        • Deanjo
        • 4 years ago

        Yup, I do. I like keeping up to the bleeding edge, being able to report bugs on a distro that isn’t part of there “Oh we only support ubuntu” and not having to wait until they decide it is time to release a new version.

    • -Kosh-
    • 4 years ago

    With the fall of WMC, there is only one option left for copy-once DRM crap.

    HDHomeRun DVR.
    [url<]https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275320038/hdhomerun-dvr-the-dvr-re-imagined[/url<]

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      Except kickstarting is moronic. This is already an established company that already sells products getting donations for them to sell you more stuff. i don’t understand.

        • PixelArmy
        • 4 years ago

        It’s moronic for the donors, it’s genius for SiliconDust. But what’s not to understand? The donors are directly funding the company’s R&D rather that coming out of their revenue.

          • sweatshopking
          • 4 years ago

          I get that, I just don’t get why anyone would support it.

        • divide_by_zero
        • 4 years ago

        Disagree sir.

        Their rewards are somewhat underwhelming for this Kickstarter, but you are getting essentially a year’s subscription for their upcoming service with a $30 donation. Given that they are claiming that sub will cost $30 once the product is released, you’re really not losing out by backing the project if you’re able to use the resulting software.

        Opinions certainly will differ, but here’s why I backed the project: customer hardware and software development is really, really expensive. So is trying to market said product to customers who may not be super techy or aware of the existence of such a product. Kickstarter is good way to gauge customer interest for custom development.

        And as someone very much in need of a replacement for 7MC, this was a project I wanted to support. They’ve been frustratingly vague on the technical details of the project, but I’m hopeful that it will work for my intended usage. If not, fine – then I spent 30 bucks on something that I can’t use. But even if that comes to pass, I’m fine with supporting the only new PC/CableCard product innovation I’ve seen in years.

          • not_a_gerbil
          • 4 years ago

          > customer hardware and software development is really, really expensive.

          If they opensourced the software, I’d donate to Kickstarter. Otherwise I’m just giving money for a software product that likely will be abandoned in 5 years and I’ll have non-functioning pvr’s around the house.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 4 years ago

      Wow, how convenient for the timing. I suspect there will be a lot more backers with the eventual demise of WMC. Thanks for sharing. Time to do some reading (and probably money spending).

    • Theolendras
    • 4 years ago

    Probably MythTV for the backend with Plex, already used it in the past, it’s quite good.

    I’m not sure about the frontend tough. Kodi/OpenELEC, SteamOS, Kodibuntu, Mythbuntu all seems potent.

    • Shambles
    • 4 years ago

    The last time I used WMC was during the Vista era. I have since dumped cable and have gone straight to using XBMC + OTA.

    • TwoEars
    • 4 years ago

    Nvrmnd

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    With my hobbies and busyness of real life!!!!!!!

    Wait I replaced media center with that about 6.5 years ago when kids came along!!

    • cjyoda78
    • 4 years ago

    I’ve fully migrated to Kodi over the past few years.
    netflixbmc for netflix, the Edit: Silicon Dust (not hauppage) add-on for my network tuner which supports viewing the copy-once , and play-on to add in support for the misc other services. An npvr backend allows dvr for all BUT the copy-once, and a mysql links devices. It was a bit of a challenge getting it all setup on the backend, but now i have Kodi running on all my windows/android devices and it works wonderfully!

    • MetricT
    • 4 years ago

    I’ll probably migrate DVR duties to MythTV on my Linux box.

    Find services that bind users to you for the long-term, and then eliminate them. That’s some might fine business strategery there, Microsoft.

    I had two services tying me to Microsoft: Media Center, and games. A few years from now I expect most popular games to run on SteamOS natively, and the few older games that have stood the test of time can probably be played using some sort of virtualization or on a junk old PC. And MS just took a double-barrel shotgun and shot their feet off on the DVR end of things.

      • notfred
      • 4 years ago

      Yup DVR to MythTV but just run it on a server hooked to the antenna somewhere and enable the DLNA server on it. With DLNA then it will playback on anything else so you don’t need to run MythTV on your HTPC. For scheduling and management I just use MythWeb.

    • crystall
    • 4 years ago

    I didn’t even notice it was gone.

    • NotParker
    • 4 years ago

    Windows 7 of course.

    I skipped WIndows 8 and was looking forward to 10.

    And I liked 10. But I’ll skip 10 too.

    • Lee S
    • 4 years ago

    I read that MS was ditching Media Center, so I spent a good chunk of my weekend coming up with an alternative. I had been using it as a PVR in conjunction with the Remote Potato to do some streaming. My alternative:

    1. Install MediaPortal. This has a nice front end if you want to use it, but critically it has the TV Server component that handles recordings. [url<]http://www.team-mediaportal.com[/url<] 2. Install MPExtended. This basically does transcoding on the fly for streaming. [url<]http://www.mpextended.com[/url<] 3. Install Plex. This has nice interfaces on Android, Roku, and can chromecast. [url<]https://plex.tv[/url<] 4. Install a plugin for Plex that can interface with the MediaPortal recordings via MPExtended. [url<]https://github.com/jwdempsey/MediaPortal.bundle[/url<] So far I think it's pretty slick. The streaming support is killer (though the CPU usage is pretty high on the server). Note that the EPG support in MediaPortal was a bit tedious to get set up. For ATSC support in the US, which doesn't embed the channel guide, you need to edit the included XML file to change the zip code and list out your channels matched against the channel names in IMDB. I could post mine if anybody is curious...it still has some hickups with the non-HD channels as those didn't readily show up in IMDB, so I was unsure what channel name to match them against. I also tried Kodi, but aside from being a total PITA to set up, when I did get it sorta working it couldn't see recordings from MediaPortal and I was unable to get streaming support to work. I tried the NextPVR backedn for Kodi as well but it seemed to have issues with my tuners.

    • gbcrush
    • 4 years ago

    SW wise, right now Kodi (ex XMBC) is in the lead, with Emby (Media Browser 3.x) trailing a bit.

    The high-level plan is to limp along on 7MC for two more years, then in 2017 hop in Google Fiber for the TV+Internet package (damn you Big G, get here already) and give the middlefinger to TWC.

    Given that Google Fiber’s TV service is non-CableCard compatible, this seems a reasonable way to make a transition to a service provided DVR without rewarding big cable’s ugly design principals and laughable hardware. I’ll re-purpose (or rebuild) the HTPC box then to handle media my networked media and Steam (likely streaming) activities .

    Scott, I think with installation happening in your area, this seems like a viable path for you much sooner.

      • gbcrush
      • 4 years ago

      So, about media PC software. Penny for your thoughts fellow Gerbils?

      BAH. I’m ranting and rambling again. I put my long thoughts in the forum:

      [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=115428[/url<]

    • hechacker1
    • 4 years ago

    I kicked in $30 to back this project, and just got myself a HDHomeRUN for OTA/clearQAM.

    [url<]https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275320038/hdhomerun-dvr-the-dvr-re-imagined[/url<] I don't doubt they'll have a working product soon, but the polish and fit and finish will take a long time to get right. But I really like the idea behind the project, because it makes the recording server mostly platform independent. A NAS that can act as the recording engine and storage? That's pretty awesome and simple (and cheap over the long run compared to renting a DVR). The other hope is SageTV, which I still use to this day. It's ultimately customizable and extendable (it had internet transcoding and place shifting for years with plugins). Google is apparently letting SageTV go open source: [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/16/google-open-sourcing-sage-tv/[/url<] SageTV's problem has always been that it has a billion options, and requires tons of tweaks and third party mods to increase the WAF. Maybe that too can be fixed.

    • ratborg
    • 4 years ago

    I’m pretty much in the same boat. I’ve been using Plex and like it a lot for recorded material but it’s lacking DVR functionality. SiliconDust has a launched a KickStarter [url<]https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275320038/hdhomerun-dvr-the-dvr-re-imagined)[/url<] to fund software development of a DVR but of course only for their newer model tuners and not the one I own. Plus who knows when that will ship and what it will look like. Just saw the other comment about Tablo, haven't heard of them before. Will have to check that out.

    • Fieryphoenix
    • 4 years ago

    With this:

    [url<]https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275320038/hdhomerun-dvr-the-dvr-re-imagined[/url<] Of course, I already have a HD Homerun Prime, so it's something of a no brainer. And also, I will use WMC for as long as I can get guide information, on account of the fewer times my wife murders me the more I like it.

    • Zyphos
    • 4 years ago

    I’m in the same boat. OTA DVR duties, some Netflix, and Plex via WMC. I don’t think I’ll be replacing WMC until just before the guide data is shut off. Currently I am using HDHomeruns to provide me with 4 tuners.

    With that in mind, I’m starting to investigate:
    [url<]https://us.simple.tv/[/url<] [url<]http://kodi.wiki/view/PVR[/url<] (via tvheadend looks promising) [url<]https://www.tablotv.com/[/url<] (AVSforum referenced it) [url<]http://www.channelmaster.com/Antenna_DVR_s/336.htm[/url<] [url<]https://www.tivo.com/roamio-ota-tlp[/url<] My goal is something that doesn't require me to tinker with it. Regardless of others experiences, my WMC usage has been pain free. The only gripe I have is no on screen alerts to low storage.

    • Deadsalt
    • 4 years ago

    Kodi with some set up can be used as a DVR on a Windows box. Also Kodi supports WMC remotes so you can keep it if you have one.

    Media Portal also lists that it can be used as a DVR, but I don’t know how smooth that process is.

    • sweatshopking
    • 4 years ago

    i’m not allowed to discuss my replacement on this website.

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      IS IT MICROSOFT WINDOWS PHONE 9?

        • sweatshopking
        • 4 years ago

        No.it is sadness and shame.

          • Terra_Nocuus
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]it is sadness and shame.[/quote<] Ahh, iOS, then. 😉

            • ColeLT1
            • 4 years ago

            Blackberry OS

    • cobalt
    • 4 years ago

    Can I add potential requirements?

    (a) for DVR duties, include support for protected content from cable cards.
    (b) again, for DVR, I’d like to see sharing of recordings to multiple boxes in a way that works well.
    (c) I also want a nice interface for playback from a network drive of movie collections and music collections (in a way that includes synopses, ratings, years, and other tags).
    (d) nearly forgot: remote control support throughout the entire user interface. (remote control acting as an RF keyboard is okay, as long as such a remote control exists and the UI works with the limited set of buttons on a usable-by-the-family remote)

      • SixOneTwo
      • 4 years ago

      I think Plex is the only serious answer when it comes to home media servers. I’ve been running it for years, they’re good about updates and there’s a client for just about everything. Gorgeous presentation, makes picking out a movie fun. Coupled with a Tablo and its corresponding Plex Channel for DVR duties and you’d be all set.

        • cobalt
        • 4 years ago

        I should clarify a little on that one, maybe. I’ve used Plex as a server (DLNA, streaming to PS3, etc.). But all I mean here is local playback (just mount the network drive) and a nice UI that integrates with the main one. I know the Plex client works fine, but I don’t know what it integrates cleanly with.

          • Deadsalt
          • 4 years ago

          Plex can look beautiful but it depends on what the client is running on. Plex on my Roku is ugly, but that is more of Roku’s use of BrightScript than anything with Plex.

          Personally I prefer Kodi over Plex for looks, but both are very good at local playback. Kodi does have more options for scrapers which can be important if your content isn’t very mainstream. Plex is totally awesome for streaming to other devices in your house though.

          • SixOneTwo
          • 4 years ago

          Maybe I’m misunderstanding your situation, but have you considered running the server and the client on the same machine? Point your server at your local/networked storage locations, run the client when you want to do playback.

            • cobalt
            • 4 years ago

            Yes, running the client and serve on the local machine is what I’m talking about; I was simply saying I don’t need remote streaming, not that containing remote streaming is a problem,

            My point was that I want an integrated user interface that can be controlled with one remote control, and Plex doens’t address some HTPC functionality, like DVR, Netflix, etc. (right?) So whatever UI you’re using for DVR/Netflix/etc. needs to integrate cleanly with the Plex client.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 4 years ago

      My solution is going to be a MythTV back end with Kodi+MythTV Plugin on Ubuntu. I can run steam, stream games, and watch Netflix. I only assume that since Linux now “officially” supports Netflix that there will be Kodi plugins of decent quality in no time. Myth also supports my HD HomeRun Prime.

      Another option you can do is a Roku + Simple TV. But the OTA recording/streaming quality was pretty poor. But there is a Python Script to back up shows off the Simple TV drive. This route gets you everything, too. It also can Plex.

      What I’m going to miss is the auto archive options. I had MCE Buddy running with the auto-rip of commercials working pretty well.

        • Theolendras
        • 4 years ago

        You can do transcode and comskip if you want in MythTV, altough the config is not quite as simple as MCE Buddy made it.

          • DragonDaddyBear
          • 4 years ago

          Thanks! I guess I need to do some re-reading.

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