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MythTV vs. Windows Media Center

 

 

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Brian.Reynolds at fiserv

Feb 9, 2011, 9:51 AM

Post #1 of 253 (8192 views)
Permalink
MythTV vs. Windows Media Center

OK,



So I've found this cool tuner card that has four tuners that use a
single CableCARD to receive everything the cable company has to offer,
except VOD. It's the Ceton InfiniTV (www.cetoncorp.com). It's $399.99
and available now (with a 3 month backlog on orders).



Of course, copy protected content is only supported in Windows MCE, with
a supported HDCP compliant video card. I don't know if the card has
drivers for Linux, but if I can't watch copy protected content on Linux,
why would I want to do that?



Also, with an X-Box or a D-Link or Linksys media center extender (found
on e-bay for $100), I can watch live or recorded TV, Blu-Ray movies,
DVD's, and just about anything else that Windows can decode on as many
frontends as my MCE server can handle, which depends on how many tuners
I install, how much I/O the machine can handle, and CPU power.



So... I've put together a list of hardware that would be required to
handle four extenders and also to be able to play 3D content on the MCE
server. The components I've selected will enable me to configure the
hard drives in a Raid-0 so that I can maximize I/O throughput and will
even include two Blu-Ray drives that can be shared with any of the
extenders.



It's a pretty beefy machine using high end parts that should be very
reliable, quiet and stable. The parts will cost me around $1500.00.
This includes 2TB of storage, a BluRay reader, a BluRay writer, four
tuners with cableCARD and two more tuners that will receive
ATSC/NTSC/Clear QAM. I can get my hands on Windows 7 with MCE for
around $100.00 through a program my employer has with M$.



Now to my question... what's the advantage of MythTV over Win MCE? Why
would I want to go this route instead of MCE when I can get copy
protected content in MCE?



Please understand that I mean no disrespect. I understand the benefits
of open source software and the fun that goes into a project like that.
I just don't understand why I would choose MythTV over MCE. Please help
me out.



Oh... and to add to my previous e-mails, Brighthouse (Time Warner) now
offers a whole-house solution in my area (Central Florida). In order to
have four tuners and five rooms, I would need two DVR's and three cable
boxes. Each box has its own tuner, but the four in the DVR's are the
only ones available for recording/pausing/rewinding TV shows. The total
cost to rent a 5 room system with four DVR tuners is $62/month. With
the four tuner card I mentioned above, my costs would be $2.95/mo for
the cable card and $3.80/mo for each SDV Tuning Adapter (one required
for each two tuners). I don't know which channels are using SDV in my
area yet... so there could be no need for the Tuning Adapters if I don't
want any of those channels. Plus... if I want more tuners, I can add
some that will receive clear QAM, ATSC and NTSC, which would give me
plenty of tuners to satisfy my needs.



Please let me know if you know of a cheaper way to build a HTPC that
will accomplish my goals. Also, let me know if I'm way off here and
MythTV adds some functionality that I can't do without.



Brian K. Reynolds
Sr. Applications Supervisor
Spectrum ASP
Credit Union Solutions
Fiserv
Office: 321-268-2622, ext. 5249
Fax: 321-264-2942
www.creditunions.fiserv.com <http://www.creditunions.fiserv.com>


eric at lisaneric

Feb 9, 2011, 10:12 AM

Post #2 of 253 (8113 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM, Reynolds, Brian
<Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
> Please let me know if you know of a cheaper way to build a HTPC that will
> accomplish my goals. Also, let me know if Iím way off here and MythTV adds
> some functionality that I canít do without.

MythTV doesn't compete on price or on ease of use. It's all about
control, and customizability. The MythTV software works on behest of
the owner and no one else. That's why there are features like
commercial skip, and easy access to recorded video in ways that allow
export to other devices. That's why the DVD playing software does not
honor the do-not-skip-this-advertisement crap on many DVDs.

MythTV is also not just a DVR. Plugins like MythMusic and MythGallery
are invaluable additions to the MythTV family.

If you're looking for a basic DVR with the feature set decided by your
content provider, you should go with that. If you want to be in
complete control of your system, that's what MythTV is for.

Eric
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dliana.mythtv at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 10:19 AM

Post #3 of 253 (8135 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 1:12 PM, Eric Sharkey <eric [at] lisaneric> wrote:

<snipped a whole lotta good stuff>

> Eric
>

I have to agree with Eric.

I've found that (in my area at least) that the DVR's provided by the cable
companies have limited storage and aren't upgraded easily, and can't say,
stream to my laptop while I'm in bed (no room for TV, yet).

I like the fact that I can stream myth recordings to any computer in my
house, and I'm not tied down to a specific device or TV only. And I can
access other media - i.e. pictures, DVD, rips, etc. I am thinking about
ripping out my DVD players and replacing them with ION boxes.


eric at lisaneric

Feb 9, 2011, 10:28 AM

Post #4 of 253 (8107 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM, Reynolds, Brian
<Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
> Also, with an X-Box or a D-Link or Linksys media center extender (found on
> e-bay for $100), I can watch live or recorded TV, Blu-Ray movies, DVDís, and
> just about anything else that Windows can decode on as many frontends as my
> MCE server can handle,

I also meant to mention that this won't work in all cases. For
content not marked as copy-freely, Windows can record it and play it
back locally only. Copy-Once/Copy-Never content isn't sharable via
media center extenders as far as I understand it. Even TiVo has this
same restriction.

Note also that such content can be recorded via MythTV with an HDPVR
(even video on demand) and can be streamed to any frontend.

Eric
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kkuphal at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 10:31 AM

Post #5 of 253 (8104 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 11:51 AM, Reynolds, Brian
<Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv>wrote:

> OK,
>
>
>
> So Iíve found this cool tuner card that has four tuners that use a single
> CableCARD to receive everything the cable company has to offer, except VOD.
> Itís the Ceton InfiniTV (www.cetoncorp.com). Itís $399.99 and available
> now (with a 3 month backlog on orders).
>
>
>
> Of course, copy protected content is only supported in Windows MCE, with a
> supported HDCP compliant video card. I donít know if the card has drivers
> for Linux, but if I canít watch copy protected content on Linux, why would I
> want to do that?
>
>
>
> Also, with an X-Box or a D-Link or Linksys media center extender (found on
> e-bay for $100), I can watch live or recorded TV, Blu-Ray movies, DVDís, and
> just about anything else that Windows can decode on as many frontends as my
> MCE server can handle, which depends on how many tuners I install, how much
> I/O the machine can handle, and CPU power.
>
>
>
> So... Iíve put together a list of hardware that would be required to handle
> four extenders and also to be able to play 3D content on the MCE server.
> The components Iíve selected will enable me to configure the hard drives in
> a Raid-0 so that I can maximize I/O throughput and will even include two
> Blu-Ray drives that can be shared with any of the extenders.
>
>
>
> Itís a pretty beefy machine using high end parts that should be very
> reliable, quiet and stable. The parts will cost me around $1500.00. This
> includes 2TB of storage, a BluRay reader, a BluRay writer, four tuners with
> cableCARD and two more tuners that will receive ATSC/NTSC/Clear QAM. I can
> get my hands on Windows 7 with MCE for around $100.00 through a program my
> employer has with M$.
>
>
>
> Now to my question... whatís the advantage of MythTV over Win MCE? Why
> would I want to go this route instead of MCE when I can get copy protected
> content in MCE?
>
>
>
> Please understand that I mean no disrespect. I understand the benefits of
> open source software and the fun that goes into a project like that. I just
> donít understand why I would choose MythTV over MCE. Please help me out.
>

The only word is customizability (is that even a word? :) ). With Myth you
have the optoins to change themes, change menus, make changes in the
software to allow for it to behave more the way you want to use it
(commercial skip being a notable example). With MCE, you're locked into
whatever MS provides and you likely won't get any updates/changes until the
next version of Windows and then you get what they choose to give you.
There are some plugins that add additional functionality (Media Browser
being a great example). You also are required to use and are limited by the
feature set of the extender as your "other room" options. Not all plugins
work across extenders.

I, myself, am considering a move to MCE from Myth after having recently
purchased my first Xbox360 and HDHomeRun. It is a very good DVR system and
does alot of what I want. I'm not sure I'm in love with the interface
choices which I either have to live with or I won't make the change.

Myth will likely never be the cheapest and it will not likely provide the
best copy-protected content path because of the resistance to Linux in the
copyright world. Other than that, it offers a very good alternative with a
very flexible solution.

Kevin


jedi at mishnet

Feb 9, 2011, 1:18 PM

Post #6 of 253 (8095 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 09, 2011 at 11:51:08AM -0600, Reynolds, Brian wrote:
> OK,
>
>
>
> So I've found this cool tuner card that has four tuners that use a
> single CableCARD to receive everything the cable company has to offer,
> except VOD. It's the Ceton InfiniTV (www.cetoncorp.com). It's $399.99
> and available now (with a 3 month backlog on orders).

I can go to the local Frys and buy myself 2 Hauppauge 1212's today.

I bought my HDHR at the local Microcenter.

Sure, I don't have 4 cable tuners but this is all gear that's well
supported under any OS and is not vaporware or hopelessly backordered.

>
>
>
> Of course, copy protected content is only supported in Windows MCE, with
> a supported HDCP compliant video card. I don't know if the card has
> drivers for Linux, but if I can't watch copy protected content on Linux,
> why would I want to do that?

The Hauppauge 1212 has been well supported in Linux and MythTV pretty
much since it was release. Many of us have been happily using these for quite
awhile now.

>
>
>
> Also, with an X-Box or a D-Link or Linksys media center extender (found

Well. Not all extenders are created equal.

On the other hand, a box running MythTV is as capable as any other.
Some might not be fast enough for HD, but all support the same core PVR
features and content formats.

> on e-bay for $100), I can watch live or recorded TV, Blu-Ray movies,
> DVD's, and just about anything else that Windows can decode on as many
> frontends as my MCE server can handle, which depends on how many tuners
> I install, how much I/O the machine can handle, and CPU power.

With MCE you will be stuck with appliance extenders only. The option
of putting MCE on an ION as a frontend is not an option.

[deletia]

> Now to my question... what's the advantage of MythTV over Win MCE? Why
> would I want to go this route instead of MCE when I can get copy
> protected content in MCE?

That copy protected content will always remain copy protected and will
complicate how you use it. Whatever rules or limitation your cable company
places on the content will remain on that content.

I can put any of my recordings on my iPhone or Archos. You might not
even be able to transfer a recording from your main server to the living
room.

> Please understand that I mean no disrespect. I understand the benefits
> of open source software and the fun that goes into a project like that.
> I just don't understand why I would choose MythTV over MCE. Please help
> me out.

Perhaps you should try out MCE before getting the $400 tuner that works
with MCE and MCE only. One thing that MCE does have going for it is the fact
that it is much more likely to support any old random dirt cheap ATSC tuner.
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eric at lisaneric

Feb 9, 2011, 1:26 PM

Post #7 of 253 (8090 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:18 PM, jedi <jedi [at] mishnet> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 09, 2011 at 11:51:08AM -0600, Reynolds, Brian wrote:
>> So I've found this cool tuner card that has four tuners that use a
>> single CableCARD to receive everything the cable company has to offer,
>> except VOD. It's the Ceton InfiniTV (www.cetoncorp.com). It's $399.99
>> and available now (with a 3 month backlog on orders).
>
> I can go to the local Frys and buy myself 2 Hauppauge 1212's today.
>
> I bought my HDHR at the local Microcenter.
>
> Sure, I don't have 4 cable tuners but this is all gear that's well
> supported under any OS and is not vaporware or hopelessly backordered.

For the record, the InfiniTV will be supported by MythTV in the near future.

http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users/467268?do=post_view_threaded#467268

Eric
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Brian.Reynolds at Fiserv

Feb 9, 2011, 1:28 PM

Post #8 of 253 (8098 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

I've read all about the media center extenders... and they CAN play copy
protected content because they don't store the content locally. They
stream the video from the Win MCE machine, so they are made for this
task.

I realize that the extenders won't offer ALL the features of Windows,
but they play all of the popular media formats for video, audio and
pictures. Perfect for a bedroom, IMHO. Cheap and silent too.

Copy-never and Copy-once content cannot, however, be played/copied to
another Win MCE machine. But I'm only thinking that I'll need one...
and it will serve all my needs and then some.

As for commercial-skip... I read that there is a fix/hack for that in
Win MCE, but I can't remember the details about it.

I like the idea of being able to skip the ads on DVD's, but it's not a
deal breaker for me... and there may be a hack for that in Windows also.

One really cool thing about the Win MCE setup is that the extenders will
allow me to watch a Blu-Ray that is inserted into the Win MCE machine.
Not in 3D, but 2D should play just fine. 3D will only be available on
the Win MCE machine with an installed video card that supports it. That
will save me from having to buy a bunch of Blu Ray players.

You see, I just recently replaced ALL of my TV's with HDTV's... and now
I'm looking for what can be done with them.

I really like what you guys are doing with MythTV, but I think MCE will
be a better fit for me. Now I just have to cough up the cash to try it
out. That's a lot of money to dive into something without seeing it in
action first. I'd love to hear any experiences with WinMCE (positive or
negative) from you guys.

-----Original Message-----
From: mythtv-users-bounces [at] mythtv
[mailto:mythtv-users-bounces [at] mythtv] On Behalf Of Eric Sharkey
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 1:29 PM
To: Discussion about MythTV
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] MythTV vs. Windows Media Center

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM, Reynolds, Brian
<Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
> Also, with an X-Box or a D-Link or Linksys media center extender
(found on
> e-bay for $100), I can watch live or recorded TV, Blu-Ray movies,
DVD's, and
> just about anything else that Windows can decode on as many frontends
as my
> MCE server can handle,

I also meant to mention that this won't work in all cases. For
content not marked as copy-freely, Windows can record it and play it
back locally only. Copy-Once/Copy-Never content isn't sharable via
media center extenders as far as I understand it. Even TiVo has this
same restriction.

Note also that such content can be recorded via MythTV with an HDPVR
(even video on demand) and can be streamed to any frontend.

Eric
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eric at lisaneric

Feb 9, 2011, 1:37 PM

Post #9 of 253 (8099 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:28 PM, Reynolds, Brian
<Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
> I'd love to hear any experiences with WinMCE (positive or
> negative) from you guys.

This is probably the wrong list for that.

Most of us are pretty anti-Windows, so the fact that MCE is built on
top of Windows is already enough to turn most of us away.

Eric
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john.baab at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 1:44 PM

Post #10 of 253 (8087 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

> I also meant to mention that this won't work in all cases. †For
> content not marked as copy-freely, Windows can record it and play it
> back locally only. †Copy-Once/Copy-Never content isn't sharable via
> media center extenders as far as I understand it. †Even TiVo has this
> same restriction.
>
> Note also that such content can be recorded via MythTV with an HDPVR
> (even video on demand) and can be streamed to any frontend.

This is going to be the OP's main issue, TWC does some shady things
with all of their channels and they are not copy-freely. Therefor
none of his extenders will work with his cable card content. I
mentioned this in his original thread and pointed him at a combination
of the HDPVR and HDHR, but it looks like the message was ignored.
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john.baab at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 1:46 PM

Post #11 of 253 (8088 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

> One really cool thing about the Win MCE setup is that the extenders will
> allow me to watch a Blu-Ray that is inserted into the Win MCE machine.
> Not in 3D, but 2D should play just fine. †3D will only be available on
> the Win MCE machine with an installed video card that supports it. †That
> will save me from having to buy a bunch of Blu Ray players.

MythTV has Blu-Ray playback capabilities. Makemkv can also be
utilized to stream Blu-Rays across your network.
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bkamen at benjammin

Feb 9, 2011, 1:50 PM

Post #12 of 253 (8090 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On 2/9/2011 3:44 PM, john.baab [at] gmail wrote:
>
> This is going to be the OP's main issue, TWC does some shady things
> with all of their channels and they are not copy-freely. Therefor
> none of his extenders will work with his cable card content. I
> mentioned this in his original thread and pointed him at a combination
> of the HDPVR and HDHR, but it looks like the message was ignored.

That brings up a good point.. I hear cablecards are still a mystery to most local offices...
and when something goes wrong or doesn't work like you expect, who do you complain to that will --

A: Have even the slightest clue what you're talking about.
B: Care.
C: Be able to do anything about it.
D: That doesn't have their hands shackled by corporate.

Going with DRM doesn't seem like the answer and just feeds into the DRM-is-ok-cause-look-at-all-the-people-buying-into-it lie.

-Ben

p.s. I was also going to rant about the whole, "why do people *gotta have it*. We can just say NO, can't we?"
Imagine if everyone just rejected DRM schemes and really stuck to non-DRM solutions. When companies can't sell something
DRM based, they will give up or go out of business.

--
Ben Kamen - O.D.T., S.P.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Home: ben [at] benjammin http://www.benjammin.net
http://www.linkedin.com/in/benkamen
Murphy's Law:
RACF is a four letter word.
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jedi at mishnet

Feb 9, 2011, 1:50 PM

Post #13 of 253 (8103 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 09, 2011 at 04:26:51PM -0500, Eric Sharkey wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:18 PM, jedi <jedi [at] mishnet> wrote:
> > On Wed, Feb 09, 2011 at 11:51:08AM -0600, Reynolds, Brian wrote:
> >> So I've found this cool tuner card that has four tuners that use a
> >> single CableCARD to receive everything the cable company has to offer,
> >> except VOD. It's the Ceton InfiniTV (www.cetoncorp.com). It's $399.99
> >> and available now (with a 3 month backlog on orders).
> >
> > I can go to the local Frys and buy myself 2 Hauppauge 1212's today.
> >
> > I bought my HDHR at the local Microcenter.
> >
> > Sure, I don't have 4 cable tuners but this is all gear that's well
> > supported under any OS and is not vaporware or hopelessly backordered.
>
> For the record, the InfiniTV will be supported by MythTV in the near future.

That is subject to some very big caveats.

[deletia]
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eric at lisaneric

Feb 9, 2011, 1:51 PM

Post #14 of 253 (8096 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:46 PM, john.baab [at] gmail <john.baab [at] gmail> wrote:
> MythTV has Blu-Ray playback capabilities.

MythTV has limited Blu-Ray playback capabilities.

You can't yet just pop in a disc, use the on-disc menu, and access all
special features and such.

Eric
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eric at lisaneric

Feb 9, 2011, 2:01 PM

Post #15 of 253 (8094 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:50 PM, Ben Kamen <bkamen [at] benjammin> wrote:
> That brings up a good point.. I hear cablecards are still a mystery to most
> local offices...
> and when something goes wrong or doesn't work like you expect, who do you
> complain to that will --
>
> A: Have even the slightest clue what you're talking about.
> B: Care.
> C: Be able to do anything about it.
> D: That doesn't have their hands shackled by corporate.

You could say the same about using the firewire port on a STB, and the
answer would likely be the same: the people on this mailing list.

> Going with DRM doesn't seem like the answer and just feeds into the
> DRM-is-ok-cause-look-at-all-the-people-buying-into-it lie.

Fundamentally, CableCards don't have to be about DRM. If the channels
are flagged as Copy-Freely, then CableCards provide conditional
access, which isn't the same as DRM. It's only when Copy-Once or
Copy-Never content gets involved that you get into DRM territory.

Eric
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bkamen at benjammin

Feb 9, 2011, 2:07 PM

Post #16 of 253 (8094 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On 2/9/2011 4:01 PM, Eric Sharkey wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:50 PM, Ben Kamen<bkamen [at] benjammin> wrote:
>> That brings up a good point.. I hear cablecards are still a mystery to most
>> local offices...
>> and when something goes wrong or doesn't work like you expect, who do you
>> complain to that will --
>>
>> A: Have even the slightest clue what you're talking about.
>> B: Care.
>> C: Be able to do anything about it.
>> D: That doesn't have their hands shackled by corporate.
>
> You could say the same about using the firewire port on a STB, and the
> answer would likely be the same: the people on this mailing list.
>
>> Going with DRM doesn't seem like the answer and just feeds into the
>> DRM-is-ok-cause-look-at-all-the-people-buying-into-it lie.
>
> Fundamentally, CableCards don't have to be about DRM. If the channels
> are flagged as Copy-Freely, then CableCards provide conditional
> access, which isn't the same as DRM. It's only when Copy-Once or
> Copy-Never content gets involved that you get into DRM territory.

True. I wasn't saying cablecards were DRM, but a still "voodoo" to a lot of local offices...
to which, when it doesn't work - the people being paid to provide it to you are completely unhelpful.

The cable card just worked into the whole mixed up concept of "DRM" which is control. We so easily give control up when we can just say "no" and then eventually someone will offer us something we want when all others have gone out of business or suffered heavy losses.

I like to tell people --- "It's TV, not the end of the world. You'll live without... and have more money in your pocket."

Just say no to DRM control. (A new mantra. ;) )
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jedi at mishnet

Feb 9, 2011, 2:11 PM

Post #17 of 253 (8086 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 09, 2011 at 03:28:02PM -0600, Reynolds, Brian wrote:
> I've read all about the media center extenders... and they CAN play copy
> protected content because they don't store the content locally. They
> stream the video from the Win MCE machine, so they are made for this
> task.
>
> I realize that the extenders won't offer ALL the features of Windows,
> but they play all of the popular media formats for video, audio and
> pictures. Perfect for a bedroom, IMHO. Cheap and silent too.
>
> Copy-never and Copy-once content cannot, however, be played/copied to
> another Win MCE machine. But I'm only thinking that I'll need one...
> and it will serve all my needs and then some.
>
> As for commercial-skip... I read that there is a fix/hack for that in
> Win MCE, but I can't remember the details about it.
>
> I like the idea of being able to skip the ads on DVD's, but it's not a
> deal breaker for me... and there may be a hack for that in Windows also.
>
> One really cool thing about the Win MCE setup is that the extenders will
> allow me to watch a Blu-Ray that is inserted into the Win MCE machine.

That's interesting because the official MCE site seems to indicate that
BluRay is not directly supported at all. That's certainly not what I would
have thought but it seems to be the case. It looks like playing a BD disk
on an MCE extender would be much like doing it on a diskless Myth frontend.
That's assuming that the extender in question can handle BD content.


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justin.johnson3 at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 2:17 PM

Post #18 of 253 (8070 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 3:37 PM, Eric Sharkey <eric [at] lisaneric> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:28 PM, Reynolds, Brian
> <Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
>> I'd love to hear any experiences with WinMCE (positive or
>> negative) from you guys.
>
> This is probably the wrong list for that.
>
> Most of us are pretty anti-Windows, so the fact that MCE is built on
> top of Windows is already enough to turn most of us away.
>
> Eric

I'll bite; I've been using mythTV for 3 years now, and about seven
months ago thought I'd give WinMC a try, since I had a free license
for windows 7. I thought I'd give it a try because I too was looking
at the advent of cablecard and knew that I would likely need to change
my mythtv setup soon.
While it wasn't an all-around bad experience, there were several
things that I did not like:
1) While the UI was shiny, it offered no customization and I found it
difficult to navigate.
2) Using the on-screen guide was the only way to schedule a recording.
I couldn't just browse through an alphabetical list of all shows in
the next two weeks. This is how I regularly schedule things in mythTV,
in combination with mythweb.
3) Scheduling was a nightmare. This is probably one of the most
compelling reasons to use mythTV, the scheduler is far beyond anything
I've ever seen. Add to that the support of multirec and 3 physical
cards (2 digital, 1 analog) turns into 5+ cards, pretty much capable
of maneuvering around any conflicts.
4) I missed the commercial skip, but it wasn't as big a deal as the
ability to play back at 1.5x. When you record for 5 hours a night,
often multiple programs at a time, and several more during the day,
timestretch becomes a necessity.

All-in-all, I'd say MC is about what I would expect from any cable
company (nevermind that it's way above what you actually get from the
cc). You accept their design in exchange for near-full compatibility
with their system. I qualify that only because VOD doesn't work with
cablecard (I might be wrong).
I think most people here would agree, it's better than what the
cableCo has to offer, but nowhere near on the same level as mythTV.
--Justin Johnson
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justin.johnson3 at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 2:20 PM

Post #19 of 253 (8068 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:07 PM, Ben Kamen <bkamen [at] benjammin> wrote:
>
> I like to tell people --- "It's TV, not the end of the world. You'll live
> without... and have more money in your pocket."
>

But it seems like I'm constantly spending money on methods to
circumvent DRM so that I can use mythTv...
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john.baab at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 2:33 PM

Post #20 of 253 (8073 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:28 PM, Reynolds, Brian
<Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
> I've read all about the media center extenders... and they CAN play copy
> protected content because they don't store the content locally. †They
> stream the video from the Win MCE machine, so they are made for this
> task.
>
> I realize that the extenders won't offer ALL the features of Windows,
> but they play all of the popular media formats for video, audio and
> pictures. †Perfect for a bedroom, IMHO. †Cheap and silent too.
>
> Copy-never and Copy-once content cannot, however, be played/copied to
> another Win MCE machine. †But I'm only thinking that I'll need one...
> and it will serve all my needs and then some.
>
> As for commercial-skip... I read that there is a fix/hack for that in
> Win MCE, but I can't remember the details about it.
>
> I like the idea of being able to skip the ads on DVD's, but it's not a
> deal breaker for me... and there may be a hack for that in Windows also.
>
> One really cool thing about the Win MCE setup is that the extenders will
> allow me to watch a Blu-Ray that is inserted into the Win MCE machine.
> Not in 3D, but 2D should play just fine. †3D will only be available on
> the Win MCE machine with an installed video card that supports it. †That
> will save me from having to buy a bunch of Blu Ray players.
>
> You see, I just recently replaced ALL of my TV's with HDTV's... and now
> I'm looking for what can be done with them.
>
> I really like what you guys are doing with MythTV, but I think MCE will
> be a better fit for me. †Now I just have to cough up the cash to try it
> out. †That's a lot of money to dive into something without seeing it in
> action first. †I'd love to hear any experiences with WinMCE (positive or
> negative) from you guys.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: mythtv-users-bounces [at] mythtv
> [mailto:mythtv-users-bounces [at] mythtv] On Behalf Of Eric Sharkey
> Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 1:29 PM
> To: Discussion about MythTV
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] MythTV vs. Windows Media Center
>
> On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM, Reynolds, Brian
> <Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
>> Also, with an X-Box or a D-Link or Linksys media center extender
> (found on
>> e-bay for $100), I can watch live or recorded TV, Blu-Ray movies,
> DVD's, and
>> just about anything else that Windows can decode on as many frontends
> as my
>> MCE server can handle,
>
> I also meant to mention that this won't work in all cases. †For
> content not marked as copy-freely, Windows can record it and play it
> back locally only. †Copy-Once/Copy-Never content isn't sharable via
> media center extenders as far as I understand it. †Even TiVo has this
> same restriction.
>
> Note also that such content can be recorded via MythTV with an HDPVR
> (even video on demand) and can be streamed to any frontend.
>
> Eric
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>

Please don't top post on the list:
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Mailing_List_etiquette
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bkamen at benjammin

Feb 9, 2011, 3:09 PM

Post #21 of 253 (8064 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On 2/9/2011 4:20 PM, Justin Johnson wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:07 PM, Ben Kamen<bkamen [at] benjammin> wrote:
>>
>> I like to tell people --- "It's TV, not the end of the world. You'll live
>> without... and have more money in your pocket."
>>
>
> But it seems like I'm constantly spending money on methods to
> circumvent DRM so that I can use mythTv...

hahaha...

I'm not sure if you're being funny or not. :P

I assembled my mythtv for the following reasons:

1: multi-tuning system to record multiple channels at once (mostly to avoid conflicts but not more)
2: more capacity than my TiVo (I didn't feel like spnding money on a new TiVo and a new lifetime subscription only to be boxed in)
3: being open source, MythTV had the promise of always being extended resulting in reasonable and incremental upgrades.
4: It's Linux, I can do other things with the hardware if I want.
5: consolidate my Music, TV, Some DVD's into an all-in-one storage/playback center that's compatible with FE's/Extenders.

But here's where my point comes in....

If Myth didn't exist, I would not spend one more penny on a system that's so closed. (Tivo and other products have taught me that.)
Not that the TiVo is bad.. but you get rubbed when they End-Of-Life the product in the hyper-product cycles we're all so used to.
So the software upgrades stopped in short order... it just left a bad taste in my mouth for close-systems.

So I try to avoid them at all cost now.

I can't for the life of me understand why people jumped on iPods when the system was initially closed, you had to pretty much buy from iTunes at what I considered unreasonable prices when MP3 was already free and out of the bottle and LOTS of devices supported playing MP3's.

From what I remember from iTunes when I checked it out to buy music for my Palm T5 (2003? 2004?) was that I would have to burn the purchased music to CD, then RIP back to MP3, then fix the MP3 ID's (OMG!?! Are you kidding) just to get it back on my Palm. I don't care if it's different now. The point is (and any change on iTunes to ease this process proves my point) that as soon as I hit what I considered unreasonable resistance, my dollars went back in my pockets and Apple forever lost any chance at my business. That's just one example.

I spent minimal money on my TiVo -- it got blasted by lightning on the phone line -- it as barely a year out of warr -- and repair would have equated to getting a new unit and losing my lifetime sub. Whoa. Thankfully, I'm an EE in my copious spare time and I ended up repairing the blown parts on the horrid DAA arrangement in the TiVo -- but then getting a network card for it so I'd never have to hook it to the phone line again.
Surprisingly, the unit is still with me today even though I've swapped out HD's like 2-3 times to upgrade/replace old drives. Ha. I bet TiVo hates customers like me who get 10yrs out of their product. (actually, it's idle on the shelf now. Now that Comcast is digital, I have no one to lend it to.)

So being an EE, I love technology, but I can't stand when it makes things *harder* for me when the returns are minimal.

Thus, I can't understand when others gleefully spend money on stuff that makes getting their desired fulfilled difficult, they know it, they complain about it, but they keep shelling out money for it! (I'M IN THE WRONG BUSINESS!)

Haha, and I'm ranting. Carry on - nothing to see here.

-Ben



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nick.rout at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 3:09 PM

Post #22 of 253 (8070 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 11:20 AM, Justin Johnson
<justin.johnson3 [at] gmail> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:07 PM, Ben Kamen <bkamen [at] benjammin> wrote:
>>
>> I like to tell people --- "It's TV, not the end of the world. You'll live
>> without... and have more money in your pocket."
>>
>
> But it seems like I'm constantly spending money on methods to
> circumvent DRM so that I can use mythTv...

I must say that I live in an area where there are basically three
choices for TV:

1. Unencrypted Freeview (freeviewnz.tv) which myth can handle fine;

2. SkyTV which has most of what freeview has plus a whole lot more,
but is encrypted. I could pay for a subscription and use the analogue
hole (pvr150 or hdpvr). However I choose not to (I can't watch
everything I record from freeview anyway). If I was a big sports fan i
would have to, as they have almost a monopoly on most big sporting
events.

3. Analogue, which is pretty well a subset of what's on freeview, and
which I discount when I have such easy access to freview. It'll also
go away eventually.

In short, in my market, you can get a whole lot of TV unencrypted and
I feel sorry for people in other markets that seem to be getting more
and more bogged down by encryption. It seems that week after week in
the US we are seeing the digital switch being used as an excuse or
background to locking more and more people out of watching even pretty
basic programming, without getting some provider's STB.
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bkamen at benjammin

Feb 9, 2011, 3:19 PM

Post #23 of 253 (8065 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On 2/9/2011 5:09 PM, Nick Rout wrote:
>
> In short, in my market, you can get a whole lot of TV unencrypted and
> I feel sorry for people in other markets that seem to be getting more
> and more bogged down by encryption. It seems that week after week in
> the US we are seeing the digital switch being used as an excuse or
> background to locking more and more people out of watching even pretty
> basic programming, without getting some provider's STB.

Yep. People have told me that Comcast tells them the switch to Comcast digital was because the FCC made it a law. I love that.

There's always OTA and now a lot of channels are moving to the internet. Companies that try to wrest more control are just going to piss off their customer base.



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ajayrockrock at gmail

Feb 9, 2011, 3:29 PM

Post #24 of 253 (8079 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 1:37 PM, Eric Sharkey <eric [at] lisaneric> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 4:28 PM, Reynolds, Brian
> <Brian.Reynolds [at] fiserv> wrote:
>> I'd love to hear any experiences with WinMCE (positive or
>> negative) from you guys.
>
> This is probably the wrong list for that.
>
> Most of us are pretty anti-Windows, so the fact that MCE is built on
> top of Windows is already enough to turn most of us away.
>

I got a chance to play with it. The interface is nice and smooth,
I'll be honest, myth "feels" a little more clunky. It's mainly the
little animated transitions between windows and the fade-out/fade-in
animations when you select certain things.

Honestly though, I didn't spend too much time using it as this was on
a laptop hooked up to a TV so there wasn't a lot of "local" media. It
was already populated with some streaming services so I was able to
watch an episode of The Guild and that worked out okay. I did find
the menus a little confusing at times (but Myth's are no walk in the
park either).

It was nice and all, but there's no chance in hell I'd switch. Myth
is just too awesome and linux is just so flexible that you can do a
whole lot more with it then windows (or at least, *I* can do a lot
more with it then windows).

--Ajay
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ylee at pobox

Feb 9, 2011, 8:33 PM

Post #25 of 253 (8037 views)
Permalink
Re: MythTV vs. Windows Media Center [In reply to]

Justin Johnson <justin.johnson3 [at] gmail> says:
> 2) Using the on-screen guide was the only way to schedule a recording.
> I couldn't just browse through an alphabetical list of all shows in
> the next two weeks. This is how I regularly schedule things in
> mythTV, in combination with mythweb.

That's flabbergasting. So if the user hears about a cool TV show, but
doesn't know when or where it's on, he has to scan through the entire
grid of dozens or hundreds of shows for two weeks' worth of listings?

Speaking of user interfaces, I've mentioned before that one thing that
immediately impressed me about MythTV was how Watch Recordings very
cleverly uses two panes to offer both strict-chronological and
sorted-by-program listings of available recordings. Certainly my TiVo,
despite millions of dollars spent (usually quite justifiably) on the
user interface, didn't offer anything like that. In the five years
since I've yet to see anything better.

--
MythTV FAQ Q: "Cheap frontend/backend?" A: Revo, $200-300 @ Newegg
Q: "Record HD cable/satellite?" A: Hauppauge HD-PVR, $200 @ Newegg
Q: "Can't change Live TV channels w/multirec!" A: Hit NEXTCARD key
More answers @ <URL:http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/>
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