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What is the difference between Tivo and Windows Media Center?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dtivouser, Dec 28, 2013.

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  1. Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    No, it's not just on startup - it's anytime the WMC app starts. So if you start it, it takes 5 minutes. If you close it then reopen it, it takes 5 minutes.

    And yes, it has WMC on SSD and a 3TB HDD for recordings. The thing is so overspec'ed that really, delays are abnormal, and it only started yesterday. With nothing changed, either - I didn't install anything, literally.
     
  2. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Member

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    Mar 5, 2004
    Maybe you tried this already but have you tried running the task manger and check the processes screen to see what's running in the background. You might have changed nothing on the computer but something may have changed on it's own. Weird things can happen with computers.
     
  3. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Paradise...
    I've seen these kinds of slowdowns with some Windows Updates. Do you have yours doing auto downloads and installs? If so, maybe you can go back in time to a restore point before it started?
     
  4. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    There's definitely something hinky going on that's beyond normal. WMC shouldn't take five minutes or even 30 seconds to start up. I would definitely look into whatever changes have been made since the behavior presented itself.

    Have you allowed Windows Update to install device drivers? This can happen and sometimes the results aren't always desirable. Anytime I see WU display a driver update I hide the update and seek out the latest driver myself rather than relying on Microsoft to get it right. I never let any updates install automatically and always check the list before allowing anything to get installed. The last time I let WU install a device driver it totally hosed my network connection.

    If you run a Windows backup then you might want to consider rolling back your PC to an earlier configuration. If you're not doing a regular backup then you might want to start doing so once you get the issue resolved. Don't forget to create a rescue disc so it can recover the backup image and install it. Make sure the backup image is stored on a separate drive from your OS.
     
  5. Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    It's not taking 5 minutes to start up, it's taking 5 minutes the first time to go into Recorded TV. After that, it's fast ,just the first one.

    Though, I figured it out. Apparently something decided to put a bunch of network shares in the Recorded TV library area. That network share went down when the server OS hard drive took a crap and caused the server to crash continually. Removed the network shares from the Media Libraries area and all is good again.

    It's those little things that annoy - you'd think they'd spawn that off to another thread or something so you don't sit there wondering if WMC is crashed....
     
  6. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    That certainly explains it. I have an unRAID server that I configured to spin down the drives if they've been inactive for about 10-15 minutes. When I try to access the server it takes several minutes for everything to spin up so I can see the contents. In your case, WMC was looking for folders on the server and kept trying to find them, resulting in the extended delay. It eventually timed out and went with what was available.

    This is basically a Windows issue and not specifically related to WMC. It just happened that the folders it was looking for were mapped as part of the WMC Media Library. Had you tried to connect to the server via Windows Explorer from the desktop it would sit there for a length of time before timing out.

    In any case, glad to hear you got it figured out. This is why HTPCs are geared towards hobbists that have the patience to deal with issues like this. It's still frustrating when it happens, but nothing catastrophic.
     
  7. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    Apr 2, 2005
    The problem is you don't know where the hobby starts and stops. ONe half of the time you talk about WMC as if it is a plug and play device. When people call you on it you resort to falling back on the "I've always said its a hobbyist device" line.

    But if you really thought WMC was a hobbyist device like most of us do you then wouldn't argue with someone when they say Tivo is the way to go today.

    My whole point has been that a few years ago WMC had some advantages to it that were major advantages. Not minor ones or debatable advantages. And it still had MS support. The case for WMC was much much stronger a few years ago. Even then it had its hobbyist hurdles standing in the way, but certainly there was a much greater reward for overcoming those obstacles back then if you wanted a DVR.

    Today those major rewards don't exist. Today there just is very little case for WMC over Tivo. That is just the bottom line. Today's reality.

    Exceptions are there of course. You want a hobby. You want to fool around with storing various media on your pc and digitizing discs etc etc then by all means. But that kind of person really isn't comparing Tivo to WMC in the first place.

    No one says you have to stop liking WMC. But you could take the blinders off and stop pretending like WMC is in the same position relative to Tivo that it was a few years ago.
     
  8. Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    Sep 15, 2000
    May not be related to WMC, but it's something that we can say should've been handled better in the end. I mean, WMC knows they're network shares, so it should be prepared to handle the extremely common case that a network share goes down.

    Imagine if the share was on a laptop that goes in and out of the house, finding the cause of it would be almost impossible. Or even if it was inside the house, but on flaky WiFi.

    Yeah, you do run into problems with disappearing shows, but that can be handled with a simple placeholder saying "Server \\Server is not responding" placeholder in the list instead of stalling the entire WMC app for minutes.

    And no, I didn't connect to my home server. I know something in it was flaky (turned out the main system drive was failing) so I never bothered. Considering I use it as a network backup server rather than a media server (Home Server is probably one of the best backup and restore systems out there - it's quiet, it works, and it's automatic), I never considered that it would have done this.

    To me, I don't care whose fault it is - such things can be handled with more grace than they are.
     
  9. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Then you're complete out of touch with reality. WMC users number in the tens of thousands, if not more. Granted, that's a relatively small number in the grand scheme of things, but they're out there and we're here to stay. :p

    I have a friend that is about the furthest thing from being a computer geek or hobbyist as you can get. He uses WMC with a cablecard tuner on a regular basis. What you fail to realize is that many people are becoming cord cutters and looking for any way they can to sever ties with TV providers or minimize their costs as much as possible. HTPCs are an attractive solution for many of these folks. Anyone using Windows 7 already has most of what they need to turn their PC into a full-fledged DVR. Problem is, Microsoft did such a piss-poor job of promoting WMC that most people don't even know what it's for or how to use it. Tivo is also a viable option, but tends to be somewhat limited with regards to the types of capabilities cord cutters are looking for.

    What I find amusing is the bit that I quoted above from your last post. I just read an article the other day that listed buzzwords that should never be used in a job interview as they tend to lessen your credibility. Your post contains quite a few of them with a couple of them used in the quoted portion alone. I had to chuckle because it just puts things into a much larger perspective for me. :D
     
  10. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    He makes valid points and you insult him/her?? You have to realize have much acrimony you personally are causing in this thread.

    You've been contradicting yourself throughout this thread just along the lines that you are accused of here. You've claimed that it's fine for non-hobbyists, and that once you got it set up, you personally didn't have to do any work to maintain it. You then have mentioned in passing in different threads half a dozen things that you had to do to keep it working.

    Make up your mind - either defend it only for hobbyists, or say it's for everybody. You can't make a case it's for everybody (as you did yet again in the post above), and then when people object to your claims, say that you are only recommending it for hobbyists.
     
  11. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    How and why would cord cutters use a cable card ???? :confused:
     
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    There are different levels of cord cutting. The very definition of cord cutting is finding ways to receive program material while keeping costs to a minimum. The most extreme is to cut yourself off from a provider and just go with OTA or internet sources. The most basic level is to rid yourself of the extra expense of renting boxes from the cable company. Renting a single cablecard to operate multiple tuners is a cord cutting solution at the basic level.

    It wasn't meant as an insult but rather an amusing observation. The validity of his random posts are a matter of opinion, which he is entitled to. I simply do not share the same viewpoint as him in several areas.

    While it is true I had my share of issues with HTPCs, they generally occurred when I first started out and were mainly due to faulty hardware. My current HTPCs are essentially trouble-free and require virtually no maintenance to keep them running smoothly. About the only thing I do is run Windows Update every few weeks to install the latest security updates.

    I have never claimed HTPCs were for everyone and have indicated they were mainly for hobbyists numerous times. However, that doesn't mean anyone with basic PC skills can't configure a Windows 7 PC with a TV tuner and use WMC as a DVR or media player. This is the target audience that Microsoft was aiming for, even if they fell way short of the mark. In that regard it can overlap into both markets quite easily. My opinion is that even if you're not a hobbyist and your interest is piqued by what a HTPC can do, give it a shot and see if you like it. You don't necessarily have to be a hobbyist to set up a HTPC, but it doesn't hurt if you intend to extend the capabilities beyond what WMC can offer. HTPCs are new territory for most people and you can find yourself in over your head pretty quickly if you don't know what you're getting into, which is why I mostly say it's for hobbyists. If you keep it simple then there's no reason it can't work for just about anyone. The only caveat being that it's on a PC platform and can suffer from the same problems as any other PC.
     
  13. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    You don't need a WMC for that, a single 4 or 6 tuner TiVo will do the same thing. Put some Minis with that and you would have great whole house system.
     
  14. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    That's true, but anyone that's looking to cut costs are more likely to already own a PC. I've seen numerous threads in HTPC forums where adding a few tuners would be preferable and less expensive than buying all new Tivos and Minis. Clearly, these folks are in a small minority. True cord cutters would want to stick with OTA and whatever they can cull from the internet rather than pay a provider for programming.
     
  15. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    Apr 2, 2005
    So you read all about lessening credibility and that's what you posted? :D

    You insult me. You don't addresss my point. And you create a bunch of strawmen. :rolleyes:

    You can like and enjoy WMC without it being the way to go today. I do. IT still works. IT does the job. But there is a better choice today, exceptions aside.

    I'm going to take all your non-replies as tacit agreement.
     
  16. Apr 1, 2014 #296 of 312
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Then you are sadly mistaken, sir. ;) There is nothing to respond to as your points are vague and clearly biased. I see no point in arguing against something that is primarily your personal opinion. That is a complete exercise in futility and not worth wasting bandwidth. You continue to claim you know what I think and what I want, yet you know me not at all. I do not seek to defend WMC but rather point out the fallacies in your assertions.

    WMC is not the best DVR app out there, but it is adequate for what a lot of people need. Tivo is definitely the best standalone DVR platform available, but it is extremely limited when trying to be more than a DVR. Despite it's lack of sophisticated DVR features, WMC is a capable media center frontend that does what it is designed to do, even with the various bugs and flaws. You talk of the many advancements that Tivo has made, but most of what I've seen amounts to a lot of fluff with regards to the OS and various gadgets. The addition of the Tivo Mini extenders and up to six tuners is a huge step forward for Tivo, but HTPCs had that capability long before Tivo decided to play catch-up. Aside from trying to emulate features already available to HTPC users, Tivo has pretty much maxed out any functionality they could add to a DVR platform.

    The most glaring differences between Tivo and HTPCs are quite simple. Tivo is a fixed platform. It is what it is, period, and there is nothing you can do to change that except buy the next generation Tivo and hope that whatever features you want may have been incorporated. HTPCs are expandable and can be modified to suit your tastes and needs without any complicated hacks. If you don't like WMC, you have numerous other choices, depending on what sort of media center platform you wish to configure.

    Deciding which platform to choose all boils down to comparing the features that are most important to you. You make a list and put the features you want in the pros column and the lack thereof in the cons. Whichever one suits your needs will present itself without the need for endless rhetoric from us.
     
  17. Apr 1, 2014 #297 of 312
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    In the ATL
    This is entirely your opinion, as pointed out here there are many cases where WMC is still superior. You are trying to post this as fact when it is simply not true. Each option has its own strengths and weaknesses.
     
  18. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

    2,767
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    Apr 2, 2005
    All I'm doing is stating facts. Most people don't want hobbies when they want a DVR. Most aren't into tinkering with computers . And all the major advantages that WMC had against Tivo are wiped out compared to a few years ago.

    Thus Tivo is the way to go.

    And don't get me wrong. WMC does the job. I use it everyday. IT is my DVR. But I mean come on the argument for WMC today is very weak sauce because of the facts above.
     
  19. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    No, you're still simply stating your opinion as if it was a fact, same as Bigg loves to do.
     
  20. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    Apr 2, 2005
    If you didn't agree with me you would have responded to my major points. But in all your posts you never did. Nothing vague about these points. I've stated them many times. Go back and read them if you need to.


    Vague.

    I've said this many times. These are 2 of my very specific reasons for Tivo being the way to go today. These specifics are what you are calling vague above.

    Also let me add that arguably Tivo is ahead in the extender game now. Besides price, who wouldn't want a Mini over a 360 or Echo as an extender?


    Vague.


    Plug and play vs hobby is a big difference. I mean just that alone will make a Tivo the choice to go to for a majority of people compared to WMC.

    And you treat expandability and configuration as if its an off the shelf, plug and play feature. It is closer to performing complicated hacks for most people. This also says nothing about said quality compared to an off the shelf product like a Tivo.

    just like you compare building your own couch to buying one at Crate and Barrel right?

    And speak for yourself about the endless rhetoric.
     
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