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Old 01-13-2014, 07:01 PM   #91
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Thanks, slowbiscuit. You had to go and poke the bear.
I actually just went on the forum by chance. My first hand experience with both platforms, and realization that MCE sucks bigtime is useful info for the OP.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:07 PM   #92
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Not useful at all since your skewed opinion has no bearing on the thread topic. Now, shoo. Go away. The grownups are trying to have a conversation.

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Old 01-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #93
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Not useful at all since your skewed opinion has no bearing on the thread topic. Now, shoo. Go away. The grownups are trying to have a conversation.
And who might that be??? Both of you are acting quite immaturely, with both of you insisting that your own personal experiences hold much more widely than they do. You have a skewed opinion also, that you have by now repeated much more often than Bigg has.

You have no right to tell somebody to "go away".
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #94
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If anybody reading this Thread has not gotten the answer they need after 93 posts, they will never get the answer, this Thread should be closed and not turn into name calling.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:23 AM   #95
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And who might that be??? Both of you are acting quite immaturely, with both of you insisting that your own personal experiences hold much more widely than they do. You have a skewed opinion also, that you have by now repeated much more often than Bigg has.

You have no right to tell somebody to "go away".
My opinion may be skewed, but not 100% negative like Bigg's. He insists that WMC should never be used by anyone, period, because he could never get it to work for him. I have always supported Tivos and I will continue to do so as they are by far the best standalone DVR platform available. I just think that WMC offers more features than a Tivo. They both have their pros and cons and that's what thread was intended to discuss.

I told Bigg to go away because once he gets involved in the conversation it tends to deteriorate rather quickly. I'm certainly not blameless for past flamefests, but I'm doing my best to keep any current threads from heading in that direction.

FYI, I have never injected my opinion into a thread on this topic unless someone else has opened the door on a discussion of WMC. My opinion is all it is and anyone following threads such as this would know that by now. I've never tried to force it on anyone as gospel or convert them from being a Tivo user. Use whatever platform works for you.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:36 PM   #96
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My opinion may be skewed, but not 100% negative like Bigg's. He insists that WMC should never be used by anyone, period, because he could never get it to work for him. I have always supported Tivos and I will continue to do so as they are by far the best standalone DVR platform available. I just think that WMC offers more features than a Tivo. They both have their pros and cons and that's what thread was intended to discuss.

I told Bigg to go away because once he gets involved in the conversation it tends to deteriorate rather quickly. I'm certainly not blameless for past flamefests, but I'm doing my best to keep any current threads from heading in that direction.

FYI, I have never injected my opinion into a thread on this topic unless someone else has opened the door on a discussion of WMC. My opinion is all it is and anyone following threads such as this would know that by now. I've never tried to force it on anyone as gospel or convert them from being a Tivo user. Use whatever platform works for you.
I have no objection to your opinion injection into these threads; I view your opinion as a valuable contribution to the community of an alternative they may not have thought much about. But I would point out two things:
1. Every deteriorating thread has you responding at length to Bigg in the deteriorating part.
2. IMO, the majority of the time that it deteriorates down to the personal attack level (like now), it is you and not Bigg that takes it that far down.

Both of these can be avoided.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:53 PM   #97
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I have no objection to your opinion injection into these threads; I view your opinion as a valuable contribution to the community of an alternative they may not have thought much about. But I would point out two things:
1. Every deteriorating thread has you responding at length to Bigg in the deteriorating part.
2. IMO, the majority of the time that it deteriorates down to the personal attack level (like now), it is you and not Bigg that takes it that far down.

Both of these can be avoided.
I can't argue with anything you're saying because it is true. Like I said, I'm doing my best to avoid any further such transgressions on my part. There was no personal attack on Bigg or anyone else, just a friendly jab (as indicated by the emoticon and the brevity of my response).
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:09 PM   #98
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Not useful at all since your skewed opinion has no bearing on the thread topic. Now, shoo. Go away. The grownups are trying to have a conversation.
I'm sorry that you don't think my first hand experience on the topic is worth anything, even though that's what this thread is about.

However, it is relevant to this thread, and I posted it, so the OP can learn from my mistakes and misconceptions about the [lack of] ability of MCE to be a useful and functional DVR system.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:24 PM   #99
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OP here. Twice now, I've come close to hitting the button to just close the thread. I haven't requested it because I am (slowly) building my own HTPC right now and hope to bring back stories about what I learn.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:03 AM   #100
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OP here. Twice now, I've come close to hitting the button to just close the thread. I haven't requested it because I am (slowly) building my own HTPC right now and hope to bring back stories about what I learn.
Good for you, I hope you are successful as the more options people have the better things are.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:26 AM   #101
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OP here. Twice now, I've come close to hitting the button to just close the thread. I haven't requested it because I am (slowly) building my own HTPC right now and hope to bring back stories about what I learn.
Can't say I blame you for that. I've been guilty of letting my passion for HTPCs override rational behavior and cause me to respond with more emotion than common sense. For that I deeply apologize. I hope that in some small way you did come away with some positive information regarding Windows Media Center to help you on your way.

FWIW, I'm a huge fan of both platforms and have been for some time. I've owned and modified literally dozens of various Tivos since they were first introduced. I followed hacking developments for Tivos from the days when the Tivo forums were part of the AVSForums before they split out and became the Tivo Community Forum. I was also an active participant at the "other" Tivo forum that discussed hacks that will forever remain nameless here (the TCF software filters out certain words, phrases, and URLs and censors them because they don't want anyone here to know about the good stuff).

I think the main reason I switched to HTPCs is the fact that you can't do much to hack a Tivo anymore. Most of the features enjoyed by Tivos users today were developed and used by the hacking community long before they made their way into the Tivo software. Now that I can no longer tweak my Tivos, I simply got bored with them. HTPCs give me the option to tweak to my heart's content. I don't view HTPCs as being superior to Tivos other than the fact that they are more flexible. As a standalone DVR I don't think there's a better product on the market than Tivo.

FYI - I used to go by the user name of captain_video here and I still use that name in various other forums.

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Old 01-15-2014, 08:54 AM   #102
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Like he said.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:20 PM   #103
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For me, one of the main reasons is the price. A Roamio can be over $1000 for some people with no other extenders or other hardware. Yes, there is resell value, but many people do not want -- and end up not going through -- that hassle.

The costs of an htpc are similar to a Roamio plus. A 6 tuner card alone is $300. Factor in the cost of a hard drive, mb, cpu, ram, case, power supply and a copy of Windows and there is little money to be saved especially given the appliance-like nature of a Roamio in comparison and its resale value and the lack of support going forward for WMC.

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Old 01-16-2014, 08:42 PM   #104
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OH btw one thing annoying about WMC is it does change guide data at the last minute and so say you select a show to record in the guide a few days in advance it can end up not being recorded because later the listing slightly changed in the guide.

It mostly has done that with sporting events for me. I'm more on the look out now for it. But sometimes the time can change slightly or the listing description changes and boom your show is not recorded.

It is probably due to the fact I often manually record sporting events straight from the tv guide. I don't think it affects my season passes any.

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:47 PM   #105
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I don't see a reason to choose anything but a Tivo Roamio today.
There are a significant number of people that just want a CableCARD DVR with just two or three tuners without having to pay a service fee. It is possible, for those that like to or do not mind tinkering, to build a HTPC with DRV capabilities with the prices shown below. All functional parts are new except the hard drive.

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A 6 tuner card alone is $300.
I do not need six tuners. I paid $114.95 for a two tuner Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650. I could have paid $90 for a new three tuner HDHomerun Prime.

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Factor in the cost of a hard drive
I paid less than zero dollars for a used TiVo Premiere, and I used the hard drive from it. I made a small profit from the sell of some of the Premiere components.

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, mb
I paid $167.99 for a ZOTAC Mini-ITX Motherboard D2550ITXS-B-U.

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Originally Posted by trip1eX View Post
, cpu
$0 -- Included with the mb

Quote:
Originally Posted by trip1eX View Post
, ram
I paid $37.68 for 4GB Crucial DDR3 2 2GB Memory Modules. I could have paid just half that with 2GB total.

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, case
I used a TiVo Premiere case. I paid less than $0 after I sold some of the Premiere components.

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, power supply
$0 -- Included with the mb

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and a copy of Windows
$0 -- I use open source software. It works for people that do not have copy-protected channels.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:28 PM   #106
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To build a decent and equivalent machine to a TiVo, the HTPC is nearly identical in cost. I built mine for exactly the same as the TiVo cost. You have to compare apples to apples, i.e. 6 tuner to 6 tuner.

The only reason not to use a TiVo Roamio is if you want DirecTV or DISH. If you're on cable/FIOS, the Roamio is clearly the best option. There is nothing else close on the market. MCE is completely worthless, the cable company DVRs suck, and they are nearly always more expensive than TiVo anyways, and far more limited in every way.

If it weren't for TiVo, I'd be paying more for DirecTV.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:01 AM   #107
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The costs of an htpc are similar to a Roamio plus. A 6 tuner card alone is $300. Factor in the cost of a hard drive, mb, cpu, ram, case, power supply and a copy of Windows and there is little money to be saved especially given the appliance-like nature of a Roamio in comparison and its resale value and the lack of support going forward for WMC.
I only paid $229 for my InfiniTV 6 on Black Friday weekend. The new SiliconDust 6-tuner model is reportedly going to be sold for only $150, which is why the 3-tuner models are selling for less than $100 now. I fully expect to see a price drop in the Ceton models if they want to be competitive with SiliconDust.

Consider that most people have already invested in a desktop PC or laptop. If they're running Windows 7 or Windows 8 or 8.1 Pro they can add a tuner and use Windows Media Center for minimal investment. I've always recommended that anyone interested in trying Windows Media Center to start off with the economical approach to see if it might be something they'd like to use. If they like it then they can invest in a dedicated PC for Media Center. You can find all kinds of turnkey off-the-shelf PCs for $300 or even less if you shop around, although the more popular approach is to build it yourself with exactly the components you want.

Guide data can definitely change at the last minute, especially for sporting events. I always select them manually to record in WMC and I've never missed one that I wanted to record. If shows don't get recorded due to fluctuating guide data then that's not something you can blame on WMC. It only records what you tell it to. If the guide data changes then it's coming from an outside source that WMC has no control over. Tivos can easily suffer from the same guide data changes so it's unrelated to either platform.

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MCE is completely worthless...
Which is clearly just your opinion. As a satisfied WMC user (and only one among thousands), I heartily disagree.

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:56 PM   #108
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I only paid $229 for my InfiniTV 6 on Black Friday weekend. The new SiliconDust 6-tuner model is reportedly going to be sold for only $150, which is why the 3-tuner models are selling for less than $100 now. I fully expect to see a price drop in the Ceton models if they want to be competitive with SiliconDust.

Consider that most people have already invested in a desktop PC or laptop. If they're running Windows 7 or Windows 8 or 8.1 Pro they can add a tuner and use Windows Media Center for minimal investment. I've always recommended that anyone interested in trying Windows Media Center to start off with the economical approach to see if it might be something they'd like to use. If they like it then they can invest in a dedicated PC for Media Center. You can find all kinds of turnkey off-the-shelf PCs for $300 or even less if you shop around, although the more popular approach is to build it yourself with exactly the components you want.

Guide data can definitely change at the last minute, especially for sporting events. I always select them manually to record in WMC and I've never missed one that I wanted to record. If shows don't get recorded due to fluctuating guide data then that's not something you can blame on WMC. It only records what you tell it to. If the guide data changes then it's coming from an outside source that WMC has no control over. Tivos can easily suffer from the same guide data changes so it's unrelated to either platform.
An MCE PC with decent specs is about the same as a TiVo with lifetime, at least with was back with the Premiere XL4.


Quote:
Which is clearly just your opinion. As a satisfied WMC user (and only one among thousands), I heartily disagree.
Some people may be satisfied with unreliable, sub-cable company DVR functionality. Most will not be.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:19 PM   #109
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Some people may be satisfied with unreliable, sub-cable company DVR functionality. Most will not be.
I mainly use the Roamio's now but my WMC has been running strong for the last 28 months without a hiccup. WMC solved my multi-room problem a few years ago and has been rock solid since I set it up.

Overall I think the Roamio is a much better solution for the vast majority of users but WMC has been very reliable for me. For those that want to tinker, WMC is a good set up. I still record shows with it but I use it less and less now.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:04 PM   #110
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Some people may be satisfied with unreliable, sub-cable company DVR functionality. Most will not be.
I don't know of anyone that would be satisfied with such a product. If you're implying that WMC falls into that category they we'll just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Any DVR, whether it be a Tivo, WMC PC, or cable company box, has the ability to record and play TV with a fair amount of reliability. I've never used a cable company DVR personally, but I compared them with all other available options when I switched to FIOS and discounted them for a laundry list of reasons. My brother-in-law uses one of the FIOS DVRs and has no complaints. I tried for years to get him to switch to a Tivo, but he just wasn't interested.

HTPCs and Tivos are at different ends of the same spectrum. At one end you have a DVR that works right out of the box with no assembly required. You plug it in, run setup, activate your cablecard, and you're good to go. Tivos are for those that just want to watch TV and aren't into tweaking PCs and such. OTOH, Tivo does offer a lot of extra features that go beyond what a basic DVR offers. The software is quite mature and it has a lot of sophisticated features unavailable to other DVR platforms, mainly due to copyrights held exclusively by Tivo. If you just want a device that you can set and forget, Tivo is definitely for you.

On the other end you have the hobbyists and tinkerers. These are the folks that make up the bulk of HTPC users. We like to experiment with new things and modify them to do more than what a simple DVR can do. Since WMC runs on a PC, it is not without problems inherent to that platform. Anyone who has built a HTPC has probably had some growing pains along the way. The ones that stuck with it and worked them out have found that WMC can be a very enjoyable experience. They've also discovered that the platform can be expanded to do far more than any other DVR. The one great thing about it is that if you don't like the way something looks or behaves in WMC you can generally change it to suit your tastes.

The point is, HTPCs aren't for everyone. I've mentioned this time and time again. Just because one individual had a bad experience with it is no reason to condemn the entire platform. I know I'm simplifying this because certainly more than one individual has had bad experiences with HTPCs, but the vast majority of them were people with little PC expertise that quickly discovered they were in over their heads. Early Windows 7 based HTPCs were problematic due to buggy software and conflicting drivers more than anything else. Every HTPC I've put together since the release of Service Pack 1 for Win 7 has been rock solid, regardless of what hardware I was using with it.

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Old 01-18-2014, 11:58 PM   #111
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There are a significant number of people that just want a CableCARD DVR with just two or three tuners without having to pay a service fee. It is possible, for those that like to or do not mind tinkering, to build a HTPC with DRV capabilities with the prices shown below. All functional parts are new except the hard drive.
If one could get over the caveat of buying used, a $300 lifetimed TiVo Premiere is a great DVR appliance that fits this requirement. Just another option to consider for folks making this decision with these constraints.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:49 AM   #112
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Of course, one irritant I have with WMC is that the list of other showings of a show is limited. On a popular show like NCIS where there's plenty of syndication and time-shift channels, it's impossible to see the entire list - there's so many showings that it really only gives you a week's worth of showings.

This is important for me as I need to reschedule the recording due to conflict. But I can't because the listings don't go far enough to record it! Of course, I can go to the guide and manually reschedule it there, but that's an annoyance.

There's probably a setting somewhere to increase the number of showings allowed or to show all showings, but I can't find it.

And shows that always show as "repeat" that are new episodes like Pawn Stars - which also only give you a week's worth of showings, so it's even more difficult to schedule.

I know on TiVo it shows everything it knows about.

Though I wish both would let me skip by day - there are so many showings that scrolling can be annoying. Only to remember that the showing is probably beyond the end of the list. I know when new episodes come out, so if I could ship forward by day it would be much better beyond the endless scrolling. At least TiVo shows you the date - WMC doesn't so if you miss the date it's a bunch of scrolling up and down.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #113
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I don't know of anyone that would be satisfied with such a product. If you're implying that WMC falls into that category they we'll just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Any DVR, whether it be a Tivo, WMC PC, or cable company box, has the ability to record and play TV with a fair amount of reliability. I've never used a cable company DVR personally, but I compared them with all other available options when I switched to FIOS and discounted them for a laundry list of reasons. My brother-in-law uses one of the FIOS DVRs and has no complaints. I tried for years to get him to switch to a Tivo, but he just wasn't interested.

HTPCs and Tivos are at different ends of the same spectrum. At one end you have a DVR that works right out of the box with no assembly required. You plug it in, run setup, activate your cablecard, and you're good to go. Tivos are for those that just want to watch TV and aren't into tweaking PCs and such. OTOH, Tivo does offer a lot of extra features that go beyond what a basic DVR offers. The software is quite mature and it has a lot of sophisticated features unavailable to other DVR platforms, mainly due to copyrights held exclusively by Tivo. If you just want a device that you can set and forget, Tivo is definitely for you.

On the other end you have the hobbyists and tinkerers. These are the folks that make up the bulk of HTPC users. We like to experiment with new things and modify them to do more than what a simple DVR can do. Since WMC runs on a PC, it is not without problems inherent to that platform. Anyone who has built a HTPC has probably had some growing pains along the way. The ones that stuck with it and worked them out have found that WMC can be a very enjoyable experience. They've also discovered that the platform can be expanded to do far more than any other DVR. The one great thing about it is that if you don't like the way something looks or behaves in WMC you can generally change it to suit your tastes.

The point is, HTPCs aren't for everyone. I've mentioned this time and time again. Just because one individual had a bad experience with it is no reason to condemn the entire platform. I know I'm simplifying this because certainly more than one individual has had bad experiences with HTPCs, but the vast majority of them were people with little PC expertise that quickly discovered they were in over their heads. Early Windows 7 based HTPCs were problematic due to buggy software and conflicting drivers more than anything else. Every HTPC I've put together since the release of Service Pack 1 for Win 7 has been rock solid, regardless of what hardware I was using with it.
That's all great in theory. If there was a good piece of DVR software out there, it would work in practice. The ability to build a DVR with 50TB of storage and 20 tuners is great, in theory. The problem is, there is no good DVR software out there. I could see MCE as a back-up system with an OTA card backing up a CableCard TiVo, or for occasional use at a vacation home, but other than something like that, it just doesn't cut it. It's a nightmare to use, the interface is horrible, and it's unreliable. TiVo is for everyone who wants anything more than the cable company DVR.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #114
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Of course, one irritant I have with WMC is that the list of other showings of a show is limited. On a popular show like NCIS where there's plenty of syndication and time-shift channels, it's impossible to see the entire list - there's so many showings that it really only gives you a week's worth of showings.

This is important for me as I need to reschedule the recording due to conflict. But I can't because the listings don't go far enough to record it! Of course, I can go to the guide and manually reschedule it there, but that's an annoyance.

There's probably a setting somewhere to increase the number of showings allowed or to show all showings, but I can't find it.

And shows that always show as "repeat" that are new episodes like Pawn Stars - which also only give you a week's worth of showings, so it's even more difficult to schedule.

I know on TiVo it shows everything it knows about.

Though I wish both would let me skip by day - there are so many showings that scrolling can be annoying. Only to remember that the showing is probably beyond the end of the list. I know when new episodes come out, so if I could ship forward by day it would be much better beyond the endless scrolling. At least TiVo shows you the date - WMC doesn't so if you miss the date it's a bunch of scrolling up and down.
Interesting. I've never had to deal with this issue so I'm completely unaware that it exists. However, you can narrow down the list if you're only interested in recording a show on a specific channel for which you've configured the series recording. Select the "view scheduled" option at the top of the recorded tv list and then select "Series" from the list on the left of the next screen. Locate the show you're interested in from the list on the right. Select it and it will show a list of all shows airing on that specific channel, depending on how you have the series record settings. In my case, I have it set to New only for NCIS. Since NCIS is currently airing reruns, nothing was listed for upcoming shows on the channel specified for my series recording.

FWIW, I just did a search for all showings of NCIS and it returned 165 showings from Monday, January 20th, to Wednesday, January 29th, or about 10 days worth of shows.

If you want other channel options to record from then set up a temporary series recording for that channel and repeat the process described above. While I haven't confirmed it, the list should display all upcoming shows airing in the current guide data listing for the channel specified. You can manually download the latest guide listing to make sure it extends as far as possible. Go to the main screen, select "settings" under "Tasks". Select "TV", then "Guide", and then "Get Latest Guide Listings". The guide data is downloaded in the background and a pop up alert will let you know when it's complete.

A simple solution to avoid conflicts is to get more tuners. I have more than enough tuners in my setup so there are never any conflicts, which is why I've never encountered this problem. One of the primary reasons to go with WMC is the ability to add as many tuners as you need so you never have to deal with this type of situation.

I'm pretty sure WMC will automatically reschedule a recording for the next airing on the channels you've specified if it runs into a conflict. You can go into the record settings for a show and change the specific channel setting to just record HD only or SD only and it will pick the next scheduled showing to record for any conflicts.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:00 PM   #115
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Must resist the urge.

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Old 01-19-2014, 07:44 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Bigg View Post
It's a nightmare to use, the interface is horrible, and it's unreliable.
I am not sure if you are just egging on Mr. unnatural or someone on the MCE team at Microsoft did something to you personally or what but this is a bit much. I have used a TiVo since the day the DirecTV model came available and MCE since it was a standalone XP based. I think they both have their places and at times due to TiVo hardware issues my MCE box has been more reliable. If you install Windows 7 vanilla (no additional software to muck things up) and have a network based tuner with reliable PC hardware I will put it up against a TiVo on uptime any day. Same for missed recordings.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:45 PM   #117
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I am not sure if you are just egging on Mr. unnatural or someone on the MCE team at Microsoft did something to you personally or what but this is a bit much. I have used a TiVo since the day the DirecTV model came available and MCE since it was a standalone XP based. I think they both have their places and at times due to TiVo hardware issues my MCE box has been more reliable. If you install Windows 7 vanilla (no additional software to muck things up) and have a network based tuner with reliable PC hardware I will put it up against a TiVo on uptime any day. Same for missed recordings.
I'm saying it because I used MCE and then got a TiVo because MCE sucked. The HTPC is good for certain things, but being a DVR isn't one of them.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:41 AM   #118
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[quote=mr.unnatural;9975739]Interesting. I've never had to deal with this issue so I'm completely unaware that it exists. However, you can narrow down the list if you're only interested in recording a show on a specific channel for which you've configured the series recording. Select the "view scheduled" option at the top of the recorded tv list and then select "Series" from the list on the left of the next screen. Locate the show you're interested in from the list on the right. Select it and it will show a list of all shows airing on that specific channel, depending on how you have the series record settings. In my case, I have it set to New only for NCIS. Since NCIS is currently airing reruns, nothing was listed for upcoming shows on the channel specified for my series recording.[quote]

Yeah, I chose NCIS as it's one of the two. And "new" does work, but for other shows (like say, Pawn Stars that History endlessly repeats and hides new episode in) it doesn't because they're all marked as repeat, while TiVo has them as new. Without TiVo, I would miss them.

But thanks for the tip - I'll give it a try. Hopefully that'll work much better for a few shows that have so many syndications showing.

Quote:
FWIW, I just did a search for all showings of NCIS and it returned 165 showings from Monday, January 20th, to Wednesday, January 29th, or about 10 days worth of shows.
I usually only get 7-10, but that's just because in Canada, we also have French syndications, simsubs (so a local channel will show it, AND a US network will show it), timeshifts (I can catch it on an eastern network too!). On a quick check as of this post, I have Other Showings of NCIS from 8AM January 20, to 8PM January 28. My guide is good until 11PM January 31. There are 151 Other Showings and it stops at 8PM on the 28th (a tuesday). There are plenty of Wednesday showings - checking my guide, I see showings on Wednesday, the 29th, Thursday (30th) and Friday (31) on a channel that airs it daily. The guide is incomplete on Friday (it ends at 3PM, rather than 11PM), but on the last page, I see 3 showings on the 31st of what I have. There's probably some limit somewhere. Hell, if I can get 165, that would generally get me most showings I do want to record of all the programming that's highly syndicated.

Most annoying because when I do my guide copying (on Saturdays), I have data to Thursday or Friday night (about 12-13 days of data). But shows like NCIS (among others) have so many showings that having more than 8-9 days of showings is a miracle. It's worse when you have 10 days - because it usually means I get until Tuesday, 12PM or something.

Quote:
A simple solution to avoid conflicts is to get more tuners. I have more than enough tuners in my setup so there are never any conflicts, which is why I've never encountered this problem. One of the primary reasons to go with WMC is the ability to add as many tuners as you need so you never have to deal with this type of situation.

I'm pretty sure WMC will automatically reschedule a recording for the next airing on the channels you've specified if it runs into a conflict. You can go into the record settings for a show and change the specific channel setting to just record HD only or SD only and it will pick the next scheduled showing to record for any conflicts.
Except, the hardware I have only supports one tuner. And since I have to IR blast a cablebox, it's probably only logical that only one tuner is supported. And yes, WMC resolves conflicts (even if you click cancel on the conflict resolution). However, I tend to override them because of the way the conflicts tend to exist - as it's an IR blasted cablebox, the box doesn't always respond and has a habit of dropping a digit at times when it gets busy, like when it clears out its guide data on the hour. If I schedule shows with a small time gap, and then use auto-padding, things generally work out. This applies for back-to-back shows, too, so if I record history from 6-9PM (5 shows - 6-6:30, 6:30-7, 7-7:30, 7:30-8, 8-9) it can screw up somewhere in that chain because the box was too busy and ignored a digit.

If anyone ever says the FCC is too strict, all they need to do is look up north to see what happens when cable companies, content companies and such all get together. You have to buy their cable box. They will not activate cableboxes that you did not buy from them. Even if it's exactly the same cablebox. They do not activate based on CableCARD, even though the box has CableCARDs in it - the activation number is a single number because internally, it's all linked together inside. Oh yeah, Firewire's a pain. They conveniently break it and then fix it to become unreliable.

Thanks for the tip - filtering out the huge lists by channel definitely helps.

And cableboxes suck. Why is that such a universal truth? I mean, why is it so hard for any software developer who writes this crap to see what TiVo, WMC and others do?! Is it so difficult to generate even TiVo's simplistic SD UI that's 1000x more usable than what cable companies put out? Maybe back in 1998, but 16 years later we still have crap.

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Old 01-20-2014, 07:44 AM   #119
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I didn't realize you were up north. You folks have a completely different set of problems to deal with. I can't tell from your posts whether or not you can use a cablecard tuner in your PC, but if you can, that would certainly alleviate your conflict issues and avoid having to use an IR blaster with a cable box.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:22 AM   #120
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No cablecard - while the cable providers DO use cablecard boxes, NONE support third-party products. Otherwise I'd toss the crap out and plug 'em into my TiVo.

Instead, what I use is a Hauppage Collosus, which is a high-def capture card. It connects to the cablebox via component (and can capture up to 1080i) and streams out h.264 encoded video. It features an IR blaster and appears to WMC as a regular digital tuner. Unfortunately, the WMC support is limited to a single "tuner". (There are two possible units - you can use the HD-PVR which is a USB2 external capture box, or the Collosus, which lives inside the computer hooked to the PCIe bus).

Needless to say, the Collosus is better because when WMC sleeps the PC, the card resets (both devices have problems where teh firmware crashes - on the HD-PVR, you MUST reboot the computer. With the Collosus, most of the time, the sleep/wakeup resets the firmware and un-wedges the card. Still, it does fail from time to time).

Like I said, it's an FCC law that requires US cable companies to support cablecard and third-party boxes. In Canada, with no such rule, the cable companies are greedy and basically lock you out.
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