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Old 03-22-2014, 08:28 AM   #271
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This entire thread has been about comparing apples to oranges. Aside from basic DVR functions, the common areas shared between Tivo and HTPCs are few and far between. One device is a plug and play appliance whereas the other is a hobbyist's tool. You have to decide for yourself whether you're just a TV watcher or a hobbyist. Just know that a HTPC can be a frustrating experience for some, but the end result can be quite rewarding. If WMC doesn't float your boat then there are quite a few alternatives out there that might, albeit with certain limitations when it comes to encrypted TV channels.

While Microsoft has stopped any further development of WMC, third parties continue to develop apps and tweaks to improve the experience. WMC certainly isn't the final solution and it won't appeal to everyone. It's got issues and can be a nightmare to work with on occasion, but Tivo has it's own set of problems. These forums are riddled with threads about issues people have with Tivos so if you think they're perfect then you're just fooling yourself. OTOH, I have personally never experienced the vast majority of issues that have been reported for either Tivos or HTPCs. These problems tend to be more of the exception rather than the rule, but certain people would rather dwell on the negative than the positive. Most of the negative points that have been raised regarding HTPCs are just minor nits to me, and in most cases aren't even on my radar. If these things are that important then stick with what makes you happy.

Each system has pros and cons and each may excel in one or more areas where the other lacks. It all boils down to what you want to do and whether you want to invest any time in it. I was an old school Tivo tweaker going back to the very first models. I spent countless hours learning how to hack an "appliance" to make it better. Most of the features we put into our Tivos are now embedded in the OS and part of the basic platform. Aside from dealing with encryption issues, there really is no need to hack a Tivo anymore. The current Tivos are a direct result of things that were developed by hobbyists and tweakers (you're welcome, BTW ).

Frankly, Tivos have become boring because of the simple fact that they are no longer a hobbyist's toy but have become an appliance that just does what it does. They're just not fun for me anymore, which is why I migrated to HTPCs. I can tweak and modify them to my heart's delight. I also like the fact that, instead of having multiple components to perform various tasks, I now have a one box solution that does everything and does them all quite well.

Tivos are for watching and recording TV and streaming from Netflix or whatever features Tivo decides to include with no approval from the user. HTPCs are for hobbyists that like to push the envelope and customize it for their own personal needs and desires. If you're afraid of potential problems with HTPCs then you should stick with Tivos. Arguing about one platform being better than the other for whatever reason is pointless. It's all about personal preference.

If one platform has features that work better for you then that's probably the one you want to go with. Tivo has a lot of features that are done better than WMC and the software is more mature. WMC is lacking in areas where Tivo excels, but the platform allows for improvements that can be implemented by the user. In other words, HTPCs give you choices. Tivo gives you what Tivo, Inc., decides to give you.

HTPCs are more versatile than Tivos. That's an indisputable fact. Problems aside, HTPCs can do more than any Tivo out there. If your HTPC gives you problems, then it sucks to be you. It happens. If you decide to take that road then you should expect things to happen. OTOH, if your hardware and software selections are compatible, you shouldn't have any major issues.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:44 AM   #272
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I agree with mr.unnatural last post and will add one more thought. There is no reason you can not have both, in fact I have many TiVos, My HTPC, and streaming devices from 4 different companies all attached to the same TV (I am typing this in my lazy boy via my HTPC on my 50inch plasma). I say buy what you want (assumes you can afford it), don't worry about what other people say is better or best, and enjoy what you have.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:30 PM   #273
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The WMC setup now makes for a much worse comparison to Tivo than it did a few years ago. That's why the Tivo is the way to go. That's all. That''s today's reality.

You can post paragraphs of well maybe this or that will work in the future if I do this or that or if you spend this or that amount of money and put in this amount of time etc etc then you can get it to this or that point and you can get these extra things if you do install this or that .....it just all acknowledges the larger truth. Tivo is the way go.

I enjoy my WMC setup, but I'm not blind. I can't say the same thing for you.

This thread is about differences in the platforms and the differences have tilted in Tivo's favor. I don't have to convince anyone. The facts speak for themselves. And this doesn't mean WMC can't do the job. Or doesn't do the job. OR won't be someone's cup of tea. And that you or anyone else including myself can't and doesn't enjoy WMC. But the facts have changed the past few years. I am just acknowledging today's reality.
Quite true.

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WMC had a big advantage in price a few years ago because Tivo had no extenders. That advantage isn't there today.

The cheaper part is a stretch today compared to a few years ago.
This is key. When it was $650 plus $7.95/mo PER TV, TiVo was a bad value proposition. Now at $250 per TV with no monthly cost, it's a much better option for households with multiple TVs.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
This entire thread has been about comparing apples to oranges. Aside from basic DVR functions, the common areas shared between Tivo and HTPCs are few and far between. One device is a plug and play appliance whereas the other is a hobbyist's tool. You have to decide for yourself whether you're just a TV watcher or a hobbyist. Just know that a HTPC can be a frustrating experience for some, but the end result can be quite rewarding. If WMC doesn't float your boat then there are quite a few alternatives out there that might, albeit with certain limitations when it comes to encrypted TV channels.

While Microsoft has stopped any further development of WMC, third parties continue to develop apps and tweaks to improve the experience. WMC certainly isn't the final solution and it won't appeal to everyone. It's got issues and can be a nightmare to work with on occasion, but Tivo has it's own set of problems. These forums are riddled with threads about issues people have with Tivos so if you think they're perfect then you're just fooling yourself. OTOH, I have personally never experienced the vast majority of issues that have been reported for either Tivos or HTPCs. These problems tend to be more of the exception rather than the rule, but certain people would rather dwell on the negative than the positive. Most of the negative points that have been raised regarding HTPCs are just minor nits to me, and in most cases aren't even on my radar. If these things are that important then stick with what makes you happy.

Each system has pros and cons and each may excel in one or more areas where the other lacks. It all boils down to what you want to do and whether you want to invest any time in it. I was an old school Tivo tweaker going back to the very first models. I spent countless hours learning how to hack an "appliance" to make it better. Most of the features we put into our Tivos are now embedded in the OS and part of the basic platform. Aside from dealing with encryption issues, there really is no need to hack a Tivo anymore. The current Tivos are a direct result of things that were developed by hobbyists and tweakers (you're welcome, BTW ).

Frankly, Tivos have become boring because of the simple fact that they are no longer a hobbyist's toy but have become an appliance that just does what it does. They're just not fun for me anymore, which is why I migrated to HTPCs. I can tweak and modify them to my heart's delight. I also like the fact that, instead of having multiple components to perform various tasks, I now have a one box solution that does everything and does them all quite well.

Tivos are for watching and recording TV and streaming from Netflix or whatever features Tivo decides to include with no approval from the user. HTPCs are for hobbyists that like to push the envelope and customize it for their own personal needs and desires. If you're afraid of potential problems with HTPCs then you should stick with Tivos. Arguing about one platform being better than the other for whatever reason is pointless. It's all about personal preference.

If one platform has features that work better for you then that's probably the one you want to go with. Tivo has a lot of features that are done better than WMC and the software is more mature. WMC is lacking in areas where Tivo excels, but the platform allows for improvements that can be implemented by the user. In other words, HTPCs give you choices. Tivo gives you what Tivo, Inc., decides to give you.

HTPCs are more versatile than Tivos. That's an indisputable fact. Problems aside, HTPCs can do more than any Tivo out there. If your HTPC gives you problems, then it sucks to be you. It happens. If you decide to take that road then you should expect things to happen. OTOH, if your hardware and software selections are compatible, you shouldn't have any major issues.
WMC was alot stronger a few years ago in comparison to Tivo. Even then WMC wasn't a choice for most because it was and still is a hobbyist thing. Today with Tivo stronger than WMC in every major way there just is no case for recommending it to 99% of people.


That's where I'm coming from. You can write paragraphs of hot air, but that's what it comes down to.

SAying htpcs are more versatile is too vague to be a fact and it says nothing about whether or not that versatility is even desirable. And when you say htpcs give you more choice you leave out big holes like WMC doesn't have AMazon on Demand and its Netflix plug-in hasn't been updated in eons.


No one has ever said don't get what you want or what will work for you. I think that goes without saying in every discussion in every forum ever.

I think your problem with regards to this discussion is you wanted a hobby. You didn't want a DVR per se. You wanted a computer hobby. And you don't really draw a line between the two and that blinds you from being a very accurate barometer of the state of these 2 platforms with regards to most people's needs.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:20 PM   #275
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SAying htpcs are more versatile is too vague to be a fact and it says nothing about whether or not that versatility is even desirable. And when you say htpcs give you more choice you leave out big holes like WMC doesn't have AMazon on Demand and its Netflix plug-in hasn't been updated in eons.
I don't think anyone can dispute that HTPCs are more versatile than Tivos. It is a fact, whether you choose to believe it or not. Desirability of any feature has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

Netflix on a PC does not require WMC. You can get any streaming service on a PC regardless of whether it's an embedded app within WMC or as a standalone app in Windows. If you're only comparing WMC to Tivo then what you say is probably true. If you're looking at the overall PC platform then it couldn't be further from the truth.

FYI - For NetFlix viewing on a PC you don't need WMC or any special app. You can just stream it via your web browser.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 03-23-2014 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:05 AM   #276
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Yeah it's really dumb to try and say that Tivo's net apps are in any way comparable to what an HTPC can do. You'd be better off not mentioning them at all.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:10 AM   #277
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I don't think anyone can dispute that HTPCs are more versatile than Tivos. It is a fact, whether you choose to believe it or not. Desirability of any feature has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

Netflix on a PC does not require WMC. You can get any streaming service on a PC regardless of whether it's an embedded app within WMC or as a standalone app in Windows. If you're only comparing WMC to Tivo then what you say is probably true. If you're looking at the overall PC platform then it couldn't be further from the truth.

FYI - For NetFlix viewing on a PC you don't need WMC or any special app. You can just stream it via your web browser.
Your definition of versatile is to go into Windows on your tv screen in your living room. That doesn't meet 99% of people's definition of "versatile" for a living room device. Or that versatility is undesirable for 99% of people's needs for a living room device.

And at its heart a Tivo is a computer no different than a pc. It runs Linux doesn't it? Nothing stopping you from doing anything on it except your own skill as a computer tinkerer.

Again you want a hobby. You don't even want a dvr. You seem to lose track of where one starts and the other stops.

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Old 03-24-2014, 09:27 AM   #278
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Your definition of versatile is to go into Windows on your tv screen in your living room. That doesn't meet 99% of people's definition of "versatile" for a living room device. Or that versatility is undesirable for 99% of people's needs for a living room device.

And at its heart a Tivo is a computer no different than a pc. It runs Linux doesn't it? Nothing stopping you from doing anything on it except your own skill as a computer tinkerer.

Again you want a hobby. You don't even want a dvr. You seem to lose track of where one starts and the other stops.
Now you're just arguing without absorbing anything that's been said. A HTPC is a hobbyist's device, as I have stated countless times. Anyone that uses a HTPC would have no problem using the Windows desktop on their PC. This is all part of the HTPC experience that goes beyond just using Media Center. First and foremost, a HTPC is a PC, not just a media player or DVR. Many people use their HTPCs for surfing the web, sending e-mails, streaming movies from NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon, etc., or even video gaming. This is what makes a HTPC more versatile than a Tivo. You don't have to add or use these features if you don't want them, but they can be easily added if you do. If they're not "desirable" to you, don't use them. At least you have choices with a HTPC. Tivo doesn't give you the option.

Tivos can no longer be hacked in their latest iteration so, yes, Tivo is stopping me and everyone else from doing anything to the latest Tivos. You can't even hack it to get a bash prompt anymore. With no way to interface with the OS, there's nothing that I or anyone else can do to control or modify it other than what Tivo allows via the user interface.

Anything that uses a microprocessor can be considered a computer these days. By that standard, your Tivo is as much a computer as your microwave or coffee maker. It's controlled by software or firmware and has a specific function. By PC standards, the CPU and memory used in a Tivo is minimal at best. It has nowhere near the performance of even a basic PC. Tivo only puts into it what is required to perform the tasks at hand. A HTPC can be modified to do anything you want and be as powerful as you want.

A HTPC goes beyond just being a DVR. I want a DVR, but I also want other features that a Tivo can't provide. HTPCs not only do what Tivos can do, they can also do much more. WMC doesn't have all of the same DVR features as a Tivo, but it works pretty well for recording my TV programs without skipping a beat. Tivo has a far better search engine and some other DVR functions where they excel, but most of them I never used even when I had a Tivo. You should relate to this as I never found them to be "desirable."

FYI, nobody wants to take your Tivo away from you or tell you that a HTPC should replace it. This whole discussion is based on what the differences are between a Tivo and a HTPC and not why one is better or worse than the other. Each device is geared towards a certain type of user and each does what it is designed to do for the purpose intended. Tivo is for the user that just wants a plug and play DVR with the capability to stream videos from NetFlix and other similar features that go beyond what their cable or satellite provider offers with their DVRs. HTPCs are for hobbyists that want to push the envelope and add features beyond what a consumer device offers.

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Old 03-25-2014, 12:29 AM   #279
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Yay, another WMC issue crops up suddenly - after starting the WMC app, it takes ~5 minutes to get into recorded TV.

Once in, it's great, I can get in and out quickly. But if I quit the WMC app, reboot, etc., it's another 5 minute wait entering recorded TV.

Everything else is fine, though.

Odd, just happened today.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:22 AM   #280
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If it's only happening right after booting up then I suspect that there are apps still initiating in the background that are bogging down the CPU or loading into memory from the hard drive. Once it settles down and everything is up and running it sounds like you don't have the same issue.

I see this all the time on my desktop PC. When I first boot it takes a few minutes before I'm able to run any apps. Take a look at the hard drive activity indicator on the PC and see if it's still flashing when you try to open WMC. If it is, wait until it settles and stops flashing before attempting to get into WMC. I'll bet you can get right in if you wait a bit.

If you don't have a SSD for the OS, this is a good excuse to get one. Installing the OS on a SSD will radically improve your boot times and cut the startup time to a fraction of what it is now. I use one in my HTPC and it boots very quickly.

Do you have your HTPC configured so it boots into WMC on startup? You can set it up to do this automatically. I believe it's in the General Settings option under Windows Startup Behavior or something to that effect. I'd have to check to see exactly where the option is located. That's how I have mine setup so I don't have to deal with using a mouse or keyboard to start WMC. Once it starts I can navigate using my remote.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:35 AM   #281
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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.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:28 AM   #282
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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.
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.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:57 AM   #283
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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?
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:27 AM   #284
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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.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:09 AM   #285
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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....
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:04 AM   #286
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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.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:36 PM   #287
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Now you're just arguing without absorbing anything that's been said. A HTPC is a hobbyist's device, as I have stated countless times. Anyone that uses a HTPC would have no problem using the Windows desktop on their PC. This is all part of the HTPC experience that goes beyond just using Media Center. First and foremost, a HTPC is a PC, not just a media player or DVR. Many people use their HTPCs for surfing the web, sending e-mails, streaming movies from NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon, etc., or even video gaming. This is what makes a HTPC more versatile than a Tivo. You don't have to add or use these features if you don't want them, but they can be easily added if you do. If they're not "desirable" to you, don't use them. At least you have choices with a HTPC. Tivo doesn't give you the option.

Tivos can no longer be hacked in their latest iteration so, yes, Tivo is stopping me and everyone else from doing anything to the latest Tivos. You can't even hack it to get a bash prompt anymore. With no way to interface with the OS, there's nothing that I or anyone else can do to control or modify it other than what Tivo allows via the user interface.

Anything that uses a microprocessor can be considered a computer these days. By that standard, your Tivo is as much a computer as your microwave or coffee maker. It's controlled by software or firmware and has a specific function. By PC standards, the CPU and memory used in a Tivo is minimal at best. It has nowhere near the performance of even a basic PC. Tivo only puts into it what is required to perform the tasks at hand. A HTPC can be modified to do anything you want and be as powerful as you want.

A HTPC goes beyond just being a DVR. I want a DVR, but I also want other features that a Tivo can't provide. HTPCs not only do what Tivos can do, they can also do much more. WMC doesn't have all of the same DVR features as a Tivo, but it works pretty well for recording my TV programs without skipping a beat. Tivo has a far better search engine and some other DVR functions where they excel, but most of them I never used even when I had a Tivo. You should relate to this as I never found them to be "desirable."

FYI, nobody wants to take your Tivo away from you or tell you that a HTPC should replace it. This whole discussion is based on what the differences are between a Tivo and a HTPC and not why one is better or worse than the other. Each device is geared towards a certain type of user and each does what it is designed to do for the purpose intended. Tivo is for the user that just wants a plug and play DVR with the capability to stream videos from NetFlix and other similar features that go beyond what their cable or satellite provider offers with their DVRs. HTPCs are for hobbyists that want to push the envelope and add features beyond what a consumer device offers.
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.

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Old 03-28-2014, 12:57 AM   #288
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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.
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.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:59 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by trip1eX View Post
Today there just is very little case for WMC over Tivo. That is just the bottom line. Today's reality.
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.

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.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:56 PM   #290
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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.
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.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:14 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
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.
How and why would cord cutters use a cable card ????
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:59 PM   #292
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How and why would cord cutters use a cable card ????
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.

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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.
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.

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Old 03-28-2014, 08:57 PM   #293
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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.
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.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:04 AM   #294
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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.
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.

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Old 03-31-2014, 03:11 PM   #295
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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.

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.
So you read all about lessening credibility and that's what you posted?

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

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.

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Old 04-01-2014, 07:07 AM   #296
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I'm going to take all your non-replies as tacit agreement.
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.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:26 AM   #297
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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.
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.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:37 PM   #298
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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.
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.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:40 PM   #299
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No, you're still simply stating your opinion as if it was a fact, same as Bigg loves to do.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:11 PM   #300
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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.
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.


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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.
Vague.

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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.
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?


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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.
Vague.


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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
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.
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.

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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.
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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