Migrating from WMC (1 Viewer)

nhm

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I have been running Windows Media Centre happily for years on Win 7 Pro, more recently with EPG123 as an intermediary providing program data from Schedules Direct. I always edit recordings using VideoReDo TV Suite v5 before saving and backing up to my own directory structure and external drives. I do not want to automate this or download fan art etc, and I prevent WMC from cataloguing my libraries. I am now forced to migrate to Win 10 and so need new media centre software. I am looking at MediaPortal or NextPVR. I have the following initial questions:


1) Will MP play my existing .dvr-ms and .wtv files or would these need a separate player?


2) I understand MP can only save TV recordings as .ts files. Are these of a similar size to .wtv for the same video and audio streams?


3) Do the .ts recording files carry broadly the same metadata within the container as .wtv files, derived from the EPG?


4) Will MP work with my Blackgold BGT3650 (DVB-T2)TV card (I receive digital terrestrial channels only, in SD and HD)?


5) Will MP work with my existing subscription to EPG123 or would I need to switch to OTA data and/or Schedules Direct?


6) On a vanilla installation of Win 10 plus drivers what other resources might I need to install (eg any codecs etc.)?


I use the media centre primarily for scheduling, recording and playing live TV and do not particularly need web streaming (though DVD and BluRay integration would be a bonus) Am I better off with MP1 or MP2 taking my above working methods into account? I struggled to find much on these fairly basic questions in the forums, but also note that some of the posts are several years old so it is difficult to know whether the software may have changed since.


Many thanks in advance for your help.
 

HTPCSourcer

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    Hello and thank you for your interest in MediaPortal!

    Your questions are frequently asked and also frequently replied to. You may want to take a look at this thread for some recent discusisions aroiund MC and MP1 or MP2 respectively:

    This should already give you some idea.
     

    nhm

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    Many thanks for the response - I already read this thread and all the other related ones but they didn't answer any of the quite specific questions I raised in my post. I suspect these are in your head and seem obvious but they are difficult to pin down for an outsider. I'm hopeful you can shed a bit more light for me.
     

    HTPCSourcer

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    OK, as you probably already guessed I am a MP2 user, hence my own view my be slightly biased - although I was using MP1 for almost 10 years before switching to MP2.

    From the perspective of a WMC user, a possible killer feature of MP2 is its WMC-like skin, which gives you the impression of using the former Windows MediaCenter itself.

    1) Will MP play my existing .dvr-ms and .wtv files or would these need a separate player?
    MP2 will play these files without problems

    2) I understand MP can only save TV recordings as .ts files. Are these of a similar size to .wtv for the same video and audio streams?
    They are.

    3) Do the .ts recording files carry broadly the same metadata within the container as .wtv files, derived from the EPG?
    No. Metadata information is carried in accompanying xml files whose content is populated from the respective EPG content.

    4) Will MP work with my Blackgold BGT3650 (DVB-T2)TV card (I receive digital terrestrial channels only, in SD and HD)?
    I do thing so, although I am not 100% certain. I recall Blackgold threads where people were looking for some older drivers to get it working in MP. What you need are Windows BDA drivers. If you 't searched the forum for this and not found anything, chances are that the card works flawlessly.

    5) Will MP work with my existing subscription to EPG123 or would I need to switch to OTA data and/or Schedules Direct?
    Given that you mention SchedulesDirect I conclude that you are a US user. In this case we recommend the installation of "EPG Buddy" (forum searcvh will give you the link), which worls with the free service TvGuide.com.

    6) On a vanilla installation of Win 10 plus drivers what other resources might I need to install (eg any codecs etc.)?
    For MP2 none.
     
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    HTPCSourcer

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    DVD and BluRay integration would be a bonus
    (Unprotected) Discs can be played without additional software. Many users just rip the discs and store the iso or the movie file. MP2 comes with a complete movies and series management. Please read the WIki Setting up Media Items (and sub-entries like Movies).

    Given that you mention SchedulesDirect I conclude that you are a US user.
    Oops, just saw that you are based in the UK. Recommendations for EPG depend on where you are based. In the UK the EPG data is best pulled from a specific free channel that carries the complete bouquet. Again, it depends on what channels you receive, hence more information is needed, yet I don't think that anybody in the UK needs to spend money to get EPG information.
     

    CyberSimian

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    (I see that @HTPCSourcer has also provided some detailed answers; let us hope that he and I agree. :eek:)

    I am now forced to migrate to Win 10 and so need new media centre software.
    I beg to differ. If you run your system as a dedicated HTPC, you could continue to use Windows 7 until such time as you want to install a piece of hardware that has no Windows 7 drivers (e.g. a hypothetical DVB-T3 tuner card). I am currently using Windows 7 with MP, and intend continuing to use Windows 7 for the indefinite future.

    1) Will MP play my existing .dvr-ms and .wtv files or would these need a separate player?
    Yes, but in MP1 they need to be located in the "Videos" section of MP, and not in the "Recorded TV" section.

    2) I understand MP can only save TV recordings as .ts files. Are these of a similar size to .wtv for the same video and audio streams?
    TS files containing recorded TV will not be any bigger than DVR-MS, and may be smaller than WTV.
    TS files containing recorded radio will be significantly smaller than both DVR-MS and WTV. Example:
    30-minute documentary recorded from "BBC Radio 4" (sizes are approximate):

    50 MB (TS file)
    250 MB (DVR-MS file)
    750 MB (WTV file) :eek:

    (I think that the TS file is much smaller because it does not contain a placeholder video stream, whereas DVR-MS does. WTV contains an encrypted placeholder video stream, which is why it is much bigger.)

    3) Do the .ts recording files carry broadly the same metadata within the container as .wtv files, derived from the EPG?
    The metadata available via MP is not as good as WMC. It is basically title, description, genre, and start and end times. Other info is not distinguished, so will be visible only if that info is included as plain text in the description.

    4) Will MP work with my Blackgold BGT3650 (DVB-T2)TV card (I receive digital terrestrial channels only, in SD and HD)?
    Yes. It is a BDA-compliant tuner, so it is fully supported by MP.

    5) Will MP work with my existing subscription to EPG123 or would I need to switch to OTA data and/or Schedules Direct?
    I use the UK broadcast EPG, as once set up, it requires no further attention from the user (but setup requires some care -- see this page in the Wiki).

    Schedules Direct should be usable, and may provide an EPG of better quality (but I have never used it).

    6) On a vanilla installation of Win 10 plus drivers what other resources might I need to install (eg any codecs etc.)?
    The MP installer will install whatever other tools it needs and which you currently lack. I think that MP uses the LAV codecs by default, so it will install these for you.

    Am I better off with MP1 or MP2
    I wrote this recently in another thread:

    Every media-center application in existence will have things that you like, and things that you don't like. The challenge is to find the media-center application that best matches your particular preferences. Or to put that another way, there are likely to be things about MP that you don't like, but MP may still be a better match for your preferences than other media-center applications that are available.

    You should try both MP1 and MP2, to see if one is a better match for your requirements than the other.

    I use MP1 and don't anticipate migrating to MP2 anytime soon. MP2 does not offer any features that I want and which MP1 currently lacks. One feature that might make me migrate to MP2 would be if the MP2 "TV Server" application supported true series linking. Currently, both MP1 and MP2 support only various flavours of repeated recording. See this thread for a recent discussion about this.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    nhm

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    Very many thanks to both of you for the detailed and really helpful replies - that takes me a big step forward.

    In response to CyberSymian's opening comment about sticking with Win 7 and WMC that has been my position until last month and indeed is not an option I have yet ruled out, but unfortunately I have a single PC which is not HT dedicated but also serves for web browsing and email, and everyone warns me that Win 7 will be increasingly at risk despite running good protection measures. One possibility would be to buy a separate W10 laptop for email and internet so little connection would be needed for my HTPC.

    The main issue I'm concerned about from the other answers is the separate .xml files for metadata and the limited data fields stored - this does seem clunky compared with WMC. I know that my VideoReDo will happily edit .ts files and could probably even save the output to .dvr-ms or .wtv containers but then even the limited metadata would probably get lost unless I re-entered it all manually, and the alternative of storing two different files for every recording is not too appealing! Also I am unclear what happens when you edit the .ts file without the related .xml? I should probably ask VideoReDo if they have any advice on this.

    On the EPG front - yes I am in UK so the OTA information on digital terrestrial is quite good, though I didn't know you could get all of it from any one channel/multiplex? (annoyingly they also seem to change the line-ups on some multiplexes every few weeks!) I currently subscribe to EPG123 (which I read get their data from Schedules Direct) because they provided a simple alternative to Microsoft's failing service, and I find their information pretty good - it seems to go further forward on some channels than I can see on the OTA. It's not expensive and is a price I'm happy to pay for reliability. So subscribing directly to SD would be an easy move.

    Any more thoughts would be most welcome and I'll post what I finally conclude.
     

    HTPCSourcer

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    for metadata and the limited data fields stored - this does seem clunky compared with WMC. I know that my VideoReDo will happily edit .ts files and could probably even save the output to .dvr-ms or .wtv containers but then even the limited metadata would probably get lost unless I re-entered it all manually,
    You didn't read the Wiki article that I linked in my reply, did you? Since you cut your movies and series all you need to do is to rename your files as described in the Wiki to be recognized by MP(2). The system will then retrieve complete metadata and fanart from online sources.
     
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    Lehmden

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    Hi.
    I know that my VideoReDo will happily edit .ts files and could probably even save the output to .dvr-ms or .wtv containers but then even the limited metadata would probably get lost
    VideoReDo can edit .ts easily but can not save as wtv or dvr-ms files. No other tool can do this as both are closed and proprietary formats only Microsoft has the specs...

    Aside this it really is uncommon to store all videos as "recordings". Recording files (no matter if .wtv or .ts) are normally meant as "temporal" files, just "watch and delete afterwards"... Nearly every user who store videos for long time usage uses a different format. Mainly mkv but mp4 or avi are common too. For those videos the "movies" and "series" module (in WMC and MP and Kodi and...) are meant for. And there you can have much more metadata and also various fanart types as you ever can get from EPG, no matter if it is SD or OTA or anything else... For this there are various tools out there that can add the metadata and fanart and convert those .wtv files to .mkv or mp4, sometimes everything with one single mouse click...

    I'm recording a lot too, indeed I never watch TV "Live". Everything I ever may be interested in will be recorded. So I can skip commercials and watch it when I like to, not when the TV company means I have to watch it. I delete the recording after watching if it's not that important. Series episodes, documentary or movies I want to keep are then edited with VideoReDo (as it can cut frame accurate without recoding), removing the commercials and the pre/post recording time. After this the video then is prepared with my own tool "Media-Buddy" that recode the way too big videos to h265 codec (that only needs around 10-20% space compared to the original mpeg2/4 used in the DVB streams), store it in a mkv file and rename the video according to my preferred naming scheme and adds all needed metadata and fanart to it. This way I have "close to perfect" prepared videos that easily will import into MP, Kodi, Plex, Emby, NPVR, JRiver,...

    If you like to have further information feel free to ask...
     

    joecrow

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    DVD and BluRay integration would be a bonus
    Further to that and in respect to MP1 vs MP2, if you already have a software DVD/Bluray player e.g. PowerDVD (from memory WMC was not capable of playing Blurays natively), then MP1 will quite happily use it as an "external" player. MP2 does not have an external player option. Also if you want to play Bluray (frame packed) 3D then MP1 is the only possibility either via disk/.iso through an external player or .mkv natively (with Madvr). MP2 does not yet support the superb Madvr video renderer:(.
     

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