Windows 8 Media Center will cost!

Discussion in 'Other HTPC Applications' started by hafblade, May 4, 2012.

  1. hafblade

    hafblade Portal Pro

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    On a microsoft blog an article appeared where they say that the Media Center in Windows 8 has to be purchased separately.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/...dows-media-center-available-in-windows-8.aspx



    What do you think does this mean for software like MediaPortal?
    Will there be more guys trying MP out or do you think people will buy the MCE? In when in which cases?
    Is it a good strategy to sell it separately? What do you think?
     
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  3. logifuse

    logifuse Portal Pro

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    They seem determined to keep MPEG2 decoding to WMC (even when you have the WMC add on, you can't play DVDs in WMP), so that probably means you won't be able to use the MS decoder for MP. Not the end of the world, but it is the easiest decoder to get things working.

    I think it will be good for MP & alternatives as there's no default option anymore. You're hardly going to buy the WMC version if you haven't used it before, so if you're thinking about HTPC options, free ones are going to appeal.
     
  4. hafblade

    hafblade Portal Pro

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    I also think that no one will buy it except people which used it in W7 / Vista / XP before.
    In contrary to your idea it could even happen that less people learn to know that something like an htpc even exists.
    I know many people which were totally shocked in the first moment when they saw that there are people using a pc for video/tv/etc ...
     
  5. Vimes
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    Vimes MP Donator

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    The market, if I read correctly, for standalone type media boxes, in which you fit your own hard drive, is a growing one. I would not be too sure if an "average" user would want the expense or have the skills and inclination to build and maintain an HTPC over that of a standalone type box, even if a fully configured MP box could include a TV type recorder as well.

    I have flipped over to using XBMC and have bought a cheap HD Freeview box for my TV needs. This box cost me less than 40 UK pounds and can also accept a USB stick or HD to record all the TV I would want to.

    I love my HTPC but people who have seen what it can do are both astounded and overwhelmed at what is needed to build one, both technically and financially.
     
  6. hafblade

    hafblade Portal Pro

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    This is imho the largest issue against HTPCs. The effort is really huge.
    Especially because of this I think that a system like MediaPortal should be installable easier.
    That is the large advantage of XBMC. You install it and it works just fine.

    It should be similar with MP. When you install it there should be a movie / series / music video / video / music / picture section working with predefined scrapers for your languages and so on together with some export functionalities like nfo so that you could also use another program like wmc or xbmc.
     
  7. Vimes
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    Vimes MP Donator

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    Taking the "effort" and cost aspect even further...

    Standalone type media players are now quite good. I don't just mean the WD Live type but the ones like the Sumvision Cyclone, the micro 3 one is one that I have seen.
    For the cost of those, and you can connect any USB source or SD card etc, it plays 1080p through HDMI without issue at an affordable price. There is very little to configure and, as time passes, you can buy a newer model cheaper than replacing the GPU in a HTPC.
    My Son has the Sumvision model connected to an external HD, the HD is bigger than the media player.! It really is a nice piece of kit and if I did not have an HTPC I was seriously doubt that I would bother with one now for what you can pay for a media player.
    The good thing about XBMC is how versatile it is. I read of people already using it without issue whilst running under the Windows 8 preview and it is relatively easy to set-up, compared to MP.
     
  8. tourettes
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    tourettes Retired Team Member

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    And when comparing MP to XBMC the good thing in MP is how versatile it is :)
     
  9. Holzi
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    Holzi Super Moderator

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    ;)
     
  10. Vimes
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    Vimes MP Donator

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    Absolutely.
    MP is even better, in the respect of it being more configurable than XBMC, when the TV Series and Moving Pictures plugin is installed. It is just not that easy to initially set up as XBMC due to the need of additional codecs and plugins.
    Also XBMC has been very useful to build a new HTPC around as it will work with Linux. In fact the XMBCbuntu package was a breeze to install and thus not needing to buy a OS made it a cheaper option.
     
  11. infinite.loop
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    infinite.loop Retired Team Member

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    That is a quite bold statement. :D
    Yes, XBMC has a good out of the box experience (if you buy a preconfigured box). But after you got started with it and want to do "more" you will hit a few walls.

    Also when you look at the PC version of XBMC, then you will see that it has quite a lot of issues. Support of remotes is quite horrible (not even the MS remotes are working - the hacks to get them working are... rather nasty).
    Stability is also quite a problem of the PC version - especially if you want to take use of the FramerateChanger.
    And not to forget TV Support (which the XBMC Devs seem still to ignore - maybe not importand in the US?)

    So imo, if someone should choose XBMC/Boxee, MS-MC or MediaPortal totally depends on the needs of the user. :)

    Right now we are not 100% sure what this will mean for us. We will know for sure when the RC is rolled out by MS.

    DVD Playback
    What we do know is that you will not be able to play a DVD on the "normal" W8, because it will be missing the DVD Navigator. And there are no (stable) OpenSource DVD navigators out there.
    So it might come down to add a check into MP 1.3.0 to detect if a DVD Navigator is available, and if not, disable the DVD playback entirely.

    Windows DTV Codecs
    MS also said something about their Windows DTV Video and Audio Filters. They they would not be able to play content from a DVD/blueray, but only a local file in the normal version. DolbyDigital might not be supported either, or at least not all versions of it. :confused:
    How this all is supposed to work? We have no clue. We will see in the Windows 8 RC.

    TV-Server
    Then there is our TV-Server. Again we don't really have an idea if we will be missing critical dll's in the normal Version of W8, like this is the case for Windows Server OS'es.
    Again we will see in the W8 RC.

    Upgrade?
    Right now my personal opinion is that if you run your HTPC with W7, then there is absolutely no need to "update" to W8. If you are on WinXp, then I'd rater upgrade to W7 which should become cheaper once W8 is out.

    If MS does not get back to reality and makes the normal start menu + disabling the (touch sreen) metro UI a config option, then I won't even consider upgrading to W8 on my workstations or in the office.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
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