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post #1 of 20 Old 03-24-14, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Bill
 
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HTPC Software

What do you folks use for HTPC software to view/play movie collections, stream media etc.?

I would really like to have one application that will do everything I want and easy enough for my wife to control with just a remote. I have a harmony One. Our house has one TV/pc so streaming around the house is not a concern. Weíre empty nesters.

I started with WMC and Mediabrowser 2. It was ok but it was missing the ability to stream from different sites. I switched to XBMC. It looked fantastic, lots of eye candy but it was difficult for me to set up and configure. I spent a couple of months getting things like Netflix, Hulu plus, YouTube etc. working from within the browser using xbmc plugins. Then some of the plugins started breaking and I had to figure out alternative ways to access some of my streaming sites. Maintaining xbmc became a part time job. Mediabrowser came out with a new server/client set up. I switched back to that using Mediabrowser Theater as the client software. Itís only in alpha testing so currently itís just very basic. I really like what I see there but it has a long way to go until it is a fully developed solution. My guess is at least a year because the development team is still focusing on the server, rightfully so.

Here is what Iím trying to accomplish.
Play and record live TV (currently using WMC and the Harmony One.) No matter where we are on the HTPC just pressing live TV on the harmonyís touch screen starts WMC in live TV mode and a press of the exit button sends an alt +f4 command which takes the system back to where it was. I donít think I can make this any easier.

View/play my movie/TV series/music collection. I am currently using Mediabrowser 3 and Theater view. Right now itís basic. I can start an album or TV show and manually start the next one. There is a lot of room for improvement in this area.

Stream various sites using a remote. Right now I have set up in MBT links to Netflix, Amazon Video, Syfy channel, HGTV, DIY network etc. but I have to use a keyboard to control all of the apps. I tried the Kylo browser which provides all of the content I want. Itís a very nice solution with one exception, the constant popups. It got annoying enough to uninstall the browser and switch back to using a keyboard.

Iíve heard of Playon and Playlater but I havenít tried them out at all yet.

So are there any other applications out there that are user friendly and easy to set up and maintain?
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-24-14, 01:25 PM
 
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Ron
 
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Re: HTPC Software

You could try JRiver... The best for recording TV and general tv viewing in my experience is still Windows Media Center. I use XBMC/OpenElec for all my movies, music videos, and music on a separate media server. I have tried JRiver and the only thing I didn't like was the DVR functions... JRiver has excellent audio capabilities though.

Ron

My Home Theater
Yamaha CX-A5100, (3) JBL 2360A/EV DHA-1s, (3) 1/4 Pie bass bins, (2 pr) JBL 8340As, (2 pr) JBL 8320s, PS3, XBox One, (2) Intel NUCs, Redmere HDMI cables, Monster Signature HTPS7000, (2) Furman Power Conditioners, (2) DTS-10 subs, Panasonic AE8000, SeymourAV 180 (195" diag) scope screen, Darbee Darcet, Panamorph UH-480 lens, (2) Crest Audio 2208, Yamaha XM-4080 & P7000s, (2) MiniDSP DDRC-88M, Pioneer BDP-80DF

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post #3 of 20 Old 03-25-14, 02:25 AM
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Re: HTPC Software

Jriver Media Center though not free does everything and then some... I set mine up with a LOGITECH DiNovo Mini as it does require some mouse pad and typing capacity.... Harmony remote wont suffice...

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Mini-...ds=dinovo+mini

AVR - PIONEER SC 35 w PANGEA AC9 CORD
AC FILT - PANAMAX M5400
DISPLAY - PANASONIC TC-P54G10 54in 1080p PLASMA
MAINS + SURROUND - DIY w DAYTON PT2C-8 PLANAR MID/HIGHS + DAYTON 6.5 MIDBASS -
SUBS - (2) DAYTON 15" ULTIMAX
SUB AMP - ACURUS A250
HTPC - WIN7 ULT,INTEL I7 860,CORSAIR 800D,CORSAIR HX1000, 16 GIG CORSAIR,EVGA P55 MB, ATI 5970 VIDEO, ASUS HDAV DELUXE 1.3 w BURSON DISCREET OPAMPS,PIONEER BDRW, 3WARE 9650 w 4x CRUCIAL 64gb SSD's in RAID 0
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post #4 of 20 Old 03-25-14, 11:33 AM
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Re: HTPC Software

By far the easiest way to do it, is with a Roku 3 and Plex server.

I switched from mediabrowser on a separate HTPC to a Plex server. Its clean and simple.
My Samsung un7100 75" has the plex app built in. You can use a Roku 3 for a client if you don't have a smart TV. I transitioned from a separate computer that ran the Plex server program, (which is free and is super user friendly) to the smart TV app. I now run the Plex server on a a Drbo 5n NAS. I have 16TB of storage, its small and nearly silent.

I set my Mom up with 2 Roku 3's and a computer running the Plex server. I also bought Ethernet over powerline adapters to connect the Roku 3 's,(they have built in wireless if you are close) They support my 1080p DTS rips.

The Roku has a great remote and is a great streaming device. It had Netflicks, HBO Go, Amazon, etc....

Good luck with your project !!
Regards
Pete C
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-30-14, 08:12 PM
lpg
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Re: HTPC Software

Most of the free software offerings have pretty steep learning curves, hardware requirements, drivers, plugins etc.. I would stick with media server or Jriver. I have Jriver but do not use it much. The Audio is very good.

My current setup is with a now unsupported produce xLobby, I am migrating to mediaportal 2 which is in alpha stage. In my initial tests Media portal did a very good job of installing and identifying my video collection. I have not set up the other functions yet.
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-31-14, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Bill
 
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Re: HTPC Software

Thanks for all of the replies. I think when I get time I'm going to try JRiver out. Unfortunately for the next couple of months my play time is limited. Helping one son move from Phila. to Louisville, youngest son is graduating college and we are forced to watch my grandson for two weeks (that one didn't take much arm twisting). What I have is working, I would just like to make it more fluid. If I start something big on the HTPC before the end of June I will be sleeping in the shed.
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-31-14, 11:31 PM
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I use Jriver right now am I very happy with it. Lots of options and sounds great.

-Brent


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post #8 of 20 Old 04-02-14, 11:13 AM
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Re: HTPC Software

Another JRiver user here! Best $50 I've ever spent! I record live tv and I can record other channels since I have multiple tuners.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-02-14, 12:03 PM
 
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Re: HTPC Software

I have now dumped WMC, and use JRiver exclusively on my Win 7 HTPC... MC19 now does everything I need it to

Ron

My Home Theater
Yamaha CX-A5100, (3) JBL 2360A/EV DHA-1s, (3) 1/4 Pie bass bins, (2 pr) JBL 8340As, (2 pr) JBL 8320s, PS3, XBox One, (2) Intel NUCs, Redmere HDMI cables, Monster Signature HTPS7000, (2) Furman Power Conditioners, (2) DTS-10 subs, Panasonic AE8000, SeymourAV 180 (195" diag) scope screen, Darbee Darcet, Panamorph UH-480 lens, (2) Crest Audio 2208, Yamaha XM-4080 & P7000s, (2) MiniDSP DDRC-88M, Pioneer BDP-80DF

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post #10 of 20 Old 04-02-14, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HTPC Software

Quote:
ellisr63 wrote: View Post
I have now dumped WMC, and use JRiver exclusively on my Win 7 HTPC... MC19 now does everything I need it to
JRiver is starting to sound really good. Can you stream netflix etc. from within JRiver? If so is it through a browser or plugin? My personal holy grail of Media Center applications is to be able to watch my movie/tv series collection, listen to music, watch and record OTA tv, stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Pandora, HGTV, DIY Network, and the major networks. OTA is a bit spotty at my location.

It looks like I have some more research to do in the near future.
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