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View Full Version : Media Center is not included with Windows 8



mashakos
08-11-2012, 12:10 AM
That's right. Probably the only well-made multimedia software application developed by Microsoft will not be included as a built-in application in Windows 8. More significantly, Media Center is better than Apple's own Front Row app, for once Microsoft one-ups Apple on something.
In any case, Media Center will hence forth be available for $69.99 for Windows 8 users. However: Good News Everyoneİ! Microsoft is willing to give it to you FOR FREE if you buy W8 before January! How generous.

Rathe rthan have Windows 8 be HTPC ready out of the box like Windows 7 and Vista were, you have now lost this great value-add feature.

In any case, here's what you W8 users will eventually be paying that we W7 users were getting for free these past few years:


Great extensibility with plugins like Media Browser.

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc1-1.jpg

Why is this cool? Here's why:

Scans your rip folders and retrieves artwork and detailed data on all your rips from several online sources

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc1-2.jpg

How detailed is this data? Check it out

Synopsis + background slideshow

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc1-3.jpg

actor profiles

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc1-4.jpg

selecting one of the profiles gives you ....
to be continued...

mashakos
08-11-2012, 12:11 AM
clicking on any actor profie scans your library for other movies the actor has had a role in

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc2-1.jpg

after which you can run that movie without closing any previous video. The previously playing video is stopped ad the position is bookmarked.
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc2-2.jpg

all the detailed xml data farmed from online servers is accessible while playing a movie
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc2-3.jpg
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc2-4.jpg

mashakos
08-11-2012, 12:12 AM
movie synopsis even includes a "similiar movies" tab which lists movies similiar to your tastes

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc3-1.jpg

you can get the synopsis of that similiar movie too
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc3-2.jpg

TV rips, either straight from DVD or through a TV tuner, also get the same treatment

tv episodes in a single folder are automatically detected as a season and appropriately provided a season cover
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc3-3.jpg

going into a season "folder" gives you a nice overview of each episode
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc3-4.jpg

mashakos
08-11-2012, 12:13 AM
detailed view of a single episode

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc4-1.jpg

several list styles are available in mediabrowser. I use this for documentaries because I don't have a large selection.
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc4-2.jpg

That was all from a single Media Center plugin. Another great plugin is TotalMedia Theater 5.
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc4-3.jpg

With TotalMedia Theater 5 you can play both Blurays and HD-DVDs if your drive has support for both formats
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc4-4.jpg

mashakos
08-11-2012, 12:15 AM
adding your mp3/AAC folder to Media Center gives you a nice music player

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc5-1.jpg

some great visualisations and sorting options here
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc5-2.jpg

All this was free. Now it's not :(

Yes, loving Windows 8 right now!



BONUS: A shot of what a TV series folder looks like if it has multiple season folders.
http://mashakos.com/pers/img/W7MC/w7mc5-3.jpg

Kaira-
08-11-2012, 08:42 AM
Wait, people actually use Media Center instead of XBMC?

soldant
08-11-2012, 09:01 AM
Wait, people actually use Media Center instead of XBMC?
Only for PVR, otherwise XBMC is a lot better.

Also I don't know where the $60 figure comes from, because it shows up for $10, unless someone factored in the cost of Win8 Pro? Don't know why anyone would want it with far better free alternatives.

mashakos
08-11-2012, 10:24 AM
Only for PVR, otherwise XBMC is a lot better.

XBMC better than MC? Yeah right! oh, let me count the headaches:
longer loading times with the nicer UIs
No support for selective subtitles. Your english video has annoying english subtitles? It's gonna show up on every one of those! Sure you can disable it for an individual video, but what if it's a 4 season series you ripped?
Every UI has it's own way of sorting.
No simple "sort by last file modified" feature.
Can't run HDDVD
No PVR
No support for LAV splitter
No support for FFDShow
No support for splitters (Haali, Gabest)
No support for CUDA.
Bluray is gimped
The usual open source glitchiness. I don't mind, but XBMC has failed the GF test when it started freaking out while she was checking TV shows. Too bad, it works much better with SoftXpand compared to MC.
Plugins aren't on the level of MC. Sure, you can get a bazillion useless web channel / Rube Goldberg machine style plugins (facebook integration, seriously??), but none of them add proper PVR, Bluray or HDDVD support, advanced metadata features (retrieve metadata for multiple players, save metadata with actual files and not in "the cache" where it can be lost in a heartbeat). You know, things you actually need in a media center. I'm actually retrieving XBMC metadata via Media Center!

EDIT: Setting up Shark007 codec pack for Media Center and Media Browser literally takes 15 minutes. Compare that to the time it takes to "perfect" XBMC.
EDIT 2: Lacks native support for media remote. Haven't checked if there is a plugin, but the fact that this isn't built in is telling. Also, all media remotes with special features like built-in display drivers will only work with Media Center since, you know, all PC remotes are Media Center Certified hardware. Like this remote for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4iLeRj5WQQ

I was going to follow up with a comparison to XBMC to show why MC is better but it was late yesterday :)

mashakos
08-11-2012, 10:31 AM
Also I don't know where the $60 figure comes from, because it shows up for $10, unless someone factored in the cost of Win8 Pro? Don't know why anyone would want it with far better free alternatives.

http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/windows-8-media-center-pack-is-free-until-january-20121025/

Jams O'Donnell
08-11-2012, 10:38 AM
Good lord, I'm not sure you posted enough images there.

Heliocentric
08-11-2012, 10:47 AM
Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?

mashakos
08-11-2012, 10:51 AM
Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?

that's sad. If you installed shark007's codec pack you would basically have support for every file type under the sun right into Media Player and Media Center.

mashakos
08-11-2012, 10:54 AM
Forgot to mention that Windows 8 cannot play DVDs anymore unless you install (purchase) the Windows 8 Pro Pack

Heliocentric
08-11-2012, 11:12 AM
Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?

mashakos
08-11-2012, 11:20 AM
Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?

VLC goes into epileptic shock when set to Dolby Digital/DTS SPDIF output.

The Tupper
08-11-2012, 11:34 AM
Good lord, I'm not sure you posted enough images there.

I think the idea is that one scrolls down the page very quickly and it acts as a zoetrope.

CommunistHamster
08-11-2012, 12:03 PM
What the hell is this noisy crap? My video files are arranged in easily navigable folders (all the information being displayed at once, not 8 giant icons at once) and I don't give a shit about browsing by actors or directors.

Windows explorer+cccp.

mashakos
08-11-2012, 12:10 PM
What the hell is this noisy crap? My video files are arranged in easily navigable folders (all the information being displayed at once, not 8 giant icons at once) and I don't give a shit about browsing by actors or directors.

Windows explorer+cccp.
that's cute.

Challenge: try opening and browsing a bunch of windows folders using only an xbox360 gamepad or wireless remote, while sitting in front of your TV on a couch.

Jesus_Phish
08-11-2012, 12:16 PM
For a HTPC on a big screen TV or projector the Media centre is a nice piece of kit. It looks appealing and is a great interface for finding other shows or movies and getting details.

For me, VLC and my rip folder does the job. If I was to set something up for my parents I'd go with MC.

Heliocentric
08-11-2012, 12:22 PM
VLC goes into epileptic shock when set to Dolby Digital/DTS SPDIF output.

I like that you quoted my accidental double post 2 times unironically.

mashakos
08-11-2012, 12:24 PM
I like that you quoted my accidental double post 2 times unironically.

"A new version of Windows with less features? SOLD!"

better?

Heliocentric
08-11-2012, 12:59 PM
"A new version of Windows with less features? SOLD!"

better?
If its price reflects the reduction in unneeded features thats fine by me.

mashakos
08-11-2012, 01:05 PM
If its price reflects the reduction in unneeded features thats fine by me.

You are only buying access to the metro app store in that case.

Jesus_Phish
08-11-2012, 01:09 PM
Yeah isn't it vastly cheaper than previous versions of Windows?

Right now I can get W8 as an upgrade for €29.99. To get from Vista to 7 it cost nearly €200 and for a fresh install copy it was nearly €300. All figures are for the Pro version.

I would gladly take the reduced cost of €30 and not get features that I never used anyway.

mashakos
08-11-2012, 01:13 PM
Yeah isn't it vastly cheaper than previous versions of Windows?

Right now I can get W8 as an upgrade for €29.99. To get from Vista to 7 it cost nearly €200 and for a fresh install copy it was nearly €300. All figures are for the Pro version.

I would gladly take the reduced cost of €30 and not get features that I never used anyway.

I have a feeling this price range won't last. There were limited offers for Win7 as well - and it came with all the features intact. I bought my oem copy of Win7 ultimate for $67.

soldant
08-11-2012, 01:55 PM
http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/windows-8-media-center-pack-is-free-until-january-20121025/
The comments might explain why it shows up for me as $9.95, but can anyone else check?

Finicky
08-11-2012, 05:49 PM
Yeah isn't it vastly cheaper than previous versions of Windows?

Right now I can get W8 as an upgrade for €29.99. To get from Vista to 7 it cost nearly €200 and for a fresh install copy it was nearly €300. All figures are for the Pro version.

I would gladly take the reduced cost of €30 and not get features that I never used anyway.
Ehm what, I paid 99 euros for my win 7 standalone copy and I got to keep my vista license seperately.

Jesus_Phish
08-11-2012, 06:01 PM
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2009/06/windows-7-pricing-announced-cheaper-than-vista/

As said, it's probably that there was an early adopter price for Windows 7 as there is for Windows 8.

You also have to remember there are six versions of Windows 7, what one did you get for €99?

spacein_vader
08-11-2012, 09:08 PM
The DVD video playback codec licence cost being removed is fine by me. Also, you do realise that all you have to do is go to http://windows.microsoft.com/is-IS/windows-8/feature-packs and enter your email address to be sent a free key. I know that this offer expires in January but you don't have to already purchase Windows 8. You can get a free key now, upgrade in a year and it'll still work.

Took the plunge and got 8, I love the new Explorer & desktop improvements, while Metro is fairly intuitive for me and great for my 4 year old.

mashakos
09-11-2012, 01:54 PM
The DVD video playback codec licence cost being removed is fine by me.

what is the retail price of Windows 8? Not the limited offers right now.

renhoelder
09-11-2012, 02:00 PM
Would've been nice to post an actual download link for all this you've been drooling over. When you've got all the time to point out how awesome and must-have this is...no Media Browser link.

Also, Total Media Theater 5 costs...$99.99 that's almost 7x what I paid for Win 8...yeah...doesn't seem worth it.

mashakos
09-11-2012, 02:22 PM
Would've been nice to post an actual download link for all this you've been drooling over. When you've got all the time to point out how awesome and must-have this is...no Media Browser link.

Also, Total Media Theater 5 costs...$99.99 that's almost 7x what I paid for Win 8...yeah...doesn't seem worth it.

true, totalmedia theater is a bit pricey. The plugin is included with the software, even though it could have easily been an addon. I happened to have bought it a few years back.

... and, google does exist?

renhoelder
09-11-2012, 02:32 PM
true, totalmedia theater is a bit pricey. The plugin is included with the software, even though it could have easily been an addon. I happened to have bought it a few years back.

... and, google does exist?

Really? Must write it down. But if you're going to promote something, linking it for the people to try it out themselves is pretty much common courtesy on the interwebs, is it not?

Anyways, I've been looking for a good, not high-end, universal remote that would work and get along with Media Center, TV, reciever and maybe my PS3. Maybe you have any suggestions?

mashakos
09-11-2012, 02:41 PM
Really? Must write it down. But if you're going to promote something, linking it for the people to try it out themselves is pretty much common courtesy on the interwebs, is it not?

Anyways, I've been looking for a good, not high-end, universal remote that would work and get along with Media Center, TV, reciever and maybe my PS3. Maybe you have any suggestions?

not promoting anything here, lol.

as for suggestions:
I have a harmony 890 and love it. Not sure if it would work for you, my PC case (http://www.silverstonetek.com/product_legacy.php?area=en&model=lc14) has IR built-in. You'd also need to get one of these (http://www.logitech.com/en-us/remotes/accessories/5732) for the PS3. The gyration air music remote is an ok-ish universal IR remote but a brilliant Media Center remote. I use both:

http://mashakos.com/pers/img/newremotes.jpg

EDIT: If that's too high end, the Gyration Universal Remote cost 30 bucks two years ago (http://dealnews.com/Gyration-Universal-Remote-Control-for-PC-for-30-free-shipping/348945.html). If you can find it, it's a great device and would be highly recommended for cheap.