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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Media Center is not included with Windows 8

    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 Everyone©! 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.



    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



    How detailed is this data? Check it out

    Synopsis + background slideshow



    actor profiles



    selecting one of the profiles gives you ....
    to be continued...
    Last edited by mashakos; 08-11-2012 at 12:01 AM.
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  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    clicking on any actor profie scans your library for other movies the actor has had a role in



    after which you can run that movie without closing any previous video. The previously playing video is stopped ad the position is bookmarked.


    all the detailed xml data farmed from online servers is accessible while playing a movie

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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    movie synopsis even includes a "similiar movies" tab which lists movies similiar to your tastes



    you can get the synopsis of that similiar movie too


    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


    going into a season "folder" gives you a nice overview of each episode
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    detailed view of a single episode



    several list styles are available in mediabrowser. I use this for documentaries because I don't have a large selection.


    That was all from a single Media Center plugin. Another great plugin is TotalMedia Theater 5.


    With TotalMedia Theater 5 you can play both Blurays and HD-DVDs if your drive has support for both formats
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    adding your mp3/AAC folder to Media Center gives you a nice music player



    some great visualisations and sorting options here


    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.
    Last edited by mashakos; 08-11-2012 at 12:07 AM.
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  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    Wait, people actually use Media Center instead of XBMC?

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaira- View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    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:


    I was going to follow up with a comparison to XBMC to show why MC is better but it was late yesterday :)
    Last edited by mashakos; 08-11-2012 at 09:47 AM.
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  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    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-pi...uary-20121025/
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  10. #10
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Good lord, I'm not sure you posted enough images there.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    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.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that Windows 8 cannot play DVDs anymore unless you install (purchase) the Windows 8 Pro Pack
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?
    VLC goes into epileptic shock when set to Dolby Digital/DTS SPDIF output.
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  16. #16
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    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.

  17. #17
    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.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommunistHamster View Post
    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.
    Last edited by mashakos; 08-11-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    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.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    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.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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