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08-11-2012, 12:10 AM #1
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
selecting one of the profiles gives you ....
to be continued...
Last edited by mashakos; 08-11-2012 at 01:01 AM.
08-11-2012, 12:11 AM #2
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
08-11-2012, 12:12 AM #3
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
08-11-2012, 12:13 AM #4
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
08-11-2012, 12:15 AM #5
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 01:07 AM.
08-11-2012, 08:42 AM #6
08-11-2012, 09:01 AM #7
08-11-2012, 10:24 AM #8
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 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 10:47 AM.
08-11-2012, 10:31 AM #9
08-11-2012, 10:38 AM #10
Good lord, I'm not sure you posted enough images there.
08-11-2012, 10:47 AM #11
Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?
08-11-2012, 10:51 AM #12
08-11-2012, 10:54 AM #13
Forgot to mention that Windows 8 cannot play DVDs anymore unless you install (purchase) the Windows 8 Pro Pack
08-11-2012, 11:12 AM #14
Never use media player, so Yay? Less installation bloat?
08-11-2012, 11:20 AM #15
08-11-2012, 11:34 AM #16
08-11-2012, 12:03 PM #17
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
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.
08-11-2012, 12:10 PM #18
Last edited by mashakos; 08-11-2012 at 12:36 PM.
08-11-2012, 12:16 PM #19
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.
08-11-2012, 12:22 PM #20