Coffeehouse Thread

29 posts

Software Media Center Extender

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    daSmirnov

    My TV card has just had it's beta BDA drivers released.  So now I'm toying with the idea of buying MCE to check it out.  Can't find a trial version tho. Sad

    Longterm however I'd rather have the MCE box shoved away in the cupboard (as it will no doubt be serving my Xbox 360 too).  However.  All my TV watching is done on my main monitor sat on my desktop, with my desktop machine.

    Is there any such thing as a software extender, so I can extend MCE on the box in my cupboard out to my desktop machine?  Is one planned?

  • User profile image
    IanD

    At the moment there is NO software extender. There is no trial version but if you have MSDN you can install it from there

    You could have 2 MCE boxes and share the content from the one in the cupboard

    You should listen to the Windows Media Center Show Smiley

    Ian
    The Media Center show

  • User profile image
    eddwo

    Longterm there is always the XBox 360, which will integrate with MCE/be a Media Center Extender.

    There is also an open source alternative to MCE
    Media Portal http://mediaportal.sourceforge.net/
    which you could try out with the BDA drivers before you decide to upgrade or not.

    Is your TV card a Nebula DigiTv?
    I've been waiting a while for BDA drivers for that too.

  • User profile image
    daSmirnov

    Yup it's the Nebula card.  I'll check out Media Portal.  Nah I don't have an MSDN sub, but I do listen to the Media Center Show now and then. Wink

  • User profile image
    IanD

    "but I do listen to the Media Center Show now and then"
    Thanks
    Some stores are selling MCE OS and the remote as a bundle for £130 ish, I am sure Scan in the UK sell it.

    I had a nebula card and you would find that MCE is miles ahead of there software. Not just for the TV stuff

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    eddwo wrote:
    Longterm there is always the XBox 360, which will integrate with MCE/be a Media Center Extender.

    There is also an open source alternative to MCE
    Media Portal http://mediaportal.sourceforge.net/
    which you could try out with the BDA drivers before you decide to upgrade or not.

    Is your TV card a Nebula DigiTv?
    I've been waiting a while for BDA drivers for that too.


    Thank you!!!!

  • User profile image
    daSmirnov

    Yeah the Nebula software is painfully slow - although that should be fixed in the version after 3.5 when they use DirectX for the UI.

    But you can do cool things with the Nebula software such as streaming TV to other computers.  Which is something I really want MCE to do. Crying

    Don't suppose you know if the upcoming update for MCE solves some of the UK issues such as losing channel data when there's a change and things like that?  Anyword on red button support?

    When the 360 invades my living room I need a rock solid MCE box I can rely on behind it. Smiley  My plan is to get rid of Sky and just use my freeview card and I'm fighting against everyone to do it cuz they're all sport mad.  So it's a race against time before someone goes and buys a Sky+ box!  lol.

  • User profile image
    IanD

    daSmirnov wrote:
    Yeah the Nebula software is painfully slow - although that should be fixed in the version after 3.5 when they use DirectX for the UI.

    But you can do cool things with the Nebula software such as streaming TV to other computers.  Which is something I really want MCE to do.

    Don't suppose you know if the upcoming update for MCE solves some of the UK issues such as losing channel data when there's a change and things like that?  Anyword on red button support?

    When the 360 invades my living room I need a rock solid MCE box I can rely on behind it.   My plan is to get rid of Sky and just use my freeview card and I'm fighting against everyone to do it cuz they're all sport mad.  So it's a race against time before someone goes and buys a Sky+ box!  lol.


    You can stream content with MCE by either just sharing the file and opening in another pc (I share the recorded TV folder then I can watch any record TV on any of the pc's on my wifi network)
    Or using a service like Orb (www.orb.com)
    That works over a lan and the internet

    As for the UK features I spoke to Jon Canning from the eHome team at Redmond on show 13 and I got the impression that the red button features will be coming but I don't know when.

    Apart the the channel naming problems my MCE box is rock solid and the naming problems don't happen to often.

    I did hear that a euro specific Media Center version is in the works...

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    daSmirnov wrote:

    When the 360 invades my living room I need a rock solid MCE box I can rely on behind it.   My plan is to get rid of Sky and just use my freeview card and I'm fighting against everyone to do it cuz they're all sport mad.  So it's a race against time before someone goes and buys a Sky+ box!  lol.


    All I want is a media centre PC which will replace my sky+ box. Completly.

    Red button.

    Series links.

    Support for paid for movies & events.

    And a way to copy the wife's recorded big brother episodes to her notebook so she can watch them in another room Smiley

  • User profile image
    daSmirnov

    Software extender would be great.  At the moment I can watch a Live TV feed on my Tablet PC...  That's just hard to be without.

    Does the MCE save network passwords?  Or does it behave like Home in that respect and require you to enter it every reboot?

  • User profile image
    IanD

    Live straining is something that is missing unless your in the USA as Orb will do that

    I think it does ask for passwords
    Windows Media Connect is another option

  • User profile image
    Resrick

    IanD wrote:
    Windows Media Connect is another option


    Unfortunately, this is what everyone keeps saying.  However, I have my eye on the shiny new Vista MCE with CableCard solution.  My understanding of that box is that anything recorded through a cable card is encrypted and cannot be viewed on a different pc.  You can only view these recordings on the original pc or through an extender.

    So having a software extender would be very nice.  This would allow you to view the recordings on another computer in the same house without breaking copy protection rules.

  • User profile image
    acrophile

    Resrick said:
    IanD wrote:
    Windows Media Connect is another option


    Unfortunately, this is what everyone keeps saying.  However, I have my eye on the shiny new Vista MCE with CableCard solution.  My understanding of that box is that anything recorded through a cable card is encrypted and cannot be viewed on a different pc.  You can only view these recordings on the original pc or through an extender.

    So having a software extender would be very nice.  This would allow you to view the recordings on another computer in the same house without breaking copy protection rules.
    Any news on this front??? It just boggles my mind that the 360 has an extender so it should be pretty trivial to get one running under Windows.

    Sigh... Sad

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    acrophile said:
    Resrick said:
    *snip*
    Any news on this front??? It just boggles my mind that the 360 has an extender so it should be pretty trivial to get one running under Windows.

    Sigh... Sad
    Can't you just use Windows Media Player Media Sharing?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Isn't a MCE effectively just an RDP session to the Media Centre PC that auto launches the Media Centre app? Couldn't you replicate it by just using the Remote Desktop Client?

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    AndyC said:
    Isn't a MCE effectively just an RDP session to the Media Centre PC that auto launches the Media Centre app? Couldn't you replicate it by just using the Remote Desktop Client?
    Great frame rate Big Smile

  • User profile image
    daSmirnov

    AndyC said:
    Isn't a MCE effectively just an RDP session to the Media Centre PC that auto launches the Media Centre app? Couldn't you replicate it by just using the Remote Desktop Client?
    Nope, performance would be terrible, assuming the video would even work.

    It isn't something hard to do, but it looks like Microsoft have no interest in developing a software extender, despite a couple of years of people bringing it up.

  • User profile image
    ASP.Confused

    daSmirnov said:
    AndyC said:
    *snip*
    Nope, performance would be terrible, assuming the video would even work.

    It isn't something hard to do, but it looks like Microsoft have no interest in developing a software extender, despite a couple of years of people bringing it up.
    There's an open source project called SoftSled that's working on a software-based MCE extender.  It appears to have some things working, like getting Vista to recognize it as an extender.

    http://softsled.net/

    But the project looks like it may be stalled out...?  This is their CodePlex page:

    http://www.codeplex.com/softsled

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.