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Windows 7: Problem with .wtv file format

07 Oct 2012   #1
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 
Problem with .wtv file format

Hi folks. I am considering using WMC as my PVR software for a planned upgrade to my home theater setup. I've been testing it out.

The immediate problem I am having is with the .wtv file format for recorded TV.
I know if I had a HTPC connected directly to my TV via HDMI there would be no issue here.

But in my media setup I have a remote PC based PVR that connects via wired ethernet to my LAN. The TV and my Media Player are also on the LAN. I can play recorded TV in MPG format from either over the network, as well as music, photos, etc. Problem is that the Panasonic TV (using DNLA) can't recognize or play .wtv files, and the D-Link Media Server can't either.

I'm looking for a simple, elegant solution. File conversion, unless it can be done effortlessly, does not look like a good option.

I thought about upgrading my ancient Media Player to one that plays .wtv files. I am looking at the Western Digital WD TV Live Steaming Video Player. The specs on this unit list an impressive number of compatible file formats - but .wtv is not one of them.

Q1: Is anyone using the WD TV player and know if it will play recorded TV from WMC?

Q2: Anyone have a simple solution to using WMC to record TV in a system like mine?

Current Setup:
  • Pentium 4 Based PC running W7 32 bit Home Premium
  • 3 Hauppauge HVR-1600 tuners
  • SageTV v6 PVR software (now defunct)
  • Wired gigabit LAN
  • D-Link DSM-520 Media Player (wired ethernet/HDMI)
  • D-Link Media Server software (ancient and clunky)
  • Panasonic TC-P55GT30 TV (Vierra Link & DNLA capable)
Any help or pointers would be greatly appreciated!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Oct 2012   #2
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Install a Windows Media Center "extender" at the HDTV location (as you already have the ethernet cable connection to that location from what I understand from your description).

Don't try to play the recorded TV files (WTV) directly from your Panny TV which apparently has no support for WTV. Connect the Panny to the extender via HDMI, and just use it as it's intended... a remote HDTV location to your HTPC through the extender.

And besides, if you ever upgraded your TV tuners in the HTPC to include Ceton (or Silicon Dust) cablecard-enabled tuners rather than just OTA/ATSC tuners, the WTV recorded files would be "copy protected" and could not be played by your Panny TV even if it DID understand WTV! Copy-protected WTV files recorded by WMC can ONLY be played through an "extender".

So, you can investigate one of your rather limited media center extender options:

(a) Linksys DMA2100, passive/silent, no longer made but still available

(b) Xbox 360, active/fan but relatively quiet, available and works perfectly

(c) new Ceton Echo extender coming out soon (shortly to enter beta, retail availability expected by the holidays).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #3
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Thanks dsperber. Great info. I appreciate it.

I should have mentioned that everything I record is from ClearQAM, so no copy protection there (yet). We use streaming service and BluRay for everything else. This is just time-shifted broadcast TV.

I've been installing, trying out, and deleting a few different PVR programs over the weekends. So far, no winners. I will come back to WMC and your suggestions if nothing pans out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Oct 2012   #4
crash2009

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 
Sounds like

your wtv files are non drm. I used dvrmtoolbox to convert wtv to mpg. This conversion allowed the built in media player within my Samsung TV to play the files with no problem. For directions and links to software try here.....

View topic - WTV or DVRMS to SAMSUNG

If you would like to confirm whether or not your wtv files are protected or not. Open your Recorded TV folder in Windows Explorer, right click on the line that has the column names (Name, Date Modified, Size, Type) and select More. Scroll down the ist that is presented, and check "Protected".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2012   #5
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Thank you for your response.
Although video conversion is an obvious answer it does entail an extra step, and that small amount of labor just defeats the usefulness of using WMC in a home entertainment system such as mine.
I believe I have my answer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2012   #6
crash2009

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 
Chores

True, it is an extra step, and it is a bit of a hassle. Also dual file storage on the hard drive. It is a chore to manage. I have read about others that have, or attempted to, automate the chore.

The extender looks like a more viable option. Is there another that I have overlooked?

Which way are you planning to go?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #7
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I am going to continue 'recycling' my old PCs to use as PVRs. Every time I cost out building a a HTPC I gag. If I'm going to spend that kind of money it is going on my desk, not in the cabinet! TV tuners with hardware encoders eliminate any need for processing horsepower in the PC anyway.

I have purchased a Western Digital Media Player (it plays .TS files natively) and will use PVR software to record TV. These all record digital television as Transport Stream files.

I'm looking at NextPVR. But I have found, to my surprise, that the WinTV v7 program that comes with the Hauppauge drivers is actually a worthy contender. Granted it is not as polished as the others, but it has a simple, basic recorder that does the job. I never looked at it before because WinTV v6 was so useless.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2013   #8
MRake

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hey all
I came across this post and wondered if you had any new updates?
I'm using WMC and HD homerun tuners, I love the WMC interface to record my OTA TV shows.
I then use MCE Buddy to automatically convert the WTV format to MPG or AVI AND remove commercials.
This process works ok, MCE buddy works great but it uses allot of CPU time and I'm still experimenting with moving the MCE Buddy to different computers on my network to minimize inconveniences of a “busy computer”.
I use a WTV Live box to view my TV shows & movies on my OLD Panasonic CRT TV.
I will be soon be upgrading my TV to a new model with an HDMI input and I am thinking there has to be a better way, it does not appear anyone is supporting the WTV format over the DLNA interface.

My choices (I think?) are to replace WMC with PVR software that will save my recorded TV in a standard format
OR
Buy and use a WMC extender (not to many to choose from, and pricey)
OR …

Any Ideas
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2013   #9
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

No, nothing much to add. WMC is a great platform but limited to HTPC connected to TV use only. It does not play well with others and does not work with any known media player.

WinTV 7 has turned out to be a disappointment also. Too limited to be a functional PVR platform.

I'm still looking for a solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2013   #10
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
No, nothing much to add. WMC is a great platform but limited to HTPC connected to TV use only. It does not play well with others and does not work with any known media player.

WinTV 7 has turned out to be a disappointment also. Too limited to be a functional PVR platform.

I'm still looking for a solution.
I'm not sure what more you need or want in software and ClearQAM or OTA/ATSC TV, but I used BeyondTV prior to going with WMC because I needed Ceton/cablecard tuner support for protected content.

BeyondTV is perfectly fine for unprotected content, and supports the ATI TV tuner cards as well as the Hauppauge TV tuner cards. Also, it supports the composite/S-video/line-audio input on these cards (e.g. being fed from an external VCR or satellite receiver) unlike WMC which does not.

Lots of good features, including "SmartSkip" automatic commercial detection/elimination which worked great for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Problem with .wtv file format




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