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Windows 7: remote control of windows media center?

21 Jan 2014   #11

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 3D Jed View Post
@dsperber thanks for info. One last stupid noob question - can the viewer watching TV on an extender press 'record' ?

And if you had up to five family members in up to five separate rooms watching "live" TV or recordings through up to five separate extenders and HDTV's, and you had sufficient tuners in your HTPC to support them all if they wanted to watch "live TV" (subtracting any tuners currently being used in the background to perform scheduled recordings) then they could each be doing whatever they wanted independently of anybody else.

And just like with your cable/satellite DVR, WMC provides a 30-minute accumulated buffer of whatever has been played so far in the current program on the current channel you're watching. So pushing the REC button will instantly start recording everything for the current program (up to the end-time as shown in the GUIDE), not only from right this instant but going back as far as the current program exists in this 30-minute buffer (but going back no further than the start of the current program).

In other words, WMC treats your push of the REC button as an in-flight command to instantly start to record the current program being watched, defined by its start/end time in the GUIDE, going back as far as possible in the currently active buffer and including that as well on the recording and ending when the GUIDE says it ends. This is exactly how the recording would have been made had you previously scheduled it, except that you're "coming in part way through the program" so it can start right now and will also pick up as much buffer for the current program as has accumulated before you decided to push that REC button.

This is the same as would happen if you were sitting at your HTPC and watching TV in a window on your monitor (or possibly on a second monitor), while you were working on something else in another window. Then you decided to push REC (using your WMC remote, pointed at a standard WMC IR receiver on your desk). Again, an extender is truly a mini-WMC in a box located somewhere else in your house. So whatever you can do on the HTPC itself, you can also do on any extender... including pushing the REC button while watching "live" TV.

And of course you can PAUSE while watching "live" TV (or watching while simultaneously making a recording, either scheduled or via REC), rewind, start over, skip forward again, etc., all of which has ZERO EFFECT on the ongoing recording which proceeds normally and uninterrupted in the background by whatever you happen to be doing in the foreground. You can even then decide to change channels and watch another program "live", with the previously triggered recording (from your push of the REC button while watching a different program) continues unbothered in the background. You can even power the extender off and go to bed, and the recording you triggered via REC will continue (being performed by the HTPC "server", of course) in the background, having nothing to do with the availability of the extender.

And you can stop (i.e. "abort") any recording currently in progress (either previously scheduled or via REC) just as easily, if you change your mind about it. Whatever portion has been made so far will end up in your list of recordings, and you can certainly watch that piece. Or, you can just delete it and never watch any of it. Again, this can be done from anywhere... on the HTPC (i.e. "server") itself or from any of the extenders (i.e. "clients") which are just mini-WMC boxes remotely placed around your house.

The one thing you can only do on the HTPC itself is to use the mouse or keyboard of your HTPC to control WMC, in addition to being able to control WMC using a standard WMC remote and standard WMC IR (USB) receiver. From an extender, which has no mouse or keyboard, you obviously can only use the remote which came with it (or, actually, any other WMC remote will also work). These are actually all using the same "standard WMC" IR codes defined by Microsoft, so you can find many manufacturers had at one time produced WMC remotes which are physically different but universally interchangeable. They obviously have different ergonomic designs, but they are all usable with all extenders or with the IR/USB receiver up at your HTPC. All WMC remotes can be used everywhere, no matter who made the remotes. They ALL have the same minimum set of WMC-related buttons, though some remotes may have additional buttons for multi-device control or extender-specific functions (e.g. powering on the extender and related TV), etc.

Most importantly, you can allocate however much disk storage space you want to your "\Recorded TV" folder, which is used to make new recordings. And then if you want to make more room for new recordings, you can move old recordings to any number of other additional folders on the disk drives of the HTPC (or on a network server!) which are defined as part of the "Recorded TV Library", used for playback and for the list of recordings available for playback.

So really you can have an infinite amount of storage for recordings to be played back, but are limited to one physical drive (ie. one folder) for storage of newly made recordings. But once the recordings have been made you can move them elsewhere, with them still being available for playback while making room for still more recordings.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2014   #12
3D Jed

Windows 7 pro x64 SP1

hey dsperber #1 WMC dude

just one (unimportant) thing - I'm pretty sure pressing rec on my remote doesn't record from the start of the buffer. It don't matter, but could that be because I have a 3rd party remote (actually Speed-Link from the days of Vista) not MS. And have you noticed how KB shortcuts work different to the WMC remote. FF-PLAY on remote winds back a few secs, but via KB just goes straight to play.

anyhows thanks for all your time

Jed, Manchester UK
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2014   #13

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 3D Jed View Post
just one (unimportant) thing - I'm pretty sure pressing rec on my remote doesn't record from the start of the buffer.
Hmmm... perhaps I should have double-checked myself to confirm that, before putting it in writing. Maybe I'm thinking about real cable DVR's (e.g. from Motorola) which I know DO work that way. That's why I simply assumed it worked the same with WMC.

But, I could be wrong, as you say. I will try it myself later.

It don't matter
True... not really a big deal either way.

but could that be because I have a 3rd party remote (actually Speed-Link from the days of Vista) not MS.
Unlikely. The REC button works with your remote, right? It's not the remote that is determining whether or not there's a buffer accumulation which should also be recorded... it's WMC itself.

So if WMC is not written to record any buffer, then that's the reason... not what remote ou're using.

And have you noticed how KB shortcuts work different to the WMC remote. FF-PLAY on remote winds back a few secs, but via KB just goes straight to play.
These little anomalies are like "bloopers".

I wasn't actually aware of this as I always use the remote. So however far it goes (even if it "bounces back a few seconds" after skipping forward 29 seconds, which is the default forward-skip interval) I just know it went forward about 30 seconds or so, and that's "good enough".

I've changed the "skip back" interval (referred officially to as "instant replay interval") from the default 7 seconds to 12 seconds. 7 seconds is just too small for a back-skip to be useful.

anyhows thanks for all your time
Glad to get an opportunity to share the wonders of WMC with anyone interested. Believe me, my HTPC will be running Win7 for a very long time to come. I've got a 1.2TB primary "\Recorded TV" folder for new recordings (on an internal 7200rpm 2TB SATA6 drive with 64MB cache), and then additional folders on other storage drives where I sometimes copy recording for playback-only. For example there's no way all that's shown during the Olympics could possibly be recorded and then watched during the 16 days, and HUGE amounts of storage is required just to record everything. It then takes MONTHS to play it back.

Couldn't possibly do this with ordinary cable/satellite DVR's. Only WMC with "unlimited" disk storage can handle this task.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jan 2014   #14

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

My experience is the live tv buffer is tossed when record button pressed.
It is a feature, not a bug.
I suppose the designers think you want to start from when you hit the record button.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2014   #15

Windows 7 Pro-x64

Ditto. WMC starts recording when you press Record. Which, when you think about it, is correct. What's been shown up to that point is not. Makes sense but I've been irritated by it before. :)

What would really be nice is if it worked like security camera systems. These record a buffer 24/7. When an alarm (motion) is triggered, the "pre-record" buffer for that camera is saved for up to a specified time (usually up to 10 minutes). So not only do you get the live recording but also up to 10 minutes before the event occurred. In WMC, the buffer exists already. You can see it moved to the Recycle Bin after you close it. If I'm watching a program then decide to record it, it would be easy to just include the entire program for the time slot. There's been a number of times I was watching a program and got called away or had numerous interruptions and wanted to see it from the start. But...not to be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 remote control of windows media center?

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