[DISCUSSION] Patch WMC to run on Windows 10 final & possible alternatives

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by ricktendo64, May 8, 2015.

  1. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    Sure, I think so, but unfortunately looks like many EU users surrended to use alternatives to WMC, or don't care of TV at all.

    In the US is a bit different given WMC is practically the only decent SW to use their ugly Cable Cards.
    I guess we can consider abadonware it now. I suggested the (old) 4.1.1 for a reason over newer releases (no online activation needed, easy to reset the trial with 5/6 lines .bat file. The older 3.2 is good as well)

    Obviously 4.1.1 is old and it has troubles many with modern online services, but that's where NEXTPVR comes handy, it's free/maintained, and the output streams are perfectly managed by DVBLINK for IPTV, the same should be valid for a direct input from TVheadend (frankly I have not tried that)


    The basic idea is similar, but I'm not sure, it will work on WMC, I'll look in to it later.

    The brilliant point of dvblink, is that given the protected and "unbreakable" path used by WMC, instead of providing a stream in the middle of the chain, it provides emulated tuners, so the path is not modified in any way, it acts before the first "ring".

    And emulated tuners requires signed drivers, WHQL certifications, and alike, something that can't be afforded by a random coder, even a very skilled one.

    It's matter of money, not (just) skill.
     
  2. Kévin Chalet

    Kévin Chalet MDL Member

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    Yeah. Personally, I've tried pretty much everything on the market (from Plex to SichboPVR) and while there are good offers out there, nothing can beat WIndows Media Center as a DVR/PVR (I now have more 7,000 recordings so no need to say I'm pushing it way further than the eHome developers could have ever imagined :D).

    Makes total sense. I was a bit reluctant suggesting using DVBLink "illegally" given it was developed by a small company (and not a huge business like Microsoft :p) but yeah, since it's abandoned, I guess it's no big deal.

    I 100% agree: given how complex and badly documented BDA and DirectShow are, developing such drivers is extremely complicated and very few developers still have the required skills in 2023.
    Luckily, Silicondust is not a random company and they have an expertise developing this stuff: their HDHomeRun BDA drivers are not new and should be extremely stable.

    With the full Tvheadend/NextPVR/DVBLink setup, do you see a noticeable latency or is it fairly low?
     
  3. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    Yeah. But I still miss showshifter, the 1st mediacenter that MS basically copied when they started XP MCE (and in the early days showshifter just worked, while MCE (before a ton of updates) was a pain in the ass.

    100% agree. But personally, given I helped to keep/port WMC to W10 and to keep it working over the years, I think I helped that small company way more than they helped me, basically they staied afloat for a decade because WMC, and the free work of me and others here on MDL, so no regrets if I never bought a DVBLINK license.:rolleyes:
    (then they made the suicide choice to not support it with TV mosaic)

    Yeah, like I said I'll experiment on this in the next days. (thanks for sharing infos about something I didn't know)

    If you mean latency between audio and video, no.
    No problem at all

    If you mean latency between the moment you switch the channel and the moment you start seeing the TV, it's not a lot, like 1/2 seconds w/o transoding, a bit more if you add TVH to the mix.

    For sure way less latency than the official IPTV broadcast, which are especially nasty in sports.

    Here on the past FIFA World championship you could hear people screaming for a goal like 15 seconds before you would see it on the official IPTV. :mad:
     
  4. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    #10565 acer-5100, Apr 10, 2023
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2023
    Keep in mind that speaking of TVheadend I'm a newbie as well

    No idea about what you ask, I just add some transcoding profile(s) and they work, no matter if audio is transcoded or left unchanged as well.

    Then given TVH has the ability to stream as TS or as MKV I guess it remuxes...

    Probably dvblink does its dirty work providing WMC with exactly what it expects
     
  5. Kévin Chalet

    Kévin Chalet MDL Member

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    Sorry, I should have been more specific (all this stuff is far from being easy and there are lots of complicated terms... :wacko:)

    There are actually two kinds of TS streams made available by Tvheadend:
    - The mu(ltiple)xed MPTS stream: it's the raw TS stream directly returned by the demodulator/tuner and matching the frequency you set: it generally contains multiple streams at the same time, corresponding to all the channels included in the DVB-T(2) multiplex. You can access it via http://[Tvheadend IP]:9981/stream/mux/[ID of the multiplex] and if you open that link with VLC, you can switch between each channel via Playback -> Programs.
    - The demu(ltiple)xed SPTS stream: it's the raw TS stream corresponding to the video/audio/subtiles of a single channel, extracted by Tvheadend from the MPTS stream (and likely the one you're using with DVBLink). You can access it via http://[Tvheadend IP]:9981/stream/channel/[ID of the channel].

    Given HDHomeRun allows creating a terrestrial or cable tuner that is very close to what a physical tuner would look like, I guess it's not unreasonable that it is expecting a MPTS stream from the virtual tuner. You're likely right that DVBLink must do something like a remux to make WMC happy :giggle:

    I'll keep digging. Hopefully, I should also be able to give DVBLink a try.
     
  6. Kévin Chalet

    Kévin Chalet MDL Member

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    Thanks to acer, I was able to give DVBLink 4.1 a try, and except the frequent (and quite annoying) "PlayReady update incomplete" errors that require switching to a different channel before switching back to the channel you want, it works fairly well (acer confirmed he was also seeing similar errors from time to time so I'm not the only one impacted, I guess).

    That said, I spent more time on my Tvheadend + HDHRProxyIPTV experimentation and found out why I was getting a "service unavailable" error when applying the webtv-h264-aac-mpegts stream profile: while it includes "mpegts" in its name, the process is unfortunately lossy and important data present in the original TS stream is lost during the transcoding: the TS transport stream ID and the service ID, that are both required by Windows Media Center to validate it's the correct channel (they are replaced by Tvheadend by dummy values).

    While not perfect, Tvheadend 4.3 introduced a new MPEG-TS Spawn profile type that allows invoking any program to manually handle the transcoding part.
    After compiling the latest Tvheadend bits locally, I was able to leverage this new feature with ffmpeg to transcode a channel stream and restore the correct TS metadata needed by WMC:

    Code:
    ffmpeg -i - -f mpegts -mpegts_transport_stream_id 0x0006 -mpegts_service_id 0x0601 -metadata service_provider="SMR6" -metadata service_name="TF1" -c:a copy -c:v [preferred video codec] -hide_banner -loglevel panic pipe:1
    It certainly requires more configuration than DVBLink, but the BDA integration seems way more reliable on my test machine (I didn't see any error when switching channels).

    It's great to see we have viable options to keep using our favorite media center app :evil2:
     
  7. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    We have a different background and a different history so we find hard to adapt on each other's method.


    I never cared about TS, I cared about the content, I get the channel numbers from the DVBLINK GUI, and the EPG from XML collected by the great EPG grabber, so I never cared about additional infos on the TS stream...

    I have one channel, one stream, one epg info. I don't even use the TS container in HDheadend, during my experiments i fount that the MKV container works better for my personal usage, and has less glitches in MPC-HC, VLC and Android clients
     
  8. Kévin Chalet

    Kévin Chalet MDL Member

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    Not caring about the TS details isn't a problem with DVBLink, but not with the HDHomeRun BDA drivers as they are real (tho' remote) ATSC, DVB-T(2) or DVB-C tuners.
    When you think about it, it's indeed logical to feed them with TS streams that respect the typical constraints of ATSC/DVB streams :yes:
     
  9. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    Yes, I understand.

    I'm not saying is a wrong approach, just saying I'm not used to it, because a ten year habit
     
  10. Joni

    Joni MDL Junior Member

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    I should reinstall Windows and I was thinking of maybe installing win11. Does WMC work in it? If it does work is there anything that doesn't work vs in win10?
     
  11. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    Frankly, if you want to play with win 11 install it in a virtual machine, so you can delete it in one click after you realize what is it...

    Nothing different than installing it on a recent W10

    Aside W11 itself, nothing I'm aware of...
     
  12. Kévin Chalet

    Kévin Chalet MDL Member

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    Not sure what your actual use case is, but Windows Server 2019 and 2022 are also great candidates: they benefit from a very long support policy and no longer require importing the Windows BDA drivers infrastructure as it's included in recent versions of Windows Server (with 2008 and 2012, you had to copy a bunch of system files from a Windows client machine).

    Note: you need to install the "WiFi LAN service" feature, even if you don't have a WiFi card on your machine (otherwise, WMC won't launch).
     
  13. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    #10574 acer-5100, May 11, 2023
    Last edited: May 11, 2023
    Not entirely correct.


    Speaking of servers

    Windows Home Server 2011 works out of the box.

    Storage Server 2008 R2 essentials (misleading name for a better brother of WHS 2011) works out of the box

    Server 2012 Essentials works out of the box (but there isn't a patched version of WMC for it, so not a solution suggested to newbies).

    Server 2012 R2 Essentials (or Server 2012 R2 with the essential role enabled) works after you install the WSEMP (windows server essentials media pack), you need also the LAV codecs installed.

    Sever 2016 TP4 (Test Preview 4) Works out of the box and (I guess) still supports the Cable Cards being a 1511 build

    Server 2016/2019/2022 and Server 11 (2025 I guess) works out of the box.

    No problem also using my unofficial servers 2017 (16299), 2018 (17134) and 2020 (1904x)

    Absolutely correct, I spent a day to figure out that the first time I faced the problem (practically you need just a couple of wlan related dlls, no need to have really the role working).
     
  14. jonaand

    jonaand MDL Senior Member

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    for install in windows 10 19045.3031
    what is the last version of media center that should i use
    thanks
     
  15. Joni

    Joni MDL Junior Member

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    Thanks I'll try Server 2022. I remember it was a thing once running server as desktop OS. I think is was Server 2003. Win11 hasn't been all that bad I hate the UI and some things they did with the settings are just stupid but other than that it has been ok.
     
  16. acer-5100

    acer-5100 MDL Guru

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    #10579 acer-5100, Jun 8, 2023
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2023

    Let's separate the two arguments.

    Using a Server as Workstation is a thing now more than it was 10/20 years ago, given the servers are light (almost) crapfree, while recent W10/W11 are just giant spywares.

    But speaking of WMC using a Server as Server is obviously a well known scenario, NextPVR, DVBLINK, TVheadend, ServerWMC and alike are all server programs
     
  17. Kévin Chalet

    Kévin Chalet MDL Member

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