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Why I will not upgrade to Emby Theater from Emby Classic


aziz
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Hi Folks... what I am about to say will upset few people I am sure, but my goal is to give honest feedback, and it is not meant to be criticism directed at people responsible for the Emby Theater, as I am sure they are doing the best they can, but may be need direction from actual users.

 

So, you can consider me as a die hard Windows Media Center users from the days it was Called MCE (Media Center Edition) of Windows XP... this must take me back to 2003.. OMG

 

OK.  We all know that Emby Server is the BEST, and Emby Classic is (was) the best way to watch movies... that's a given.. So, I am not going to talk about that part of Emby Theater.

 

I will focus on the activities that every WMC user engages in when not watching movies in order of importance...

 

First:  Music.

 

Most of my use is Music.. I am sure everyone feels the same.. when having friends round, when doing things, when reading, when just pottering about.. we listen to music...

 

So, I started Emby Theater on Windows 10 and server 4.3.1.0 with WMC remote control.  (no mouse or keyboard insight.)

 

 

So, I click on Green button... nothing happens... ( i was hoping Emby Theater would come up...)

 

never mind, i dig out the mouse and click Emby Theater icon.. and it starts.

 

I choose my music library, and I have around 2500 albums.. it starts smoothly...  nice.

 

I choose album view, and immediately think... why are they wasting all the screen real-estate... only two rows of albums with all that empty space in between... they should copy WMC and make it slide from side to side...  it makes a lot more since as it will go in a circle when you hit the end.

 

I selected an album, and chose song no.3 from that album... it started fine.

 

I then moved into another album to choose a different song and add it to play now Que.. I could not find a way to do that using the remote. (on the mouse, you can right click, but the mouse is on another side of the room)

 

OK...  then i though i will forget about this, and view by year and play all songs from that year...   No way to do that...

 

in the meanwhile, i got phone call, so i pressed pause on my remote, after the call ended.. i pressed pause again to play... nothing happened...  i had to press play which started the whole thing again from scratch..  What the What...

 

OK... so, i played through the songs, picking from my library, and thats when it started skipping songs, jumping between songs, etc etc.. my frustration level hit 10, and I did a Control Alt Delete and got rid of the damn thing.

 

Also I should mention, during this very basic testing.. it froze once with the circle in middle and I had to restart, and I lost the sound couple of time, even when the progress bar was still working...

 

Generally.. I got the feeling that the Music part of the software is still in early beta, with the most important functionality still missing...

 

I have a feeling i will be scared if i try the Photo and Video option, which is the most important when people come round...

 

I am hoping by writing this, i can improve the software, as currently, I can only stay with WMC, and if Emby stops supporting it, then I have to find another Media Browser..

 

Best of luck.  

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dansblackcat

How did you find the playback quality of the music? Mine is terrible in Theatre. Not crisp like it should be. Sounds fine in EMC.

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Hi Dansblackcat,

 

My main system is still running WMC and Emby Classic, which is connected to my HIFI system.

 

The Emby Theater i am testing is located on my test rig, which has very basic sound system, so, i did not test for quality of sound.

 

but I can tell you that it was not very stable.   I have been using WMC since it first came out, and I can assure you i have never had an issue when playing music or watching photo's with friends, not even once.. it is rock solid..

 

Emby Theater froze once, and cut the volume off few times during an hour testing..   So, I am not sure enough time was spent on the platform.

 

The Emby Team keeps asking us WMC user, "did you look at Emby Theater??", but I don't think any of the team have used Emby Theater and WMC head to head, so they are not aware of our issues.

 

I think whoever is responsible for Emby Theater, MUST install WMC and use it for a whole month exclusively as entertainment device (including Games, YouTube, etc ), and then try to build a WMC replacement.

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Hi.  Have you considered simplifying your platform entirely and moving to something like a Shield or Roku box?  You would also get a much nicer experience with other apps like Netflix, etc.

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Hi Chief,

 

To be honest, I have no idea what Shield is or even Roku... I will go and do some research and find out.  for me, netflex and all the others are irrelevant, as my main consumption comes from Music, Photos, live TV and Movies (Emby).  and for Games, my PC does the rest.

 

I have a feeling Roku and Shield and Apple TV and All the rest will not give me a total package, and I will go back to the dark ages of fifty million boxes living around my TV and one billion miles of cabling to sort through, and not mentioning the fact that every room in my house has a MCE Extender (even the bathroom) which gives me all of that minus the Games off course.

 

But.. let me not speak too hastly, and go and do the research first..

 

By the way... I really appreciate your help and suggestions guys, but I still don't understand what benefits the Emby Community and the Emby team gets from dropping a working platform.  I hear some guys got WMC working on Windows 10, which stops it being a dead platform.... am I right??

 

Another idea is, Emby team should purchase WMC from Microsoft and use it as the "Emby Theater"... that will make a lot of people happy, including current Emby Theater users (how many people are using Emby Theater??)

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dansblackcat

Yes "some" people managed to get WMC running on Windows 10 but I wasn't one of those people.  I did get it to install and sort of run but it was extremely unreliable.  Windows updates would constantly break WMC and I was never able to get extenders to work, at all.  I highly recommend staying away from W10 and WMC.

Support is also limited if you're running on WMC on W10.  Devs and the community still do help when possible.

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pmac

Another idea is, Emby team should purchase WMC from Microsoft and use it as the "Emby Theater"... that will make a lot of people happy, including current Emby Theater users (how many people are using Emby Theater??)

 

That would be a huge step backwards. Emby Theater certainly has it's bugs (a couple of which I find quite annoying), but for the most part it's leaps and bounds better and more stable than Media Browser or MB3 ever was.

 

I do miss having the large selection of themes, but I've grown fond of the ET Metro style.

 

I was hesitant at first as well, but I think it comes down to the whole "old dog, new tricks" thing. Give it a try, get used to how to navigate and use it properly, you might eventually find that you like it better (although maybe not, since from the tone of your post you seem to assume everyone consumes media in the exact same way that you do, which is definitely not true).

 

Also, in your list of most important things every WMC user engages in you stopped after writing the first thing: music; and then didn't list anything else. Which leads me to suggest that maybe you should look into a different platform that specializes exclusively in music playback.

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pir8radio

Hi Chief,

 

To be honest, I have no idea what Shield is or even Roku... I will go and do some research and find out.  for me, netflex and all the others are irrelevant, as my main consumption comes from Music, Photos, live TV and Movies (Emby).  and for Games, my PC does the rest.

 

I have a feeling Roku and Shield and Apple TV and All the rest will not give me a total package, and I will go back to the dark ages of fifty million boxes living around my TV and one billion miles of cabling to sort through, and not mentioning the fact that every room in my house has a MCE Extender (even the bathroom) which gives me all of that minus the Games off course.

 

But.. let me not speak too hastly, and go and do the research first..

 

By the way... I really appreciate your help and suggestions guys, but I still don't understand what benefits the Emby Community and the Emby team gets from dropping a working platform.  I hear some guys got WMC working on Windows 10, which stops it being a dead platform.... am I right??

 

Another idea is, Emby team should purchase WMC from Microsoft and use it as the "Emby Theater"... that will make a lot of people happy, including current Emby Theater users (how many people are using Emby Theater??)

 

 

I was once like you....  Check out either the firetv 4k stick as something to start playing with,  or go for the gold and spend the cash on the Nvidia Shield (android tv box)    I now have the firetv sticks in every one of my home TV's and its nice...   Of course there will be some minor things you wont like, or may miss from WMC.. but I made the switch long ago and am not looking back..   All of the constant fiddling I used to have to do to keep it running nicely...   Its nice to hit one button have everything come up and surf, listen, watch with the same remote.      On a side note, I have 45,000 +/-  Albums, and use my emby for music all the time as well... Though i will admit pandora is much easier, and I have been using that.   But one of the emby teams goals is to pretty much make all of the apps look and feel the same...  I would venture to say if for some crazy reason they revived classic, it would start to change anyway... 

Edited by pir8radio
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Yes "some" people managed to get WMC running on Windows 10 but I wasn't one of those people.  I did get it to install and sort of run but it was extremely unreliable.  Windows updates would constantly break WMC and I was never able to get extenders to work, at all.  I highly recommend staying away from W10 and WMC.

Support is also limited if you're running on WMC on W10.  Devs and the community still do help when possible.

Hi Dansblackcat,

 

Thanks for the feedback on Windows 10...  I will stay away from it.. I must admit, i did not like Windows 10 from day one, mainly because Microsoft decided to take control of a box that's living in your house, and do with it as they like, and forced windows update is definitely a big breaking point.

 

I understand companies are fighting to control what we consume and how we consume it, but I still believe we can vote with our dollars, and we can stay away from platforms that does not give us what we want.

 

In the meanwhile.. I can continue to use my Windows 7 and WMC indefinitely, especially since Chinese manufactures are now producing motherboards with old Windows 7 compatible chipsets.

 

I am not against new platform and new technology, I love my latest version of Samsung mobile phone, only because it gives me what i want... WMC gives me what I want all in one package, and the day some new company wakes up to the fact that there are people out there who want those things all in one device,  that will be the new WMC.

 

the reason WMC was successful ..  It did what Steve Jobs did for the Iphone.. Basically, took Music Player, camera, phone, etc, and married them together (give the people what they want), and the rest is history...

 

The reason WMC was succesful ....  They (microsoft) married, Music Player, Photo and Video player, Live TV, Movie Player and Games machine into one box, and most importantly, all running under a 10-foot user interface.

 

There are much better music players than WMC out there, and better Photo players and games machines, but they are not bundled together like an Iphone..  WMC is the best bundled "Iphone" out there, and when a better product comes out.. I will be the first to support it.

 

Once again.. Thanks for sharing your feedback on windows 10 and WMC... I will follow your advice...

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That would be a huge step backwards. Emby Theater certainly has it's bugs (a couple of which I find quite annoying), but for the most part it's leaps and bounds better and more stable than Media Browser or MB3 ever was.

 

I do miss having the large selection of themes, but I've grown fond of the ET Metro style.

 

I was hesitant at first as well, but I think it comes down to the whole "old dog, new tricks" thing. Give it a try, get used to how to navigate and use it properly, you might eventually find that you like it better (although maybe not, since from the tone of your post you seem to assume everyone consumes media in the exact same way that you do, which is definitely not true).

 

Also, in your list of most important things every WMC user engages in you stopped after writing the first thing: music; and then didn't list anything else. Which leads me to suggest that maybe you should look into a different platform that specializes exclusively in music playback.

Hi pmac,

 

I knew my post would upset few people, but I certainly did not mean to make it personal, and it was not directed at any one person or any one taste.  I was trying to be general, and if I was not clear, then forgive me.

 

So, please don't make it personal.. I am not an old dog, and certainly not a dog at all.  I am not against new technology.

 

AND... I only wrote my post AFTER I HAVE GIVEN IT A TRY... AND THE MUSIC PART OF IT SUCKS.  I did not evaluate the rest as broken music part stops it being the "Iphone" i am looking for...

 

Remember.. I think Emby Movie playing already rocks on all platforms including Emby Theater i am sure... I am evaluating the other bits of Emby Theater only becuase EMBY team keeps telling us that Emby Theater is the replacement for WMC... IT IS NOT.

 

 

So, that's my opinion, and I am entitled to it, just like you are entitled to your opinion...

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By the way...

 

Whenever i say to my friends WMC is the Iphone of home entertainment.. they all say... "so, why didn't take off like the Iphone"... 

 

and the answer is both simple and typically annoying

 

Because of Microsoft..  allow me to explain..

 

WMC was the Iphone of home entertainment, but it was very delicate... it took a lot of TLC to get it working right, but once it was working right, you had to "lock it", as Microsoft (or any new format) will find a way to break it.  So, only people with knowledge and patients could keep it..

 

On the other hand, first version of Iphone was rock solid.. it was simple to configure and use, and it did its job day and night (i hear it crashed few times as well :-) )

 

One of the reasons for this.. Steve Jobs insisted on using the product himself to test it for simple use and durability... Bill Gates does not understand those concepts... Bill Gates (Microsoft) is all about i want to own "everything" by hook or crook.  (I am an ex Microsoft Employee).

 

Just wanted to point that out...

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the reason WMC was successful .. 

The reason WMC was succesful ....  

 

More correctly, you are listing the reasons why you really liked and adopted WMC.  In reality, WMC was not successful, which is why it no longer exists :).  It was just too hard for the average person to maintain and the concept it was going for has now been usurped by the types of boxes we have been recommending you take a look at.

 

I think one of the reasons you had a bad experience with the switch is because you only changed the interface program but stayed on the old platform (an HTPC).  You, of course, are welcome to stay on the old platform and WMC but support for everything is just going to get worse for you (not just us - in fact, we are the only ones I know of with any currently supported software on WMC).  But, I think if you start to make the adjustment to a streaming box (maybe replacing one of your current extenders as a "toe in the water") you will end up being happier in the long run - or not but something to consider trying.

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  In reality, WMC was not successful, which is why it no longer exists :).  It was just too hard for the average person to maintain and the concept it was going for has now been usurped by the types of boxes we have been recommending you take a look at.

 

 

Hi Chief and everyone else...

 

Please, don't shoot the messenger, even if the message is not to your liking.

 

And i agree... WMC was too hard for the average person to maintain.  But once you "lock it down", it will keep on running for years until someone updates something and then force you to update.

 

But the rest i disagree on.. for example, if it was not for the "unsuccessful WMC" who knows were Media Browswer / Emby would be today.. as I understand, Emby grew from that "unsuccessful" program.

 

That aside... I guess i am not getting my message across...  My message is  INTEGRATION.

 

I really don't care if it is HTPC or Streamed, or baked or sent down the telegraph pole.. all i care about is delivering what I want.

 

and you have the wrong assumption Chief.  I have tried streaming, and got myself an Android TV box, and used it for a week, but it is not a replacement for WMC and Emby Classic.. allow me to explain.

 

It does Emby movies flawlessly.  it will play music.. it will play pictures.... it will even do more...  but it fails at integration... (and i can't play my PC Games)

 

example.. i want to play music... it works, then I want to leave the music playing, and go to photo library and view pictures, it will work, but with limited functionality, like missing zooms and pans and sorting, but that's all acceptable, then you go through using it and i can crash it every time.

 

Integration should be like this.... I decided to change something.. I just click the green button (or whatever colour emby will be), and change music, or view playing now, or change index etc etc... INTEGRATION is what Steve Jobs gave to the IPhone....

 

I think if you get solid integration into the Emby app regardless of platform, and you will have a winner on your hands.  (integration of Games is important, so if the PC as a platform is dead, then build it for the Xbox to be the center machine that will do all, and an android box or Roku or Shield or whatever as the thin client for the Great Server that is called Emby Server.. (and I love Emby Server and Emby Classic... they are the best)  

 

p.s.  currently... I have one remote and wireless controllers, and I can go from movies, to TV to Music to playing games without touching a keyboard or mouse or the tv...

 

if I use a streaming box.. then the minute i want to play games, I will have to change tv input, change user input device, etc etc etc..

some people will say, why so lazy it is not that hard... i agree, however, now i don't have to do that.. so why change...  I can keep my Emby Classic, and server 3.5.3.0 and have all this without any trouble... Just lock it down to make sure no one upgrades anything behind my back.  (any way.. I am still testing to see if the new server will work with the old Emby Classic client...)

 

I guess i will revisit this if Emby Theater gets better integration.

 

The reason many people hate Microsoft and are forced to use it is... Microsoft moto... "There is nothing wrong with our programs... It is all those dumb users that are the problem".. all the while forgetting without those users, they don't have a company. 

Edited by aziz
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denz

Same in my household I keep trying to get my family to move from wmc but no luck they give emby a chance but day or two they are back with wmc on the main tv the main complaints are live tv slow to start can’t get bring up tv guide while live tv is playing there is no indication of what channel was this recording made on and can’t schedule the series from single recording.

 

So it is always why do we want to go backwards use emby over wmc.

 

I have wmc running on win 10 and it works still really good sometimes you get video error so have set up key on the remote to restart wmc using autohotkey.

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pir8radio

Same in my household I keep trying to get my family to move from wmc but no luck they give emby a chance but day or two they are back with wmc on the main tv the main complaints are live tv slow to start can’t get bring up tv guide while live tv is playing there is no indication of what channel was this recording made on and can’t schedule the series from single recording.

 

So it is always why do we want to go backwards use emby over wmc.

 

I have wmc running on win 10 and it works still really good sometimes you get video error so have set up key on the remote to restart wmc using autohotkey.

 

 

it took a minor family fight for me lol...   then i was like well you can pay the cable bill then, your going to have to figure this out....   lol     now she loves emby.....

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I still have a Windows 7 HTPC running Windows Media Center. I, like many others, have a great deal of time invested in making it do exactly what I want, and it works very well.. I am not ignorant of other platforms. I have half a dozen other computers running Windows 10, a gaggle of Rokus, etc. I have used Theater quite a bit. I have used the Emby Roku interface a lot. In fact I use Rokus as the media server platforms for all the TVs in my home except my primary one. There is a reason I still want an HTPC despite all the campaigning from many corners to use another type of media server exclusively. Rokus are actually quite nice, but try using one as a browser. I would actually like to move my HTPC to Windows 10, and have thought a lot about how to set that up to make me not miss WMC. Honestly, there is one thing that keeps me from doing just that. I am almost certainly an outlier here, but I find the Theater interface just so boring. It works and is utilitarian, but it's ugly to me (no offense intended, just my taste). Emby for WMC (Classic) has such beautiful themes. I use Chocolate and I find it gorgeous. It is so much more visually appealing to me than the Theater interface, no matter which Theater color scheme I select. If Theater had themes that I found nearly as visually appealing as those of Emby for WMC,, I would almost certainly byte the bullet, upgrade my HTPC to Windows 10, use Theater as my primary interface there and find good ways to replace the other functionality of WMC. I have already fully converted to doing all my live TV recording with Emby, and it's great. I have been on Emby a long time (since long before it had the new name). I think it's fantastic. I'm an old IT guy, and I think the Emby developers are brilliant and amazing. I have no idea how they find the time to do all they do. I have no intention of ever moving away from it. I just want those beautiful themes that are available in Emby for WMC.

Edited by saj
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unisoft

More correctly, you are listing the reasons why you really liked and adopted WMC.  In reality, WMC was not successful, which is why it no longer exists :).  It was just too hard for the average person to maintain and the concept it was going for has now been usurped by the types of boxes we have been recommending you take a look at.

 

I think one of the reasons you had a bad experience with the switch is because you only changed the interface program but stayed on the old platform (an HTPC).  You, of course, are welcome to stay on the old platform and WMC but support for everything is just going to get worse for you (not just us - in fact, we are the only ones I know of with any currently supported software on WMC).  But, I think if you start to make the adjustment to a streaming box (maybe replacing one of your current extenders as a "toe in the water") you will end up being happier in the long run - or not but something to consider trying.

 

Not strictly correct. Microsoft had invested in a whole team in Ireland for the ehome division, then about 1-2 years after canned it.

 

The reason was that content providers and cable companies were lobbying against Media Center as they were either concerned about a "locked down" environment from user for DRM purposes of content to avoid any chance of hacking DRM and cord cutters for the cable companies.

 

A change of leadership in Microsoft also shifted the focus to other things hence the sale of their MediaRoom IPTV offering (and subsequently helped to close shop on Media Center). Then cheap streaming sticks like Amazon Fire killed it totally. It's not fair to say WMC itself was unsuccessful, it was other contributing factors.

 

The original poster was correct in that Emby doesn't have some features like be able to cross fade music tracks for a number of seconds for seamless blend and no easy way to create playlists based on dates, genres etc.

 

I have transitioned from being a staunch WMC user with MB 2.6.2 to Emby app in LG TV and Apple TV and Roku with Emby app.

 

I've had a nightmare upgrade path (due to XML plugin being too fussy and changes to images in an Emby release changing the aspect ratio rather than just squeezing into a sized frame). Whilst I can see potential, there are things annoying compared to WMC. The EPG and inability to renumber channels is an issue, the EPG bug where images in the guide are a mess at bottom of the guide due to formatting bug on LG App (about the last 5 versions!), the Apple EPG guide is a mess, the Apple TV playback with interlaced content and frame switching for 24p and changes like MUSIC VIDEO library showing SONGS as default view on Web app and Android and iOS apps, whereas the ROKU and LG APP show it correctly as an automatic folder view where its sorted by genre and by artist with 'songs' under each; rather then just a long list of 'song' names in a huge list. Then there have been server side upgrade 'gotchas' that you have to be aware of (like deletion of content), no release notes published detailing any user impacting changes before updates. And 2FA with something like the MS Authenticator app is now required these days for any remote logins.

 

To make Emby better and the best, the team should concentrate on some of the key things above rather than some other obscure feature requests...

Edited by unisoft
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I like many others above started with Emby by way of media center as well. Have been here since the beginning. I moved away from WMC7 because I moved out of an area that had CCI flagged cable content to an area that the only content I could get was from either satellite or streaming. I had been a satellite subscriber prior to cable and knew I never wanted to go back to that. Wires are always better. That left me with streaming. So I subbed to AT&T TV Now and got Rokus, Android TV boxes and a streaming TV.

 

I converted my WMC7 box to Win10 and loaded both Emby & Plex server. I do still have WMC loaded on the box and it still can do OTA recording. But it doesn't have streaming in any fashion (even the old one that used to be built in) so mostly its non functional. I keep up with WMC10 just in case someone makes a breakthrough and gives it streaming capability.

 

I take issue with a few things said here by the Emby team. I love you guys to death and absolutely love and am amazed by what you do. You have definitely taken then media management and 10ft UI to the next level. But to claim that WMC was not successful is to also claim yourself a failure for had it not been for WMC...there would be NO Emby...

 

And still to this day even with using the server/client structure that you use (which I also think WMC should have used from day one) and the ability to integrate streaming capabilities there are still rudimentary things that WMC had perfected and become the benchmark for that Emby is not even close to achieving/performing.

 

I think you already know that and I know that it is your intent to one day get there. But for those of us who did experience WMC it became our benchmark. Everything else is always going to be measured against it. If you're better that it then you're golden and you become the new benchmark. But if you haven't exceeded it, you're still being measured by it and you haven't exceeded it yet.

 

In my opinion right now that's where you are. You're the next best thing to WMC. And that simply because you still cant do some of the things out of the box that it could. Yes you have definitely eclipsed it in the client server and streaming integration area but at the same time WMC couldn't do that out of the box. Likely had they been continued in development they would have been forced to adapt, apply and intregrate with the new streaming devices. We wont ever know that.

 

I tried many 10ft UIs prior WMC. I've tried many client/server models since Emby. Definitely in my opinion Emby is the best right now in this space. I do still run my Plex server on the same machine. But only because it too does some things that Emby cant. I like the overall presentation of Emby the best. But compared to the functionality of WMC that's what you're still being evaluated against and in my opinion it still ain't there yet.

 

JRiver MC would probably be next but they too still require a PC to run because they dont support streaming boxes and apps. They do have a backend server but you have to use a PC for the front end.

 

So which ever product gets to the finish line first is likely the one that I'll chose to be my forever box. Either Emby with full WMC functionality or JRiver with streaming box apps for Android TV, Roku and Samsung Smart TV. Eitherb would be acceptable to me. Or if WMC becomes open source and someone picks up the mantle to modernize it and give it client/server/streaming integration would be a possibility.

 

I'm good for whatever is the first boat going. But I can tell you for a fact that they are all still being measured against the WMC stick. I haven't been dazzled yet by anybody else.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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Spaceboy

Yeah I started with wmc too. But things weren’t always rosy there. I had to use several hacks to get it to work the way I wanted. And they often broke requiring full config from scratch.

 

But times move on. Yes I still measure some of what emby does against wmc. What did wmc do, is always a good adage in my book. But overall emby has already far far surpassed wmc as a personal media server. Wmc was a great client but htpcs are not where it’s at these days, which is the main platform for emby theater(also far from the best emby client imo). Get yourself a nvidia shield or even a mibox and use the android tv app on it. You’ll be happier in the long run

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Get yourself a nvidia shield or even a mibox and use the android tv app on it. You’ll be happier in the long run

 

Yes I too use Android TV, Roku and Samsung TV apps at most of my TVs. I no longer have a PC directly connected to a TV.  And yes I agree that Emby Theater is the least attractive of all the clients but it's not because of the aesthetics, its because of the basic backend functionality of the server.  There are two major remaining things that I need emby server to do that are carry overs from WMC that it can't yet and it will become the new standard... use visualizations in the music presentation and have a truly random presentation of ad hoc photo slideshow on-demand across all music files (or genres) and all available photos.  I used to use both of these features a great deal in WMC. And I can't recreate that experience in Emby.  I'm confident that the team will get there eventually but it's not there today.  Plex can't do it all either.  They do have the totally random/ad hoc slideshow feature for music and photos but the too have not incorporated visualizations in music play as near as I can tell.  WMC did both of these out of the box.  I'm even considering building up an SFF PC (small NUC or something) to do nothing but this in at least the main viewing room until it can get into Emby. I know the development team is busy working off fixes for current functionality and I know that these items are on the feature request roadmap but it also looks like these to two features are very far down on that map and I won't be seeing this anytime soon.  No big deal, that's just where it is right now and I still have to do work arounds.  But that's where I am.

 

If I had not had to move and give up cablecard, I'd probably still be running WMC7.  But doing so caused me to migrate to streaming.  Emby/Plex are the two best at allowing that structure to work.  In the interim, I'd still like to have as much of my old functionality back as possible.  Especially something that I used a lot.  I don't expect the Emby team to raise the priority of these two features because in the terms of overall functionality they're not that important.  But usability wise they are very important to me.

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Deathsquirrel

I think you already know that and I know that it is your intent to one day get there. But for those of us who did experience WMC it became our benchmark. Everything else is always going to be measured against it. If you're better that it then you're golden and you become the new benchmark. But if you haven't exceeded it, you're still being measured by it and you haven't exceeded it yet.

I'm glad you liked WMC but plenty of us were here for that time.  I've been a user since Media Browser was a WMC plugin.  I don't miss it.  I don't miss it a bit.  It was hideously unstable.  The UI performance stunk.  WMC extenders were even worse.  Cable card support was a nightmare any time you needed anything from the cable company.  I used it for years and I was dubious when making the change, but I'm a LOT happier  now than I was with my media playback then,

 

That doesn't mean you'll be happier without WMC, but some of us former WMC users are pretty damn thrilled.

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I'm glad you liked WMC but plenty of us were here for that time.  I've been a user since Media Browser was a WMC plugin.  I don't miss it.  I don't miss it a bit.  It was hideously unstable.  The UI performance stunk.  WMC extenders were even worse.  Cable card support was a nightmare any time you needed anything from the cable company.  I used it for years and I was dubious when making the change, but I'm a LOT happier  now than I was with my media playback then,

 

That doesn't mean you'll be happier without WMC, but some of us former WMC users are pretty damn thrilled.

We used to go round and round with these conversations back in The Green Button forum and on AVS Forum.  I think most people were in agreement that the Microsoft WMC product itself was quite stable but doing the things that we did to take it to the next level was what usually broke it most of the time.  Media Browser was an add-on, MyMovies was an add-on, Media Center Studio was an add-on. These were the things that made WMC a monster to try to keep maintained.  If the Microsoft money and resources had stayed there to bring those things native into WMC it would have been much better.  It wasn't to be, so that is why we all felt the incessant need (or want) to keep fiddling with it.  The mechanics of WMC and using XBox360 extenders was actually quite stable once set up.  OTA tv was quite stable once set up. Trying to work with cable companies to get them to integrate something into their system that they didn't want you to have in the first place was the nightmare (cable cards and tuning adapters were hell but not Microsoft's problem).  Remember when it first came out and the only way you could get it (WMC with cablecard) was to buy an extremely overpriced pre-built PC from select manufacturers with the ATI tuner?  Cable companies wanted that system crippled from day one.  It took the money and might of Microsoft to lobby on our behalf just to even open it up so that you could roll your own.

 

Why did we want WMC? Because that darned cable company DVR was do hideous (and in your words unstable).  After we got WMC why did we want to risk breaking it just to get the eye candy of Media Browser and Media Center Studio themer? Because we saw it once and went ooooooohhhh that's nice.  Then Microsoft dropped it and that was the end of that.  Could they have remained and still been the benchmark standard by integrating streaming, the client server architecture to incorporate streaming boxes and giving it a fresh facelift? You bet. But they didn't and so we are where we are.  But you still remember the functionality it had and how you enjoyed using it and how you'd still like to be able to have that same functionality today in whatever tool you use.

 

Emby is close.  I like it. But as the rest of the threads in this forum prove...it ain't the stable genius that it potentially could be either. I think the Emby team has run into the same problems that the Microsoft team did.  To make it the be all to end all you have to make it so complex that it eventually folds in on itself and approaches non-functionality.  And then, the other problem, there are  but so many hours left in a day to fix problems and work on new functionality.  Something somewhere has to get sacrificed.  I'm still waiting on two functions that are near and dear to me.  My solution right now is likely to have to run two or more platforms to get what I want right now.  Emby is one, Plex is another and I'm likely to resurrect either WMC or JRiver as another just to cover all the bases.  Which still means I'll have to delay my convergence to one box for everything even further.  I remember somewhat back in the early 2000s (late 1990s?) that was the task that set me on this trek to begin with.  A lot has changed and lot is better with streaming boxes and client server but in many ways its still not as good as it was with the previous tool.  We'll just have to stick around to see how it turns out.

 

Post Edit;  one of the things I forgot to mention is that my latest hiccup with the current Emby implementation has been induced by guess what??? A plugin that fouled my library presentation. These are the things that make any system unstable...all of the extra spaghetti that we like to hang off the side.

Edited by EZEd
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raymondjpg

Emby is close.  I like it. But as the rest of the threads in this forum prove...it ain't the stable genius that it potentially could be either.

 

Two or three reasons I preferred Classic:

 

1. You could apply a custom splash screen to hide the desktop or WMC interface when opening a video with an external player. Theater exposes the desktop temporarily, it is ugly.

2. You could line up a number of external players in the Configurator, and choose between them by adjusting their order. There is provision for only one in Theater.

3. The weather panel was handy, although it would disappear from time to time because of changes to API or licensing. There is no option for a weather panel in Theater.

 

I wouldn't have any time for a media center unless it had options for an external player. Reasons for this have been given elsewhere a number of times.

 

I never, ever, had an issue of stability with classic, but I used WMC with a USB DVB tuner not cable. It was fine for live TV, but I never used it for TV recordings because of the peculiar Microsoft recording format.

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and have a truly random presentation of ad hoc photo slideshow on-demand across all music files (or genres) and all available photos

 

You should be able to do this in Android TV now.

 

Go to your music library and hit play - shuffle and then go inside your photo library and shuffle from there.

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