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Getting Windows Media Center to work on the Xbox One

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#1 woodyp

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 16:38

I am sure that a few of you are wondering about running TV service from a Home Theatre PC (HTPC) to an Xbox One (X1). So I thought I would share how what I had to do to get this to work. Forgive me if I do not get the actual screens on the Xbox One's correct. I don't remember their exact titles off hand.

 

1. I went into X1 settings page and under TV (I think) and disabled the option that Xbox turns off power of my "cable box"

 

2. Under the initial TV setup screen (separate screen from step one above) I used "Media Center PC" (just typed media when asked what was the brand), in addition to setting up my cable provider, etc etc. Please NOTE that I have a Media Center IR Blaster connected to the computer, so I am not sure if this is required or not. I would assume it is otherwise you will have to just use your normal WMC remote or keyboard/mouse to change channels).

 

3. Allowed it to run the "power test" even though nothing would happen. Said it "worked' and moved on. (Notice nothing ever showed up in the little TV preview area on the right hand side of this particular screen so wasn't really worried).

 

4. Launched the X1 TV app and saw my HTPC desktop. I could control the desktop environment with my mouse and keyboard.

 

5. Launched Windows Media Center (WMC) and it launched. I used X1 to change channels. Even in just the default WMC screen it sent the command to change channels based on the integrated X1 guide (not the Media center guide).

 

6. The image was just slightly degraded (probably due to the HDMI pass-through), but not very noticeable. However this method was much more responsive then using a traditional media center extender (I also have a Ceton which is horrendously slow). it seems even snappier than the 360's media center extender). I assume this is attributed to direct HDMI connection vs. Ethernet.

 

7. The only issue I experienced was NO SOUND. So I actually switched to the HDMI cable that came with the X1 for the HTPC to the X1 and rebooted the HTPC. Then I had to go into the audio playback devices (right click on speaker icon in Windows) and manually select my HDMI source which, for me, was AMD. For some reason it was disabled. So I re-enabled it and set it to default and tested it by adjusting the sound volume and heard the windows ding.

 

8. With the sound working and the Xbox guide capable of changing channels, it seems to be all working fine. If you get an error about "video display playback" or a DRM issue, just reboot the system while the X1 TV app is active. That way it gets a solid HDMI handshake.

 

Just so you guys know, I am using a Silicondust HDHomerun Prime into an HTPC. Maybe there will be HDHomerun Prime support in the future with Xbox One. But at least for the time being I can use the Xbox TV with my HTPC and Windows Media Center.




#2 trooper11

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 17:05

Excellent post. I have been reading threads elsewhere of people making use of this feature to access WMC.

Its cool that MS built in WMC device support. This basically becomes a replacement for the extender functionality of the 360. I may use this myself until Media Browser Theater is done and I switch to that on my htpc and stream to the x1 via their app.

I'm kind of shocked that it just works and it works better performance wise compared to extenders.

Thanks for sharing your setup process. I know several people that will be glad to see it.

#3 vetJohn Callaham

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 17:06

Yes thanks ..do you have any screenshots shwing WMC running on the Xbox One? ;)



#4 OP woodyp

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 17:10

I will upload some images when I get home today.

Yes thanks ..do you have any screenshots shwing WMC running on the Xbox One? ;)



#5 Silver47

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 17:42

Guessing you're US based as I don't have the option to configure any boxes on my XB1 :(. Otherwise I tried the same trick to no avail



#6 OP woodyp

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:59

 

 

 

Yes thanks ..do you have any screenshots shwing WMC running on the Xbox One? ;)

Here some photos I took...

 

 

 

 

 

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#7 Forjo

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:09

No surprise this would be faster than an extender. You're just passing through HDMI as opposed to a enhanced remote desktop from the 360 to the media center.  Of course, this isn't comparable as you have to have the WMPC in the same location as the XB1. Forget about viewing from another room or another XB1.

 

They could really upset the old apple cart, however, by producing an extender "app" that would connect to either a full WMPC or just a network tuner like the Ceton InfiniTV. A Ceton Windows 8/XB1/WP8 app that provides the same functions as their $99 Echo extender would KILL. And overcome one of my and my wife's main objections for buying an XB1 -- the lack of Media Center capability (the other being the lack of backwards compatibility).

 

-Forjo



#8 OP woodyp

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:20

No surprise this would be faster than an extender. You're just passing through HDMI as opposed to a enhanced remote desktop from the 360 to the media center.  Of course, this isn't comparable as you have to have the WMPC in the same location as the XB1. Forget about viewing from another room or another XB1.

 

They could really upset the old apple cart, however, by producing an extender "app" that would connect to either a full WMPC or just a network tuner like the Ceton InfiniTV. A Ceton Windows 8/XB1/WP8 app that provides the same functions as their $99 Echo extender would KILL. And overcome one of my and my wife's main objections for buying an XB1 -- the lack of Media Center capability (the other being the lack of backwards compatibility).

 

-Forjo

I think making an app to connect to a WMPC would be a bit redundant unless you can't connect via HDMI. I fear that it would take a performance hit if it's over the network. On the other hand, I do hope that either Ceton or SiliconDust can push for a direct app similar to how the PS3 supported it (even though the GUI was horrible). Even with the PS3 version, there was a noticeable delay when changing channels but it was much more usable vs. the CETON extender. I am content with setup until a more seamless option is available, if at all, At least voice commands work with this setup. However I still have to use the WMPC remote to access the recorded TV though. Also I find it easier to use to skip forward vs saying "Xbox skip forward" a bunch of times.



#9 Forjo

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:27

I think making an app to connect to a WMPC would be a bit redundant unless you can't connect via HDMI. I fear that it would take a performance hit if it's over the network. On the other hand, I do hope that either Ceton or SiliconDust can push for a direct app similar to how the PS3 supported it (even though the GUI was horrible). Even with the PS3 version, there was a noticeable delay when changing channels but it was much more usable vs. the CETON extender. I am content with setup until a more seamless option is available, if at all, At least voice commands work with this setup. However I still have to use the WMPC remote to access the recorded TV though. Also I find it easier to use to skip forward vs saying "Xbox skip forward" a bunch of times.

 

You're forgetting that some of us have 360s in other rooms. We have one in the bedroom exclusively as an extender and for online streaming services. The WMPC is in the living room. It would be a VM if extenders played back all video formats.

 

There is no noticeable lag in playing back prerecorded content from our bedroom. We NEVER watch live TV, and even when we do, we don't channel surf. So channel changing delay is not an issue for us. If I'm thinking about it, I can tell that skipping through a program is a bit slower on the 360, but that's only if I happen to think about it. Otherwise we're just getting through the commercials.

 

An app that allows full consumption of the content on our WMPC or one that talks directly to a network tuner (perhaps saving programming to a NAS or external USB drive - obviating the need for a WMPC) would be an awesome option.

 

I still hope that Microsoft (or some third party) produces a DVR experience that integrates with the Oneguide and stores programming on at least an External USB drive connected to the XB1 or, better yet, a network device or share.

 

-Forjo



#10 trooper11

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:58

No surprise this would be faster than an extender. You're just passing through HDMI as opposed to a enhanced remote desktop from the 360 to the media center.  Of course, this isn't comparable as you have to have the WMPC in the same location as the XB1. Forget about viewing from another room or another XB1.
 
They could really upset the old apple cart, however, by producing an extender "app" that would connect to either a full WMPC or just a network tuner like the Ceton InfiniTV. A Ceton Windows 8/XB1/WP8 app that provides the same functions as their $99 Echo extender would KILL. And overcome one of my and my wife's main objections for buying an XB1 -- the lack of Media Center capability (the other being the lack of backwards compatibility).
 
-Forjo


I'm following this space very closely, because I want my X1 to take over the media duties of my htpc if possible. All it needs are a couple apps to really make that happen.

Well there are a couple options that are possibilities at this point:

1. The dev team behind the MediaBrowser addon for WMC has now broken away and the third version of the software is now a stand alone product. It consists of a server application that you would install on the pc with all of your media and then various client apps to access that content. They are currently in the middle of beta testing all of the software, but its coming along very nicely. There will be a Windows 8 metro app and a desktop app more akin to WMC (called Media Browser Theater).

They are also actively in touch with MS to allow them to build a client app for the X1. MS has touted how easy it is to port apps, so if MS says ok, they could be the first with such an app.


2. You could make this hdmi-in option work even over a long distance. HDMI to Ethernet adapters. They do exist and they do work. I wish I had some because I would test them with this setup. If anyone can test this out, it would mean that all you have to do is plug one adapter into the your pc and then the other into the X1 and bam, you have a new extender option.

#11 forrestbear

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:18

Good post!  I also have been using media center by connecting my desktop through the HDMI.  I am using a Hauppauge WinTV 2250 and am using over the air antenna.  I basically am just using live TV for football.  My issue is that I can't figure out how to get it to change to the digital channels.  Ex: Fox = 69.1.  It will just try to go to "69".   When I search for the box I am using brand: Microsoft and device "media center".  Anyone have a fix/suggestions?

 

Thanks!



#12 chrisj1968

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:39

to the OP: did you watch the 49er game tonight by chance? my wife a 9'er fan and my daughter a skins fan, were talking trash.. LOL I was enjoying the trash talk and the game :D



#13 OP woodyp

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 13:33

Good post!  I also have been using media center by connecting my desktop through the HDMI.  I am using a Hauppauge WinTV 2250 and am using over the air antenna.  I basically am just using live TV for football.  My issue is that I can't figure out how to get it to change to the digital channels.  Ex: Fox = 69.1.  It will just try to go to "69".   When I search for the box I am using brand: Microsoft and device "media center".  Anyone have a fix/suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Do you have a Windows Media Center remote? In order to use the voice commands, your PC will have to have a USB IR receiver of some sort. Otherwise you will not be able to change channels and tell the X1 to watch something based on voice command. The Kinect is a giant IR blaster (sends remote commands out) which will tell your WMC what to do similar to how it sends commands to a traditional cable box.



#14 OP woodyp

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 13:35

to the OP: did you watch the 49er game tonight by chance? my wife a 9'er fan and my daughter a skins fan, were talking trash.. LOL I was enjoying the trash talk and the game :D

I only watch a small part of it but did not have an interest either way. lol



#15 0sit0

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 13:41

This was the first thing I tried. However my video freezes a lot, I need to unplug and plug the HDMI cable a lot. Not sure why it happens. =/