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Old 11-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
Polygon Polygon is offline
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Default Media Center Software

Since I built my HTPC I've been using Media Browser. However, I'm tired of it. I don't like that it's just a front end for Media Center. I don't like that it's not seamless. And I really don't care for the fact that music is an add on. I've tried XBMC before and it was just really convoluted to set up. It seemed like a huge PITA but I'm willing to give it another try considering some of the setups I've seen. I also tried Media Portal, not interested.

There are two that I've been hearing a lot about but haven't tried.

Plex
J River

Now, Plex is free and that's easy enough to try out. But I'd like to hear your impressions of it still. But J River isn't and I know nothing about it. Anyone using XBMC, Plex, or J River please post up your thoughts about it. Also, post up some screen shots of what your interface looks like.
Receiver | Yamaha RX-V765
BD Player | Samsung BD-F7500
Media Players | Roku 3 | Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Front | Polk Audio TSi 300
Center | Wharfedale WH-2
Rear | Wharfedale WH-2 Bipole
Subwoofer | BIC VK-12
Display | Samsung LN40B550 40" 1080p LCD
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:18 AM   #2
lucv13 lucv13 is offline
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I've been using XBMC for a year now after using WMC since it's inception and I must say that XBMC is just awesome - once you've assigned your folders and use an XBMC approved naming format, they have many. They've simplified the installation procedure a lot over the last year so you should give it a shot.

Had a glance at the Plex website since I had never heard of it before and there isn't much info available about their program, no screenshots or anything I suppose one could scour their forums for info.

We had a thread going a year ago about XBMC you may want to read through...
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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I've used J River for about a year now. I love it. Pretty sure you can get a trial version to test it out. The only thing it can't do is TV from tuner card, but I've set it to seemlessly launch the application that streams my TV.

I really enjoy J River because of the customizability and the little tweaking it lets you do. One of the downsides is that it requires outside software like AnyDVD HD to run, but if you plan on watching a lot of cross-region blu-rays, you will most likely already have it.

The main reason I use J River is because it has different viewing modes such that it works with my 2.40:1 screen. I can view 1.78:1 content with black bars on the sides, or I can zoom it to fit the entire screen, whatever I prefer. I can also move subtitles up and down, and resize them on the fly.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
prerich prerich is offline
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JRiver for me too. Here's a link to a review http://hometheaterreview.com/jriver-...ware-reviewed/
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), SVS 16-46 CS (X2) 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Xonar Essence ST/H6 modified Burson Supreme Discreet Opamps, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
bicismith bicismith is offline
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I recently starting using an HTPC in the summer and have tried most everything out there. I've spent more time than I care to admit getting everything setup properly. For reference, I have about 400 movies in blu-ray, a number of tv series,and about 1TB of music that is mostly apple lossless but is slowly becoming mostly FLAC as that is what I use now.

XBMC as a media browser, imo, is the best for movies and tv shows. however, it was a royal PITA to setup to get it to the point of being really nice to use. I eventually paid a guy to remotely login and set everything up. for music, it did not do what I needed.

that said,

I use Jriver.

I found it much easier to setup. But some of that could be because I learned so much when struggling with XBMC. my movies and music were also nicely tagged and in the folder structure required to work in XBMC by this point making the transition that much easier.

As a media browser, It's not as good for tv series compared to XBMC. i still can't get it to recognize series very well. for movies, it's almost as good but does not have IMDB reviews.

as a player for both audio and video, its fantastic. nothing compares, imo. It plays anything I throw at it at the best quality.

I use the "high end" settings and the picture and sound quality are fantastic. it does a lot of stuff automatically that other programs do not.

the metadata scraper works very well and usually identifies everything without any work on my part.

the file management system is awesome. It's incredibly easy to move/rename/copy, etc within jriver.

the remote apps on tablets and phones works great. Finally something that controls my music wirelessly on par with itunes remote. it's still not as good for browsing music as itunes, but it's close and good enough.

hope that helps...

Last edited by bicismith; 11-30-2012 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
Polygon Polygon is offline
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Here's something I forgot to ask, though it isn't that important. I know that Plex handles them pretty well, but how do the others handle Pod casts, Youtube, etc?
Receiver | Yamaha RX-V765
BD Player | Samsung BD-F7500
Media Players | Roku 3 | Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Front | Polk Audio TSi 300
Center | Wharfedale WH-2
Rear | Wharfedale WH-2 Bipole
Subwoofer | BIC VK-12
Display | Samsung LN40B550 40" 1080p LCD
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polygon View Post
Here's something I forgot to ask, though it isn't that important. I know that Plex handles them pretty well, but how do the others handle Pod casts, Youtube, etc?
Jriver does a great job at it, no probs at all.
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), SVS 16-46 CS (X2) 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Xonar Essence ST/H6 modified Burson Supreme Discreet Opamps, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
Polygon Polygon is offline
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Thanks for the info everyone. I think I'm just going to have to try each one of them. Downloaded Plex, XBMC, and J River. Hopefully I'll be testing them out this weekend.
Receiver | Yamaha RX-V765
BD Player | Samsung BD-F7500
Media Players | Roku 3 | Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Front | Polk Audio TSi 300
Center | Wharfedale WH-2
Rear | Wharfedale WH-2 Bipole
Subwoofer | BIC VK-12
Display | Samsung LN40B550 40" 1080p LCD
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #9
arevinotion arevinotion is offline
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yeah.Here's something I forgot to ask, though it isn't that important. I know that Plex handles them pretty well
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
bicismith bicismith is offline
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an update to my post re: jriver not doing TV series so great.

I finally had the time to dig around more and found a forum post re: TV series arrangement. Not surprisingly, it was simply a matter of configuring j river properly in the Theater View settings. now all TV series are displayed properly by season and then by episode and it can display watched/unwatched info as well.
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