Saturday, March 15, 2014

XBMC - Windows 7 Media Centre De-Throned

Well after months of agony, I've settled on a Media Centre solution.

While being a big fan of Windows Media Centre for a long time, it really is starting to show its age in terms of retrieving meta data to tell you more about your TV, Music and Movies.

MediaBrowser was ok but my system seemed to wig out randomly when scraping using this application.

So, over the last month I've tried XBMCBuntu, gone back to Win7 and tried Plex and finally landed at Win7 with XBMC Gotham Beta 1.

So - first of all, here's why XBMC on Win7 is the best IMHO:

  • XBMC now supports live TV and recording using a tuner device either on the same machine or a remote machine (free).
  • The Android Remote Control app is awesome. Really awesome.
  • It passes the well-known girlfriend / boyfriend / wife / room-mate test.
  • It looks slick. Damn slick. TV and movie browsing is awesome.
  • Once you know the trick to fix the two major issues I encountered, it's near perfect.
  • Windows 7 lets you do something magical: Loudness Equalisation
Next, we'll cover the tips and tricks to get you up and going and make the platform as simple and stable as possible.

  • Disable Subtitles
  • Install Watchdog Add-On
  • Configure Watchdog Add-On to remove deleted files (manual).
  • If you're sharing media off a Windows 7 machine, don't use CIFS. Use and FTP Server. If you don't use FTP and choose to use CIFS, expect to be regularly disconnected from your video library.
  • Enable HTTP management interface (used for Android App) and if using Gotham version, set HTTP port to 8080.
On a related note, one thing that drove me crazy with XBMC was regarding how to remove a video source.

It turns out this is done via a (somewhat) hidden menu.

To delete a source, go to Videos -> Files and then highlight the source you wish to remote.
Next, press c on your keyboard and choose remove source.


  1. Dude - I think I found what I need. Plex -
    Download the Media Server on the PC and they have a samsung app I can load on my home theatre. Now I can control the stereo from the PC like I wanted!

  2. /sigh. After spending a couple of hours setting it up only to find out it doesn't support remote play to samsung devices grrrrrrrr.
    It also doesn't have a shuffle feature so off to the deleted pile it goes.