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Thread: Streaming video: major re-think required

  1. #1
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    Streaming video: major re-think required

    My thesis is this: we are moving away from an all-broadcast model towards a world where we will be watching TV from many many sources, including (and especially) streaming video over the Internet.

    nPVR, great as it is, only caters for one type of source, the rest is handled (kind of) by plug-ins. I think this needs to change. I believe that if nPVR is not become sidelined, it needs to handle content from the web such as Lovefilm, Netflix, iPlayer, etc. This is something that should be built into the core of the app not a plug-in.

    What do you think, people? Can we prevail on sub (and maybe help him in the big development effort required) to make this happen?
    - Super-quiet PVR: Antec Fusion case / Gigabyte 780G / 2.5GHz AMD X2 4850e / 2GB RAM / silent ATI 4650 graphics / 30GB SSD + 1.5TB HDD / 2 x Hauppauge HVR4000 / Win7+nPVR -->Pioneer 42" plasma + Arcam FMJ AV9/P7 pre-amp/power-amp 5.1 surround system into PMC GB1 speakers.



  2. #2
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    A good point. We mostly watch shows on Netflix, and Hulu. npvr is used to watch recently aired shows, live tv, and listen to our music collection. I would like to see it as being the only interface used on the htpc. The wife almost always closes out npvr and load firefox for streaming content. she keeps forgetting about going to the programs plugin to start firefox.

    Greg

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by liteswap View Post
    My thesis is this: we are moving away from an all-broadcast model towards a world where we will be watching TV from many many sources, including (and especially) streaming video over the Internet.

    nPVR, great as it is, only caters for one type of source, the rest is handled (kind of) by plug-ins. I think this needs to change. I believe that if nPVR is not become sidelined, it needs to handle content from the web such as Lovefilm, Netflix, iPlayer, etc. This is something that should be built into the core of the app not a plug-in.

    What do you think, people? Can we prevail on sub (and maybe help him in the big development effort required) to make this happen?
    While I agree with your postulation, that the PVR model is changing, I totally disagree that online needs to be built into the core. If you want MediaCentre, XBMC, Boxee or Plex use them, they have large teams and no one person does all that work on any of the projects to access the worldwide media. Sub's limited time should mainly be devoted to core EPG, PVR and Player functionality with some effort to make things easier to use/configure. He's been doing that on NextPVR for two years, and this core gets better with every release, and I think there is still more that can be done.

    A second concern is that any DRM'ed material is not easy to get at. Content is not free and these services aren't giving them away, they expect revenue in the long term, and not the ads that are in the content. I don't want to think that NextPVR would ever go to a model that sub would have to charge for the core software to pay for content I will never use.

    Martin
    Last edited by mvallevand; 2012-02-01 at 12:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampz View Post
    A good point. We mostly watch shows on Netflix, and Hulu. npvr is used to watch recently aired shows, live tv, and listen to our music collection. I would like to see it as being the only interface used on the htpc. The wife almost always closes out npvr and load firefox for streaming content. she keeps forgetting about going to the programs plugin to start firefox.
    If you want to try to Universe plugin with the PlayOn 30 day trial, you would get Netflix and Hulu directly in the NextPVR UI. Personally I find other apps do a better job but if your goal is to really have only one interface to be NextPVR that is an option. Firing up firefox via a plugin is not really one UI, it's just a different desktop.

    Martin

  5. #5
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    Martin..

    I totally agree with you on your points as big business always demands big money.. The way our society runs unfortunately!

    I have given up on using the Netflix TX viewer since it is not as user friendly as through the browser interface. Was hoping to use it starting from the programs plugin. I wish I could get the Pandora plugin to work so I could witness the IE interface within npvr, even though I prefer Firefox which I know is not .net compatible.

    In regards to this thread, it would be nice if Netflix, Hulu, and others could be loaded from a plugin much the same as Pandora does, or should for me. I will need to address that further.

    Greg

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampz View Post
    In regards to this thread, it would be nice if Netflix, Hulu, and others could be loaded from a plugin much the same as Pandora does, or should for me. I will need to address that further.
    That's what Universe/Playon give you. It even has Pandora.

    Martin

  7. #7
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    I think Grampz wishes, as I do, that it were a plugin native to nPVR that directly accesses those service's APIs. Someone once did a Netflix plugin, as I recall.

    The idea being to not to have to "run another thing" such as Playon to get the functionality.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smajor View Post
    Someone once did a Netflix plugin, as I recall.
    That was me. To be honest, I got tired of dealing with the Netflix API. They were breaking something every week.

  9. #9
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    Something like that for Lovefilm (for those of us in the UK) would be perfect....
    - Super-quiet PVR: Antec Fusion case / Gigabyte 780G / 2.5GHz AMD X2 4850e / 2GB RAM / silent ATI 4650 graphics / 30GB SSD + 1.5TB HDD / 2 x Hauppauge HVR4000 / Win7+nPVR -->Pioneer 42" plasma + Arcam FMJ AV9/P7 pre-amp/power-amp 5.1 surround system into PMC GB1 speakers.



  10. #10
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    As much I'd love to have support for these types of services built into the app, I doubt it'll happen. These services aren't really integration-friendly. Some of these dont have any API, so you have to rely on scraping their website, and things break every time they tweak their website. Some do provide an API, but they only provide metadata, not the actual streams themselves. All of the services rely on DRM protected flash or silverlight video, so video cant be captured for recordings, or distributed to clients like NMTs etc. About all you can do to play them is launch a browser window.

    Add to that the fact they're not available for me to try from here in NZ. If I try to watch a video on Hulu or iPlayer, I'm told the service is not available in my country. This makes it pretty hard to develop anything.

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