I upgraded my last Win7 box–the Windows Media Center–to Windows 10.

I had long been intending to figure out what’s next for my DVR because MS is clearly trying to kill WMC. But it just hasn’t been a priority because I don’t watch as much tv as I used to.

I mainly just record a few shows…the late-night shows because every now and then something newsworthy happens and I can go back and watch it, some cooking shows, some science shows, and a couple of random entertainment series. I watch maybe 1-2 shows a week lately.

I had also been dragging my feet mentally designing the new setup…a backend server in the other room with the pc-at-the-tv being just a player…or maybe even have the TV’s smart features play from the backend….

But now I’m running up against the free Win10 upgrade deadline, which is a bit silly because I could probably manage a cost-free solution in the future if needed, but this is one of my three paid Win7 licenses. And I know I want to get away from WMC eventually, and I’m not using the DVR much lately, so I pulled the trigger.

I installed NextPVR. It kind of works easy, but it won’t play back video! Decoders something something. But it lets me record, and although there are some free ways to get programming guide data, it is apparently a pain to keep up so I’ll pay $25/year for Schedules Direct. (At the moment I’m on a 7-day free trial.) Schedules Direct will work for any other PVR software I’ve considered, too.

But yeah, NextPVR doesn’t include its own decoders, and apparently Win10 doesn’t let 3rd-party apps use its MPEG2 decoder. Tongue . I’m pretty sure my Intel 4500 graphics has integrated MPEG2 decoding, but as per usual with free stuff I’ll have to tinker to make it work.

But it records just fine, and I can play the recordings with VLC, and I’m sure there are numerous ways to make it work, but it doesn’t “just work” “out of the box”.

I also had to hunt around to set up the necessary items rather than have a setup wizard.

I’m also planning to install Kodi (renamed XBMC). The idea is that Kodi will be the front end that can play other videos but also be an interface for the PVR.

No rush, though. I’ve got my recordings scheduled again, and one already recorded at 8am today, and I can watch it with VLC.